According to Allen Baler, founder of Food4Patriots, the zombie mania that’s taken over American culture could teach us a thing or two about how to prepare for disaster. With the widespread popularity of shows like The Walking Dead and a slew of hit zombie movies like World War Z and 28 Days Later, there’s no denying that zombies are a consistent theme, and maybe there is a good explanation for this phenomenon.
Zombies are a hot topic among cultural theorists, who have presented countless explanations for the fascination. But perhaps one reason consumers are so obsessed with them is because of the interest in apocalyptic scenarios and the idea of surviving disaster. While the end of the world may be far off, natural disasters, pandemics, and economic disaster are real possibilities. If we prepare ourselves as if there is an impending zombie attack, we’ll be ready for whatever may happen.
“Zombies have taught us to prepare for the worst. Although it is fiction, it shows the general public worst case scenarios, and that they need to be prepared for them,” explains Baler, who owns Food4Patriots, a company that provides long-term food survival packets to prepare for disaster situations.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has embraced the zombie theme as a way of communicating the need for general disaster preparedness. They created a zombie survival guide and published an illustrated Zombie Novella – and the tactic has seemed to work.
“As it turns out what first began as a tongue in cheek campaign to engage new audiences with preparedness messages has proven to be a very effective platform. We continue to reach and engage a wide variety of audiences on all hazards preparedness via Zombie Preparedness,” the CDC website claims.
Dr. Ali Khan, the CDC director, made a valid point when he said, “If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack.”
In most popular zombie films, novels, and TV shows, the story revolves around the lead characters’ ability to use proper tools, shelter, and tactical strategy in order to overcome the zombie threat. Zombies seem impossible to defeat, and yet the protagonists are almost always able to survive. The idea is that if you prepare for the worst, you are giving yourself the best chance of survival against any disastrous situation.
As part of its Zombie Novella, the CDC offers a list of the vital items to include in an “All-Hazards Emergency Kit”. Each kit should include one gallon per day of water for each individual, as well as non-perishable food for three days. When it comes to long-term food storage, there are certain specifications that it must have. Opt for canned foods, dry mixes, and other items that don’t need refrigeration. Make sure you have proper utensils, such as a can opener, if necessary.
As Allen Baler explains, Food4Patriots creates pre-packaged kits with survival food that can last 25 years. Packaged in storage totes that are water-proof and secure, they offer a long-term survival solution that can save lives in the face of any disaster – whether you’re holing up against zombies or escaping a natural disaster.
As our favorite zombie-fighting heroes have shown us, you need more than just food and water to deal with disaster situations. A flashlight, map, extra batteries, radio, first aid kit, and multipurpose tools like pliers and scissors are crucial. Make sure to include vital items like medications, sanitary items, and any medical supplies that you might need.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends equipping your home, vehicle, and workplace with adequate emergency supplies. At home, your kit should have at least three days of food, water, and supplies. A work kit should include supplies adequate for 24 hours. Vehicle kits might include essentials like jumper cables, flashlights, warm clothes, blankets, flares, phone chargers, first aid kits, and food items.
You can never be too prepared for disaster, according to Baler. His company has also helped victims who have already endured such situations. Food4Patriots recently donated 100 kits and water filters to Little Rock, Arkansas where a destructive tornado season wreaked havoc and caused millions of dollars of damage.
“We spend a lot of time and effort convincing people to prepare for disasters, so the least we can do is help out when Mother Nature unleashes her fury,” Baler said, as reported by AccessWire.
Food4Patriots has helped thousands of Americans prepare for disaster, having sold more than 13 million of its long-term survival meals. The high-quality food is easy to prepare and just needs boiling water. LifeStraw, its water-sanitizing system, can remove 99.999 percent of bacteria and parasites found in water. Vital tools like these are making disaster preparation possible.
While a zombie apocalypse is unlikely to ever occur, planning out how to respond to such a scenario continues to be a topic of interest for many. Allen Baler, Food4Patriots founder, suggests that anyone can be properly prepared for the worst-case-scenario if they use a bit of ingenuity and planning.
Carly Fiske contributed to this article.