(CNN) — Conservative radio host Glenn Beck told listeners Friday that Hurricane Irene, the Category 1 storm that worked its deadly way up the Eastern Seaboard over the weekend, was “a blessing from God.”
Beck has long urged his fans to stockpile food in their homes in anticipation of a global food disruption. He said Irene should be construed as a divine warning for those who have ignored that advice.
Here’s Beck on his show Friday:
“How many warnings do you think you’re going to get, and how many warnings do you deserve? This hurricane that is coming thorough the East Coast, for anyone who’s in the East Coast and has been listening to me say ‘Food storage!’ ‘Be prepared!'”
“… If you’ve waited, this hurricane is a blessing. It is a blessing. It is God reminding you — as was the earthquake last week — it’s God reminding you you’re not in control. Things can happen. Be prepared and be someone who can help others so when disaster strikes, God forbid, you’re not panicking.”
The Washington Post reports that in encouraging home stockpiling, Beck, a convert to Mormonism, is echoing Mormon church teaching. The church encourages members to build home storehouses of food that could last for at least three months.
According to a website run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the official name of the Mormon church:
“Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance, for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to ‘prepare every needful thing’… so that, should adversity come, we can care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others.”
The site includes a food storage calculator. To build a three-month supply of food for a family of four, the calculator recommends 300 pounds of “wheat, white rice, corn and other grains” and 60 pounds of “dry beans and other legumes.”
The Post notes that food storage is one pillar of the Mormon emphasis on self-reliance.