Prepare for the worst

An apycolypse survival kit is our first line of defense


With the potential demise of the human race close at hand, Laramie County Community College’s students and employees should prepare for the many possible apocalyptic scenarios by creating personal doomsday emergency kits.

A look at the imminent doom the Mayan calendar predicts on Dec. 21 and the wealth of apocalyptic movies and TV shows created shows a few scenarios seem most plausible.

Time to prepare is now

Whether it is a giant wave covering the Earth, a sudden ice age overcoming us, tornadoes swarming across the nation, a giant asteroid hurling toward Earth, volcanic activity splitting mountains and plains, not to mention, zombie apocalypse or an alien invasion, a basic survival kit is a start to surviving these extreme situations. These kits should range from material items to mental preparedness to social connections, basically whatever will provide the best chances of surviving.

The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security’s public information officer and security unit chief shared advice and information about what residents can do and what the Homeland Security Office provides in an emergency situation. The information officer, Kelly Ruiz, advised that residents have food, water and the mental readiness to make a very first response in any emergency. People often think they can slack in their personal preparation because they assume first responders will be able to meet their needs immediately, Ruiz said. It is important for people to realize that first responders will get to them as soon as possible, but, based on the magnitude of the emergency, responders will have numerous other people to reach, she added. Before help is able to arrive, the more steps people can take to care for themselves, the better, she said.

The Homeland Office’s security unit chief, Larry Green, said to “know your neighbors” and “develop your own family kit.” Neighbors getting to know one another can be a valuable asset because in an emergency situation they may be able to provide specific resources for one another, he added. Green’s neighbors are in good company with a Homeland Security unit chief in one house and a doctor in another.

Let's start with basics

As a basis, the Laramie County Community College campus safety officers had a few suggestions for basic emergency response techniques and survival kits for students to have.

The new campus safety director, James Crosby, with his wide range of law enforcement experience, advised students to check out the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s website for a list of good items to have in case of an emergency. With extreme winter conditions a typical scenario in Wyoming, Crosby said students should keep a decent amount of food and water with them. “Always have the basics,” like temporary tire inflators, means to jumpstart your car and a first-aid kit, he said.

Another campus safety officer, Bob Atkinson, had a few pointers for students. Atkinson’s main point was the need for students to be able to help themselves. In the event of a major emergency, “you should be able to create your own defense,” he said. Lack of preparation and making unwise decisions often causes students to turn themselves into victims, Atkinson added.

Equality state should be ready for ice age

One world-ending scenario every Wyoming resident should be prepared for is a sudden ice age. Knowing how to survive being caught in a snowstorm is a start. In the event of a blizzard, students should have basic provisions in their vehicles, as Crosby had noted before, including the means to start a fire, Atkinson added. Wyoming Homeland Office’s Green said he keeps a coffee can with toilet paper and matches in his car.

Starting now and continuing through the New Year, if humanity does survive past the Mayan calendar’s predictions, Crosby and Atkinson want to remind students they can come to Campus Safety with any safety concerns they have. It is important students realize even if they are unsure about the severity of an issue, they should still bring it to the attention of LCCC’s security. When it comes to anything on campus, especially safety, “students are the most valuable resource for the college,” Crosby said.

Here are a few final suggestions for a sufficient end-of-the-world kit. Harkening back to the list of world-ending events, the following are the three main emergency kit items that won’t break any budget, just in case the world doesn’t end: an inner tube, good for riding giant waves and maneuvering across ice age conditions; a water gun, to fight the aliens; and an underground shelter, for everything else.

When dealing with the chance of an end-of-the-world scenario, Atkinson eloquently stated: “The unforeseen thing is always possible.” In a final remark, Crosby said, “As we’re looking at the Mayan calendar, I guess the most important thing would be to ask for your Christmas presents early.”