December 21st marks the end of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mayans’ Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar. For them, this date represents the end of the world. Like all apocalyptic theories, the Mayan end of days is probably true, but since nothing’s certain until it actually starts to rain fire or frogs, it never hurts to be prepared.
In the event that you do need to ready for doomsday, we’ve sorted out the four most likely apocalyptic scenarios and which states are your best survival options.
Photo: JD Hancock
Independance Day taught us to avoid metropolitan areas and landmarks, and in War of the Worlds, the aliens are susceptible to microbial infection. So we factored population densities and rates of disease in each state, as well as military bases, personnel, and gun stores. Because firepower helps too.
Our picks for surviving an alien attack: Alaska and Wyoming
Alaska is well stocked with nine military bases and 762 gun stores. Also has the highest rate of infectious disease and a low population density, which makes it as likely to be as overlooked by alien invaders as it has by sobriety. Alaska’s relatively low number of reported UFO sightings, compared to over 1,300 on average, scores well for safety.
Wyoming, a land of towering peaks and raging rivers, is decidedly devoid of historic locations (just 24!) or major cities, giving aliens little reason to start their invasion there. Furthermore, Wyoming boasts the second highest number of military recruits per 1,000 people, the makings of a formidable front against alien invaders.
Photo: Moggs Oceanlane
From Zombieland to The Walking Dead and World War Z, zombies are as ubiquitous as Kardashians. If you take away anything 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.
Click here for our picks on Top 3 States for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
The Supervolcano Safety Score hinges on five factors: number of volcanoes, distance from city center to nearest volcano, distance of volcano from nearest earthquake, and a tally of earthquakes (5.0 or greater on the Richter scale) in the last 30 days. The results?
Our picks for surviving a supervolcano: Maine, Rhode Island or Massachusetts
Volcanoes tend to form near fault lines and, historically, earthquakes are considered proxies for these hidden dangers. All three Eastern states have zero volcanoes and the lowest rate of earthquakes. Additionally, their city centers are also the farthest from both volcanoes and historic earthquake epicenters.
Photo: Jason Scragz
Did you know there are still 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of the plague each year? With an outbreak firmly in the realm of possibility, we calculated the number of hospitals, staffed beds, and primary care physicians per capita. We also analyzed immunization coverage, public health budgets, and the occurrences of infectious disease over the last year.
Our picks for surviving the plague: Wisconsin, Vermont or Texas
With the second most hospitals and a low 4.8 occurrences of infectious disease per 100,000 people, Wisconsin is your best bet. The state also has an above average physician to patient ratio and a 91.4% immunization coverage rate. A close second, Vermont has a high $153.54 health spending cost per person and 91.2% immunization coverage to match. Texas is home to the most hospitals in the U.S. at 371 and, consequently, the most staffed beds at over 55,000.
If traveling to safety is not in the cards for you, start your stockpile of survival supplies. Those crazy pre-Mexicans with the needlessly complicated calendar may have been right after all.
Published: December 17, 2012 at 10:00am EST
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