Why You Won’t Survive The Apocalypse: Part II

Why You Won’t Survive The Apocalypse: Part II

Adrienne BoettingerFriday,11 April 2014

The Snap:

In today’s post we have the not-so-shocking conclusion of why you would completely fail an apocalypse.  Previously we learned how you pretty much hate the outdoors for more than a day or two, you don’t know how to do anything useful in or after an apocalypse, and you have no social skills. It’s nothing personal; we would also be craptastic at surviving an apocalypse. They always say the first step is recognizing you have a problem. In the finale of this series, we’ll learn your problem is your reliance on Hollywood for your survival training and your inability to deal with stress.

The Download:

6. Everything you know about surviving an apocalypse is based on some genuinely terrible movies.

In Dante’s Peak, Pierce Brosnan saves women and children from a deadly lava flow by crashing a truck into a mineshaft. In The Day After Tomorrow, Dennis Quaid thinks Amuricans can just ruin the crap out of the U.S. and then those that survive will be welcomed with open arms at the U.S.-Mexican border. In another burst of unrealistic post-apocalyptic behavior, Kevin Costner thinks dressing up like a mailman will cheer people up after the apocalypse in The Postman.

What these movies don’t teach is practical stuff you’ll need to survive an apocalypse. To find some basic preparations for surviving disasters, we checked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s guide, Are You Ready? That document is wicked long but we didn’t see anything about driving into mineshafts to avoid lava flows. Basically, the guide tells you to be informed about what disasters could impact you and your family, develop an emergency plan, learn where to seek shelter from all types of hazards, identify the community warning system and evacuation routes, learn what to do for specific hazards, and practice and execute your plan.

That’s basically the opposite of what happens in the movies. First, there’s generally someone on the fringe who has been warning about massive disasters for years but who no one took seriously and then all hell breaks loose and is resolved in the space of a few hours. Heroes and heroines don’t sit down way in advance of the shit hitting the fan and draw up meticulous plans or stock their homes with enough food and fresh water for each human and animal inhabitant for at least 3 days.

Movies also don’t prepare us well for what happens after disasters, mega-disasters or the apocalypse. Hollywood generally focuses on the more action-packed, disastery part and not the boring but highly necessary skills for rebuilding a society. Like how to set up a sewage system so you don’t all die of cholera or how to find potable water that won’t kill you via explosive diarrhea. A lot of the skills you will need are poop related and those things are not something that movie studios think people will pay to see. The result is you’ll learn more about how to win over zombies than you will about hunting and gathering your own food.

7. You can’t handle stress worth shit.

Even with your cushy white collar job you are constantly stressed out. You are on a variety of medications, see different specialists, have tried yoga and meditation, and have switched to gluten-free diets all to relieve the stress of your desk job. All this when the bulk of your stress comes from listening to the asshat in the cube next to you clipping his fingernails! How in the hell do you think you’re going to survive your entire town being wiped out, having to get your own water and food, and not being able to charge your phone because there is no electricity or phones? You’re not. You will fail.


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Hat Tips:

FEMACDCIFRCBureau of Labor StatisticsThe Atlantic, Image Credit: Flickr

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