The Sacred Homemaker – The Zombie Apocalypse

OK, so as I assure my son, there is no such thing as the Hollywood style zombie. (We won’t go into some rare voodoo practices here!) But an apocalypse can strike your home at any time. It might be a localised natural disaster like a flood or a tornado (lived through both and still here). It might be something more widespread like a war or a depression or a financial crash. It might be all in your head, yet it is still a disaster in its effects.

You might lose your house, job, car and all your possessions. You might lose loved ones. You might lose yourself.

How do you prepare for disasters like these? Essentially they seem to be unpredictable, but if you pay attention, there are often warning signs. You need to have equipment and insurance ready for when you miss them or when they happen too quickly and you can’t do anything about it.

Job loss is one where there are very often warning signs. Don’t be in denial, jump before you are pushed. Be looking for other work before the redundancies come through and you will be one step ahead of everyone else.

If it’s storm season, pay attention to the weather nerds. What turns up on public TV is often way after the fact. Do some scouting and you will find storm chasers who are reputable and who often can predict the path and intensity of a storm way before it becomes official. Use your personal networks – if you live in a valley and you know someone on the top of a hill, call them. Ask what the storm looks like.

Take the time to study the weather patterns in your region and also your local microclimate. For example, I know that most of the time, rain drives in on one side of the house. So I know I can leave the opposite windows open without getting water on the floors.  If it’s winter, (or what passes for winter here) I know that I don’t need heating if I can follow the spot of sunshine that runs along the side of the house. I know that the western sunroom is a lovely place to spend a winter afternoon, no electricity required, and that under the mango tree is the best place to shelter from a blazing February day. After this year, I know that the greatest flood ever recorded in history in my area didn’t touch my floorboards, so if everything comes upstairs we should be ok.

Exits are another thing which a zombie apocalypse scenario forces you to look closely at, but in a more practical application, what if there was a fire at your front door? What would you do? I always ask my son an open question about what he would do in an emergency situation. It will surprise you how practical children can be when it comes to emergencies. If they answer incorrectly, gently suggest an alternative method of getting out of the house. Drills can reinforce this. I always say to concentrate on getting yourself out, don’t try to save the animals or anyone else. Of course, I don’t take my own advice!

Do you have a cyclone kit? We do, because of where we live. We don’t have a snow shovel. We do have snake bandages, and sunscreen. We don’t keep a gun for bears, or crocodiles. Your preparedness level and the equipment you need will depend on where you live and what the local dangers are. All you need to do is contact your local authority and they will have lists and brochures, and possibly stickers with everything you need to have on hand, and what emergencies are likely.

Physical and mental fitness is something you really need for an apocalypse. In a personal emergency such as losing your job, dragging out the bicycle to save on gas might mean the difference between keeping your head above water and sliding into debt. In our local emergency recently, people had to be rescued off roofs by helicopter and by boat. Can you swim? Could you climb a ladder? Can you sit on a floor for a while? Can you cope with having to go to the toilet outside?

Mental fitness really comes down to these two things:

1. Are you able to prioritise?

Your immediate family are top priority. Then other people. Then pets, who mostly are quite capable of saving themselves if given half a chance. Everything else is just stuff. ID? replaceable stuff. Photos? stuff to remind you of what’s in your head already. Furniture? stuff to sit on and put other stuff on. Electronics? stuff you would have replaced in a couple of years anyway.

2. Are you able to count your blessings?

Are you alive? That’s a great start. If that’s the only thing you have left, it’s still good. Still have your immediate family? Even better. Pets OK? Excellent.

So while there is no apocalypse looming in your life, do the mental exercise of counting your blessings. Start with what is right, find all the tiny things that are good right now. For example, today I

1. Ate breakfast and I’ll get to eat lunch too.

2. have a roof over my head.

3. Have a husband and son who love me and I love them.

4. Have two kittens playing with my socks.

5. Have a patch of sun to sit in.

6. Have a blog to write in.

7. Have a flower about to bloom in the garden.

Get the idea? In no time at all you will feel lucky and privileged and special. This mental attitude adjustment is what will save you when disaster does strike.

Zombie Apocalypse pffft. I’ll be one of the survivors. I’m not quite forty, and I’ve done bushfire, flood, drought, car breakdown, theft, job loss, cyclone, tornado, family death, and 48 degrees centigrade (119 F) in the shade. I’ve had all my ID stolen, had my credit card used fraudulently, lost my luggage, missed my train and set my hair on fire at my own party. My cat has been run over, my son has been carted away in an ambulance, and someone I was living with has gone psycho. My kitchen has been covered in maggots, the kittens have had accidents on my bed, and the hot water system has died in the middle of winter.

If you make a similar list, you’ll see that you’re a survivor too. See you at the barricades!

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