- For those patiently, or not so
patiently, waiting on the explosive year of 2012, and the possible end
of the world eluded to in Mayan mythology, the events of the last several
months across the globe may have felt like a precursor to the Apocalypse
- Even for those who have never heard of, or just simply
don't believe in, the Mayan long count calendar end date of December 21,
2012 and the prophesised catastrophes that will occur on or right before
then, the world still appears to be caught up in a maelstrom of chaos that
most of us alive today can't remember ever having experienced before with
such frequency and intensity.
- Watching events unfold before our collective eyes
over the last six months alone, from geopolitical upheaval in Tunisia,
Egypt and Libya; to the devastating extreme weather events in Australia,
the United States and Europe; to the horrific 9 Sendai, Japan mega-quake
and tsunami that obliterated thousands of lives and literally changed the
balance of the planet (and reminded many of the Feb. 27, 2010 Chilean 8.8
quake/tsunami that killed 524 people) and the 6.3 New Zealand quake that
brought death and destruction to Christchurch, I found myself reacting
and responding on many different levels.
- Most people respond to these kinds of events in fear,
and the worse the scenario, the greater the fear. With whispers growing
into shouts about what we might expect as we get closer to 2012 and find
out exactly what the Mayan civilisation might have been trying to tell
us, people are being forced to get out of their comfortable existences
and deal with issues that are terrifying to even contemplate.
- As the people of Japan, at the writing of this article,
deal with potential nuclear reactor meltdown at the Fukushima complex hit
hard by the massive quake/tsunami double-punch, many who watch in horror
and awe turn to others for advice, leadership and action. We are a species
that does not like change, and a species that hates reacting to change
even more so.
- But we better be prepared for change, because there
will always be natural and man-made disasters, uprisings and revolutions,
geopolitical shifts and manoeuvrings, and global and national crises, that
must be responded to. Always. Even after the events of 2012 come and go,
for even the Mayan people did not believe this would be the end of the
world just the end of the world 'as we know it'. And one might only look
at what is happening in Japan right now to realise that our world can change
drastically at any time, and we can wake up to a vastly different landscape,
internally and externally, than the one we knew the night before. It can
change in one instant.
- Preparing for Catastrophe
- No matter which 2012 scenario people may be expecting,
from the reappearance of the mysterious Planet X, to an asteroid impact,
to a supervolcanic eruption at Yellowstone in the United States, or the
final full disclosure of alien presence and the anarchy it will inspire,
big and chaotic things are going to happen between now and December 21,
2012. Whether or not they have anything to do with the Mayan calendar is
debatable (and many experts who truly know Mayan culture and lore, including
many Mayan elders, will attest that the whole apocalyptic scenario is an
overblown media creation designed to sell books, movies and TV shows) these
things are happening, and will happen. Every year, somewhere in the world,
natural disasters occur, and humans engage in war, uprising and protest.
It didn't begin this year, and it won't end next year. One might only look
back just a generation or two to the revolutionary 1960s, or back further
to the horrors of two World Wars, to know that nothing ever remains in
stasis for long.
- There are events beyond our control, and those that
we have some say in. If the rate and intensity of disasters and changes
continues, up to 2012 and beyond, we must begin to react proactively and
take control of the aspects of the situation that face us, on an individual
and collective level. That means being prepared physically, emotionally
and yes, even spiritually, for the moment when the rug will be pulled out
from under our feet, and we lose our balance.
- Preparing for a coming disaster is not what it used
to be. Long ago we were told to have three days worth of water and food,
extra medicines and even food for our pets. We could be assured of a Red
Cross shelter popping up nearby if our own homes were not safe, and we
figured if we ran out of food and water, our fellow citizens would help
us out. After all, we were united in our suffering.
- Once again, things have changed and the new rules
of survival are more complex, but once these rules are incorporated and
followed, they can help assure we have at least a fighting chance against
whatever challenges we face. Following are some ways to prepare yourself,
and your loved ones, for the coming 'end of the world as we know it'. Because
the shape of shifts to come aren't just physical; they will affect us on
every level of our being, from how we move about in the brave, new world
to how we keep our consciousness at a level that empowers us and refuses
to back down in the face of fear and discomfort.
- There are three main types of catastrophic events
we need to prepare for:
- * Natural and man-made disasters This includes
things like the recent Japanese quake, tsunami and nuclear reactor dangers,
and other seismic events such as mega-quakes and volcanic eruptions; flooding
and extreme weather events (short-term); bioterrorism or nuclear terrorism;
nuclear or toxic accidents; infectious disease pandemics, and anything
else that nature or humans can dish out en masse. This can also include
local or regional events such as school shootings, bus accidents, train
- * Geopolitical events Political uprisings,
revolutions, coups and regime changes resulting in violence and riots;
invasions and outbreaks of war.
- * Long term challenges Global climate change;
global economic downturn; oil, water and food shortages; massive species
die-offs and agricultural impacts.
- There will be disasters and events that we simply
cannot fully prepare for. The biggest and best earthquake kit in the world
could not help many of the dead in Japan, and few of us can outrun a tsunami
or a tornado bearing down upon our home without ample warning. Nuclear
explosions happen in an instant, and terrorism doesn't usually come with
public warnings that give us time to find our loved ones and protect ourselves
from bio-warfare or weapons of mass destruction. If a five-mile wide asteroid
hits, or a supervolcano erupts, we may have little more to do than just
pray and tell those we love just how much they mean to us. There will be
times that all the preparation in the world cannot prepare us for what
is to come on any level. But we still must do our best. Knowledge, information
and preparation have tremendous power, and should we survive, we can then
do the most important thing of all help others.
- Preparing Physically
- We can all use a little help from our friends when
things go haywire, but nothing trumps knowing how to take care of yourself
and your own family first. Emergency training is cheap, often free, and
one merely has to go online to find local or regional Red Cross or other
disaster preparedness organisations that train in everything from basic
response, learning CPR, medical aid and light search and rescue. More detailed
training might involve disaster communications and it is highly suggested
more people become amateur radio operators, or HAMS, because in the most
catastrophic situations, cell phones and landlines will be inoperable.
HAMS always get through.
- Putting together a basic disaster kit based upon
the threats and challenges of the specific area one lives in is also easy,
and those who don't wish to find out what goes into the kit and do it themselves
can order ready-made emergency kits of every size online. Ideally, kits
should contain enough food and water for two weeks, not the original three
days/72 hours once thought appropriate. As the world gets bigger and more
complicated, and more populated, resources don't get where they need to
be fast enough in a major emergency, and as we all have seen in many developing
countries, sometimes don't get there at all. The clean up after the devastating
Jan. 2010 7.0 Haiti quake is nowhere near being completed. Even developed
countries can have a failure of infrastructure, as experienced in the United
States after the Category 5 Hurricane Katrina decimated parts of the Gulf
Coast in 2005.
- Having a two week PER PERSON supply of water and
non-perishable foods, as well as necessary medications, change of clothing,
makeshift toilet and the proper tools for sheltering in place is a must
for any kit. Yet, how many people, even after a major disaster occurs in
the world, take the time to go out and do this?
- It requires taking responsibility for one's actions,
and reactions and it can in some situations mean the difference between
surviving and thriving or not surviving at all.
- There is abundant help out there in cyberspace, but
also at local Red Cross and disaster prep organisations to show you what
you need to put together a workable kit. If you don't have a computer,
get to a library or borrow a friend's, or again, call a local agency for
help. Not doing this means added anxiety and chaos when something does
happen and you are without adequate food and water for yourself and your
loved ones, all because you never took the hour or two to look into building
- People who are lucky enough to own land, or in rural
areas, can add to their survival potential by planting food and storing
rainwater. If we do, by some stroke of dark fortune, face incredible catastrophe
in 2012 or any other year, those who already know how to live off the land
will be the most likely to survive.
- But having a great kit, being trained in disaster
prep and response and knowing how to splint a broken leg with what you
have laying about the house is one thing. When chaos ensues, we often fall
apart emotionally, if we don't go into outright shock, thus lessening our
chances of making the proper choices and taking action quickly and effectively
when everyone around us is clueless.
- Preparing Emotionally
- According to Deborah Bier, PhD. in Emotional Disaster
Preparedness: A Missing Component in Emergency Preparedness, most humans
do not prepare for disasters emotionally because humans are "resistant
to dealing with the eventuality that all of us face an emergency sometime
in our lives, be it personal, local, regional, or nation-wide." Not
only do most people block out the idea of being prepared because they truly
don't have good information, but because they are in denial of their fear
and the need to "fix things before they are broken." But, Bier
suggests, especially in a world where the media focuses on those who do
NOT respond well, as opposed to those who do, we increase our chances of
survival when we focus on risk readiness and psychological readiness BEFORE
a disaster strikes.
- Most of us say we are too busy to think about disasters
until they strike. But it only takes a little time to get online and research
psychological resilience and emotional readiness that can help us take
the steps to get through the worst of times, even if we are currently experiencing
the best of times. Bier goes on to say that emotional disaster preparedness
can help us have a sense of normal anticipation of events by talking about
the range of feelings one might experience; reduce anxiety with coping
skills; worry when we need to, and about what we need to, and avoid abnormal
worries; normalise our post-disaster emotions so we know what to expect
and how to get through the shock and distress; get the whole family unit
into action; and figure out a recovery strategy.
- According to ActAlliance, an online community based
psychosocial support site, researchers agree that individuals go through
distinct emotional phases during a disaster. The first phase is the acute
phase, also known as the survival mode, where individuals are doing what
it takes to keep themselves and their family alive and out of danger. The
second phase is the reaction phase, where individuals and organisations
assess the damage and any injuries, relationships are functional as individuals
and groups engage in emergency medical care, search and rescue. The third
phase is called the recovery phase, where emergency personnel and disaster
management teams take control to keep the response and rescue organised
and coordinated, and individuals try to create a new normalcy as soon as
possible. The final stage is the reorientation phase, where survivors are
dealing with the stresses and frustration of rescue and they may feel as
if things aren't moving quickly enough.
- Being prepared physically often leads to stronger
and more proactive emotional reactions during high stress times. Focus
on survival from the inside out caring for yourself first, then for
your family, your neighbourhood and your world. Taking on the entire weight
of the world immediately will derail you. Take time to cry, scream, grieve
and mourn, but don't let it immobilise you if action needs to be taken.
- Stick to reliable news sources and avoid YouTube
videos and sketchy reports from websites that offer no source materials.
Don't buy into fear from other people with their own ideas of what might
be happening and how to survive. Cult behaviour and mob mentality have
no place in true disaster preparedness.
- Preparing Spiritually
- Perhaps the most important preparation occurs before,
long before, any disaster, and yet it is the one area most neglected. Preparing
for the 'end of the world as we know it' involves deep spiritual work that
many people find uncomfortable, and maybe even more frightening than the
potential of death itself. When we come to terms with our fears, our beliefs
and our faith, we find a foundation that we can stand upon no matter what
might be happening around us. Even if the earth is shaking and the winds
are howling, or revolution and war is in the air, having a deep and unshakeable
faith in our own ability to handle what we are asked to handle can serve
as a tool to keep our own sanity and help those around us keep theirs as
- Before the disaster, we must face and examine our
own beliefs about death, suffering and why things happen, and we must come
to a point of acceptance of those beliefs. If we say we believe one thing
about death, or about human suffering, but fear it or contradict that belief
deep in our hearts, we will find ourselves reacting from that same fear
once disaster strikes. Sometimes, even the most religiously devout people
still crumble in fear when looking into the face of death, and that is
human. Everyone is afraid, but a core that is strong in both a physical
and spiritual sense can help us move away from the fear sooner, and begin
to respond proactively and positively.
- During a catastrophe, we will go into shock. But
we must, as soon as we are able to, face and accept the reality of the
situation, as grave as it may be, all the while keeping our faith and our
hope alive, no matter how bleak. It is a precarious balance and hard to
achieve, but an empowering balance from which to move forward. If you believe
in God, lean on God. Pray, talk to God, ask for guidance and follow it.
If you are atheist trust your own resilience and remind yourself of the
times in life you overcame adversity and obstacles. If you are agnostic,
hold onto the sense of a bigger picture, even if you cannot name it or
identify it, and see yourself as an integral part of that picture as you
help yourself and then others.
- We are hearing more and more prophecies and predictions
for utter doom come 2012, and no doubt the days leading up to that point
will be filled with chaos for many. And no doubt the days following 2012
will continue to challenge us with global, regional and local unrest, natural
and human in origin, that will push us outside of our comfort zones and
ask us to 'adapt or die', 'change or perish'. Having a strong and powerful
belief in our own inner strength, and a connection to something bigger
than ourselves, will help keep us grounded when the world itself seems
to have come off its moorings.
- For many people, when things happen that they cannot
wrap their minds around, it helps to detach from the emotional and psychic
overload, to stand back and be an observer. From this standpoint we get
a better perspective of what is happening and our role in it. Witnessing
is a powerful way to be in the world, but not of it; to act out of strength
and not despair, hopelessness and terror. To take that one step further,
we can stay in a powerful spiritual response mode when we do our best to
avoid fear mongering. Facts and knowledge are empowering. Even if the facts
are not in our favour, knowing them gives us the advantage of coming up
with a workable strategy to try to turn that advantage around, rather then
get caught up in a negative and disempowering mentality of doom saying
- An example of this occurred right after the Japan
quake, when social networking sites were going haywire with both solid
information and wild speculation. By focusing on the news from the most
reliable sources we can find, we stay truly informed and removed from the
fear of others.
- Being prepared physically, emotionally and spiritually
still won't keep bad things from happening. They are happening, and will
continue to do so, and if some of the prophets and predictions about 2012
prove right, will do so in increasing intensity. But we have the edge.
Human beings are amazingly resilient. There may be times when it seems
as though the world is coming to a crashing and fiery end, but it will
not end us, at least not without a fight.
- In a book I wrote with my father, geophysicist Dr.
John M. Savino titled Supervolcano: The Catastrophic Event That Changed
the Course of Human History, we discussed the super-eruption of Toba in
Indonesia approximately 75,000 years ago, creating a six year 'nuclear
winter' in its aftermath. At that time, perhaps 100,000 human individuals
existed. Toba's super-eruption wiped out up to 90% of those individuals,
in what is called a 'population bottleneck' that can often lead to full
on extinction if the species cannot recover. After Toba, there were only
between 2,000 and 10,000 of our ancestors left.
- Today the human population borders on the seven billion
- We will, no matter how arrogant we may be, never
control nature. But we can control our humanity, our reactions, our preparedness,
our attitudes and our behaviour. If we do not take responsibility for taking
better care of ourselves, our communities, and our planet, then yes, it
won't take long before we become a big part of the Sixth Great Extinction
as one of the many species that will never be seen or heard from again.
- The choice is ours.
- For more information on this subject, check out New Dawn
127 and New Dawn 126
- MARIE D. JONES is a best-selling author, screenwriter,
researcher, radio show host and public speaker. She is the author of 2013:
End Of Days Or A New Beginning- Envisioning The World After The Events
Of 2012, Psience - How New Discoveries In Quantum Physics And New Science
May Explain The Existence Of Paranormal Phenomena, and Looking For God
In All The Wrong Places. Marie's next book, due in mid-2011, is Destiny
Vs. Choice: The Scientific And Spiritual Evidence Behind Fate And Free
Will. She co-authored a number of books with Larry Flaxman including The
Déjà vu Enigma: A Journey Through the Anomalies of Mind,
Memory and Time, The Resonance Key: Exploring the Links Between Vibration,
Consciousness and the Zero Point Grid, and 11:11 - The Time Prompt Phenomenon:
The Meaning Behind Mysterious Signs, Sequences and Synchronicities. Larry
and Marie are partners in a venture called ParaExplorers and can be reached
at www.paraexplorers.com. Marie's website is www.mariedjones.com. The above
article appeared in New Dawn 126 (May-June 2011). © New Dawn Magazine
and the respective author.