C.R. (Chuck) Sanderson, Executive Director of the Emergency Measures Organization
Credits: Winnipeg Sun/Qmi Agency
As believers ponder what will happen if Friday does mark the start of an apocalyptic event, Manitoba emergency workers are ready to combat disasters.
The province's Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) doesn't expect any specific drain on its resources this week but notes there's always room for individual emergency planning.
"There's not a way every doorstep will have an emergency responder sitting on it in 72 hours," EMO executive director Chuck Sanderson said. "People are the first line of defence. It's individuals."
To prepare yourself for disaster, EMO suggests every Manitoba family keep enough food, water, medication, flashlights and batteries to care for their families for at least 72 hours. Families should also make response plans that include emergency numbers, safe evacuation destinations and pet sitters.
The Red Cross went a step further, urging Manitobans to prepare for Friday as though it were "doomsday."
"We know through our own surveys that at least two-thirds of Canadians are not prepared for a natural disaster," Red Cross Manitoba director Shawn Fely said. "It's a cheeky way of highlighting the need to prepare."
Provincially, that need is taken pretty seriously.
Manitoba's Red River Floodway, for example, is now set to handle a one-in-700-years flood.
"EMO has provincial plans in place to deal with any of the risks that befall Manitoba and we also build capacity at the local level," Sanderson said.
Luckily, experts agree there's no predictable reason to put those plans to use Friday.
"The proofs that are provided by the 2012 hoaxsters are all false," said Jayanne English, a physics and astronomy professor at the University of Manitoba.
English said the fear that the planet Nibiru will collide with the Earth on Dec. 21 is simply a myth. Based on the estimated size and orbit of that alleged planet, English said its potential to destroy Earth doesn't make sense.
"It would have interacted with the Earth a million times before now if it existed," English said, noting it would also have been located by astronomers.
And several Mayan experts recently stated the end of the calendar's cycle does not predict the end of the world.
NASA, the U.S. government and several other organizations have also disputed the claims.