Survival Lessons Learned From Watching The Walking Dead

Walking Dead, Emergency Survival, 2012, Zombie Apocalypse

Survival Lessons Learned From  Watching The Walking Dead

Don't get me wrong, I love The Walking Dead TV show on AMC, but as I watch some of the most obvious and painful mistakes, I wonder why the writers would make the characters so stupid. Creative license? Better drama?

The Zombie apocalypse happened. Walkers are everywhere. The world is now their very own, 24-hour garage sale.

So, with the population of the actual living being so thin,  and supplies so plentiful, why do they do the things they do?

If there's ever a Zombie Apocalypse (or pandemic or other disaster), here are some of the lessons I learned from watching The Walking Dead:

1. Distracting Walkers.
Walkers have the ultimate case of ADD (attention deficit disorder). They're single minded and easily distracted, not to mention intellectually challenged (that's not an ADD component, but it's a bonus with Walkers).  So, given the problem of having 50 Walkers between you and some supplies you need, an exit, or a loved one, what do you do?  I suggest carrying around a case of firecrackers. Did you come across an unexpected horde of Zombies blocking your path?  Attach a string of M-80's to an arrow, shoot it a hundred yards away. Bazinga! You have an instant Walker distraction.

2. Communications.
This should be a no-brainer.  Pick your favorite episode where the characters go walking through the woods, driving into town, or searching for a lost little girl. With the world as your own personal 24-hour garage sale, why, oh why, would anyone, ever, go without a walkie-talkie or 2-way radio?  You drive to town looking for supplies, or a character that's looking for a bar to get wasted in, why not keep in touch with that CB radio? They clearly have several ways to recharge batteries - a car charger, a generator, or pick up a solar charger at your local Zombie-Mart Store.

3. Transportation.
Again, with the theory that the world is your personal 24-hour garage sale, why would anyone drive an old, unreliable Winnebago, when you could just pick up a more reliable motor home at any town, retirement community, or camping ground? You could probably get a good deal, certainly no money down.  Also, why would you drive anything less than a SUV or large 4-wheel drive? Drive something big enough to run over a few annoying Walkers if they get in the way. Gas is plentiful. If you're really, really motivated, learn to fly a helicopter or plane. That's why they made Microsoft Flight Sim wasn't it?

4. Finding a place to call Home.
The farmhouse they're living in now isn't bad. It's peaceful, there's plenty of open space to see Walkers coming, and there's a couple of hot Farmer's Daughters. However, given a large number of Walkers, or a handful of living Bad Guy's, it's completely and totally indefensible.  They need to find a National Guard armory, a large police station, a prison, or somewhere that has a large fenced in compound, with 10 foot chain-link fences and barb-wire.  They've seen a few places like this in the series.

5. Weapons
Ok, I get it, they're afraid to fire the guns unnecessarily because the noise will attract more Walkers. Daryl has the right idea, use a crossbow.  But if you're not good with a crossbow, then I have one word for you: SILENCERS.  They seem to use knives quite a bit to dispatch Walkers. This is messy, lets them get too close, and carries the risk of contamination.  How about a sword? A nice Katana,  or if you're into showy excess, a Highlander replica sword.  Otherwise, collect all the weapons and ammunition you can possibly carry, and fill every vehicle. Learn to use them. Learn to use them ALL.  Here's another thought: Assault Weapons

Weapons caveat: We've said it before, and we'll say it again for the sake of safety: Never, ever, use a flame thrower on a zombie. The only thing worse than being chased by a zombie, is being chased by a flaming zombie.

6. Contamination.
When our heroes dispatch a zombie by plunging a knife into their skull, there seems to be an excess of zombie blood squirting out.  When the Walkers fall over dead (or more dead) on top of them, they're covered in Walker Goo. When they use a board, yard implement or baseball bat, they're splattered in Walker Goo.  It stands to reason that if a Walker bite can change someone into a Walker, so can other bodily fluids. This makes a good argument for using weapons with a range longer than your arm.

7. Fitness and the Zombie Apocalypse.
Let's face it, not many of us are fit enough to run for miles while being chased by a horde of hungry, pissed off Walkers. If your 150 pounds overweight, don't go on a mission with a very fit, homicidal manic like Shane. He might just shoot you in they leg so you can be the sacrificial zombie meal while he makes a quick getaway.  Remember, in Zombieland (my other favorite zombie movie), Rule # 1 is Cardio.  Remember this: You don't have to outrun the zombies, you only have to outrun the person your with.  In a real world disaster scenario, you may have to walk for miles or even days.

This is certainly not a definitive list, but it's a good place to start.

Gratuitous 1600 x 1200 wallpaper of Sarah Wayne Callis
who plays Lori Grimes on The Walking Dead
(click to enlarge)

Sarah Wayne Callies, Wallpaper, Lori Grimes, Walking Dead

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