Camping & Survival

How to Prepare For an Asteroid Impact

Artist rendition of an asteroid falling to Earth

Seven years ago, NASA discovered a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) named 2015 PDC by Minor Planet Center, with a diameter of 460 to 1,300 feet. In April 2015, after close tracking of 2015 PDC for a month, the International Asteroid Warning Network issued a warning that the asteroid was on a definite path for a direct collision with Earth.

NASA, in collaboration with other countries with space programs, successfully deflected the asteroid with spacecraft. Noted from space observations around the world, the asteroid was broken into two pieces.

Artist rendition of an asteroid falling to Earth
Is there really an asteroid on a direct path to hit earth as some doomsday conspiracies have suggested?

One of these pieces poses no threat, while the other is predicted to have a 54% chance of hitting Earth next week. This piece measures around 300 feet in diameter. NASA warns that an asteroid of this size will create the equivalent to a 50-megaton explosion, causing a 5.3 magnitude earthquake. A press release warning of the incoming impact reads,

“If the fragment impacts on land, wood frame buildings would almost completely collapse out to a radius of 10 km (6 miles), and windows would shatter out to a radius of 25 km (16 miles)…This would be approximately 10 times more energy than that delivered by the 30 to 50-meter (100 feet) asteroid that damaged over 2000 square kilometers (800 square miles) of forest in Siberia in 1908.”

20 million people from India to China are being evacuated.

Just a few days ago, 800 Whistle Blower—a website claiming to have the inside scoop on all the information the government hides from us—posted a blog pointing to all the evidence that proves the recent military exercises called Jade Helm 15 are actually a maneuver so the U.S. military can respond to a “mass extinction event coming 2015.” That event? Most likely, the coming asteroid predicted to hit Earth anywhere from September 22-28, 2015.

Before scrolling all the way down to the comment section of this blog to express your disgust, put down your tin foil hats and read on. Because none of this is actually true. (Except one thing. There was a real asteroid that exploded over Siberia in 1908, leveling 770 square miles of forest. That actually happened.)

The asteroid impact scenario described at the beginning is taken from a real disaster planning exercise that happened during April 2015’s IAA Planetary Defense Conference in Frascati, Italy.

Other predictions you may have read, either on 800 Whistle Blower, doomsday-readiness or other conspiracy theory sites about the world ending at the end of September 2015 aren’t happening either. Not based on any scientific fact, that is. (If Armageddon is upon us—that’s between you and your Maker, not you and a lowly blog writer from Fort Worth, Texas.) The hype surrounding an asteroid impact hitting the Earth this month has made so much noise around the web that NASA and FEMA both have released official statements denying the claim.

Paul Chodas, an asteroid expert at NASA’s Near-Earth Object office says, “There is no scientific basis, not one shred of evidence, that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates. If there were any object large enough to do that type of destruction in September, we would have seen something of it by now.”

Building damaged from falling meteors in Russia.
Damage from an asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia. The falling meteors injured 1,000 people.

NASA may discredit these doomsday predictions, but not all the theories are based on science fiction.

FACT:

  • The International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) is real. The IAWN is an international group formed in 2013 under the suggestion of the United Nations that monitors “Near Earth Objects.”
  • NASA is developing a deflecting spacecraft. Called the Asteroid Redirect Mission, NASA is currently developing a robot that will be sent to a “near-Earth” asteroid.
  • In February 2015, NASA released a report stating it had found over 12,000 “near-Earth” asteroids—an increase of 70% since 2010, when the number was 666. (Red flag. I know.) “Near-Earth” in this case means it takes a shorter amount of time to reach those asteroids than it does to send a spaceship to Mars and back.
  • PHA is a real term. Potentially Hazardous Asteroids are based on how likely the asteroid is to hit the Earth. Asteroids smaller than 500 feet in diameter and that are 4,650,000 miles away are not considered. There are currently 1,608 PHAs.
  • On January 26, 2015, asteroid 2004 BL86 flew by the Earth. It is the largest and closest known asteroid to Earth until 2027. It was 1,800 feet wide and 745,000 miles away.
  • On February 15, 2013, an undetected asteroid 17 meters in diameter exploded 17 miles above Chelyabinsk, Russia. The energy from the air blast of the explosion measured the equivalent to 470 kilotons of TNT. The falling meteors from the explosion damaged buildings, shattered windows and injured nearly one thousand people. The leader of the Liberal Democratic Party in Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky said, “Those are not meteors, it is America testing their new weapon.”

For fun, let’s pretend an asteroid of a significant size is going to hit Earth—how are you going to prepare?

Per the exercise at the conference, an impact would cause an earthquake it if fell on land or a tsunami if landed in the ocean, mass evacuations, severe collateral damage to structures, infrastructure, vegetation and utilities, and loss of human lives.

Preparing for an asteroid hitting Earth is much like you would prepare for any other major natural disaster. You want a bug-out bag, emergency vehicle kit, evacuation plan, and plenty of non-perishable food and drinking water.

September is National Preparedness Month (#NatlPrep) and the Shooter’s Log has covered almost all natural disasters, here are the top 10 blog posts that will help you prepare for the “impending doomsday asteroid.”

What do you think about all the talk about the world ending this month due to an earth-ending asteroid collision? Talk to us in the comment section.

[suzanne]

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog. "The Shooter's Log", is to provide information - not opinions - to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decicions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (54)

    1. @ Joe.

      Yeah, I guess they Miscalculated or Extrapolated the Dates, AGAIN. I wonder what the New Dooms Day Date is going to be…

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