The Mayans predicted that the world would end this month. Or did they? Whether or not you believe the famous prophecy, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for emergencies in general. Let’s take a look at the history of the prediction, as well as how others have prepared for emergency events in the past.
Mayan Calendar Theories
The Mayan empire existed in the tropical lowlands of what is now Guatemala, reaching its peak around 6th century A.D. and collapsing several hundred years later. The Mayans left behind much to study, including traces of their sophisticated calendar system. Some researchers believe that the end of the calendar corresponds to the end of the world, according to the culture’s belief system. Others say that the date simply represents the start of a new era and not the end of days.
Ask five different people how they think the world would end and you’ll likely get five different answers. Heck, hundreds of movies have been made about the subject! Everything from global warming, nuclear war, asteroids, plagues. And, of course, let’s not forget about zombies.
The threat of war, though, has historically brought about the highest level of emergency preparedness. Bunkers, whether built for protection or to house nuclear missiles during the Cold War, remain around the world, with some being modernized over the years. A retired schoolteacher from Kansas named Ed Peden has even made a business out of buying and selling underground bases abandoned by the military for those who wish to be prepared for anything.
Build Your Own ‘Bunker’
If you have the property needed to build a proper bunker, and the desire, simply hire a contractor and get to work. The rest of us, though, will have to make due with building a “bunker,” ranging from turning a basement into a fortified chamber to simply stocking the house with supplies should an emergency event leave us without access to necessities.
If you fall into the latter group, start by gathering:
A three-day supply of water — the government agency suggests a gallon of water per person per day. It also directs to up that number if there are nursing mothers or sick people in the home or if you live in a warm climate. For more information on gathering and storing water, visit the FEMA website.
Other emergency preparedness items — FEMA recommends you also have means to communicate and stay safe. Gather the following in your “bunker,” as well:
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
A three-day supply of non-perishable food — FEMA recommends choosing low-salt foods and canned foods with high liquid content. On its suggested list are:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- High energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
For more information on food safety and cooking during an emergency event, visit the FEMA website.
What do you think of our list of non-doomsday prepper ideas? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.