Public safety officials have had to prepare from some very strange events. Although usually public safety officials are responsible for keeping the public safe and informed of natural disasters, power outages, and road closures, but some have to anticipate very unpredictable cases. Events such as the 2012 end of the world panic, to the recent Area 51 raids, public safety officials have to be prepared for anything, and everything!
3 Strange Events Public Safety Officials Have Prepared For
Here are some events that public safety officials have had to prepare for:
- End of the World Parties
The world was set to end on Dec. 21, 2012 according to the Mayan long-count calendar. The calendar started in 3114 B.C. and spanned 5,125 years. It was only logical that the end of the long-count calendar meant the end of the world. The ancient civilization had accurately predicted calendar years for over five millennials and now it was over. In fear, celebration and curiosity, hundreds of thousands stayed awake in hopes of getting a glimpse at the end of the world. That also meant there were parties and celebrations everywhere that public safety officials had to prepare for.
In Los Angeles, Calif. there was everything from house parties to raves and even a “giant marshmallow roast” in downtown planned to ring in the end of the calendar. Similar to any major event, public safety officials were on alert for anything that could potentially be disastrous. For most officials, they planned as if there were any major event in the city. Although, having to set up regulations and protocols for the end of the world is not something they handle on an everyday basis.
- Creepy Clown Sightings
In 2016, claims of clown sightings began popping up across the country. For the most part, it was harmless jokes and scare tactic-- some even thought it was just a marketing stunt. But as the summer rolled around and the clowns were still appearing, people were put on edge. The sightings and stories seemed like they should have been coming right from a Stephen King novel (“It” in particular), but they were not related. The scares were originally non-violent, but in some areas they escalated to robberies and attempts to lure children into the woods.
Police were quick to act, warning children and parents of the sightings and potential motives the clowns might have.
In South Carolina, children reported clowns tried to lure them into the woods with money. Residents of an apartment complex reported various types of clown sightings as well (ranging from chains and bangs on a front door to green lasers coming from the woods). Public safety officials started to patrol the area heavily. The police didn't know whether the stories were coming from the imaginations of children or if something sinister was afoot. In the end, the need to dress up as a clown and scare children stopped.
- Area 51 Raid
In the summer of 2019, there was a large push to storm Area 51. More than 2 million people RSVP’d to a Facebook event “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” which called for the ambush of Nevada’s famed Area 51. On September 20, 2019 some people actually did show up. Nevada authorities say about 40 people gathered at the gates before being confronted and dispersed by law enforcement. Public safety officials had to prepare for what seemed like millions who were coming to see if the government was hiding aliens on the property.
The whole event started as a joke and was eventually turned into two alien centric music festivals. However, three arrests were made in relation to the raid: one arrest was made-- not for an attempt at freeing an alien, but for public urination; the other two arrests were of Dutch tourists found ten days before the event trespassing on Department of Energy land near Area 51.
It’s not every day officials need to prevent the storming of Area 51.
Whether clowns, the end of the world, or the freeing of aliens, public safety officials have had some creative events they needed to prepare for. In all situations, the goal is to keep the public safe-- even if it is because people want to see aliens.
Having the right communication tools in an emergency event can be essential to ensuring prolonged safety.
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