“Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do; but let us watch, and be sober.”

In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”

“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”

“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil. When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.

Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.

In ancient version of Aesop’s classic, the grasshopper simply dies.

I suppose Democrats got hold of it.

The grasshopper will soon be redefined, in a Disney movie, as the transgender victim of formician indifference and the State will decree the fair distribution of all antish goods, and there will be a happy Bollywood ending.

And then there’s reality.  Actually, nothing in the version above says that the ants distributed anything to the grasshopper or to anyone other than other ants.  Right?

It has been a while since I have mentioned to you a few things, to which I hope you will attend.  While I am always telling you to be spiritually prepared against the moment of your death, which could strike right NOW… you should also physically prepare for the dark day of struggle or flight.

Remember: Bad things always happen to other people… until it’s your turn.

I’ve seen lately on the news that tornadoes have devastated villages, that wild fires have caused the evacuation of towns, trains with nasty chemicals cause flight.

Could you, in the few moments that you have, grab a bag or two and, alone or with your family, get to relative safety?

If not… why not?

There are some pre-packed bags for sale, like this, which can give you ideas.

There are many levels of preparedness.  All of us should be at least minimally prepared if for no other reason that we do not become even more of a burden to others.  Also, if you are responsible for the well-being of dependents, then… what are you thinking about if not about their well-being and safety?

We need plans.  We need plans to get home, to get away from home, to get everyone out of immediate harms way, to feed, defend, keep warm those who are dependent.

There are regional considerations, such as the commonplaces of fires or earthquakes or storms.  Other have threats such as mobs in cities or angry ex-boyfriends or husbands who come knocking, and not in a nice way.


Consider having a plan, including a bag to grab with basics, including necessary documents keys, etc.  Give some thought to this.  Know what your route will be and if that route is viable.  Designate meeting places if you are separated.  Practice getting out of your house and where to go.  Think now about what you will need the instant you realize that, no, your house is now completely engulfed in flames and you won’t have again anything that is inside.

Also, remember that it is usually the case that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

It could also make all the difference if you have, in advance, networked with other people who have also done some solid preparation.

I bring this up, friends, but I don’t ever want to hear about horrible things happening to any of you that might have been avoided with some forethought, planning and practice.


Priests need to think about this too.  HERE


And don’t forget a UPS or two!  HERE


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Semper Paratus, TEOTWAWKI, The Coming Storm and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Maltese says:

    As an intro I’ll say that I’m former FBI Special Agent who was the case agent on one of the biggest counterintelligence cases in the history of the FBI (and it would be a crime for me to say this if it wasn’t true, and I know my IP address can be tracked-down), and I only say that so hopefully I can get this message across:

    Our electrical grid is direly vulnerable. If you want proof, read Ted Koppel’s “Lights Out.” If even a portion of our electric grid gets knocked out (whether by cyber attack, or even a conventional attack–if even nine major transformers were to go down folks on the east coast are in trouble) we could be talking about major loss of life, in the tunes of hundreds of thousands of people killed. We are also being constantly challenged by Russia (Baltic Sea), and China (South China Sea), which could lead to unintended consequences–whether deliberately, or by a mishap. We could have a dollar collapse, etc.

    If you think you are safe because you are on a farm, think again. You will be quickly overwhelmed and killed. If you think you are safe because you have guns and stored food, you might be for a short time, but ultimately those things, too, will run out. The Rosary is the best tool for spiritual safety, but God created us with minds, so don’t rely on the Rosary for physical safety. Really the best, and only, thing to help you survive what might transpire in your lifetimes (and, as always, continue to go to Confession) is a small community. Preferably a small community of like-minded people. A city like New York or Los Angeles will be a death-trap, but a small community of folks with guns, land, seed for planting, animals, ex-law enforcement type folks, etc., will get you through it.

    I once read a poster saying that in the event of a nuclear war he would stand right in the center of the blast. But God put us on this earth for a reason, and the reason we’re here is not just to die–God wants us to promulgate, worship Him (meaning experience His reciprocal love for eternity), so God doesn’t desire death and destruction–those are Satan’s tools. But we are fast approaching (I think) some major changes in the world. It’s better to be a little prepared, because God does want you to survive on this earth He created for a purpose…

  2. Tricia says:

    Thank you for the reminder, Father. Our city got hit by softball-sized hail recently. There was a lot of property damage, but amazingly, no one died, and for that we are very grateful. The hail was powerful enough to punch through the roof and into people’s houses.

  3. wannabetraditional says:

    Father, I am a slow learner, but am finally starting to get the message regarding preparing for an emergency situation. The problem is I am so busy just trying to homeschool and keep the household in order that the thought of just packing a few bags with necessities seems overwhelming. Pathetic, I know…..A list would really be helpful. A website with a list, perhaps? If you or your readers could help I would be most grateful. Just no heavy prepping stuff, I’m not totally on board with that one – yet :-).

  4. Nicholas says:

    I have water, some food, and a knife for utility and self defense (I’m trained how to fight with it if neck). I keep ID close at hand in case of a late night get away. My dad doesn’t want guns in the house, and I will respect his wishes. (Just finished freshman year at TAC).


    Food, water, and defense are key. A way to get away is important as well. Documents are good. Food and water and necessary medication will be good for a few days. Throwing some stuff in a bag that’s easily accessible would be the first step in prepping.

    Other readers can give you advice on bigger things.

  5. Semper Gumby says:

    wannabetraditional: A few items tucked away in a closet for a rainy day help provide peace of mind. You are correct to think ahead if an emergency such as flooding or a chemical tanker-car derailment results in evacuation. Here’s a few starter notes on water, food, and other items that several families have found helpful.

    First, water. Purchase a few gallons of drinking water. In the closet they go.

    For food, take a box and put in a week’s worth of items you’re family prefers. Maybe canned soup and fruit, chili, a jar of peanut butter and box of crackers etc. A can opener. Add a few treats for the kids and a bottle of multi-vitamins. Put this box in the closet as these items tend to be used when just left in the cupboard. On the other hand, treats for the kids you may want to add to that box at the last moment.

    In a manila envelope put in copies of important family documents and copies of a few family photos. Cell phones may run down if power is off for long, type up a sheet of phone numbers and addresses. Off to the closet with this envelope too.

    In another box, or better yet a backpack, put in a flashlight, small radio, space blankets, and some comfort and morale items such as a small Bible, several books, bath items, etc.

    Tape on the box an index card with a list of last-minute items to add such as prescription meds, eyeglasses (for contact lens wearers) etc.

    As for prepper websites, they have some good “how-to” articles, but the articles and comboxes too often veer into conspiracy theory, a bunker mentality, and other distorted views. Instead, take a look at Fr. Z’s archives using the search box or click on the Semper Paratus and TEOTWAWKI tag links just above at the bottom of Fr. Z’s post.

    Of course, our best preparation is prayer, the Rosary, and occasional family discussion not to scare the children, but to make them aware of a plan in case of emergency. God has provided us with His Church and Holy Sacraments for our sojourn here on Earth. Cheers.

  6. wannabetraditional says:

    Thank you, Nicholas and Semper Gumby for the specific info – just what I needed! And I’ll check the Fr Z tags too. Blessings to you both.

  7. cl00bie says:

    And don’t forget your ham radio license, and learn Morse code.

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