Top 5 Ways to Survive Armageddon
Pack Them There Bags — the End of the World is a-Comin’
12/21/2012 — The Final Day? (Turns out it wasn't... )
Update: 4/27/2017 This piece was originally written in the days leading up to 12/21/2012 -- one of many in a long list of days thought to be the end of the world. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be prepared. As we approach the 5th anniversary of one doomsday, television's "The Walking Dead" is more popular than ever. Is it because we identify with the potentiality of a civilization-crushing event? North Korea waves its sword in our general direction. Nukes abound. Dirty bombs lurk in the shadows. Who really feels safe anymore?
So, I now submit to you, dear reader, an article written way back in 2012. I still contend my rudimentary survival preparation list has merit. Consider these options put forth by a survivalist layperson. And consider to what extent you're prepared for -- well, whatever happens tomorrow.
The History Channel’s let the cat out of the bag again. This time, the end of the planet Earth is scheduled to commence December 21, 2012. I’m surprised they haven’t posted a time, and plotted the path of destruction in the same way your favorite weather Barbie or Ken doll demonstrate the storm patterns on a green screen. The Mayans, our pal Nostradamus and even Edgar Cayce (from what I’m told) all said our number’s up on December 21, 2012.
I for one don’t buy it. But, like the advice I give to Atheists, isn’t it better to hedge your bets? For the non-believers, I generally say, “Hey. Better be nice to folks — cause just because you don’t believe in God doesn’t mean He’s not taking notes!” So, this is my way of taking a teaspoon of my own medicine and considering the possibility (remote as it may be) that something very, very bad will happen on December 21, 2012.
My Complete Lack of Qualifications
Let’s get one thing straight. Old Francis J is no expert on survival. I’ve never ponied up my hard-earned money for a survival-training course. Heck, the last time I had any sort of experience with first aid training was in the 8th grade, when I tentatively approached Resusci-Annie, clutching an rubbing alcohol-saturated towel to tenderize her lips before I breathed air into her rubber lungs. Oh yeah – I did manage to get out of New York City on both September 11 and the 2003 Blackout (caught a ride with a co-worker on 9-11 and followed the masses to the Hudson and caught a ferry during the blackout).
Hardly ringing endorsements for my expertise on survival.
However, I have thought a ton on the subject and even researched the topic, so I can opine freely and with some degree of confidence.
The Kirk Recipe for Disaster Survival
1) Go to Where the Disaster Isn’t Fire up your search engines, kiddies, and do a little research. From what I’m hearing, if you live in the United States, you want to get into the center of the country (away from the giant tidal waves that will do more than sweep away your beach ball) and head up a mountain. If I had a little money stashed away, I might consider looking into buying a nice, solid cabin up on a mountain somewhere in the middle of the United States. Look at a map. Figure it out.
2) Water Water is a good thing to have around. Plenty of it. Make sure you have a method of distilling said water supply, just in case you need to — and you will. Boiling the water and collecting the steam is the way to go, from what I hear. Figure out how to do this. Oh yeah, if your survival cabin has a well (strongly recommended), I’d look into a way to get the water out of the earth and into your bucket without electricity — because you better believe that during Armageddon, the power grids are going to go belly up. A shallow well hand pumping system is a good alternative. They usually work for ground water supplies less than 20 feet deep.
3) Food This is a no-brainer — at least, I hope it is. But head out to your local supermarket and clear the shelves of canned goods. Buy some Ramon noodles, too. Them’s good eating when you’re sitting alone playing your 11-thousandth game of Solitaire. But more important than canned goods (eventually they’re going to run out), learn how to cook cockroaches. They’re going to make it — they always do, so you’ll want to learn how to catch, harvest and serve up the nasty little critters. I also suggest learning how to hunt and fish, so the mutant fish and game of the world, such as they will be, might end up on your dinner plate.
4) First Aid Kit Buy one. Make it a big one. Because you are going to hurt yourself up there on the mountain. Chances are good you’ll skin your knee and without proper treatment, you can count on it getting infected. Make sure you’ve got plenty of bottled distilled water and gauze around to clean up those nasty wounds. It’s hard to amputate your own foot, so try to avoid putting yourself in a situation that will make the operation necessary. Keep a first aid manual nearby. It’s going to come in handy.
5) Get Many Books You may find yourself holed up for a long, long time. It’s going to get boring up there. Keep your eye on FreeCycle for folks dumping paperbacks. Collect them and make sure you’ve got plenty of room in your cabin for reading material storage. I’m serious. If you’re the last person on the planet, and everything else is destroyed, you’ll have nothing but time on your hands. Those books will remind you of the world you once knew — and maybe provide a little hope. You’ll need that hope to make it through each day.
6) Bonus Tip: Stay Fertile Hold off on tying those tubes or that snip job. Imagine being the last man on Earth and one day, the last woman shows up. Now imagine having to say, “Sorry. Can’t procreate with you. I had a vasectomy a few years back.” That might not go over so well. As the sole male or female survivor, you’ve got a duty to give birth to new generations of humans, who, after a few thousand years, will blow the place up again!