Zombies are a fantastic topic to help make your training and disaster preparedness efforts more fun. In the firearms training industry, the attitude is usually very stoic and professional, and zombies are often considered a taboo or unprofessional topic to use. Personally, I find that creative and novel ways to teach are precisely the hallmark of good instructors.
Many firearms training topics are highly technical and dry. We can discuss for hours best magazine speed reload approach, for example. This can become tedious and boring, especially for individuals that don't yet subscribe to the seriousness of using their technical shooting skills in competition or defensive situations.
Zombies are a popular culture phenomenon these days. Zombie movies, video games, and TV shows are coming out regularly, and draw fantastic numbers of fans. These topics are also very popular with teens and young adults, which are often an under-represented demographic in the shooting sports [and disaster preparation field].
Making "Zombie Apocalypse" plans, and disaster preparations, is a great tongue-in-cheek way to add some excitement to your efforts, for yourself, family, and friends:
- A zombie outbreak would require responses such as home defense, medical treatment, off-grid food and water consumption, dealing with winter weather, and more. All of these topics are also applicable to common occurrences such as home invasions, floods, and tornadoes.
- Be aware not to use the zombie metaphor too literally, or in a way that would actually harm your training. For example, training to make only "headshots", instead of shooting center mass, would be unwise for defensive shooting purposes.
- Many zombie-related accessories are available to add to your training. For example, bleeding zombie silhouette targets, and sights with biohazard-symbol reticles, provide very direct shooting fun. Other goodies, like zombie-print gun cases and rifle handguards, just add to the theme.
- Making a "zombie survival kit", with contents such as 72-hours of food and water, flashlights, fire starters, and other supplies, would be very useful in a natural disaster. Be sure to train to use all of these items - don't just buy them and stick them in a box!
- Develop readiness and training plans with friends, neighbors, and family members. In the event of an actual emergency, you'll all be able to work together to overcome adversity.
I've heard some people, including other instructors, say that the whole zombie fad is "ridiculous". They are absolutely right, it is ridiculous! It's exactly the kind of ridiculousness we need to put a novel spin on our otherwise very-serious topics.
At this time, we're even looking into the possibility of providing zombie-themed versions of some of our family readiness and defensive shooting courses. We love what we do, and want to embrace any opportunities to help spread responsible gun ownership and personal disaster preparedness.
* Banner image courtesy of the CDC. http://emergency.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies.asp