UK & World News
Apocalypse: Advice Issued For End Of The World
British authorities have insisted they are prepared for the looming apocalypse and have issued advice on how to cope.
In the event that the world ends on December 21, the public should check the car, fit a smoke alarm and learn to make a fire.
The helpful advice follows an official US government blog this week which insisted that "the world will not end on December 21, 2012, or any day in 2012".
To quell fears, the UK organisations have issued detailed, if tongue-in-cheek, advice.
A London Fire Brigade spokesman advised: "Fit a smoke alarm on each level of your home, then at least you might stand a chance of knowing that the end of the world is nigh ahead of those who don't.
"If you survive the apocalypse you'll be alerted to a fire more quickly should one ever break out."
The AA warned: "Before heading off, take time to do the basic checks on your car and allow extra time for your journey.
"Local radio is a good source of traffic and weather updates and for any warnings of an impending apocalypse. Should the announcer break such solemn news, try to remain focused on the road ahead and keep your hands on the wheel."
The assistant director of the Scouts said: "If you are a scout, you know how to light a fire, how to cook, how to make a shelter. Those basic skills are really important and you can learn them very quickly.
"There are probably going to be no computers or electricity in the post-apocalyptic world so get a basic essential guide, there are loads around in the library such as Scouting For Boys - it was written in 1908 but it will still be relevant after the apocalypse."
Other bodies including British Transport Police and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they were prepared for any event that may occur on December 21.
Speculation that the end of the world really is nigh is rooted in interpretations of the ancient Mayan calendar and has been fuelled by internet speculation.
Professor Mark Van Stone, the author of 2012: Science And Prophecy Of The Ancient Maya, traces the start of the 2012 apocalypse prophecy back to 1904, when German scholars said a Mayan picture of a sky dragon pouring water from above proved they were predicting a great flood.
Other predictions then made it into subsequent academic books on the Maya and soon became enshrined in popular mythology.
Prof Van Stone, who teaches art history at Southwestern College, California, said the speculation comes down to a few inscriptions that indicate the ancient Mayan calendar has been counting down since 3114BC and will hit zero on December 21.
He said: "The Maya indicated there was a 5,000-year cycle that ended on a creation date. Scholars, and eventually everyone else, inferred that when the calendar reached that date again in 2012 that it would stop."
Among the internet speculation and forecasts, there are suggestions that a small French village called Bugarach is the only place that will survive the apocalypse and hundreds of people have been gathering there.