How to prepare for the end of the world: Fit a smoke alarm, leave extra time for journeys, and give your pets a cuddle...

British organisations have been issuing tongue in cheek advice on how to prepare for the upcoming Mayan-predicted apocalypse on the 21st December

With the world edging ever closer to what some believe could be an end of days catastrophe that will see the planet and its inhabitants destroyed, British authorities have been issuing tongue in cheek advice on how to prepare.

The advice comes just two weeks ahead of the day that some believe will mark the end of world.

According to some interpretations of the ancient Mayan calendar the 21st of December will signal the end of a 5,125-year cycle known as the Long Count - and will bring about the apocalypse.

There have been scattered reports of panic buying of candles and essentials in China and Russia. There has also been a reported hike in the sales of survival shelters in America.

An official US government blog was published last week saying it was "just rumours" and insisting that "the world will not end on December 21, 2012, or any day in 2012".

In France, authorities have even taken steps to prevent access to Bugarach mountain, which is thought by some to be a sacred place that will protect them from the end of the world.

Reports claimed websites in the US were selling tickets to access the mountain on the 21st.

In the UK, however, the impending apocalypse is being treated with dead-pan humour by some organisations.

The AA has advised: "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."

A London Fire Brigade spokesman issued the following advice: "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."

An RSPCA spokesman offered advice for animal lovers ahead of apocalypse saying: "Luckily for animals, they do not have the same fears of the future - or its imminent destruction - as us humans, so it is unlikely that our pets will be worrying about the end of the world.

"However, should the Mayans prove to be right, our message would be to spend whatever time you have left with your animals wisely.

"Take them for a long walk or give them a cuddle. Enjoy every second you have with them as if it was your last!"

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.

Should December 21st not produce a cataclysmic event it will join the ranks of other end of the world panics that proved to be unfounded.

The countdown to the millennium was awash with fears that the Y2K bug would send computer systems into meltdown with devastating consequences, and last year American pastor Harold Camping, predicted Armageddon not once but twice.

Both of his predicted dates for the end of the world passed without incident.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has won the award ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 business...

SThree: Trainee Recuitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 business...

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn