I have been a fan of the show The Walking Dead for years now and it seems crazy to me that it is already in its ninth season. Many people must find this shocking, thinking, “How can anyone care so much about zombies?” And as a true fan of The Walking Dead I would first correct you, they are called “walkers” not “zombies,” and second I would say, before I started watching The Walking Dead I actually didn’t care about zombies, but what I’ve come to realize is that’s not what the show is really about. It’s about survival. Every time a character dies or does something stupid I like to imagine how I would have done things differently and eventually I find myself formulating my own brilliant plan of how to survive the zombie apocalypse. I have thought about this so much that I now have a detailed plan on how to take over a Home Depot in the instance of a zombie outbreak. And I can claim that my plan is perfect because, fortunately, I can confidently say that there won’t be zombies coming after me anytime soon, but if there were, let’s be real, I’d be a goner. Even though I’ve watched this show for countless hours and have over analyzed each character’s death it wouldn’t matter, because regardless of how much I have thought about my plan over and over again, it only matters if I can actually execute it.
I realize that this mindset is all in good fun when it comes to watching The Walking Dead, but in real life it can be dangerous. I think this mindset often presents itself as we watch tragedies that happen on the news. We see attack after attack at schools, a natural disaster, or some other instance and say “that can’t happen here,” or we tell ourselves “we’re already prepared for that.” Unfortunately, these tragedies aren’t like zombies because they are far too real and the plans in our heads are not enough to protect ourselves and our communities from them. An infinite amount of things can go wrong in our daily lives and we cannot possibly have all of the plans to solve them already inside our minds and be equally ready to smoothly execute these plans in a moment’s notice with an entire community of people. But with situational awareness technology we can instantly know the appropriate actions to take when something goes wrong, such as a fire, active shooter, or a medical emergency, and it can even help us to prevent many of these situations from happening in the first place.