Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst: Best Buys for the Borderline Paranoid

Much to the chagrin of would-be zombie hunters everywhere, the Mayan calendar did not cause the world as we know it to come to a screeching, apocalyptic halt. Now those of you who have your coat closets lined with non-perishables, cross-bows and desalinization kits can breathe a little easier. For the rest of us, potential threats to us and our family’s daily life are slightly less dramatic…although just as important as ever, especially in the wake of recent national disasters like Hurricane Sandy.

Although there’s no reason to panic every time the door creaks or the wind blows, there are certainly some unexpected and awful things that can and have happened to anyone. Keeping you and your family safe and prepared should be a given for parents (and responsible adults) everywhere. No one wants to get caught in a proverbial storm without a raincoat!

Medical Cards: Handier Than You Think

According to LawCore.com, every 14 seconds someone in America is injured in a car accident, and every 12 minutes, someone dies. Car accidents number in the millions each year, and that’s not even counting other freak accidents, like say a piano falling on your head from a second story window (OK, that’s doubtful, but there are a lot of cautionary tales of freak accidents floating around).

Although it’s impossible to prevent every accident from happening, you can be cautious and prepared. It’s important to carry the standard Red Cross Blood Type, allergy bracelets, epi pens and other medical -related helpful-measures with you. If you want to take the next step in family protection (medically speaking), Fortune High-Tech Marketing offers MyLife ID, which is essentially a credit card sized digital storage device with your entire medical history on it. If you are in a worst-case-scenario situation and you’re unable to communicate with medical personnel, devices like this could change your life.

There are those who spend their lives making hats out of tinfoil to “block” government mind-reading devices, and those who stand in their penthouses laughing while a twister is headed right for them…there’s no need to spend your life worrying, but there are some simple steps you can take just in case the worst case scenario comes to call.

Disaster Supplies Kit

It’s easy to raise an eyebrow at all those “Doomsday Preppers” who obsess over storing supplies like it’s the end of the world, but there can be a happy medium. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Hurricane Sandy left over 1.3 million people without power. There have been a reported 796 tornadoes in 42 states alone in 2012, according to EveryTornado.net.

Statistics alone should be enough to motivate everyone to make a little preparation kit; you can buy pre-made by typing “disaster supplies kit” in any search engine, or put one together yourself using FHTM products and the supplies listed below (courtesy of Ready.gov):

  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Water, one gallon per day per person, for at least three days
  • 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 seams
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off power, water, other utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local paper maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

A big thanks to our guest blogger,  Melody Schwartz, for this article!

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2040 Asteroid Won’t Hit Earth

By: Amina Khan

For those of you disappointed that the world didn’t end last week, there’s more bad news: The world probably won’t be ending in 2040, either – not from a certain giant asteroid, anyway.

Astronomers using the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii have found that the asteroid 2011 AG5 is no longer a major threat – it won’t be hitting Earth in February 2040, as had been earlier feared. That’s good to know, given that an asteroid that large – roughly 150 yards across – would have hit the Earth with several thousand times the combined energy of the two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended World War II.

2011 AG5 was earlier thought to have a 1-in-500 chance of hitting Earth – alarmingly high, by planetary science standards. But a new analysis shows that the asteroid doesn’t have much chance of even grazing our planet. It won’t get any closer than 550,000 miles, far outside the moon’s orbit.

Plenty of folks are still worried about asteroids hitting earth, however. The B612 Foundation, headed by a former astronaut, looks to map smaller asteroids that could smash into Earth. They say NASA isn’t concerned enough with smaller asteroids, which may not be as big as 2011 AG5 but are still massive enough to inflict a hefty bit of property damage on Earth.

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Christianity

There are several interpretations of the book of Revelation and the apocalypse according to Christian beliefs. It is important to remember that this list is not exhaustive and only highlights those versions most widely accepted by different sects of Christianity.

Millennialism
This interpretation says that Christ will rule Earth for 1,000 years and at the end of this period will come his judgments of the living and dead. The righteous people will take over the world, which will usher in a time of peace. The millennialism belief involves the idea that evildoers will be punished and the good will be rewarded, ultimately balancing out good and evil.

Premillennialism
This standpoint takes a pessimistic view of the book of Revelation. Premillennial groups believe that things on Earth are getting worse and worse, continuing to deteriorate until God steps in and take catastrophic action. They also believe that there will be a time of destruction and war (the tribulation) before the Second Coming of Christ, which will end with the Battle of Armageddon.

Postmillennialism
This interpretation says that we are currently in the millennium, which started with Christ’s Resurrection. Postmillennialism aligns with the notion that Christ is ruling Earth from Heaven and the Second Coming of Christ will occur at the end of the millennium. Once this happens, it will be a time of peace and justice and marks the achievement of the kingdom of God here on Earth.

Sources: Wikipedia, BBC

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Mother Shipton

Mother Shipton was a famous English soothsayer in the 1400s who predicted many historical events. There remains to be a tremendous lack of evidence surrounding her life, and many people wonder if Mother Shipton ever existed at all.

According to legend, Ursula Southeil was born in a cave in Norfolk, England in 1488 near an ancient well that had mystical powers. She was described as a very ugly creature, and she was said to be the result of a union between her mother and the Devil. Early on, Ursula exhibited psychic abilities, which she used to help people in need. At the age of 24, she married carpenter Toby Shipton and settled in Knaresborough. People came from all over seeking her guidance, and she came to be known as Mother Shipton. Although many people feared her powers, she only used them with good intentions.

Mother Shipton is credited with predicting the dissolution of the Catholic Church under Henry VIII, the defeat of the Spanish Armada, the invention of technology, the Great Fire of London, and even her own death. She would record her prophecies in the form of poems, many of which were passed down orally and not recorded until long after her death in 1561. For this reason, many people believe that her prophecies have been altered over time and released after events had already occurred.

A famous failed prediction aligned with Mother Shipton was the end of the world prophecy in 1881. As the poem goes, “The world to an end shall come/In eighteen hundred eighty one.” Bookseller Charles Hindley published this prophecy in 1862, which caused widespread panic throughout Britain, even though he later confessed that he had fabricated the prophecy himself. Given the fact that there are more than 50 different books with varying information about Mother Shipton and her prophecies, many people believe that she never even existed at all.

Sources: Crystalinks.com, About.com, Mysterious Britain

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Tsunami

El Hierro and La Palma, two volcanic islands located in the Canary Islands, are hotbeds of seismic shaking. Geographic records show that 50,000 to 130,000 years ago, earthquakes caused a landslide on El Hierro which sent 300 cubic kilometers of earth into the ocean and triggered a mega-tsunami. Some researchers fear that unstable landmasses and frequent earthquakes on La Palma will bring another tsunami disaster.

The tsunami, traveling at a rate of hundreds of miles per hour, would be a towering 300-foot wall of water by the time it reached the United States. New York City, Boston, and the rest of the east coast would be under water and tens of millions of people would be wiped out instantly. Florida, which sits only feet above sea level, would be erased by the water. With little time to prepare or get to higher ground, a mega-tsunami like this would devastate the US more than any hurricane or earthquake could. A 300-foot tsunami would completely submerge buildings up to 30 stories high. People, houses, cars, office buildings, anything in the water’s path would be drowned, smashed, and destroyed.

Fortunately for us, further research shows that this is unlikely to happen any time soon. La Palma’s structure is much more stable than previously thought. While it remains possible that parts of the islands will break off into the ocean, this would happen gradually without causing major tsunamis.

Don’t forget to check out the other Top 5 Ways Our World Could Actually End.

Sources: Modern Survival Blog, How Stuff Works

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ARkStorm

An ARkStorm is a massive storm that could strike and devastate California, and it is listed by scientists as one of the five most likely cataclysmic events that would destroy the Earth. ARkStorm is a winter storm scenario designed by the U.S. Geological Survey that stands for Atmospheric River 1,000 (ARk), because such a great storm occurs every 500-1,000 years.

ARkStorm is modeled after the historical 1861-1862 California storms that lasted for 45 days. They left a trail of destruction and caused the state of California to go bankrupt. The 1861-1862 storms are the biggest and most extended series of storms on record, but geological evidence suggests that storms of this magnitude could happen again.

A potential ARkStorm could bring heat and moisture from the Pacific to form a system of Atmospheric Rivers, similar in ferocity to hurricanes, which would strike California for weeks and weeks. If the storm occurred  it is predicted to be the most expensive event in history, with a projected cost of $725 billion through direct damages and loss of economic activity.

The ARkStorm project was not intended to throw people into a frenzy or add to the already lengthy list of doomsday predictions. Instead, the purpose of ARkStorm is to make visible to the public the very real threats to the environment, property, and most importantly, human life. Through this awareness comes preparedness, and hopefully solutions for emergency scenarios like the hypothetical ARkStorm.

Sources: DiscoveryUSGS, Urban Earth

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Polar Shift

A polar shift occurs when the Earth’s magnetic field reverses its polarity causing the planet’s outermost layers to move together as one piece. This phenomenon is often confused with plate tectonics, in which separate pieces of the Earth’s crust move toward, away from, or against each other.

The end results of polar shift and plate tectonics differ greatly. In the event of some form of plate tectonics, seas can be opened, mountain ranges produced, and continents can be rearranged. If a massive pole shift were to occur suddenly, it would cause a disastrous redistribution of land and water. Such an event would cause earthquakes, tsunamis, a change in weather patterns, ocean currents, and Earth’s heat balance, etc. Now, the question is: could a sudden destructive polar shift actually happen and result in the end of the world?

The reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field occurs naturally just about ever 250,000 years. Polar Shift, referred to as True Polar Wander by geologists, takes 1-100 million years to complete, and is happening now at a rate of about 4 inches per year. Some people fear that a polar shift would result in mass chaos because a magnetic change could affect credit cards and banking. Scientists say that dramatic effects that would result from a rapid polar shift do not happen as the process occurs very, very slowly.

Sources: How Stuff Works, Yale Scientific, Wikipedia

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Hopi Indian Prophecy

The Hopi are a Native American tribe living on a reservation in Northeast Arizona, whose rich legends and culture has survived through many generations. The Hopi people believe that the world has already been “wiped clean” three times; once by fire, then ice, and lastly, by a flood. The period we are in currently is referred to as “The Fourth World” by the Hopi, and their legend calls for the end of our world as we know it and the beginning of a new era. They do not identify a specific date, but instead warn us to look out for nine signs that will occur before the world ends.

According to the Hopi prophecy, once the nine signs have been fulfilled, there will be mass destruction followed by the ushering in of The Fifth World. The signs are listed below:

1. “We are told of the coming of the white-skinned men…and men who struck their enemies with thunder.” (This is taken to mean guns.)

2. Our lands will see the coming of spinning wheels filled with voices…the white men bringing their families in wagons across the prairies.” (Covered Wagons)

3. A strange beast like a buffalo but with great long horns, will overrun the land in large numbers…the coming of the white men’s cattle.” (Longhorn Cattle)

4. The land will be crossed by snakes of iron.” (Railroad Tracks)

5. The land shall be criss-crossed by a giant spider’s web.” (Electric Power and Telephone Lines)

6. “The land shall be criss-crossed with rivers of stone that make pictures in the sun.” (Concrete Highways and their Mirage-Producing Effects)

7.You will hear of the sea turning black, and many living things dying because of it.” (Oil Spills in the Ocean)

8. You will see many youth, who wear their hair long like my people, come and join the tribal nations, to learn their ways and wisdom.” (Hippies)

9. You will hear of a dwelling-place in the heavens, above the earth, that shall fall with a great crash. It will appear as a blue star. Very soon after this, the ceremonies of my people will cease.”

There is some speculation surrounding the ninth, and last, sign. Some people believe that it is referring to the U.S. Space Station Skylab which appeared to be burning blue as it fell from the sky in 1979. Others believe that it is the star Sirius, or even something else.

The end of the old Hopi legend goes as follows: “These are the Signs that great destruction is coming. The world shall rock to and fro. The white man will battle against other people in other land…Many of my people, understanding the prophecies, shall be safe. Those who stay and live in the places of my people also shall be safe. Then there will be much to rebuild. And soon — very soon afterward — Pahana will return. He shall bring with him the dawn of the Fifth World.”

Sources: Crystalinks.com, Crawford 2000, Wikipedia

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Harold Camping

American Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping is responsible for two major End of the World predictions, one of which cheated many of his followers out of their entire life savings. Camping was the president of Family Radio, a California based Christian broadcast. Family Radio was originally used for Christian gospel and ministry, but it was later utilized to convey and advertise Harold Camping’s many doomsday predictions. Camping used numerology, the practice of aligning a divine or special relationship between a number and some coinciding event, to interpret end of the world dates from Bible passages.

Harold Camping first predicted that the world would end some time in the middle of September 1994, a prophecy that was based on numbers and dates found in the Bible. In Camping’s book 1994?, he proclaimed that during that time period, Jesus Christ would return and the world would subsequently end. Obviously, the world did not come to an end in 1994.

Camping’s May 21, 2011 doomsday prediction was heavily publicized, as Harold Camping and the Family Radio team went on a media crusade to announce the end of the world. Camping’s followers heavily funded this campaign and were encouraged to drain their life savings to purchase billboards and RVs that advertised Camping’s message in order to warn the public about the world’s impending doom.

When May 21st came and went without any sign of world-ending activity, Harold Camping changed the date of the proposed Rapture to October 21, 2011, citing that the date in May had served as a “spiritual” judgment day. Again Camping was wrong and after October 2011, he slowly drifted from the public eye refusing to make appearances. Harold Camping later said that people were right to criticize his end of the world prophecy as “of that day and hour knoweth no man” (Matthew 24:36).

Sources: Wikipedia, Huffington Post

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Lolcat Knows

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