It’s obviously fiction, and even the most avid prepper isn’t really expecting zombies to approach his home, but The Walking Dead still provides some valuable lessons for surviving a crisis in the real world. While Rick and crew face issues we may never see, the constant struggle for food, shelter, and safety may be something many families face in the future if systems collapse or natural disasters destroy infrastructure. Here are four survival lessons from The Walking Dead, with a spoiler warning if you haven’t seen the first three seasons.
You Can’t Rely on Government
By the end of the first season, viewers are quite aware that our gang of zombie survivors can’t rely on government. Across half a dozen episodes, the team talks of finding sanctuary with the army, the CDC, or an emergency camp of some sort. When they finally arrive at the CDC, all they find—except a brief revel in food and wine—is a single government employee who has, himself, been abandoned by the infrastructure.
In the end, the employee has given up, and the CDC building self destructs, signaling that the time of infrastructure is over. While dramatic, the point is made: you can’t always rely on someone else—particularly the government—to keep you alive and safe in a crisis.
Everyone Else Has Needs Too
As Rick and company learn to navigate the zombie-strewn landscape, they realize a new problem. Everyone else who survived also needs food, water, and shelter, and as time goes by, these resources are becoming more scarce. The shelves of abandoned grocery stores are no longer plentiful, and scouts have to go further afield to satisfy needs.
The Walking Dead characters solve this issue in a number of ways. They strike for resources when and where they can, not relying on the fact that things will still be there later. In the prison season, they also develop their own resources through gardening and other means.
People Can Be a Solution or a Problem
Not all people are good. In a crisis situation, even good people can take desperate actions, which means you have to be extremely cautious and employ good judgment when dealing with anyone outside of your immediate social circle or family.
Rick and crew found helpful, good people in Hershel and his family—lives were saved, relationships created. The same was not true when they crossed paths with the Governor and many other groups and individuals along the way.
Defense is a Must
Because people can be a problem, defense is a must for any survival situation. Whether you are a peace lover or not, when it comes to the safety of your friends and family, you may need to fight. Whether you have to defend against natural elements, including weather or animals, or people depends on your situation, but things such as fences and guns are likely to come in handy. Even the soft-spoken, life-saving Hershel learned this lesson.For more real-life lessons on protecting yourself and your family, check out this site on surviving anything.