SURVIVING THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE - Are you and your family ready for a mass emergency?

  • Published
  • By Bill Morrow
  • Chief of the safety career field management team at Headquarters Air Force Personnel Center at Rando
There's a lot you can pick up from reading contemporary fiction. Take zombies as an example. Zombies have been a part of pulp and movie fiction for longer than most of us have been alive, and they keep coming back, no pun intended. A quick "Google" will yield endless pages of information dedicated to the stuff.

In virtually any scenario from Dawn of the Living Dead to World War Z, what we find is that there is a general lapse by the population to be prepared. As slow as they are, the zombies will eventually catch up, and the victim is the next buffet.

This is where safety preparedness comes into play, whether we're talking zombie apocalypse, a camping trip or wilderness exploration, a tornado, hurricane, snowstorm, terrorist attack or general oopsie around the house. Our level of preparedness in the general population can be pretty lame. For the uninitiated, it's primarily because we have this "it's not going to happen to me" kind of attitude. Did you see the movie 127 hours? Well the hero made several mistakes in taking to the wilderness, and I bet he wasn't planning on having to amputate his own arm!

Back to preparedness, in Air Education and Training Command and around the Air Force, next to the commander the most valuable stick in the safety bag is the ability to educate and inform. Season after season, safety will push various campaigns. Your geography and season will dictate what you need to do: Are you in the Sunbelt or above the snowline? Is it hurricane season, or does the surrounding area burn to the ground every year? Have supplies ready -- extra food, water, clothing, tools, first aid kits, etc. These are the kind of preparations you can establish over time, not as last-minute panic purchases. The supply chain for the first three of these can easily be disrupted, so garnering supplies is a must.

When we talk fire safety and evacuation, there's always a designated meeting point; this location can be used for multiple emergencies. Sit down with your family, and come up with an emergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call. You also can implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake or other emergency. Everyone knowing where to go is more important than contacting them. Any natural disaster may disrupt telephone communication, or the lines may be so jammed by everyone else trying to find family that you couldn't get through. Consider picking two meeting places, one close to your home and one farther away.

We could go off the deep end with this zombie theme -- what other supplies to take, the merits of an aluminum bat over a wooden Willey Mays slugger. But the reality of it is, if you're prepared for an emergency, zombie or natural disaster, you're already in a better place to survive the emergency ... and keep your brains intact.