In the silly spirit of Halloween, I took a class on Zombie Preparedness. Along with recommendations on which machete might best protect my life, I walked away with real life preparedness tips.
We were encouraged to consider the term “zombie” as a metaphorical zombie, a threat in the form of a natural disaster or pandemic, but not limited to an uprising of the undead.
I’m not one to spend mental energy on doomsday prep, but Zombie Preparedness did cause me to evaluate my overall readiness for the unexpected. In a situation of a metaphorical zombie (most imaginable to me, a blizzard, tornado or pandemic), it is possible to be confined at home, potentially without electricity or running water.
If the metaphorical zombie apocalypse had me homebound, could I live for a day out of what is in my cupboard? I evaluated my cupboard and surveyed what sustenance could be found. Sadly, without the aid of electricity, I could not live comfortably out of my cupboard. I found: Tuna, two cans of crushed tomatoes, a jar of chipotle peppers, some pistachios, pine nuts, and enough chia seeds to cause an issue if there is no running water. I could get by for a meal, but not an entire day. Guess it’s time for me to get to the grocery store.
Stock-up on foods that don’t require more than a can opener and a spoon to consume. Choose foods that have a higher nutritional value such as canned chili over canned pasta. Replace any food that finds its way into your regular meals; after all, if I have canned lo mein vegetables, it’s probably going to make its way into lo mein at some point.
Another situation to consider is that a metaphorical zombie apocalypse may cause you to be evacuated from your home. It could be unclear how long it may be before you’re able to access assistance from community resources like the Red Cross, or how long it may be that you could be without convenience services like access to a 24/7 drug store. In this situation, you want to be able to leave quickly and smartly.
If I needed to leave my home in 15 minutes, could I? I didn’t need to run a practice drill, as advised by my instructors, to know that the answer to this question is, “No!” Some might call me a high maintenance human being, and I would not be offended by that. Leaving home on any given day involves an unorganized scramble searching for a layering sweater, hunting down snacks, and if I’m lucky, the pre-packed gym bag makes it out the door for me. That’s just a normal day, without a care in the world of a zombie.
Organization in routine daily life may help save minutes when time is of the essence. Keep medications stored together so that they can be quickly located. Create a personal hygiene pack to have on hand. Include things like diapers, tampons, antibiotic ointment, band-aids or contact lens solution. Include any items that would be of discomfort to you if you did not have immediate access to them while away from home. Keep an in-case-of-emergency kit in your car; include non-perishable snacks and clothing, or a blanket that you can layer up in.
Now, have I gone home and done anything about this since Zombie Preparedness class? No. Who wants to buy things you don’t intend to use right away? This might be an organization strategy best worked toward over time. Stash away an item when you find a buy-one-get-one-free sale, pick up an extra can good in the efforts of stocking the pantry on each grocery trip. And of course, make sure you are up-to-date on your zombie bite vaccines.
Kate N., MS, CEAP, joined Empathia in 2005 as an EAP Counselor, then became a Performance Specialist in 2012. Kate has a master’s degree in Educational Psychology and is devoted to helping individuals determine how to make lasting changes. Prior to joining Empathia, she worked in the social work field as a case manager for Child Protective Services. Kate enjoys baking, yoga and escaping into the woods of Northern Wisconsin.