The Saratoga Sun -

Last man standing? He's from Wyoming


Wyoming will most likely be the last state standing in the face of an apocalyptic situation, assuming Yellowstone doesn’t erupt.

According to Willow Haven Outdoor, an organization that aims to promote and share survival skills, preparing for an international disaster is a good reason to know how to survive in the wilderness.

“Let’s face it — we live in an increasingly unstable world economy. Countries are going bankrupt, terrorism is at an all-time high and you can cut the political tension with a knife,” Willow Haven Outdoor writes. “Our world is in a pressure cooker and at some point a seal on the lid is going to blow. It certainly isn’t a bad idea to have some basic survival skills under your belt just in case the steam reaches your doorstep.”

If survival skills are what you need to survive the apocalypse, no one is better prepared than the average Wyomingite.

Hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, floating, biking, snowmobiling, skiing and marksmanship are just a few of the vast amount of recreational activities available in Wyoming, and every single one requires basic knowledge of survival.

If you are from Wyoming, chances are you know those skills. You know what to do if you get lost in the wilderness. You know how to survive in some of the worst conditions mother nature has to offer.

Each year, about 350 volunteers help more than 5,000 people graduate from a Wyoming hunter safety program, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Those programs, not only teach gun safety and handling, but also teach basic survival techniques. Both are critical skills to know if you are going to survive an end-of-the-world situation. At least that is the consensus in Max Brook’s novel, “The Zombie Survival Guide.” Even though the book is fictional, it provides some tangible tips for survival in the midst of a medical emergency situation.

The novel talks about a lot of the skills anyone can learn by attending a hunter safety class, and, according to this fictional book, those skills can increase your chances of surviving the apocalypse.

The novel also sets aside an entire chapter to explain the importance of firearms in the midst of the apocalypse.

If guns are what you need to survive, Wyoming is where you want to be.

As of 2010, 59 percent of Wyoming residents own at least one firearm. That is a higher percentage than any other state in the U.S. But numbers alone can’t protect us in the face of disaster.

Brooks’ novel explains one needs to know how to use their firearm. And Wyomingites know their guns.

Although Wyoming has the single highest percentage of gun owners, the state also has one of the lowest gun-related murders, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Wyomingites have a lot of guns and we know how to use them, safely and efficiently. According to a totally fictional book, that makes Wyoming one of the safest places to be during the apocalypse.

However, other sources that are not so fictional see Wyoming’s ability to survive much differently.

According to Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which publishes the annual report “Ready or Not? Protecting the Public From Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism”, Wyoming is among the states that are least prepared for a national disaster.

The report thoroughly studies each state’s resources, and based on that information, charts that state on a one-to-10 scale, one being the least prepared and 10 being the most prepared to handle a national medical emergency.

Wyoming scored six along with Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. No state scored a perfect 10 in the report, but I think Wyoming should be a 10.

Yes, the report is thorough, but it doesn’t give states enough credit for their resiliency, and that is where Wyoming really thrives.

I think most Wyoming communities would be able to maintain order in the face of an apocalyptic situation. The report also does not give any credit to the individuals who know how to survive in a disaster, and I already concluded Wyoming possesses a lot of those individuals.

There is little doubt that a Wyomingite will be the last person standing after the apocalypse.


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