Zombie Cliche Lookout: (In)Comprehensive Planning
Planning is great, but in a zombie survival situation you often won’t be afforded the luxury of following a plan, let alone time to conceive one of any merit. While loose planning for contingencies will still be beneficial, a good survivor is one who can quickly assess a situation and improvise a workable solution. Someone who gets too tied with with the all the different variables is a person who is going to get eaten by zombies.
About this Episode:
Cheryl is an interesting character to write. I want her to be pragmatic and realistic, perhaps even slightly on the pessimistic side. That said, I don’t want her to be a negative person, just someone who is very grounded in the reality of the situation. I give her lines like in today’s episode to balance out her character a bit. She knows the score, but she also knows that she has to make the best of what she’s got.
Discussion Question: Letting Go
I’m a pretty anal retentive person. I’m ridiculously organized, and get stressed out when I don’t have a plan for something. I’m not one of those romantic, impulsive people. This has its benefits and its drawbacks. I’m generally very well prepared for anything I had advanced warning of, and never lose anything. On the other hand, sudden changes throw me completely off my game. In a zombie survival situation, I think the negatives would far outweigh the positives. After all, you’ll likely need to improvise more than plan in order to stay alive.
So what am I getting at with this long preamble? Well, I basically wanted to ask where you guys thought was the optimal balance point between planning and improvising in a survival situation and what are the advantages/disadvantages to each appoach, but then I started talking about myself.
No plan survives contact with the enemy, this being a Z invasion that enemy is Murpheys law. Anything that can happen WILL happen. Frankly, thats too much for my feeble brain to plan for.
So instead of planning for each scenario just plan for the basics and make them as simple as possible.
Set attainable goals. Get to point A, grab item X. Don’t let person P get eaten by re animated rats. Meet at point A once finished.
Then plan for HOW you react when things go wrong.
If successfull regroup at A. If you cant get to point B, regroup at A. If item X isnt there, regroup at A. If person P gets eaten regroup at A.
Boom. 1 plan to fit all problems, 1 plan to rule them all and in the darkness bind them.
Everything else is adapting the scenareo to the plan. Cant find a way into poibt B? Try another way until it becomes too dangerous to do so and abort.
The exit point A is over run? Find somewhere where you can watch A, make sure your party doesnt stumble into the danger etc etc
Keep it simple, have contingencies, control your reactions. Seems like a pretty solid plan to me.
Well, today doesn’t have any serious typos, only minor grammatical problem I’m not going to worry about, in case they’re a US thing. 😀 Congratulations, Dave! 😉
This bit seems off to me: “[…] too tied with with the all the different variables […]”.
As for today’s episode, the mouseover text makes it sound as if Cheryl wants to become the “other” kind of zombie, that type of really drunken person who can’t utter a legible word, and can’t even walk a straight line whilst staying upright and on it. 😀
Yes indeed. The mouseover text isn’t canon, of course.
As to whether the plan the townsfolk have it sounds like an okay plan considering they’ve apparently been living there for some time now. Perhaps Cheryl is just bad at assessing how good plans are, or maybe she has no real idea of just what they do know.
That could well be true.
Each disaster is different, from hurricane force wind to riots and each needs its’ own plan. Bug out bags are pretty nice start to a plan. Which be customized for each person, however each should keep core ideas. But! Usually don’t think about things, like zombies. Contact numbers on speed dial are good, everyone responsible should have a charged phone.
In my area we had 2 floods, thanks to contact numbers the groups I’m associated with did a lot of sand bagging which in turn minimized the work load of the real rescue workers. Those incidents got me into minimal prepp-ing and how an altoids tin can be a full survival / first-aid kit and…
Then I found this prepp-ers 5 c motto:
1) cutting (knife usually a multi-tool)
2) cordage (can you tie, carry, or fix it?)
3) care (favorite teddy bear, first aid kit, signaling, and away to charge stuff)
4) combustion (lighters or have you mastered the drill and bow?)
5) cover / contain (example a tent/tarp and a water purifying jug)
If you can cover those, you are ahead of everyone else.
I’d discribe my myself as an optimistic fatalist with a taste for sarcasm. I’d love to date someone like Cherryl!
That said, like most of us I think that being ready for anything and adapt more than follow plans will probably be a huge asset. Now what if you need to run a whole community like Deanna in TWD? Granted, when shit hit the fan they where not ready, but they made it this far following rules and plans…
Dave, are you only posting an episode Monday and Wednesday? Two episodes a week is good for me, I wondered why you were taking the Monday episode off if you could just use Friday’s slot to publish in, so there must be more to it than that. 😀
Yep, new episodes will come out on Mondays and Wednesdays. I’d love to get back to three days a week, but I just don’t have the time.
Being ready for everything is a great plan. Completely unworkable and unrealistic but a great plan.
Yep you read that correctly there is no way to be ready for everything. Best you can do is be ready to be very adaptable but not too adaptable since your plan might be the correct course if you stick with it. Military officers spend years training to be ready to know when to make stick with the plan or drop the plan decisions and still get roasted afterward for making the wrong decision or don’t live to be roasted.
Quick example, Zeds arrive and you are ready with your sniper scoped .357 to shoot them all in the head. That is until you find out the movie lied and the real zeds are controlled by a micro hive mind organism disease that can keep them attacking you even when the head is gone. Did you include a lot of explosives to get rid of the zeds? Oh and then you find out that the organism only needs to get a drop of fluid on you to spread the disease (28 Days Later style) so blowing them up even at a distance vaporizes the disease and you can breath it in and become a zed yourself. What do you do next? Incinerate them with the flamethrowers you have lying around or switch to total stealth mode and avoid the zeds at all costs or go into your bunker and stay there with your full lab and bio science degree until you find the cure or just jump in your rocketship and abandon Earth for your moonbase? You’ve planned for everything so all these options should be available to you.