A survey by coupon site Tada.com showed that almost 6,000 adults considered a zombie outbreak as a disaster to worry about. It is no wonder that zombies have already become a popular theme in emergency planning. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control launched a zombie preparedness campaign and more than 65,000 signed up. In fact, there is also a mobile application for zombie survival preparedness.
It could be that people are watching too much The Walking Dead. Or it could be that people just feel the need to be more prepared now more than ever. After all, despite the threats of food shortage, extreme weather disturbances, and perils of war, people are still ill-prepared. The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that 61% of Americans admit to not having a family emergency plan and 48% do not have supplies set aside for a disaster. This is where the zombie analogy comes into play --- if you are prepared for zombies, you are sure as hell prepared for anything. Could there be anything worse?
Know the enemyPaint a picture in your head of what a zombie apocalypse looks like or severe flooding or earthquake for that matter. This will push you further to be prepared. The idea here is: never underestimate the wrath of nature or even zombies. Research on zombies, what a 250kph wind from a hurricane means, how destructive a magnitude seven quake is. Acknowledging that things can go wrong any minute is the start of creating any survival preparedness guide.
Are the supplies ready?This is among the simplest and least complicated ways of preparing. Making sure that you have an emergency supplies kit is like packing for a three-day trip. How hard can it be?
Think about the Walking Dead gang. What do they fight tooth and nail for? Food, water, medicine, gas, and well, ammunition. You may skip the latter but stock up on food that don’t perish easily, water, medication, formula if there is a baby, change of clothing for each family member, and tools like utility knife, can opener, battery-powered radio, cellphone, whistle, and rope for rescue. Don’t forget important documents too. The ideal emergency kit should be good for 72 hours but if you can manage more, better.
So, what’s the plan?After preparing the survival kit, meet with your family and decide where the supplies should be kept. Put it in a place that everyone could reach. Talk to your children and stress the need (and that it is cool) to be prepared. Discuss the dangers in your area: are storms frequent, could bushfires be anywhere near, is your neighborhood a constant tornado target? Know where the nearest evacuation center is. Have a plan of action that everyone would stick to like an emergency meeting place near and far from home. For example, pick to meet near the mailbox and if someone is unable to return home, pick a place where to meet them. Make a list of emergency contacts and teach your young children how to ask for help.
Plan for escapeIf you have been watching zombie movies, you should know that people are always on the run. It’s almost like trying finish first in a zombie race. When disasters (or zombies) strike, figure an escape route. Plan where to go, whether an evacuation site or a relative’s house out of town, and figure out how to get there the fastest possible way.
Shut them outIf we were to believe television and movies, zombies do not seem like the most genius of creatures. Their points of entry are still windows, doors, and sometimes the roof. Aside from making sure everything is sturdy and has secured locks, set up an alarm system that will buzz when something comes near your door or window. This will buy you the time you need.
Watch out!You may also put up a surveillance camera to give you a view of the outside. Whether it is zombies or flood water levels getting higher, it helps if you know what is going on. A wireless surveillance system is ideal because you don’t have to worry about cords getting flooded or ripped. Mount your wireless surveillance system efficiently so that it captures everything.
Fight them and stay aliveThere are more than 1,300 zombie-related events in the United States every month, according to an infographic by vulture.com. This only shows that Americans are taking this matter seriously. Most of these events teach preparedness and survival. Being skilled in fighting the undead can well be utilized in trying to stay alive in times of disasters. Learn how to swim, run over mud, use simple tools, train how to rescue, and learn creative and ingenious tricks like staying afloat by filling your pants with water and tying them on both ends to serve as floater.
First aid lessonsAttend lectures and training seminars on applying first aid. There is no point of packing medication in your emergency kit if you don’t know how to use them. If it is zombies that you are preparing for, at least learn how to treat rabies. Learn about wounds and how to treat them and what to treat them with. Know what to do when someone drowns, gets burned, gets a fracture, has a heart attack, or shortness of breath. Remember to take these lessons seriously because these can save your family’s lives.
P is for practice not panicDon’t panic is probably the most common phrase you will hear in every preparedness training session. Chances are you are probably tired of it. The truth is when zombies attack or walls start crumbling down in an earthquake, how can you not panic? Well, just don’t. One way to keep you mentally sharp during disasters is by practicing your plan of action. Rehearse it with your family as often as necessary until it becomes a natural thing to do.
Fighting the undead may be the worst of your nightmares coming true. So are natural disasters, emerging diseases, and war. They are all deadly and devastating. The best defense is still being prepared and when you do prepare, prepare for the worst like an apocalypse or a zombie attack. Be prepared and you never have to be sorry.
Philip Masterson is the author of AlarmDefense blog. Circle him on Google+.