The following is a guest post from Kimberly about survival and the recent appearance of zombie survival as the topic of study in college courses.
Zombie Survival Classes Anyone?
Admit it, you’re one of the few zombie apocalypse addicts who, at one point, played “The Walking Dead” roles just so you could feel the rush of being chased by zombies. Right? Or maybe you are one of those avid zombie fans that have read and studied all techniques to survive the zombie armageddon. Well, you don’t have to wait for dead men to start walking, you can now officially be a bachelor of zombie survival!
Last year, the University of California, Irvine announced that a massive open online course titled “Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’” will be offered to students interested in zombie survival. Apparently, this was not the only one. The University of Pennsylvania offers a course titled, “A Zombie’s History of Medicine and Technology”, George Mason University offers Anthropology 314-Zombies, Columbia College Chicago opened the course Zombies in Popular Media, and even Harvard University which offers Zombies, Monsters, and Super Heroes: The Fantastic in 20th Century America. You may think it’s crazy. If so, then the US government is crazy too!
In 2011, the US government drafted the CONPLAN 8888-11 titled “Counter-Zombie Dominance” which documents a strategy to defend the state against a zombie attack. As the document read, “ this plan was not actually designed as a joke.” With all the zombie courses and zombie survival classes, it seems that we are now embracing the idea of having an actual zombie attack. (Tom adds: The actual idea behind CONPLAN 8888 was to outline a viable plan to deal with the fallout from a fictional training scenario that the public perceives as real, similar to the panic experienced by some with the broadcast of ‘The War of The Worlds’ in the 1930’s. Labeling the plan as “Counter-Zombie Dominance” would eliminate confusing the plan with a real location or scenario.) This may sound foolish for most people but for preppers, this is where their expertise comes in.
photo credit: Juliana Coutinho via photopin cc
Preppers 101: Are They Crazy?
You might be thinking: Preppers are indeed crazy! Most people have a prepper stereotype, one who locks all their doors, keeps a huge amount of canned goods, guns, and locks himself in the bunker. However, preppers are people who believe that a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future. With this thinking, preppers stock food, ammunition, and other supplies. In recent years, the number of preppers in the US has exploded to an estimated 3 million. All over the country, people are stockpiling their pantries, planting gardens, utilizing alternative sources of energy, and studying self-defense courses among others. Besides, there’s no harm in getting ready if problems arise, right?
Due to the term itself, the word is exaggerated to mean someone who prepares for the doomsday. But in reality, there are different reasons to be prepared. Some prepare for the collapse of the economy, saying that if the economy burns down, numerous aspects of life such as transportation and communication could be crippled. Others prepare for natural disasters.
Terrorism, killer epidemics, and mass hysteria are other dangers preppers prepare for. Being a prepper does not necessarily mean preparing for a doomsday or a zombie apocalypse. It does not mean you want to experience it as well. Look within your neighborhood, there’s bound to be one person planting crops in her garden, another who keeps a healthy stock of food in the pantry, another keeps a gun inside his home – that’s prepping already. So you see, preppers are not at all crazy because thinking of survival steps and being ready for disasters is being systematic.
Walking, Reading, Writing, Studying With The Dead
You’ve probably seen the show Doomsday Preppers, the show that gives us an insider look of extreme preppers. Well, there’s a new one on air, the Zombie Preppers, which basically showcases people preparing for the zombie apocalypse. For preppers, preparedness is everything. Just like insuring your house or car, why not insure your life with some survival lessons?
In an article published in express.co.uk, National Geographic’s Tim Ralston said, “Prepping is a kind of insurance. You have car insurance, health insurance, life insurance. Why not this?” Another article published in the National Geographic, David Donohue, Franklin County Emergency Services Director said, “Let’s face it – if you’re prepared for zombies, you’re prepared for anything!” Such was the point of the entire Zombie course of UC Irvine, “There will be something for everyone in this course, which will explore concepts as varied as post-disaster nutrition, the foundations of human survival and stereotypes in a Darwinian environment,” UC Irvine professor Zuzana Bic said.
Even the CDC showed support on zombie survival titled “Preparedness 101:Zombie Apocalypse,” which noted that “zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way.” Given that there might be a zombie apocalypse, or even if there won’t be any, arming yourself with survival skills can have huge benefits.
Increase The Prepping Experience
Your prepping experience is incomplete without survival training up your sleeve. Survival training should be the basic training to prepare you for any type of disaster or dangerous situation, starting with basic skills such as finding your way in the woods, building a camp or shelter, looking for trail signs, or gathering food in a different environment. There are numerous videos online and even classes which offer survival skills training.
You should remember that part of the training does not involve actual zombies nor an asteroid actually hitting your home. Therefore, you should practice on your own and regularly. Work on those skills during your free time; go hiking or mountain climbing. Be one with the environment which you intend to be your safe place. If you intend to stay at home, master your house and your neighborhood. Always have a back-up plan. Here are some of the benefits that you can get from survival training:
- It increases the odds of your survival.
- It helps you manage yourself during tough situations, building up your character in dealing with harsh realities.
- You learn to be less dependent on the system.
- You gain a stronger sense of self reliance.
- You also learn which gear and kits to buy among a whole lot of necessary things.
Have you ever pondered upon these points? The world, nature, economy, everything is unfathomable. It may be here one second, and gone the next. People who are building their survival skills to become independent and prepared are not at all crazy. The concept of a zombie apocalypse may be crazy but just like everyone else, you value your safety and even that of your family’s. Now, would you like to take on zombie survival classes? Anyone?