We’ve all shouted (or wanted to shout) at the screen of a b-rate horror movie when a character makes an obviously bad choice. Don’t go up the stairs! Don’t open that door! Don’t get in that car! But many of the bad decisions in zombie movies and TV shows can also be thought of as examples of bad (or nonexistent) preparedness planning. As a celebration of this year’s World Zombie Day, we’re using a few of these tropes as teachable moments for good preparedness habits and practices.
Instead of: Going it alone
Have a: Plan to meet up and a way to inform others of your whereabouts
Although a character’s dramatic split from the core post-apocalypse group provides for stirring narrative in a film or a TV show, it usually ends badly. A good preparedness strategy includes a plan to communicate and regroup with family and friends during a disaster. Any good preparedness plan should also include two places for you and your family to meet: just outside the home for sudden disasters, like a house fire, and outside the neighborhood, for disasters that may involve evacuations. If you should get separated, the Red Cross provides communication platforms like Safe and Well, available online and by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, to help those separated from loved ones get back with their group.
Instead of: Getting caught empty-handed
Have a: Preparedness kit specialized for your family and area
It never fails- the zombies find a way into an area the characters think is a safe zone, and everyone runs off with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Again, this is poor planning. The Red Cross offers many helpful guidelines for survival kits that should be on-hand as well as kits that can be taken with you in an evacuation situation. But it is important to consider the specific needs of your family and the additional contingencies that your local environment may present when building your own kit.
Instead of: Getting infected
Have a: Good understanding of your risk for illnesses like the flu, and get vaccinated if necessary
Zombie movie characters seem to have a real knack for finding themselves in situations where they’re vulnerable to infection. While the transmission of flu may not be quite as dynamic as the contraction of whatever virus that causes transformation into the flesh-eating undead, a good preparedness plan should include considerations for staying healthy in the case of any pandemic. A wealth of tips for avoiding infectious disease can be found at the Web site for the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response.
And finally, instead of panicking, be prepared. A preparedness plan and keeping a well-stocked survival kit not only offer resources in the event of a disaster; they offer peace-of-mind. And in any uncertain situation, whether it involves floods or reanimated corpses, that may be the most important supply to keep on hand.