It's the end of the world as we know it, and the Canadian Red Cross feels fine.

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the Red Cross is warning in a matter-of-fact media release that the country should prepare this week for an assortment of apocalypses.

"Various organizations are predicting the end of the world December 21, with scenarios including geomagnetic reversal, collision with an interplanetary object, destruction by a supernova, and global annihilation as predicted by the Mesoamerican calendar," the release issued from its Winnipeg office said Wednesday.

The Red Cross's goal is not panic in the streets, but rather making sure Canadians are always prepared for an emergency.

"The Red Cross urges Canadians to be ready to take care of themselves and their families for 72 hours in any emergency," said Denis Dion, the organization's national director of disaster management. "Two-thirds of Canadians say they have not taken steps to prepare for a disaster."

The aid agency said every household should have several items at the ready to last 72 hours:

  • Six litres of water per person.
  • Enough non-perishable food for each person and a can opener.
  • Crank- or battery-operated flashlight and radio, with extra batteries.
  • Extra keys for car and house.
  • First aid kit.
  • Cash in small bills.
  • Special needs items such as medications, baby supplies and equipment for people with disabilities.

The Red Cross are not the only ones having some apocalyptic fun.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has already said in a straightfaced video spoof that the Mayan prediction of the end of the world on Dec. 21 is right.

"My dear remaining fellow Australians. The end of the world is coming. It wasn't Y2K, it wasn't even the carbon price. It turns out that the Mayan calendar was true," Gillard says.