Hollywood Outbreak Scenarios: Separating Fact From Fiction

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Tired of Netflix recommending Pandemic and Contagion? Well don’t blame the algorithm as they say, your apps just magically know what you’re thinking is all.

This has begged a question for most, “Am I prepared for this?”

Whether it’s a pandemic, natural disaster or alien invasion (what they’ve been planning this whole time, depending on who you ask), the current situation has surely opened a lot of eyes and minds about how unprepared we all are.

It’s hopeful to assume that all the binge watching of disaster movies and TV shows have come in handy however, subliminally programming us for what we need to do. Whether that be food, first aid or not forgetting your feisty feline, at this point we should be brainwashed with instinctive disaster prep and preventative measures.

What’s the first that happens during a disaster?

1. Walk Until You’re Dead

We can safely assume you’ve seen The Walking Dead or some sort of zombie apocalypse movie. If not, the point is that there’s a lot of walking to be had.

Expect to be riding the heel-toe express if a disaster happens (via creative commons)

Either roadways are jammed or gas is scarce, leaving anyone with a mode of transportation an obvious target. What we’ve learned from TWD or Dawn of the Dead (or anything ending in ‘Dead’ other than the Grateful) is that long-distance travel is not only expected, but nearly guaranteed.

Assuming it may be days until you find food or shelter, you’re going to need a survival kit, this one will last you and three others at least 72 hours, whether that’s your family or you and your rival doubles tennis team. Shotgun Andy Roddick!

The key parts to this are likely going to be your energy sources: wind-up flashlight, waterproof matches and glow sticks. Your rations are important, but they won’t mean anything if you’re freezing at night or breaking an ankle because you tripped in the dark.

Speaking of the dark…

2. They Always Come for the Lights

One thing is for certain, if (when?) the aliens come, the lights are going out. Could be an electromagnetic pulse, could be infrastructural damage…no matter what the cause may be, it will happen.

Luckily the likes of Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds and Will Smith in Independence Day have taught us we need to be prepared; and also that punching an alien in the face is totally worth it.

Be prepared for when the lights go out (creative commons)

If you’re not able to prepare with a back-up generator or solar panels, it’s best to stock up on the essentials for what could very well happen. In fact, we don’t even have to turn to Hollywood to know what an extended period without electricity would be like in North America.

In 2003, nearly the entire Northeast (U.S. & Canada) were blacked out for upwards of two weeks. It wasn’t as doomsday as you may imagine, but that was before the Internet had corrupted our minds. Power outages are obviously easier to tackle than viral outbreaks, but read up on it if you want to see what a modern blackout looks like.

3. Disaster = Displacement

The worst part of a natural disaster is a combination of the devastating effects from the phenomenon itself (flooding, fires, structural damage) and the displacement.

Forest fires and floods are something we’ve become accustomed to, maybe a bit more than scenarios like The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, – although we do still believe Woody Harrelson is the key to all of this – but once you’re forced out of your home things change drastically.

This is not an optical illusion (creative commons)

If you become immediately displaced you’re going to need a bag ready to go, and if you’re a late bloomer in terms of disaster preperation you can get something like the Elite Survival Kit from Outbreak Provisions. While this product comes pre-packed for you, it’s never a bad idea to create your own pack or buy a product like this to add to or take from.

With items like purification tablets, a first aid kit and an N95 dust mask, it’s an optimal way to start an emergency kit or a great way to stock up.

Last but certainly not least, please don’t forget your pets. If movies have proven anything, it’s that your family pet will always come to the rescue at the exact moment you are in need and at the very least make an epic escape from an explosion that is sure to go viral.

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