For years now, apocalypse culture has gained traction in the mainstream media. Whereas zombie movies were once easily filed away into the horror genre, they have since graduated into the realm of wish-fulfillment, depicting a world free from social obligations, credit scores, and cubicles. Sure, those things are replaced by hordes of flesh-eating monsters, but wouldn’t you rather shoot your un-dead supervisor in the face than listen to him tell you why you should be watching “Game of Thrones” again?
But as I’ve pointed out in previous articles, our modern civilized society has eliminated the need for most Americans to accumulate the skill sets really necessary to survive a zombie plague, national blackout, or heck, even if the rapture shuts down our incredibly complex infrastructure. Worse still, we’ve replaced those lessons with decades worth of bad habits as taught to us through pop culture, habits that are likely to get you killed if you attempt to actually put them to use in a survival setting. This time, instead of focusing on what you think you should do, I’m going to focus on misconceptions you’ll need to do away with immediately in order to place yourself in the best possible position to survive.
Communications won’t go down the way you think.
One night in the field, one of my younger Marines told me that he’d never seen the original “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” TV show. Now, I may have been a bit old for that first season of the Power Rangers, but my remembered passion for Voltron was enough to stick me to my seat each morning to watch the Megazord do battle with whatever giant monster Brian Cranston was playing that week (not kidding about Brian Cranston). Of course, before the deployment, we’d all stocked external hard drives full of TV shows and movies, so I decided to put on a Power Rangers movie night in the ALOC (Administration and Logistics Operations Center), which had a projector. The only problem was, we didn’t have any power.
As I low-crawled, extension cord in hand, past the entrance for the COC (where the command element and all of the high-tech gadgets they use to do their jobs are housed), it never crossed my mind that the big field generator parked next to the tent likely had a finite amount of power that it could produce. It also didn’t occur to me that if you exceed that level, the generator would shut down as a safety precaution. Five minutes into the first episode of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” the ALOC went dark, and so did every piece of electronics equipment inside the COC.