Preparing for the Pending Zombie Apocalypse

At least once a year, (more so if I happen upon a traumatic headline or read a book based on the Holocaust or something), I mentally freak out and start going down the Prepper rabbit hole and worry about the zombie apocalypse and completely go nuts Googling for random survivor gear.

I have posted about it at least once or twice before. And though I know that this irrational response to finding seed banks, buying shotguns, having a year’s supply of water, and purchasing survivor gear is merely my control freak’s way of coping with fear and uncertainty, I also know that it is important to be prepared given that we live in Earthquake country.

However, one thing my deep dive into the Prepper craziness has taught me is that all this stuff is completely overwhelming and that very overwhelmingness causes many of us to do nothing.

For instance, all I have is an Emergency supply kit for a family of four that I bought off of Costco.com. I also have some water purifying straws (affiliate link) that I broke down and bought when they were a lightning deal one day on Amazon. I also have some water supplies, but other than that, my stuff is all over the house in random places.

Plus, I am worried that I am buying redundant items and wasting money, but you know what? Sometimes, I think it’s good just to have it and buy it again, even knowing that it’s redundant.

So, I’m curious, dear readers.

1) How many of you have emergency kits/supplies for all family members?
2) Do you also have Bug Out Bags?
3) Do you have bare minimum of things or have you gone all Survivalist?
4) How often do you swap out your supplies?
5) Do you own a backup generator?
6) Where do you store your stuff?
7) Do you have comparable bags/supplies in your cars?

Many of you who are friends on Facebook will recognize the questions. But I would love to hear from you again (as well as if you’re interested in me posting a series on my findings).

I have decided that putting together everything all at once will overwhelm me entirely. (Although, really. When am I ever just whelmed?) So instead, I am going to make sure I do something emergency supply/kit related once a month. (See? I apply Dr. T’s advice!)

Would this be something that would interest you as a reader? And would it be helpful? (Since hopefully, it would also inspire/goad/provide an easily actionable item for you?)

Let me know what you think. (Yes, yes. Super short post today. But truthfully, if I get started down this road too long I will just panic.)

Preparing My Kids for the Zombie Apocalypse

I don’t think I truly understood fear until I had children. I mean, my life was full of fears before I had kids. In fact, I was hemmed in by them until I slowly started to dismantle them, one by one. (An on-going process, to be sure.) But the all-gripping, irrational terror and helpless type of fear? That soared to new heights as soon as Cookie Monster came into the picture.

Perhaps my penchant for post-apocalyptic fiction fanned the flames, but really, any news story relating to natural disasters and small children would add to my “crazy” pile. I know I’ve written about this before thanks to a brief and completely non-harrowing stint stuck in an elevator. But it bears repeating. Or rather, it’s been on my mind lately because of a LifeHacker article on making a Go Bag (aka “Bug Out Bag”), the recent earthquakes in SoCal, and a few discussions on Facebook (spurred on by me, of course).

So, since I’ve written before about Go Bags and disaster preparedness (albeit, briefly), I won’t rehash that ground here. (Or maybe, I will. I’ll just keep you in suspense until the end.) Rather, today I want to write about all the classes I’m going to make my children take so that they will be prepared in the future.

Hapa Papa thinks I might be taking it a bit too far, but since my primary job is to raise my kids and keep them safe, it seems perfectly logical to me. Of course, Hapa Papa and I should take these classes as well since we really can’t rely on our four and two year olds to do this if the inevitable zombie apocalypse comes before the kids are old enough to amass all this knowledge. (Incidentally, Hapa Papa thinks that if I am serious about all this end of the world stuff that we should own guns. Several guns. I just. I can’t. It taps into even MORE fears of my kids being idiots and killing each other accidentally.)

So, here are, in no particular order, a bunch of things/classes I want my kids to learn in order to be useful in a disaster situation (as well as be all around BAMFs):

1) Wilderness survival class (hopefully this includes what plants and animals are safe to eat – otherwise, that’s another class)

2) Natural disaster preparedness

3) Being in scouts (someone has to teach them camping, etc.)

4) Martial arts of some sort (eventually, Krav Maga because Israelis/Mossad are the BAMFs of all BAMFs)

5) Gun safety and training

6) Orienteering (perhaps this is covered in scouts and wilderness survival)

7) Urban survival training (this is the most likely scenario, anyway)

8) CPR and general first aid

Of course, this list isn’t all-inclusive. I’m sure there are disasters and scenarios that I can’t conceive of or remember on a gloomy Monday morning. but that’s a nice start. However, the likelihood of needing this knowledge is low (other than CPR and first aid). More likely, what is most helpful at present are the following:

1) Knowing my and Hapa Papa’s cel phone numbers and home address.

2) Knowing which strangers are OK to approach when lost (eg: police officers, mommies with children in tow, people in uniform)

3) Knowing which foods they are not allowed to eat due to food allergies

4) How to swim. (Admittedly, much harder than all the rest to learn considering Cookie Monster’s first and last swimming lesson resulted in him screaming his brains out in my ear for 20-30 minutes.)

Crap. We are currently at 25%. I better get going. Hmmm… better yet. Maybe I can convince Cookie Monster’s preschool teacher to teach them 1 and 2 instead. Heehee. Excellent!

Alright. Anything I missed? Tell me in the comments. No need to tell me I’m crazy. I already know that.

My Irrational Fears

Last Sunday, all three kids and I got stuck in an elevator on the empty campus of our local community college. Even though we were stuck for at most a few minutes, I had to seriously refrain from freaking out in front of the kids. If I had snacks or water with me, I would’ve been a little more OK. But I didn’t. All I could think of was my kids and I being stuck in the elevator for hours and them starving and crying and me having to breastfeed all THREE of them. As it was, the elevator got unstuck and we exited. No harm, no foul.

However, my brief stint in the elevator caused one of my big irrational fears to resurface. I’ve already told you about my fear of being murdered and Cookie Monster or the other kids turning into Dexter. This one crops up every time I am sleep training my kids. The elevator incident reminds me of the Korean American family that got stuck in the snow on a mountain pass coming back to the Bay Area from Oregon. The husband left the car after a few days to go find help. He got lost and died of exposure. The wife survived and fed her two daughters (aged 7 months and 4 years) by breastfeeding them until they were found. Even that was barely enough.

Ever since that story, I have stashed tons of water and snacks in my minivan – along with a first aid kit, multiple blankets, toys, diapers, and a travel potty. I am terrified of being stuck in the snow or a desert or ANYWHERE without access to food or water. In light of that, I am glad that I have been pretty much lactating almost the entire time for the last four years. If we run out of food or water, at least I can breastfeed my children. Thank goodness the body knows to make milk at the expense of everything else. I don’t care if I end up a desiccated husk as long as my kids are more alive than I am.

Keep in mind that we are NEVER anywhere near mountains, snow, or the desert. Maybe, on the yearly trip to LA we go through the grapevine and are in the fake mountain pass, but seriously, SO many people drive by there on an hourly basis that it would be impossible to be stuck long enough for me to have to resort to breastfeeding my entire family. But as Hapa Papa likes to say about me, I never let the facts get in the way of a good story. And in this case, the story is the unlikely scenario of death by exposure and starvation whilst getting our asses kicked by Mother Nature.

I’m also sure that Hapa Papa and I would argue about whether or not he should stay with the family or leave to find help. And I am sadly positive that he would likely die should he attempt to leave. (I know, I know. I am completely insane and morbid and just really messed up in the head.) This is why all my children will be forced into either the Boy or Girl Scouts. SOMEONE in my family is going to know how to start a fire, tie some knots, know which berries to eat and which to avoid, and have some USEFUL SKILLS so that we can survive a natural disaster or the impending zombie apocalypse (and it sure isn’t going to be me).

Of course, we should be prepared anyway. I have my two week survival kit of dried/dehydrated foods, first aid, and water purifying tablets. I need to remember to have extra water in the house, too. But I figure it will likely be in my minivan so it should be ok. Unless of course, the zombie apocalypse happens when Hapa Papa takes my car out for an errand. Shoot. I better buy some water for the house.

Whenever I get in this fearful frame of mind, I start scouring the internet and Amazon for things to buy JUST IN CASE. I deeply consider buying straws that can purify water and filter out 99% of contaminants and seed vaults. I curse my town for making it very difficult for me to raise chickens. (We’re allowed to. However the coop has to be twenty feet from every dwelling wall and/or fence. Since our lots are so small, it is physically impossible to have one – unless, of course, we put the coop in the fifth dimension.) Since we can’t raise chickens, I’m pretty sure we can’t raise goats. I am concerned we don’t have any pets because then what would we do for meat? I briefly consider buying shot guns (only to freak out even more about gunshot wounds and my kids killing themselves or their friends or each other accidentally).

I realize there is a very thin line between preppers and super granola-organic people. I find myself mentally crossing that line.

I freak out that my mother lives 6.7 miles away from me and works 4.7 miles away from me. I freak out even more that Hapa Papa works 44.2 miles away. If there is some type of breakdown in social order and for some reason, no one can drive, it will take forever for Hapa Papa to walk home. OMG, he would surely die. Because of looters and a general lacking in sense of direction. Hopefully, he will be smart enough to walk the freeways. But he’s a nice man and I don’t know if he could survive. I calculate that if he doesn’t immediately head for home (thereby taking advantage of the slim window before all hell breaks loose), I may never see him again. Is that cruel to think so little of his survival skills?

I think of my friend and how her husband said that if they and their two small children were being chased by zombies, he would grab the children and leave her behind because there would be no way she could carry both kids and run away fast enough. As a result, her biggest contribution would be to slow the zombies down. As much as I deplore his lack of chivalry, he makes a certain kind of brutal sense. I despair because I have THREE children. OMG, I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH ARMS!!

I have to stop this line of thinking right this instant because even as I’m writing this, mocking myself, I feel the rising panic and tears stabbing at my throat and OMG WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

Now that I’ve walked away from this post and surfed the web, browsed Facebook, grabbed a drink and some snacks, I’ve calmed down enough to return. Seriously, I had to take a ten minute break.

Please tell me that I’m not the only one who thinks this way. I know the Mormons are supposed to keep a year’s supply of food and necessities in their house. They are some smart people.

In closing, allow me to quote the famed philosopher, Xzibit. “In God we trust but just in case keep it loaded and locked.” (Foundation)