A zombie apocalypse will be full of surprises, and not many of them good ones. As we saw on this week’s Walking Dead, it pays to anticipate such surprises.
A zombie apocalypse will be one giant unpleasant surprise. One day, you’ll either wake up or turn around to discover that the dead aren’t staying dead anymore, and, instead, have taken up a new diet: Living people!
The best defense is proper preparation, Hell, it’s the reason I wrote The Rules: A Guide To Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse in the first place! Through preparation, you can have a leg up when everyone else is panicking and scrambling to react.
Of course, to prepare for something, you need to anticipate it first. That’s our survival rule this week.
Now, first, let’s get a disclaimer out of the way: Anticipation is not the same as assumption.
An assumption, for our purposes, will be when someone believes something will go a certain way, usually positively, rather than making the effort to assure that it does. Assumptions can be quite disastrous, as they are often borne out of overconfidence, and cause people to take actions or make decisions before considering the possible pitfalls.
Anticipation, on the other hand, is predicting a likely outcome based on what you know of the situation. A smart survivor takes stock of everything and everyone around them and tries to feasibly prepare for all the possibilities they can think of, so they minimize the chances of being caught off guard.
Let’s look at an example of something that certainly should have been easy for our heroes in The Walking Dead to anticipate: Gregory.
When Gregory threw his lot in with The Saviors, were any of you really surprised? I should hope not. The man made no bones about how terrified he was of The Saviors. Even when presented with people capable of fighting them — Before it was realized just how numerous they were — he still had cold feet about fighting to The Saviors.
On top of that, his attempts to sell out Maggie and Sasha to Simon when they came to Hilltop show that his loyalty is about as strong as his courage.
Luckily, it seemed that the people of Hilltop, as well as the combined forces of it, Alexandria, and The Kingdom were, in fact, prepared for the possibility of his betrayal.
Something they hadn’t prepared for, though frankly, should have been were The Saviors’ upgrades to the radar station outpost.
It would have been reasonable to predict that, after Rick’s Group successfully assaulted the outpost some time earlier, Negan would have taken steps to increase its security, and make such assaults more difficult to repeat. In this case, he lined the perimeter of the outpost with walkers, making attempts to breach or even snipe the guards far more challenging.
By failing to anticipate this wrinkle, Morgan, Dianne, Jesus, and Tara had to abandon their original strategy, and presumably come up with a new one. This could mean going into a firefight with a vastly superior force, or have to give up the attack entirely, derailing their attempts to cripple The Saviors.
Ultimately, while we obviously can’t predict everything, there will be plenty of things out there that you should certainly be able to reasonably anticipate. By anticipating how things can go bad, you can prepare for things should they go bad. And preparation is the first step to survival.
And that’s our survival rule of the week!! Hopefully, it will help you should you ever need it and give you that mental edge that will prove so crucial once the dead start eating everyone.
If you like this and want to find out more rules to survive the zombie apocalypse, why not pick up a copy of my book, The Rules: A Guide To Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse! You can get it on Kindle here and on iTunes here!