Like a doctor who gets cornered at a dinner party by a guest who wants them to check out that weird bump on their knee, as security risk consultants, people often approach us to ask for advice on how to best protect their families in various situations – if an intruder enters their house, if a tornado is approaching, if there is a chemical spill nearby their home.  We always tell them: the best advice we can give is to be prepared.

With Halloween tomorrow, I feel that it is critical to share my advice on how to prepare for one of the spookiest threats facing our country today – the threat of a zombie apocalypse.

Walking in an Autumn Zombieland

From the movies Zombieland to Night of the Living Dead to Shaun of the Dead, we have seen the destruction and devastation a zombie apocalypse could bring to our country.  We’ve all talked about it among our friends: Whose house do we go to if a zombie outbreak occurs? Should we stay in the city? Go to the country? How much food and water should we have ready? Will we hide or fight back?

If You’re Ready to Fight Zombies, You’re Ready for Anything

Before you write us off to find a new security risk provider that doesn’t believe in ghouls and goblins, let me clarify something. We know. Zombies aren’t real. But a few years ago, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) launched a campaign that used zombies as an analogy for preparing for other types of emergencies ranging from natural and man-made disasters to medical emergencies to active shooter incidents.

If you think about it, there are some obvious parallels between the questions we joke about regarding a zombie attack and those that would help guide your actions during a real emergency.

  • “Do I stay in the city or go to the country” translates to “Should I shelter in place or evacuate?”
  • “Do I hide or fight back” equates to “Should I run, hide or fight?”
  • “How much food should I have stockpiled” is relevant to all kinds of situations such as floods or hurricanes.

“Get a kit.  Make a plan.  Be prepared.”

Whether it is for a zombie attack or a hurricane, every family should have an emergency plan. And Halloween is as good a time as any to run drills with your family on evacuating your house and meeting at your pre-designated meeting place and to discuss what they should do if they are away from your house if an emergency occurs.  It is also a great time to consult the CDC website for guidelines on what to store at your house as part of your emergency kit, such as minimum amounts of food, water and first aid supplies.  Even if you don’t need the first aid supplies to tend to a wound you got while fighting off a zombie at your front door, they may come in handy if you are sheltering in place during a storm and you can’t get to a hospital.

With any luck, zombies won’t confront your family this Halloween, but if you have a plan and put together an emergency kit, you can be sure your family is ready for everything else.