Friday, November 30, 2012

What the Zombie Apocalypse Means To You

Zombies - these days, they're everywhere. Not real zombies, of course, but the idea of zombies has found its way into just about everything: zombie survival kits, zombie books, zombie clothing, zombie movies and TV shows, zombie pepper spray . . . . even Gerber has made a line of zombie-themed blades. And the gun industry is no exception, as we have zombie targets, zombie bullets, zombie-themed guns, and companies such as EOTech have created zombie-specific red dot sights and other firearms equipment. It seems that people just love the idea of the undead rambling around looking to eat the brains of the living.

Zombies - why won't they just die?

Personally, I could do without all of this zombie nonsense, but it certainly does serve a purpose, and that purpose is more helpful than you may think. When the zombie craze spilled over into the gun world, I was dismayed, since I felt that it reduced the seriousness of firearms in the eyes of some people and relaxed the high level of responsibility that goes hand-in-hand with firearm ownership and usage. And while I do still somewhat believe that to be true, I've also seen something that has surprised me somewhat: the zombie craze has gotten more people into the shooting sports, and in a good way. The concept of a 'zombie apocalypse' has actually been a move in the right direction for many citizens, as they scramble to buy up and learn to use survival supplies that they normally would've never thought to own except when they were re-labeled with the word 'zombie.'

It's not hard these days to find a 'zombie survival kit' which could include everything from normal survival supplies to sharp instruments and tools with which to destroy a zombie's brain - or seriously help you in a real emergency. Like many survival kits, those that are zombie related aren't necessarily the best choice for every situation, and often include items of poor quality and things that you really wouldn't actually need - but they are better than nothing, which is what a lot of people had before all this talk of a zombie apocalypse.

 One of many 'zombie survival kits' - better than nothing!

While there may never be a real zombie apocalypse, the benefits of endorsing greater preparedness and self-reliance amongst the general citizenry are very real indeed. Even the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has gotten on board with a 'Zombie Preparedness' section on their website, in which the CDC director, Dr. Ali Khan, says, "If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack." Dr. Khan certainly has a good point, as the zombie apocalypse would certainly reduce access to food, water, medical supplies, fuel, tools, and means of self-defense, all of which would also be limited by just about any natural disaster or civil emergency. And in the zombie apocalypse, you've got to be able to carry your supplies, as you may have to leave your home. The same can almost always be said in a real natural disaster, such as a wildfire or hurricane, where you may need to leave your home for several days at a time, or maybe forever. Consider the most recent disaster that our country has faced, which was the devastating power of Hurricane Sandy. So many of our neighbors were forced to flee their homes, some returning home to nothing. I sincerely hope that many of them thought ahead and had some basic survival and comfort supplies, as well as important documents and family photos, stored away in a pack or bag that they were able to take with them.

A neighborhood hit by the recent Hurricane Sandy - a little
preparedness can go a long way here.

The zombie apocalypse ideas sweeping the nation certainly annoy some people, and most definitely encourage some of the weirdos to be even weirder; but it can also help us all to take a look at our emergency preparations and find the holes where we could do better. Do we really have the tools and supplies to survive a disastrous event? Do we have the training and skills to keep ourselves and our loved ones alive and safe? And if we had to leave our home, for whatever reason, can we carry the essential equipment needed and do we have the physical fitness to get the job done?

Whether or not you buy into the zombie apocalypse doesn't really matter. What does matter is that considering a major event, even something as silly as zombies, can do great things for your own mindset and preparations. As for us here at Independence Training, we're not too worried about zombies, but we're always striving to help people become more confident and self-reliant, whether for the zombie apocalypse or an actual real-life emergency. That is the way of the Sheepdog Lifestyle - to learn something new each day and to strive to become a better person each day. So once I finish typing this, I'm off to buy one of these, and then spend the afternoon practicing my hack-n-slash skills:

Gerber Gator Machete Pro - for hacking brush, large vegetables, or the undead.

Stay Aware, Stay Safe, and Train Hard.

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