Zombies have become very trendy over the course of the last 10 years. Lots of preppers (myself included) use the possibility of a “zombie apocalypse” as the basis for their prepping. Other people look at us like we’re just plain stupid, but here’s some biting reality for you — we’re already living in the zombie apocalypse! Ok, maybe not apocalypse, but maybe the “age of the zombie” is a more appropriate term. Allow me to explain, and please accept my sincerest apology if this turns into a “rant”.
What is this “Zombie Apocalypse”?
Look around you when you’re in a public place. How many people are glued to their smart phones and tablets? I’m betting at least 60%. I’m sure that number is probably on the low side, too. These people are playing games, texting, surfing the internet, listening to their music, watching videos and movies — anything but interacting with the people around them. It’s pretty disheartening.
It’s gotten so bad they’re making “texting gloves” now so you can use your smart phone while you’re outside in the cold. I really don’t know what to say about this. If you’re out in the cold wearing gloves, can’t you just take your gloves off to send a text? Are you really texting that much at a time when you’re out in the cold to warrant the need for a set of “texting gloves”? I don’t know. Maybe I’m missing something.
The “smart phone / tablet” reference is just an example. There are many more things that take up our attention — video games, television, THE INTERNET (keep reading, though). My point is that most people in today’s society would just assume sit in the same room texting one another rather than talking. Why? Are we that addicted to technology? Is the virtual world that much more interesting than the REAL world?
Because of the “technology addiction”, people have forgotten what’s most important – PEOPLE! Folks are too worried about themselves and their technology today to be concerned with interacting with the people around them. They are more worried about having the latest phone, the best game system, and the biggest TVs. They are becoming (or have already become) “zombies”. There, I said it. In the movies and on TV, people are turned into zombies by receiving a bite from another zombie. In this “zombie apocalypse”, that zombie bite is incurred when someone with a better phone than you shows off. That makes you want that phone. You need to have it! It’s like a zombie wanting flesh and brains — you must have it to survive!
Here’s the kicker, though — the zombies become more zombie-like by trudging off to work a job that they (most likely) hate every day just to get enough money to buy the newest gadget to perpetuate their zombieness. (Yeah, I just made up a new word… use it if you like. lol)
How to Survive During the Apocalypse
Let’s get something straight — I am not saying that having a smart phone, TV and internet makes us all zombies, but it definitely enables us to become zombies if we allow ourselves to get wrapped up in it all. In fact, these pieces of technology can actually become part of your preps! The television will be a great source of information in a time of crisis. If the cable and satellites go out, pop in a movie to keep the kids calm and entertained while you take action. Your phone is naturally the fastest means of communication with your family and friends. The internet acts as communication, information and entertainment. The thing is, you have to teach your “prepper network” to use them sparingly so they don’t become zombies, too.
While the techno-zombies are worried about “keeping up with the Jones’”, they’re failing to prepare for disaster. As we have all seen over the last decade, disaster can strike at any time in any form — 9/11, Katrina, anthrax letters, D.C. sniper, global warming, global financial meltdown, bird flu, swine flu, SARS, Fukushima, Ebola — the list goes on and on. If any one of those were to hit on a major scale nation-wide, would you be prepared? Would your friends and family be ready? Would your neighbors? Friends don’t let friends become zombies.
I would guess that you probably know people — probably a LOT of people — that have the mentality that it will never happen to them and their family, am I right? They are not prepared and have little to no real survival instinct. They probably also have delusions of grandeur, so they think if something DID happen, other people would work it out for them. THESE are the zombies YOU need to worry about. They will be the ones who come to you when SHTF wanting you to take them in. They will expect you to care for them, give them food and water, and keep them safe from impending doom.
But that is not your problem, though, is it? I mean, if you have people that are helping you prepare, and preparing for themselves, and you band together in a time of crisis, that’s one thing. But when you have people who are just outright sponging and leeching off of you and your preps, that takes away from you and your family. How long will that last? If you have 6 months worth of preps for your family of 5, how long will it last if 2 more families of 5 come to join you without adding to the preps? Not even the measly 2 months that the math would seem to suggest.
How to Stop the “Zombie Apocalypse”
Isn’t all of this just a little bit overboard? Maybe, but it is true in a general sense. Take note of the people around you — family, friends and neighbors. Talk to them about their plan of action in a time of crisis. The ones that say they plan on coming to your house because they know you have to together are the ones you need to watch out for the most. You should take the initiative to talk to them. Help to train them and teach them how to be prepared on their own so that if they DO come to you, they will be bringing their preps with them, as well.
Ok. Let’s be serious. In order to help prevent this whole thing from getting too much out of hand, what can you do?
Limit your time with technology. Figure out just how much time you spend attached to technology. How much time are you texting, playing games, surfing the net and watching TV? Then, just with any other addiction, cut back. If you’re spending 6 hours a day with technology, cut it back to 4 hours. Make an honest attempt to limit the amount of time you spend watching TV. Find a couple of good shows and forget about the rest. Instead of playing that video game until you get to the next level, set a time limit. Use that time to play a board game with your family or read a good book!
Get outside and practice your survival skills more frequently. I would just about bet if you got outside more often and worked with your hands and your mind, you would enjoy it much more than being wrapped up in a video game. Make life your video game and your soul will smile! If you’re the type person that plays a video game until you reach the next level or the next checkpoint, you can definitely perfect a survival skill. Have you learned to make a primitive fire yet? Take the time to practice! …and don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong! The more comfortable you are with a skill, the more adept you’ll be when the time comes that you actually have to use it.
Teach a friend how to be prepared. This may be the keystone to the whole “apocalypse” situation here. Not only are you taking them away from their technology for a while, but you’re also ensuring that if an actual SHTF disaster happens, they are ready to deal with it instead of showing up on your door step. You could even host “prepper parties” for your friends at your house. Have them come with specific “required materials” and teach them what to do with them. Have them bring some kind of string, take them outside, collect some sticks, and teach them how to build a primitive fire! Now you’ve taken that skill you have been practicing so diligently and taught it to someone else. Challenge them to do it until they can’t get it wrong. After a while, it will become like a competitive game for you all. Who can learn a new skill first, who can make a fire faster, who can set up a shelter in under 5 minutes — use your imagination and break the chains of zombie slavery!
I personally believe that we need to gather near us the ones who are prepared. We also need to have additional preps for those unprepared, but not enough that they become leeches. We either take them in and put them to work, or we give them a 72-hour kit and send them on their way. That may sound harsh, but if they’re not willing to pull their weight, they will only sink us all. Get your house in order and find low-impact ways to convey info on how you did it with others. When it comes to changing behavior, the harder we push, the harder they will push back. If we’re not careful, we can actually divide friends and family much worse than the technology.