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Swedish Forethought

Forethought need not be costly, taken today,
Which taken tomorrow might well make me pay.

“If crisis or war comes” is the title of a brochure of 19 pages issued to all Swedish households in May of this year by the State of Sweden, “to help us become better prepared for anything from serious accidents, extreme weather and IT (Information Technology) attacks, to military conflicts . . . . Many people may feel anxiety when faced with an uncertain world . . .” One useful page of the brochure lists in common sense fashion the four most important natural needs of any household in a national emergency: water, food, warmth and information. See on the Internet dinsäkerhet.se

The State of Sweden is obviously not alone in observing a high state of tension in the world around us. Every State is formed of nothing but human beings, every one of whom comes from God and has been given life in order to make the right use of it so as to be able to go to God at death. Yet the mass of mankind today lives in a state of indifference towards God, or in positive revolt against Him. Many men may not be atheists, they may still believe that He exists, but they hardly take Him seriously, because science and technology seem to have taken His place, and it is henceforth modern politics and economics that guarantee for us the good life. Old age is conveniently moved off into an old people’s home, and death into a hospital. Yet God exists of course as much as ever, He cares if anything more than ever, to see more souls than ever throwing themselves by sin into Hell, and here is why our world is in such a state of unprecedented tension: it is wilfully living at cross-purposes with its Maker. Some huge crisis must come.

Since the problem is radically religious, then it should go without saying that the best solution is also religious. That household is taking out the very best insurance policy to protect itself where the Rosary is regularly prayed by all the family together. How the Devil must hate the Rosary! But in the meantime Sweden’s practical suggestions are a good start for any household that has not yet been thinking of any natural measures to prepare for trouble. Here are a few of them:—

WATERClean drinking water is vital. Allow for at least three litres per adult per day. Foresee a means of boiling it if necessary. Have bottles, buckets with lids, plastic bottles in which to freeze water, and jerry cans, ideally with a tap, to collect water in.

FOODHave extra food at home that provides sufficient calories. Use non-perishable food that can be prepared quickly, requires little water or can be eaten without preparation: for instance, bread with a long shelf-life, spreads in tubes, milk powder, cooking-oil, pasta, lentils, tins of sardines, ravioli, boiled meat, soup, honey, nuts, seeds (those are only a few of the brochure’s suggestions).

WARMTHIn a house grown cold without electricity, gather in one room, hang blankets over the windows, cover the floor with rugs and build a den under a table to keep warm. Extinguish all candles and oil-burners before going to sleep. Air the room regularly to let in oxygen. Have woollen clothing, sleeping mats and sleeping bags, fire-lighters, alternative heat sources, etc.

COMMUNICATIONSIn a crisis there will be a need to be able to receive national news, to contact friends and relatives, to contact the emergency services. Therefore have a radio powered by batteries or solar cells or winding: a car radio and mobile phone charger that works in a car, extra batteries, etc.

And the brochure mentions a few miscellaneous extras like cash on hand, a medicine cabinet, fuel in the tank. Many of these things cost relatively little now, but let a dangerous crisis loom, and they risk suddenly becoming much more scarce and expensive, if they can be had at all. “Trust in God,” says the proverb, “but keep rowing to shore.”

Kyrie eleison.

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