You peek out the window, careful not to be seen. The moon is full, but it’s still dark outside. The streetlights aren’t on – they haven’t been for days. It’s late, and all you want to do is go to sleep. But you can’t. Not now. Not ever. At least, not with those things out there. There is a group of them, nearby, meandering towards your home. You hear the soft sound of fleshy feet, dragging and scraping across the pavement. They hunt at night, searching for anything living to feast upon. They amble along, arms outstretched, moaning and groaning in their brainless way, searching for food. Ironic that brains are what they feed on. Our world has become mildly obsessed with the idea of a zombie apocalypse. In fact, I was looking at some emergency preparedness articles on cdc.gov (try not to act surprised), when I came across something I really didn’t expect to Replace on a government website – Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse. That’s right. Zombies. The government is spending your hard-earned tax dollars to promote zombie preparedness. Here’s a snippet from their Zombie Apocalypse post: “There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.” It looks as if our fictitious fantasies have finally spiraled into something that is near kin to reality. And that’s fantastic. Zombie apocalypses and “real emergencies” (as they say) actually have a lot in common. Let’s look at some of the basics of preparing for zombies. What will you need? Water If a zombie ends up in your water supply (river, lake, etc.), you’re pretty much hosed. I don’t think I would feel comfortable drinking that water even if it was just my brother in the water. But a zombie? Forget it. In reality, our water supply can be cut off like an undead’s arm with a sword. If you have an alternate source of water, however, you’ll be just fine. This goes far beyond zombies, too. This goes for drought, water contamination during floods, or a broken water main in the city. Zombies are terrifying, sure, but being without water during any emergency is just as scary. Having a supply of water – or water filter – is one of the most important steps in survival. Food During a zombie apocalypse, you might be able to get some pretty cheap food at the abandoned grocery store down the block, but you’re also walking into a trap. With only one exit and lots of places for zombies to hide, you’ll be lucky at all to get out with food. And who’s to say it hasn’t been contaminated by zombies already, or molded over or whatnot? Zombies. Tell ya what. They really do make a mess of things. But before the apocalypse comes, what are some more crises that you haven’t thought of yet where your food storage could come in handy? What about a tornado taking out your grocery store? Truck drivers going on strike could jack up food prices – or keep food from coming in at all. If you lose your job tomorrow, will you have food storage to live off until you can Replace something else? Accidents can also happen (not just when running from zombies) that can make you lose work for an extended period of time. Will you have food ready for those unexpected times? First Aid Kit Look. If you get bit by a zombie, there’s not much I can do for you. Sorry. But if you’re running from a zombie and need to be patched up, I’ve got you covered. First aid kits are essential to have around. They contain those all-important tools to hold you together when all your body wants to do is fall apart (but don’t worry, you’re not a zombie yet). Patching up cuts, scrapes, and other minor injuries can be a game changer in any emergency. Don’t leave home without one. Anyway, you get the picture. You can go to the CDC website for a more in-depth list of some useful items to use in a zombie apocalypse…or other emergency. Are you prepared for a zombie apocalypse? If you are, you’ll most likely have everything you need for anything else – earthquake, flood, power outage, job loss – you name it. So if you are prepared, I salute you. Now, lastly – Ow, hey! I think something just bit me! Ug. I feel funny. I think… I… … Braaiinnss. Braaaaiiiinnnnss! How are you prepared for a zombie apocalypse? Happy Halloween!