Guest post by David.
Zombies seem to be everywhere. I thought it was bad enough when the Center for Disease Control came out with information on personal preparedness in the event of a zombie outbreak, but now that you can get special zombie packaged premium ammunition I started to wonder what is going on.
Ridicule is a powerful tool used to deny the legitimacy of a belief system, birthers, wingnuts, and survivalists, are all names given to groups in order to keep from having to discuss the their arguments based upon their merits. Many preppers I know hate the rise of the Zombie culture because they believe it makes us look stupid, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
As a prepper I am quite used to being pigeon holed into a category with conspiracy theorists and assorted antisocial crazies. It used to bother me, but I have been doing some reflection, and I think there are some positive aspects of the Zombie culture that bear discussing.
- One of the worst reasons to prepare is because of fear of a single type of disaster. I remember the Y2K craze, and how much panic buying came from it. New Year’s Day 2000 did not come with relief, but left many with the feeling of being the victim of a con. I fear the same with the Mayan 2012 calendar devotees. But since I have a feeling that no one actually believes in the possibility of a Zombie Apocalypse, it’s a great way to introduce the idea of an All Hazards plan without being bogged down with WHAT you are prepping for.
- Preparing for disasters is a very serious activity. Performing a risk assessment and opening yourself to the idea that bad things can happen, and that no matter what you do, you can never protect yourself from everything. Zombie hunting adds a little light-heartedness to a very heavy topic. It keeps you from taking the subject too seriously. For me, it helps to remind me to relax and take time to spend with my family instead of being Mr. Preparedness 24-7-365.
- Zombies are a euphemism for the unprepared individuals that turn angry and violent in their desperation. As a new dad, I hate to see my baby cry. When he gets hungry and starts to cry I sometimes cannot help but imagine what I would do if there was no food to feed him. As long as I am alive, my boy won’t starve, and I bet every dad feels the same way. If you are prepared enough to fend off the brute force of a mob of zombies, then you are starting to realize what needs to be done to fend off a horde of desperate individuals. Prepping for zombies is a lot friendlier on the psyche than thinking about shooting real people. Desperate people aren’t necessarily evil. But neither were zombies before they reanimated into the living dead. I have a duty to my family first. I will protect my family before I take any action to help anyone else. Zombies ignore that at their own peril.
- Zombies are an introduction into the world of disaster prepping. It can start as watching a movie for entertainment, progress into lighthearted what-if, get a little more serious, and then blossom into a full prepping lifestyle. Zombies allow you to talk about prepping with your non-prepping friends without preaching. A little “Hey, did you see last night’s Walking Dead episode? I sure would hate to have drink out of a nasty stream like they did,” could open the door to mentioning how to purify water in a disaster.
In the end it is about credibility. While some people dismiss the validity of prepping, and use any excuse to try to make preppers look stupid, we have the strength of the truth. Prepping is a positive activity. It is about saving, learning skills, using our resources wisely, and being as independent as we can be. This saves valuable resources so that people who need help don’t have to compete with everyone else to get it. As an educator and prepping activist, I cannot afford to pick and choose the tools provided to me. If I can use something to show disaster preparedness in a positive light, I will do so. Yes, the whole zombie thing may be a little off the wall, but one of the most popular shows on TV is about zombies, and there are many parallels to a large scale catastrophic disaster. That makes it useful. Remember, it’s not stupid if it works.
David is a full time emergency manager, trainer, and the author of “Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self Defense” as well as the upcoming guide “52 Prepper Projects for Self Reliance”. You can see his other articles and DIY prepper projects at his website www.tngun.com