Last week we showed you how to get through a zombie apocalypse relatively unscathed. This week, old Mother Nature is sicking up her fiery innards all over herself like a lady who's had too many sambucas and an ill-advised curry. We show you how to survive.
This is similar to a supervolcano, but smaller. Or, you know, further away. Pic by ahisgett
Most likely: Supervolcano erupts (supervolcanoes look like regular volcanoes, but are in fact from the planet Krypton), blanketing the sky in thick ash and blocking out the sun, resulting in a sort of ice age
Less likely: Sudden multiple volcanoes erupt all over the earth, sending lava and explosive airborne rocks called pyroclasts all over our city centres
Even less likely: Massive apocalypse cult sacrifices majority of humans on Earth by throwing them into volcanoes in an attempt to stave off the end of the world, and realise their ironic mistake far too late
The possibility of a volcano erupting close enough to you for molten rock to start knocking at (and subsequently burning down) your door is thankfully pretty slim. However, the odds of a massive one erupting with a blast the size of Central London and covering the whole world in carpet of ash are, sadly, significantly better.
Terrifyingly, Yellowstone in America (the prime candidate for a world-ending blast) erupts violently every 600,000 years or so – and the last major eruption was 640,000 years ago, meaning that we're overdue. It looked as though the nature reserve was ready to pop back in 2009 and take much of the surrounding countryside with it, but we're still hanging on.
Preparedness difficulty: 4/5
Pictured: not a real volcanic eruption. But it's a good thing to safely run away from, in preparation for the final event. Pic by Rich Anderson
Luckily, volcanoes are very slow-moving beasts – often wandering about so slowly that their movements are imperceptible to humans, and understandable only on a geological scale – so it's unlikely that they will chase you through the streets. Indeed, the easiest way to avoid volcanoes is not to go anywhere near them. If you find yourself near a volcano, move away from it at the nearest possible opportunity.
The other end of the scale, though, the whole “global ice age bit” is much harder to prepare for. Short of petitioning your local government to invest in self-sustaining underground survival shelters (which will make you look a bit crazy, no matter how well-reasoned your argument) your main preparation should be to invest in enough supplies to keep you alive for around three years. A nice warm jumper is probably a good idea, too – global temperatures will drop around 7 Celsius across the board from “a bit nippy” to “probably too cold” all year round. Maybe two jumpers and a hat, then, just to be sure.
Stay indoors. For three years.
Try your best to not die from the cold or the starvation, both of which will be pretty big facets of your life from now on. Don't breathe in volcanic ash (tricky, as it will fill much of the air). Of course, assuming you do survive the initial eruption and ensuing cold snap, you're going to have to deal with the fact that 75% of plant life on Earth has become extinct and all of Earth is covered in ash ranging from six inches to hundreds of feet deep. Best of luck!
Likelihood of death: 4/5
The apocalypse would be pretty similar to this, but without the blue sky or the tree. So it'd actually be quite different. Pic by jurvetson
It's pretty much assumed you're not going to make it alive out of this one. Assuming you can somehow stockpile enough supplies and jumpers to make it through, long-term survival is all but impossible without Government support that just doesn't exist. Sorry. Bit of a downer, this one.
What you'll miss most:
Summer fashion. That, or breathable air.
Make it look good:
This is apparently the world's smallest island volcano. It is kind of adorable. Pic by therealbrute
Pulling off stylish manoeuvres is tricky, considering the very nature of a supervolcano. Your best option is to either get heavily invested saving people in the initial wake of the blast (with plenty of shouting at people to get out of the way of lava floes, dodging impacts of explosive rocks by ducking and weaving across the street, and possibly some sort of last-ditch helicopter rescue from the mouth of the volcano itself) or set up a super-sweet survival bunker, and buy a few debonair smoking jackets to keep warm in during the three-year winter.
Next week: SOLAR FLARES!