The end of the world is upon us!
At least that’s what some people believe is going to happen on December 21, which marks the end of a 5,125 year cycle in the Mayan’s Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar. While nothing is certain until it actually starts raining fire or frogs, it never hurts to be prepared. So with that in mind, we considered the 4 most likely apocalyptic scenarios, then turned to our friends at Hopper.com for answers on where a person would be safest if such an even occurred.
Since we don’t know precisely how it’s all going to end, an alien invasion is as likely as any other incident, and there are three major elements to consider. The first, if we’ve learned anything from Independance Day or Mars Attacks, it’s to avoid metropolitan cities and important buildings. The second, is that having your own firepower helps, so military bases, gun stores, and military recruits are useful. Finally, in H.G. Wells’ War of Worlds (that awful movie with Tom Cruise was actually based on a book), the alien invaders are susceptible to microbial infections, so let’s toss in cities with lots of infectious disease outbreaks as a plus.
The safest spots? Alaska and Wyoming.
Alaska is stocked with 9 military bases and 762 gun stores, plus the highest occurrence of infectious disease coupled with a low population density. This makes it prime to be overlooked by alien invaders. Now consider Alaska’s relatively low number of reported UFO sightings, compared to over 1300 sightings on average. Makes you wonder, huh?
Wyoming, a land of towering peaks and raging rivers, is decidedly devoid of historic locations (only 24) or major cities, giving aliens little reason to start their invasion here. Wyoming also boasts the second highest number of military recruits per 1,000 people, making it a formidable front against alien invaders.
From The Walking Dead to World War Z, zombies are as ubiquitous as the Kardashians– but much more exciting. If you take anything away from this popularized version of the apocalypse, it should be some additional survival tactics. Running the numbers, it turns out you should head to California, Florida, or Texas to stay safe from the living dead.
Why is that? Hopper.com created a Zombie Safety Score for each of the 50 states, which includes plenty of supplies, a spread out population and great geographic advantages. California’s incredibly varied and challenging geography is key, increasing the likelihood of zombies getting lost in the Mojave Desert or tumbling off a mountain in Sequoia National Park. Florida is well-stocked in zombie killing supplies, with 2,062 gun stores, 247 Walmarts, and 213 hospitals. In Texas, where owning a gun is more of a birthright than a hobby, you’ll have ample access to ammunition with 4,996 gun stores and 16 military bases.
Natural disasters seem likely, with volcanoes able to shake the earth, burn the surface, and block out the sun for years. Following the zombie theme, Hopper.com created a Super Volcano Safety Score. Since volcanoes tend to form near fault lines, recent and historic earthquakes were considered as a proxy for these hidden dangers. The checklist included number of volcanoes and their locations, earthquakes (5.0 or greater on the Richter scale), distance from a city center to the nearest volcano, distance of volcano from the nearest earthquake, and a tally of earthquakes that occurred in the last 30 days.
The results? Make your way to Maine, Rhode Island or Massachusetts. All three eastern states have zero volcanoes and have had the lowest number of earthquakes, respectively. Additionally, their city centers are the farthest from both volcanoes and historic earthquake epicenters.
Without getting all biblical, would you believe that there are about 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of the plague each year? As the Mayan apocalypse approaches, a worldwide outbreak (or any super virus, really) seems more plausible than an alien invasion. That means you’ll need to be covered, medically speaking. That means the number of hospitals, staffed beds and primary care physicians per capita, as well as immunization coverage, public health budgets, and the number of occurrences of infectious disease over the last year.
Where should you be if there’s an outbreak? Wisconsin, Vermont or Texas.
With the second most hospitals and a low 4.8 per 100,000 people occurrence of infectious disease, Wisconsin is your best bet. The state also has an above average physician to person ratio and a 91.4% immunization coverage rate. At a close second, Vermont has a high $153.54 health spending per person and 91.2% immunization coverage to match. Texas is home to the most hospitals in the US at 371 total and consequently the most staffed beds at over 55,000.
If you’re going to move to one of these states, do it now because there’s not much time left. If you’re rolling the dice, follow the lead of concerned citizens and start your stockpile of survival supplies. Whether or not the mysterious Mesoamerican civilization with a really complicated calendar was right doesn’t really matter. When it comes to a natural, man made, or alien catastrophe, you should always be prepared.