The Red Cross is urging Canadians to prepare for the end of the world this week. After surviving a near-miss when Halley’s Comet failed to be pulled into Earth’s orbit in 1986 as predicted, and avoiding the ruinous effects of Y2K, Earth’s inhabitants again face the prospect of a calamitous end of the world.
“The Red Cross urges Canadians to be ready to take care of themselves and their families for 72 hours in any emergency,” said Lise Anne Pierce, Provincial Manager of Red Cross Disaster Management in B.C. & Yukon. “Two-thirds of Canadians say they have not taken steps to prepare for a disaster.”
Various organizations are predicting the end of the world December 21, with scenarios including geomagnetic reversal, collision with an interplanetary object, destruction by a supernova, and global annihilation as predicted by the Mesoamerican calendar. “While NASA scientists assure us the world will not end on Friday, disasters can and do happen every day in Canada,” adds Pierce. “The Red Cross encourages Canadians to prepare for more commonplace emergencies like house fires, natural disasters and epidemics.”
The Red Cross recommends every household have the following items in an emergency kit:
- Water: two litres per person per day, to last 72 hours
- Food: non-perishable food for each family member, to last 72 hours
- Manual can opener
- Crank- or battery-operated flashlight and radio, with extra batteries
- Extra car and house keys
- First aid kit
- Cash in small bills
- Special needs items like medications, baby supplies and equipment for people with disabilities
Last year, the Red Cross helped more than 46,000 people affected by disasters across the country. Canadians wishing to help their surviving neighbours can donate to the Canadian Red Cross at www.redcross.ca, by phone at 1-800-418-1111 or at their local Red Cross branch.