With a new hit show on AMC “Fear The Walking Dead” and lots of bad stuff in the news everyday- it’s hard not to wonder if we are ready for a global disaster, like a zombie apocalypse, if it were to happen. It’s always good to be prepared for disaster, but aside from reminders everywhere to make an emergency preparedness kit, there is not enough education of the large-scale type to get everyone truly prepared. So what do you do to get people excited about being ready for an emergency? Why bring on the zombies, of course!
Last year Girl Scouts in Orange County helped host an event called Green Zone 11. At Green Zone 11 over 600 Girl and Boy Scouts came out to learn everything they could about being prepared for the zombie apocalypse. The event was a huge hit because basically if you are prepared for a zombie apocalypse, you are prepared for anything. There are also lots of other groups using a zombie apocalypse to teach emergency preparedness. The CDC started the trend in 2010, with their tongue and cheek manual Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic. In Portland Oregon this past February the company Go Games hosted a hugely popular event called the Zombie Apocalypse Disaster Preparedness Game. Jenny Gottstein, director of games for the company and creator of the zombie apocalypse event, said it was born out a need to educate the populous about the very real threat of natural disaster. This event needs to be held in Los Angeles soon! Joking aside though, we all need to learn whatever we can to be prepared for disaster. It’s gonna happen someday. Retail outlets like your local Army Navy store, Survival store or the Zombie Apocalypse Store in Las Vegas (which by the way can really help you be prepared) have lots of supplies. Big agencies like the Red Cross, FEMA and the CDC have great information that will help in any emergency, not just zombies.
I decided to ask a few zombie fans three questions about what they would do in an emergency. My contributors are David Tyra, Penny Danielson and Frankie from Zombie Daily: Here are a few of their answers.
Question 1: What do you think is the #1 most important thing to do to prepare for a zombie apocalypse?
Question 2: What have you and your family done so far to prepare for a zombie apocalypse?
Question 3: Where do you think the best place to be is, in the apocalypse?
David Tyra: “Secure a source of drinking water that is independent of municipal supply. Keep the Rule of Three in mind when preparing for any survival situation; you can live three minutes with out air, three days without water and three weeks without food. All of our own water comes from a well that is powered by solar and can be easily changed to a hand pump if necessary. We have a supply of freeze-dried food on hand and the necessary supplies to develop a very large garden. Where to be? Location, location, location. The best place to be would be a small self-providing community in a remote area far from the large centers of population. There is nowhere safe, only places that are safer.”
Penny Danielson: “I think that having a clear and well thought out plan is essential. Designated meeting places, emergency contacts, escape routes, lists of essential items or where to find already packed inventory, maps, etc… If there is not a plan already in place, and chaos ensues…then chaos is what you will definitely be in the middle of. What have we done to prepare? See answer to Question #1, Lol, but in all seriousness, watching programs like “The Walking Dead” or the survival tips on “The Talking Dead” have helped give us some information that should come in handy. (Pantyhose are excellent filters for water and maxi pads can be used for bandages or to help stop bleeding!) If any place is ideal, I would say being at home, because it’s familiar, and also hopefully in a more rural area. Cities or crowded areas where there are more congested neighborhoods would be more chaotic and dangerous. You risk having to fight people that are in a panic, or worse, already infected. If anything, being on a farm, much like Hershel’s on The Walking Dead, where there are no neighbors, with wells for water, generators for power and a constant food supply would be ideal.”
Frankie from Zombies Daily: “I break down the most important must-haves to three: shelter, weapons and food. All three are essential in preparation to survive, but there is only one you can’t live with out: food. Most anything can be turned into a weapon, any sturdy place can provide shelter for the night, but you can’t just summon food or come across it easily. This makes it the #1 most important thing to prepare ahead of time. Having well stocked, long-lasting food supplies such as dry food and canned goods, and of course water, will surely extend your survival length. I speak a great deal of what I would do or what I would need in case of a zombie apocalypse, but the truth is I haven’t prepared at all. The only advantage I have is having seen almost every zombie movie every made. While they are movies they still provide various scenarios I probably wouldn’t have thought of as beneficial or detrimental to my survival. I always thought heading to a Costco or Walmart would be the thing to do. I figured if you close off the main entrances/exits then it would be a pretty secure facility with lots of supplies inside. The problem is everyone is likely thinking the same thing! That’s a lot of people to take in or worse, people that are trying to take it from you at whatever means they have. So I would seek a warehouse far less known or perhaps a private distributor. I’d be able to accomplish the same thing with less competition.”
Thanks to my contributors!!! Whether you agree or disagree with these thoughts I hope it makes you think about being ready for an emergency; and will get you started on the road to preparedness. The month of September is National Preparedness Month. Ready.gov, FEMA, the CDC and more than 3000 organizations, national, regional, and local governments, as well as private and public organizations, will support emergency preparedness efforts and encourage Americans to get ready! This year they are asking you to take action now: make a plan with your community, your family, and for your pets. Plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect your community. They are asking everyone to participate in America’s PrepareAthon!, the national day of action held on September 30th. National PrepareAthon! Day culminates National Preparedness Month. Look for events near you all month and talk to your families about it.
So what do you need to do before the zombies come…or another disaster, actually happens? First off you really do need to have an emergency kit in your house. Below are a few items the CDC says you should include in your kit, and what you need to do first. For a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.
Water (1 gallon per person per day)
Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate in a zip-lock bag, to name a few)
First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane)
Once you’ve made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other emergency.You should pick two meeting places, one close to your home and one farther away. Identify the types of emergencies that are possible in your area. Besides a zombie apocalypse, this may include fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes. If you are unsure who to contact, call your local Red Cross chapter for more information. Identify your emergency contacts by making a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie (emergency) response team. Also identify an out-of-state contact that you can call during an emergency to let the rest of your family know you are ok. Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the hungry,hungry hordes don’t have a chance! This is also super helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast.
I hope some of this information was useful for you. “Preparing for a zombie apocalypse means you have prepared for every possible scenario you could think of.” said Frankie from Zombies Daily. “It might just save your life. In the event of a hurricane, terrorist attack or other disaster, not just zombies. If you’re ready for zombies, you’re ready for anything life has to throw at you.” Hopefully in real life the CDC is more successful than they are in The Walking Dead!