Hollywood is the best place to find out about all the spectacular ways the universe can fuck you right up. Thankfully, they also offer tips for surviving ...
Let's face it... when December 21, 2012 rolls around, how many of you are planning to visit the Statue of Liberty or Eiffel Tower? If there is an alien invasion imminent, how many of you are going to be in NYC or LA to greet them (especially since aliens clearly prefer the desert)? When disaster strikes, it is obvious what you should avoid first and foremost: major landmarks. Why? Because you know that if God is a fan of Roland Emmerich, he's got one hell of a showstopper planned for this planet.
Earth has a surface area of approximately 510,072,000 km2. Manhattan Island has a surface area of 22.96 km2. With this in mind, what would you say is the probability of a 1 km2 meteorite (or, an Imperial-Class Star Destroyer) crashing into Manhattan Island? For those of you who are Jeff Goldblum, you already know that it is 4.5e-8, or 0.0000045 percent. The probability of that meteorite/Star Destroyer crashing into Paris? 1.7e-7, or 0.000017 percent. Shanghai? 8.5e-7, or 0.000085 percent.
Oh, and the chance of it decapitating the Chrysler Building? 2.1e-11, or 0.0000000021 percent.
So, what would you say the odds of all four targets getting hit would be? Well, however miniscule that number is it jumps to 100 percent if you saw Armageddon, so Jesus Christ... stay clear!
Think your government can contain the Rage Virus? Think they can keep you safe from aliens, volcanoes, comets, Mayan calendars or machines (now, or in the future)? Of course not! You didn't vote for them, and they were pretty shitty at their job to begin with.
But don't worry... in-between nuking Houston and "scorching the Sun," they'll hold prime-time press conferences to keep you posted on exactly how fucked the situation is.
"...and that is how we failed."
Sacrificing yourself in a disaster film is noble, and will elevate your character (and the story around you) to a higher realm of drama. However, no matter how improbable it may seem at the time, you do NOT need to die to be a hero. Just ask these guys:
Whether it's white trash wingnuts, wannabe-heroes or old men past their prime, let the human kindling from the B-story arc save your ass. Nature selected you to survive this mess, so be quiet and accept your newfound fate: repopulating the planet with your highly coveted, disaster-proof genes.
(Besides, if even Ben Affleck could avoid this draft, then so can you.)
As outlined in Barton Fink, [cute] children and/or a [hot] love interest are essential to any drama. However, while their inclusion may help you survive disaster, it just might be at the expense of their lives. Why? Because the better you get along with your wife and kids, the more likely they are to die instead of you (e.g. I Am Legend, and ID4). They work kind of like canaries did for miners: your cutest, most expendable line of defense.
Ditto for the family dog.
However, is your relationship on the rocks? Do your kids hate you? No problem...
Quick! Run out of the house right now! Leave the state! Move to the Arctic! JOIN THE E.P.A.! Not only will this guarantee the survival of you AND your loved ones when disaster strikes, but your family will emerge stronger than ever (Outbreak, War of the Worlds, ID4 and probably 2012).
Also, your dog survives. Good work!
The assholes inherit the Earth.