A Rough Guide to Planning

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. There is a very great distinction because when you are planning for an emergency you must start with this one thing: the very definition of “emergency” is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning.

– Dwight D. Eisenhower (1957)

This article is intended for civilian groups (emergency response groups, families, etc.) who may or may not have a plan regarding what to do during a Zombie outbreak. For those who do not have a solid plan, they need to make one, and for those with plans, it is essential that they are questioned, evaluated, re-evaluated, and ultimately put to the test in a “war game.” This article does not present a plan, rather is a guide to how to create one and is a VERY rough guide.


It’s 9:10 AM. You are at work when the cell phones of your co-workers go off. One of them turns on the TV, as the boss strides in, trying to figure out what is going on. The TV screen flickers from channel to channel until a news channel is found. It has begun. Zombies have been active since the early morning hours and you are about to have the shortest work day ever. 9:11AM… no one has said a word.


It’s the likely scenario in the very early hours of a Zombie outbreak.
– You will not be the first to know.
– You probably lost a few crucial hours.
– Information is limited, sketchy, and often incorrect.

You don’t need permission to leave because that’s what everyone is doing. Everyone except those who are frozen watching the images of the undead chewing at the living.

You dial up members of your team. They are either busy, can’t be reached, or are stuck in traffic. Already there’s an accident in the parking lot and it’s impossible to get out. The only thing you got is movement on foot. You realize that this is very true because the roads are completely blocked with vehicles of all kinds. As you run home, you hear sporadic gunfire above the noise of the rest of the chaos. You’re trying to get home as soon as you can. But 10 miles on foot feels very different from 10 miles by car.

You Shall Not Pass

You Shall Not Pass

In this early hour of a Zombie outbreak, only one thing is clear: your plan did not work.

The Two Golden Rules of Planning for a Zombie Outbreak

There are essentially two golden rules of planning for a Zombie outbreak.

KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. The tried and true rule of making plans. The more parts a plan has, the more potential there is for things to go wrong.

SERT – Situation, Environment, Resources, Training. The Zombie Combat Command’s rule of making plans for an outbreak.

Let’s take a closer look at these two rules.


Its simplicity highlights its meaning. Keep it simple. Despite the fact that it is well known, and often people do try to follow this rule, it is often mistaken as “overlooking the details.” KISS essentially means that whatever plan you have, it should have as little steps as possible. In other words…

“At the first news of the outbreak, all parties will go to Rally Point 1 without further instruction.”
“When the outbreak seems to have occurred, check the news to see where it is happening. If it is a global thing or if it is local to our area, then get on the phone to discuss whether getting together is what we want to do. We will decide on a vote. Joe has the biggest truck so he will go and pick up Jill before going to the store and ….”

Which is easier to execute and is less likely to be met with complications?

However, details are important. For example:
– Where Rally Point 1 is.
– What to bring.
– Realistic ETA by foot.

Details are essential in bringing a plan together.


SERT will be new to many people and is ultimately a check list for building a plan. SERT stands for Situation, Environment, Resources, Training. SERT is dynamic. Although the Situation and Environment are ultimately out of the team’s hands, Resources and Training are not. Each concept will be discussed in detail.

Situation and Environment – These essentially go together. The environment will affect and often dictate the situation during an outbreak. Those living in Miami, Florida, will face a very different situation as compared to a group that resides in a town of 1,000 people in Montana. Terrain, climate, time of day, time of the year… all of these affect the environment, which in turn affects the situation. The best thing to do is study how people have reacted to disasters in your area or in places like your area in the past. A Zombie outbreak will have some similar characteristics as well. This serves as a background in which your plan must operate.

We are never getting out of here.

We are never getting out of here.

Resources and Training – Resources are the things that you have on hand to survive the outbreak and then ultimately fight and win against Zombies. Weapons, food, shelter, tools, people, etc. all constitute resources. Having a resource itself is not good enough. A team must figure out how to make those essential resources sustainable. Firearms need a supply of ammunition, CLP and/or LSA, and spare parts to keep them ticking for a long time. People need to be fed, cleaned, and clothed to keep them as a force multiplier, and not a liability. And to make the best of the resources… there is Training.
Without training, resources you operate will either run less efficiently or may not be usable at all. For every resource at your disposal, the ability to use them must be there. To maintain shelters, the knowledge of how to do roofing and plumbing are absolutely essential. To use firearms, marksmanship is essential.

Only as good as the shooter behind it.

Only as good as the shooter behind it.


How does your team’s Zombie outbreak plan look when put to the KISS and SERT guideline? Remember: Always assume that movement by vehicles, communication via cellular network, and access to the internet will cease to be available very early on.

Get your team together and discuss.


About Ryoga-kun

Traveling gunfighter. Master of various things.
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