Ask some people, and they say there may only be a few days left on earth.
That belief stems from a growing fascination in the calendar used by the Mayan civilization, which apparently predicted the world would end on Dec. 21, 2012.
Most people don't seem to buy it - and even NASA scientists say Friday will be like any other day - however, the uncertainty for some is translating to big business for companies who specialize in survival gear.
Friedman's Army Navy Store on 21st Avenue South has run out of gas masks, and its supply of first aid kits and meals ready to eat are low as well.
"If it's the end of the world, then we're wasting a lot of time for Christmas here, but I fully expect to wake up Saturday and be OK," said owner Frank Friedman.
Of course, if you believe in the Mayan prediction, you need to be prepared.
"The question I ask everybody is, 'If something were to happen - a natural disaster or a manmade disaster - would you have enough stuff to go for three days by yourself with no assistance and grab it all in five to 10 minutes at most?' Most people in that case start to feel very vulnerable," said store employee Nestor Ilagan.
That's where stores like Friedman's can stock you up. For about $200, Ilagan can put together a prime end-of-the-world survival kit in a backpack.
Included is food and water, as well as supplies for shelter, security, fire and first aid. Plus, the nice thing is if the world doesn't come to an end, the kit still serves a meaningful purpose.
"This stuff does have very good practical application," Friedman said.
From ice storms to floods to gas shortages, the survival kit is simply a grown-up version of the Boy Scouts' creed: Be prepared.
"The idea is basically an insurance policy. You hope you never have to use it, but you got it if it happens," Ilagan said.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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