THE ZOMBIE PORTFOLIO
I know that we are well into the season, preparing for Thanksgiving and making sure that we have the feast prepared with every detail. However, I want to actually talk about Halloween again for a moment.
On October 31st, 2013, while many of us were perplexed on what kind of costume should be worn to the company party or what candies should be bought for the little beggars, some places in the United States were not so enthused because they had decisions to make about more pressing matters: tornado preparedness.
Near the end of October, places like the southeast and midwest were warned that extreme weather was coming and there needed to be an extra amount of awareness and preparation in case the weather turned deadly.
People were urged to be aware of where shelters and hospitals are located, what evacuation routes are located nearest them and what types of emergency warning systems are used in their communities.
While most places spoke of “stranger dangers” being seen on dark streets and other common sense preparedness, other places were not so lucky and had to face the dangers of being caught without an emergency plan while celebrating Halloween.
No one wants a party pooper, but let’s face the facts: detonating bombs are not respecting of any holiday. Tsunamis don’t seem to care about when they wish to strike and earthquakes are meant to keep people off balance and they strike randomly. Winter storms come and go, but when they threaten the holidays people become stranded on their way to grandma’s house and, if they are stuck in the cold with nothing to keep them warm and alive, tragic stories are often reported as statistics on the nightly news.
We no longer should think that we are immune from being affected by a disaster, but there are a lot of people that think that bad things won’t happen to them. I am often told “nothing is going to happen” when things happen all the time.
It is no longer an fashionable to prepare for a full-on survivalist disaster, because it is hard to comprehend such desperation. Perhaps it would be best to prepare for weirdness that will displace you, because this seems to be more of a probability than some extinction level disaster where you are forced to eat grub worms, mud and tortillas.
How we react to the weird events that transpire in the world and how we prepare for these events will be put to the test when the normal things in life spin unbelievably out of control.
When we hear of major earthquakes, tsunamis and events like the radiation leaks at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, we always breathe a sigh of relief when we are at a safe enough distance to believe that it will never happen where we are.
We watch zombie movies and television shows like “The Walking Dead” and make judgment calls on how the characters react to surviving and living with one another knowing that there is constant threat of being attacked by predatory zombies or even other people.
We laugh and say that it is all fiction, not realizing that there is most definitely a wicked 'revelation of the method' being presented and that in we are all now one step away from being like those struggling souls in Georgia that live day to day wondering how they are going to eat, or how they will be eaten.
This, of course, is the extreme, but we need to become more and more aware of weirdness and peculiarities that can have us in a situation where we are either inconvenienced or even cut off from supermarkets or creature comforts.
We are always warned that the “big one” is overdue, the economy is about to collapse, the electric grid is vulnerable and it all becomes trite when the authorities cry wolf. Then our cynicism takes over as we tell ourselves that it is all fear mongering for the sake of selling MRE’s at the survivalist megaplex.
As we ponder the national deficit, we may want to include a national deficit in critical thinking about preparedness and how, with today’s unforeseen events, it is only logical to be prepared in some way.
Life on earth is complex and there are many connections that we take for granted until one of those connections for sustenance is cut off. Whether time is up on that threat of a 25 year flood cycle or the economic collapse has hit your bank account, it is silly to think that bad things will not happen to you or your family. We are seeing the extreme nature of mother nature , we are hearing that something has got a give and that the proverbial brown stuff is about to hit the fan and there are still many Americans that think that if the inevitable happens they will somehow manage.
Day-by-day, the strands that hold our survival net together are being frayed or cut completely and we are quite literally being conditioned into doing without and being satisfied with a lower quality of life because we are told that this is normal, and that the weirdness we are seeing before us is all business as usual in the apocalypse.
The business of apocalypse is not just limited to selling canning jars, freeze dried food and water proof matches. Wall Street has decided to get in on the action with a portfolio that has been nicknamed the zombie portfolio where stocks are offered for various items that are in demand now because it looks as if some people are listening and setting up their own survival area in their homes, stocked with food, water and ammunition.
The 'Zombie Apocalypse Portfolio' has been said to be inspired by the AMC television show, 'The Walking Dead'.
For example, stocks in Smith and Wesson and Sturm Ruger guns are a must, there is also stock options provided for Cabela’s outdoor gear. There are also stocks available for Solar City, Generac Power systems which provides gas powered generators, Pall Corporation that provides water purification products and GNC vitamin and nutrient supplements.
The zombie outbreak is only a metaphor for any disaster where these items are needed. If Wall Street is seeing apocalypse trading as a profitable stock option, then it must somehow be a smart move to at least start thinking about survival options in a world that even Wall Street sees as changing abruptly.
One of the most important things about planning and preparing is to put you and your family center stage and understanding that authorities will most definitely not get to you in a timely manner and in desperate situations good food, clean water and shelter are imperative for the survival of your family.
Before you stop and say that all of this is doom mongering for the sake of marketing, put things into context. In 2012, 32 million people were forced to leave their homes due to severe weather alone.
Believe it or not there are 40,000 people that die yearly on the highways and there are those individuals that die in their cars because of being stranded during inclement weather. Many of those that have died in their cars do not have supplies in their trunk that could feed or otherwise hydrate them, let alone keep them warm if they are stuck in a snow or ice storm.
It is quite obvious that the fears of apocalyptic weirdness seem to be generating some underlying panic brought on by political and economic design. As religions argue over doomsday, government is also generating the same amount of fear and debate about environmental dangers, economic collapse and other man-made crises that should motivate people into being prepared for unusual setbacks. With the prevailing eschatology and the predictions of the world apocalypse, I can now see that a critical mass of individuals are giving up or becoming hostile because all they hear about is how their future is going to be an apocalyptic cataclysm.
However, little by little, we are all exposed to some sort of situation where we say to ourselves “if only I prepared.” However, those words are hollow when you are looking into the eyes of a starving child or a loved one who is trying to hang on because they don’t have their needed medication on hand while they are forced to stay at home because of a severe snowstorm or blackout.
What is surprising is how, with all of the the social concerns that are swirling into a 'nocebo effect', anything from apocalyptic paranoia to health care concerns, radiation dangers, climate change, global contagions or pandemic there are people that still believe that in a hostile world they will escape unscathed.
A little over a year and a half ago, there was a curious blog post on the Centers for Disease Control website that generated a swirl of controversy. The blog entry was written by Ali S. Kahn on the CDC website and it literally called for the American people to prepare for the zombie apocalypse.
While there is debate over whether or not the entry was satirical the opening statement said emphatically “that you may laugh about it now but when it happens you will be glad that you prepared.”
The report goes into great detail about how the zombie apocalypse would begin and how the sick and dying would roam the street infecting all that come in contact with them.
The CDC zombie file indicated that there were checklists and scary facts about being ready to be relocated to government camps, even leaving dying family members behind that didn’t take the time or care to vaccinate against strains of flu and other maladies that may trigger the living to become plague ridden flesh eaters.
Well apart from the flash-eating zombie scares, it is far more terrifying to realize that - because of your inability to be prepared - you will wind up in a FEMA camp, surviving by eating the family pet, or even having to tag your loved ones because they starved to death or died of hypothermia.
Americans do not realize how fragile their way of life is. They do not realize that there are strands in a web or sustenance that are holding their comfortable existence intact. Every time one is cut away, every time one way of survival is cut, we lose little-by-little our ability to survive.
We don’t need a rainstorm to prompt us to build an ark, all we need to do is see how those who are in power are preparing for emergencies and how they will survive. They pay no mind to you, which is why it's important that you do and realize that the unusual and unpredictable is happening now. It is not healthy to ignore that today uncertainty is the only certainty.
So perhaps it should be time to take action, while you are in that mind set of being thankful for all the plentiful blessings you have.