Storms, wildfires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters have frequently dominated the news over the past several years. These catastrophes cause massive power outages, food shortages, and billions of dollars in damages to personal lives and property. Do we see these events, and think to ourselves, “Wow! I am glad that didn’t happen to me!” or are we asking ourselves the question, “Am I ready for such an event?” Natural disasters are going to happen, and sometimes they come without warning. Will you be ready when more disaster comes? Are you preparing like the ant?
The ant is a small creature without human intelligence, yet it teaches an important lesson in preparing for future disasters. Ants treat each coming winter as a natural disaster. If they are caught above ground during the freezing temperatures, they will die. To survive the winter, an ant colony must prepare and store a surplus of food during the summer; then its members can live below ground and survive on their provisions.
How does this relate to us? God admonishes us to “consider the ant and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest” (Proverbs 6:6–8). The ant diligently prepares to survive the winter. Its lesson for us is to be industrious and proactive in our preparations. The ant gathers supplies and food, storing it away for the coming disaster—and we should do the same. Begin making a plan now. Do not wait! Like the ant, your very survival may depend on it.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers many helpful hints on how to prepare for disasters. One example is to have a plan for communicating with family members in case of disaster. Power may be cut, cellphones and GPS systems may be down, and roads may be unusable. So, family members and loved ones should plan in advance how they will re-connect after a disaster, so they can avoid becoming confused or panicked.
FEMA also encourages citizens to build a supply of canned food and water at home. An easy way to do this is to buy some extra cans of food and a jug of water whenever you go to the grocery store. Make storage space at home and be disciplined about not using the food and water unless it is near its expiration. Even two weeks of supplies may make the difference in surviving a disruption.
Another way to prepare is to pick up some cold weather survival equipment from an outdoor retail store, in case a disaster strikes in winter and there is no working heat. Consider purchasing a tent and some sleeping bags in case your home is destroyed and the emergency shelters are full. If you have a working fireplace at home, or a fire drum, prepare wood under a tarp, in a shed, or in a garage. Start formulating ideas now and build your survival plan. Prepare like the ant and be ready for the next disaster.
Jesus Christ warned that at the end of the age, there would be “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7–8). He said there would be a time of confusion and great fear with “the sea and the waves roaring” and “men’s hearts failing” (Luke 21:25–26). Christ knew there would be massive hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, and tsunamis that would cause billions of dollars in damage and devastate large communities.
Food shortages and diseases are always linked to disasters, by which many will be taken off guard. Christ gave us these warnings for our admonition, encouraging us to “watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass” (v. 36). Will you be caught off guard or will you be ready? Consider the ant and prepare, being wise to escape the coming danger.
For those called by God, there are also spiritual preparations to be made for the momentous times ahead. Order the free booklet, Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return, and learn what you can do to prepare for the return of the Savior, and for a place of service in the coming Kingdom of God. The word of God is a vital part of any good plan.