Zombies scare me, but I’m compelled to write about those pesky little flesh eaters. Why? They represent us! Yes, mankind at its lowest with no light at the end of the tunnel. Read the newspapers…we’re not that far from creating an apocalypse, our own extinction. Can we survive a breakdown in civilization? Hurricane Sandy showed how false those illusions were. We’re not the top dog on Planet Earth’s Epoch Flea Show. My father, a survivor of the Great Depression, was so traumatized by that era that he warned his children to be ready for anything. I fought him tooth and nail, arguing, “Dad, really! How could the Government fail us?” Then Hurricane Katrina happened! Sadly, when the proverbial dog doo hits the fan, we’re toast. So what do you do?
Food, water and shelter, I have enough food and water to last for two months, but eventually, you’re going to run out of clean water. Do you know how to purify water? Stocking up on canned and other non-perishables is good, but what about heat and medications? I have two generators, but what good will they be if there’s no fuel? Will Drug Stores stay opened during the apocalypse? Ha! Do you see where I’m going …scary, right? And what if some bad guys want your food and water or a gaggle of stray zombies are looking for a quick snack and you’re it? I believe in owning a gun or two for protection or to hunt for food. I’m not talking assault rifles, but a shotgun and a hand gun like a Smith and Wesson 9 MM, plus a Katana, for those pesky flesh eaters, just like Michonne (Danai Gurira) has in “The Walking Dead.” More on zombies after the jump.
I was watching the History Channel’s show on zombies and the Zombie Squad was mentioned. Curious about the ZS, I checked out their website and immediately applied for membership. Here are the goals of this worthwhile group: To educate the public about the importance of personal preparedness and self-reliance in case of Earthquakes, Floods, Terrorism, or zombie outbreaks. Focusing on the importance of emergency preparation, the members of the Zombie Squad work with local communities around the globe to teach what is needed to survive any long term disaster… like Hurricane Sandy. They support and work along with relief organizations and charities.
The Zombie Squad Website, features instructions on how to sterilize water, make and operate a CB radio, what is needed to bug in (your home, apartment, etc.) or bug out (leaving your home to find a safer place to stay). Their videos (some very funny) give instructions on all of the above. Using the theory of a zombie apocalypse, they help you prepare for all kinds of disasters, especially when you’re on your own without a working government to come to the rescue. Think of the characters on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and how Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the group could have used a “bug out bag.”
I’m a member of ZSC: 021, and although I’m unable to get to seminars or camp outs, I keep updated with the news on their forums. Michael Schmidt, the Zombie Squad leader for ZSC: 021, has graciously agreed to an interview. Thank you, Michael.
How did you get involved with ZS?
I was having a discussion with a friend about medical supplies that we keep in our vehicle medical kit/crash kit. This conversation grew into a larger disaster preparation discussion. He mentioned Zombie Squad to me and I figured why not check it out. I was impressed by the volume of information that was there. It helped me to rework some of my personal preps, and kits. I continued to read the forum and learn, and eventually I began to post as well.
What inspired you to start your own chapter?
I started posting to the ZSC: 002 chapter sub-forum (formerly serving PA, NY, NJ) about trying to get a meet and greet scheduled. We were able to get some people out to a few meet and greets, but never really seemed to get the momentum to get the chapter reestablished (it had gone inactive before I had joined). Myself, Rhi, and Docsavage (now MIA) decided that since it only takes three people to establish a chapter, we would run a charity event and get one started. We ran a food drive and submitted the necessary paperwork and the rest is history.
How do you and your chapter prepare for worst case scenarios?
I prepare for worst case scenarios by making sure that I have my basic needs covered: food, water, shelter, medical kit, emergency communications gear and BOB (Bug Out Bag) ready. Every scenario is different from Hurricane Sandy, to a major snow event, to the earthquake that struck our area last year (2011 VA 5.8 magnitude); to something as simple as your heater being broke for a few days. If you cover the basics you should have what you need to help yourself in larger events. As a chapter ZSC: 021 (Zombie Squad Chapter: 021) tries to share our individual knowledge and experiences with our fellow members. Whether we are on a camping trip or meeting at a local diner for lunch, we always try to share our collective knowledge base with all those interested. Also we have set up a chapter wide emergency alert system so that we can stay in touch and check in on members in an area affected by a disaster.
What training or expertise do your members bring to the group?
ZSC: 021 members have wide and varied backgrounds from the aerospace industry, law enforcement, emergency medical technicians, those in the construction trades, to even retired grandmothers. We all bring a wide and far reaching set of skills from both our professional and personal lives to share with each other.
Thank you, Michael, and now our readers are ready to battle some zombies!