According to FEMA National Response Coordination Branch Chief Leviticus A. Lewis, the high probability mixed with the initial uncertainty of impact and time before, it would create a “challenging” situation for evacuators.
‘It’s quite different from preparing for an event with a much shorter timeline, such as a hurricane.’
We could have as little as three days warning of an asteroid which would blast London with the power of a hydrogen bomb.
And it’s possible that we might have no warning at all – at least with a smaller asteroid capable of shattering windows across the city.
Phil Plait, whose TED talk, How do Defend Earth from Asteroids, has been watched nearly two million times, said in an interview, ‘It doesn’t take a very big one to do real damage: that’s one of the lessons of Chelyabinsk, where a rock only 50 feet across blew out windows across a city.
‘And that one was so small we couldn’t have seen it coming.
Bigger asteroids could cause nearly unimaginable damage – wiping out many species and plunging Earth into a bleak winter lasting for years – although the larger an asteroid is, the more warning we would have of its approach.
Before you go dreaming up ways to put giant drills on asteroids, like in the movie Armageddon, remember that NASA scientists have been making this claim for years, yet, low and behold, we're still here (knock on wood). Let's hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
On the next page you can watch videos and check out an in-depth explanation of the 4 ways NASA plans to save us from Earth-bound asteroids: