If the zombie apocalypse looks anything like “The Walking Dead,” consider yourself lucky.
“Everyone prepares for the zombies that you see in Hollywood, and you can outwalk those guys!” says Shawn Beatty, a veteran zombie prepper who is featured on a one-hour special tonight on Discovery called “Zombie Apocalypse.”
Beatty, along with experts — professors of psychiatry, political science and biomathematics — will look at what chain of events could lead to the creation of zombies. They even dish out preparation tips and cures for when the undead show up at your door.
PROPER TOOLS: Zombie prepper Shawn Beatty believes that crossbows are your best defense against zombies because they are quiet .
“Zombies in the movies don’t run, they don’t use tools, they don’t climb stairs,” he says. “If it’s going to happen, it would be great if it was ‘The Walking Dead.’ Unfortunately, I think it will be a pandemic with zombie-like symptoms.”
Preppers and experts agree that the risen-from-the-grave zombies some movies depict aren’t a threat. The more realistic zombies, they fear, will be created by an incurable airborne virus, animal testing that goes awry or perhaps wide-spread drug abuse.
Steven Schlozman, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard, says that the science behind zombies isn’t as outrageous as it may seem.
“The science gets you there more easily than you expect it to,” Schlozman says. “You sit down expecting that it’s going to be a lark, then you come up with this semi-plausible zombie scenario, and you didn’t expect that. That’s what adds fuel to the already festering hysteria.”
Schlozman acknowledges that many zombie enthusiasts plan apocalyptic scenarios “with their tongues deeply in cheek.” But, as far he’s concerned, it never hurts to be prepared.
Beatty, a father of two, says that he scans shows like “The Walking Dead” and the more traditional “Survivorman” for crisis-scenario survival tips.
“Being the father, it’s my job to prepare my family,” Beatty says. “My wife isn’t a big horror fan; she’s not into zombies. So, it falls on me. I’m prepared for us.”
Here are a few tips:
* Crossbows are your best defense, Beatty says. They are quiet, so they won’t draw attention to you when you’re shooting at the zombies.
* Check social media for zombie updates.
“In the first stages of a zombie apocalypse, people are going to find out about this through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube,” says Daniel Drezner, professor of political science at Tufts University.
* Don’t stay on the ground floor, says prepper Patti Heffernan. She believes zombies will be brain-damaged so they won’t be able to climb stairs.
* Preppers and experts agree it’s important to keep a supply of food and water on hand.
* Give the gift that keeps on giving.
“It’s not a sexy gift to give for Christmas, but I’m giving first-aid kits to my family this year,” Beatty says.