I am preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. I get a lot of strange looks for that statement so I don’t go around touting it. I do not have a cache of weapons, nor am I expecting the end of the world. Although, there are many out there that are expecting just that. You might have seen them on Discovery’s Doomsday Preppers or National Geographic’s Doomsday Bunkers. This is not an accurate representation of someone like myself or many others that are preparing. When you delve into the prepping community there is a whole host of different reasons for preparing: government failure, disease outbreak, martial law, society collapse, solar flares, natural disasters. Basically, anything that causes a huge disruption to our ordinary life. Which, in that basic thought process, makes complete sense as to why you might want to prepare. Personally, if I don’t have my phone with me, I feel cut off from the world and wonder how I ever made it without one. I’m working on getting over that. In my opinion, some people take this way too far and are a bit too paranoid. But here I am. A Zombie Prepper. Let’s be clear, I don’t truly believe that there will be a zombie apocalypse. But if you are prepared for such, then you are prepared for anything. This is the category I belong, as do many others.
Zombies have become pop cultures golden child. Everyone is sick of vampires and how they “twinkle”. But why zombies? I’ve read a lot of articles that say zombies are our left over anxieties from WWII, or that it’s because of the economic downturn. I don’t know if I buy that, but I don’t have an alternative answer either. What I do know is that preparing for such a thing seems to be something we can control, and maybe that control is what is really appealing. In times where the future is unsure, we as a species always seek ways to survive. I feel that preparing is a way to take control in a world where you have little in the big scheme of things.
For me it began in college. I lived in Huntsville, Texas when Hurricane Katrina and Rita came through. At the time, I really didn’t see the implications until after it was over. All I was concerned about was if I could still get beer at the grocery store because they were cleaned out by evacuees. And yes you could get beer, and yes I did. But later, I would move to the Houston area and experience Hurricane Ike. I was without power for 5 days. No air conditioning. No fans. No lights. No refrigeration. I was lucky. Many were out for weeks. It was during that time I realized I was not prepared. Afterwards, I slowly collected simple items, things I might need if the lights go out for a day. I felt better. And then I collected things for two days without power. And I kept going. I started reading books on survival. My friends and I started talking. And out of all of this the zombie apocalypse got attached, more than likely due to the film Zombieland. But there was a bigger picture, by trying to imagine survival in such a crazy scenario as zombies, you are preparing for anything.
In Texas, we really have to keep our eyes to the Gulf for looming disaster. We know first hand of the potential destruction and loss of life that nature can inflict. However, as a Texan, we always want to be more prepared and hurricanes be damned. The link, I feel, is during a natural disaster, there is civil unrest, resources flowing into cities slow or halt, and the potential for coming into contact with death increases. Sounds to me a lot like a zombie apocalypse. This movement of preparing for zombies even caught the attention of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which created a zombie prep website. It is nothing more than a natural disaster checklist, all wrapped in zombie lore. It’s a way for us to acknowledge the potential disaster, but at the same time laugh about the reason. Almost a mental joke we play on ourselves, a pre-coping skill, all the while feeling better about our chances of dealing with such a disaster. I liken it to a home security system; you may never need it, but you are more at ease that you have one.
So I may get weird looks from time to time. Some may even have lumped me into the group of crazies. But I will be prepared. I will be the one helping my unprepared neighbors. I will be helping my community respond. I will be the one having a cold beer, and grilling when the hurricane passes. Or if the zombies do come, I’ll probably be doing the same thing but at The Winchester.