In May 2011, the Internet was buzzing about predictions of Judgment Day. To make fun of it I wrote an article titled 10 Things Asset Managers can Accomplish before Judgement Day. Now there is lot of fluff floating around the Internet about the end of the world occurring this Friday, December 21, 2012 and once again Internet speculation is making some people act crazy.
The belief this time stems from a false interpretation of the Mayan calendar cycle (called a b’ak’tun) suggesting that the world will end. The facts are that we are currently in the 13th b’ak’tun and each b’ak’tun represents 144,000 days or 394.26 tropical years.
The end of the 13th b’ak’tun only marks the beginning of the 14th b’ak’tun and every person who has seriously studied the Mayan culture will confirm this. There is nothing in the Mayan culture that suggests 12/21/2012 is the end of the world.
How the World Reacts to Internet Hysteria
As I was researching this article, I ran across several news stories from across the globe. On one hand, it is amusing to see the reactions of people and governments. On the other hand, it is sad that so many people only hear what they want to hear. Some of the better examples include:
Funny End of the World Stuff
- Mayan Prophecy drives surge in one-way flight searches The two most searched destinations are a village in south France and a village in Turkey. The reason given is that these places are home to alien spacecraft that will provide sanctuary.
- French officials ban access to sacred mountain Seriously? I can’t stop laughing. “French officials have banned access to the Pic de Bugarach to avoid a rush of New Age fanatics, sightseers and, above all, journalists.”
- NASA Scientist Says 25 Million Americans Stockpiling Guns, Machetes for Doomsday I don’t get it, if the world ends what would be the point of stockpiling anything?
- In Panicky Russia, It’s Official: End of World Is Not Near” Russia’s government decided to put an end to the doomsday talk. Its minister of emergency situations said Friday that he had access to “methods of monitoring what is occurring on the planet Earth,” and that he could say with confidence that the world was not going to end in December.” Phew, I feel safer mow that the Russian government has weighed in on the problem.
- Chatter of Doomsday Makes Beijing Nervous The Chinese government response is to round up the Christians responsible for spreading the panic. “Stores across the country have reported panic buying of candles, and a few entrepreneurs have made out well peddling survival kits or portable “Noah’s Arks.”
In contrast, over in Yucatan Mexico which has a heavy Mayan population, they are planning a festival. No doubt laughing at the rest of the world and making a party out of it. Seems this is the place where people should really go.
Holiday CMMS Preparations for Industry
So now that we know the world is not going to end on Friday what can industry do to prepare for the holidays? The answer is to use their CMMS to make a checklist of assets needing inspections before and after the holidays. This will ensure that equipment being shutdown or idling for several days is ready to be put back into action after the holidays.
Once the checklist is ready, work can then be scheduled using CMMS scheduling features. Examples of assets that should be included on this list are:
- Any equipment left exposed to the elements. These assets should be secured and readied for inactivity.
- Fuel lines. Fuel lines should be turned off if not needed or at the least checked for leaks. An undetected leak can build up over the holidays setting the stage for a terrible disaster.
- Facility thermostats. If possible, thermostats should be set to minimum levels if a facility is not in use. The energy savings can be substantial and it will also reduce the wear and tear of HVAC equipment.
- Roofs and storm drains. Both of these assets should be cleared of debris that might allow a buildup of ice, snow and water.
- Furnaces, chillers and boilers. These high energy users can be shutdown or set to operate at minimum levels over the holidays.
Inspections can also make sure that they are not shut down by accident if continuous operation is necessary.
- Chimneys. Keep them clean, it is Christmas – need I say more?