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Photo courtesy of Dean Regas
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Photo courtesy of Dean Regas
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Photo courtesy of Dean Regas
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Photo courtesy of Dean Regas
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Photo courtesy of Dean Regas
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This image is courtesy of National Geographic Channel.
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Doomsday 2012: The myths debunked

Preparing for the unknown

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CINCINNATI - There are a lot of urban myths about what will happen in 2012. Dean Regas spends some of his time in his role as astronomer at The Cincinnati Observatory debunking them.

"There's nothing to worry about astronomically in 2012. We're not going to get hit by a meteor," said Regas. "We're not going to have super sun storms. There's not going to be the poles flipping over. The planets are even lining up. Everything you've read, if you've read anything... [it's] way off. It's just going to be a normal year for astronomy."

He's also studied the Mayans and their calendar. He says that even though their long count calendar ends on Dec. 21, 2012, it just means the end of a calendar cycle, not the end of the world. For more on this topic, click here for a video produced by Regas.

"What we're finding is this is a fascinating study on us, not on the Mayans and their calendar," Regas said. "It's how we are reacting to this because there's nothing that the Mayans even said the world was gonna end. But we have this fascination with it for some reason."

Evidence of the fascination is a new series, " Doomsday Preppers ," which premiered Tuesday night on National Geographic Channel about people preparing for the worst.

John Vota, owner of the Safe and Ready Life survival store in Milford, says sensationalizing the doomsday myth can trivialize the importance of preparation.

"When you use words like Doomsday or Apocalypse, it really creates and extreme image in peoples' minds," Vota said. "On the one hand that could be good because it draws attention to certain things that are happening around the globe -- but on the other hand too many people wind up not taking it seriously and thinking it's not worthy of serious consideration which I think does denigrate the whole idea of preparedness."

Vota sells all sorts of items out of his store that would help you in the event of a crisis. He calls what he offers a form of life insurance.

"Over the last several years, maybe starting with Katrina, a lot more people have come to maybe not trust that the institutions that were there for us in the past to help protect us would be there in the future," Vota said. "These people, like I am, are interested in becoming more self-reliant and less dependent."

Vota birthed his idea after the financial meltdown. He says his typical customer isn't an extremist.

"It's people who see a lot of challenging things going on around the world that are concerned the protection of their basic essential needs, things as simple as air, water and food," Vota said.

Even the Federal Emergency Management Agency urges everyone to be prepared as we never know when and where the next disaster will strike. You can go to their website, Ready.gov , and download one of their tool kits and form a plan with your family.

You can text prepare to 43362 to receive monthly preparedness tips.

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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