The Walking Dead television series of course is a fictional drama made for television, but the scenarios presented, absent the zombies, could become reality. However, because it is fictional, science fiction even, the writers have creative liberty, artistic license if you will. This means they can present things that can only be found in someone’s imagination, facts are irrelevant and tend to get in the way.
This article will focus on The Walking Dead season 4 episode 8 the mid season finale.
Is it reality as it is presented on television? No, but you and others may find yourself in a desperate struggle for survival if the country or world suffered a catastrophic event however. For the sake of reality, this article will remove the zombies from the script and focus on the actions one must take to survive an event as presented by the series. It is the intent of this article to point out the mistakes that the characters make as they attempt to secure a new place to live and the mistakes made by those trying to hold on to their compound/shelter.
The prison that Rick and his people have secured is by all appearances an ideal place. What better place to have, than a prison designed to keep people in or in this case to keep people (zombies) out. However, in a real world situation this type of shelter would literally become your prison, and final resting place.
The prison was too large for the group to secure properly, thus a tank rolled up to the front gates seemingly to take everyone by surprise. The Governor came calling well equipped for destroying the very place his group needed for their very own survival. First rule of thumb in a survival situation is not to destroy the very shelter you are trying to occupy, because what is the point.
Rick and his crew seemed at odds with each other and a chain of command was absent. People seemed to wander off in different directions. There appeared to be no cohesiveness at all within the group. The facts are military units and survival/Prepper groups for the most part cannot be a democracy. One person needs to be in charge and then others designated to take over if the leader is incapacitated. You may not like it, but too many cooks do spoil the broth.
You need backup plans. It seems that Rick and his group did not have a plan at all as far as a staging area in the event the group had to evacuate. The good guys always make it in the end in the movies, but in real life, those with a plan make it in the end.
Everyone in the group must know where to gather if everyone has to leave. There needs to be more than one area if the first one is compromised. One person stated in the show that they would find that person and to leave, they would catch up later. This does not work in real life. People in a survival group cannot just scatter to the four winds and expect to meet back up at some point without having a pre-determined bug-out location.
Where were the supplies, food, water and medical? Some packs were evident, but most people simply fired their weapons as they departed the area, seemingly without any supplies in hand at all.
There needs to be a staging area and everyone needs to knows where it is, how long to stay waiting on others and there must be an alternative gathering area.
Rick should never have faced the governor. He left his group behind to figure things out on their own essentially. The group needed Rick’s leadership, so he should not have placed himself in such a position. He was not available when the firefight started.
The group bunched up and this not smart tactics. Five people standing in a group can be taken out with a single grenade, whereas if they maintained their distance a tossed grenade may only kill or injure one. Maintain at least 15 meters apart when on patrol and when in a firing position. The group all gathered at the front of the complex leaving the rear exposed.
Obviously, there were not enough cameras to cover all angles so presumably, there could be people covering other areas of the compound, but the audience was not made aware of this. However, for shows to be realistic they need to pay attention to the details.
As stated, earlier once you take zombies out of the equation the situation presented could be a real world situation that any Prepper or survival group could face. You cannot take the tactics you may see on a television drama and use them in real life however.
It has to be assumed that the people in the show gathered together out of necessity and not because of what each person brought to the table. The groups were made up of desperate and displaced people. In the real world when putting together a group, you determine what skills they have that can benefit the group as a whole.
Every unit must have someone with medical training, leadership ability and someone that knows military tactics to provide security. Your group should be more concerned with mobility than trying to establish a permanent safe haven, because when surrounded by threats you do not want to imprison yourself with the threats storming the gates on a daily basis.
Groups have to be mobile and if your intent is to roam the countryside taking, what others have you may not survive long. Groups should do what they can to avoid contact, because engaging the enemy creates situations depicted in the episode of The Walking Dead, no one emerges a winner.
The show The Walking Dead is engaging, very entertaining and somewhere in the back of your mind, you can see how the world could eventually end up as depicted in the show. Whether you believe in zombies or not there will always be an enemy that you must face in any survival situation. The threats will come from all sides, natural and manmade.