Friday, October 28, 2016

The Role of Networks During the Zombie Apocolypse

The year is 2021. Zombies have overtaken earth.

The team at Netcentric Campaigns is prepared because we know we need to build seven elements to survive.

Flickr User Jeff Prouse
Most people don’t have this advantage. If you do any regular Google search of “how to survive a zombie apocalypse,” you’ll see lots of advice, but it all centers on the things YOU need to do as an individual or for your immediate family. But what we as network geeks know is that in this situation focusing just on your own needs is a guaranteed way to be zombie dinner by day three.

So what do you really need to need to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse?

Here’s our play-by-play...

Unite behind a Shared Vision: This should be easy to come to. We are interested in survival. And we know we can't do it alone.

Find the right Actors: This is where our long belief in the power on the edges really comes to play. The people who have been predicting this outcome for years will now be at the center of the action, helping with the strategic offensive against the zombie plus basic survival tactics. We will need supporters who are willing to stand on the front lines and protect others. We will need peacemakers to keep spirits high when we are huddled in confined spaces for long periods of time. And we will need a strong operations team that is actively ensuring the network's systems adapt and improve on the go and can withstand whatever the zombies may try to throw at them.

Get to work on a flat communications grid: Our one-to-many and one-to-one tools need to withstand zombie surveillance and power outages. When the power grid crashes, we’ll need to be creative. We will soon know which breed of falcon delivers messages most reliably. Or how to mobilize the bike messenger community to utilize their existing network to service the rest of the population.

Next, make sure nimble feedback mechanisms are in place:  This is going to be essential for survival -- for example, what tactics have people used to hide from the zombies? Which scents turn the zombies off? Which weapons are most effective at fighting off the zombies? Where are the hiding places that the zombies don’t know about yet? Where are the food supplies that haven’t yet been depleted? These are all questions we will need to be able to answer, and fast. With strong feedback mechanisms we’ll all be able to adapt our tactics on-the-go to be sure we evade our brains becoming breakfast.

Actively hone a common language: Efficiency will probably be key in life-or-death moments so we will need to develop a lot of short-hand for our interactions. Think DC’s love of acronyms on steroids. This is also where the element of feedback comes into play -- we’ll need to hear from the ground how the zombies communicate, and use that information as a way to strategize.

Set the stage for active resource sharing: We will be counting on each other for basic survival; so pooling skills will be as important as protecting the water source. By identifying different strengths of different actors, pooling everyone’s skills, talents, experiences, experiences and abilities will not just lead to a collective bank of important shared resources, but also strengthen social ties. Building shared resources will also be integral to creating the most efficient system of survival since resources will definitely be scarce, and we will need to work together to save one another unnecessary expenses.

Continually find opportunities to build trust and social ties: Who can you trust to NOT offer you up as food to the zombies at their first opportunity? Who can you count on to protect your children? You can guarantee that the social ties you’ve been building for a lifetime will be put to the ultimate test. Survival will depend on trust between the survivors.

These are all things that we think about.

Zombies, we’re ready for you.

Special Thanks to Zombie Experts: Horacio Carreno-Garcia, Prarthana Gurung, Katrina Ledbetter

Sources: Movies: Zombieland, Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead; Articles: CDC Preparedness 101, Zombie Preparedness - FEMA, Zombieland Rules; Classes: REI Zombie Preparedness Class.