10 Real Houstonians We'll Need the Most in the Zombie Apocalypse

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Many people have a zombie plan because they're a little insane. Me? I have a zombie plan for the whole city because I'm a lot of insane. It's all well and good to talk of fleeing north where the undead will freeze or fortifying an apartment building by destroying the stairs, but where's your pride and your sense of community? If we as a city have any hope of staying safe and sound in the event of a Brooks Level 3 or higher infestation of the living dead, there are ten people that we definitely need to make sure are brought to the safe zones as soon as possible. These include...

James Loesch - Silent Ballistics Instruction Though a hail of bullets may be enough to overcome minor zombie outbreaks, those that number in the millions need more tactical combat techniques that lack the attention-getting aspects of firearms. The obvious choice of weaponry for stealth kills that keep a safe distance and won't alert nearby ghouls of your location is archery. Archery instructor James Loesch will be able to train squads of hunters for Houston, having taught the art for more than 20 years while at the same time collecting 13 National Championships including 2 NCAA Championships.

The Survivalist Enclave - General Survival Techniques When the ultimate war for survival comes to your door you're going to be very glad that there are men and women whose primary hobby is preparing exactly for that day. Luckily, there's a group in Houston that this perfectly describes. The Survivalist Enclave maintains teachers and classes on everything from urban disaster survival, tracking, field medicine, food storage, and escape and evasion. Given government-level support, it will be possible to industrialize their techniques and training in order to better arm individuals against the zombie hordes.

Dr. Umair A. Shah - Health Resource Allocation As we're home to one of the finest medical centers in the world there should no shortage of doctors, nurses, and techs no matter how bad the outbreak. The problem will be how do we coordinate those highly-skilled individuals in order to make sure that accidents and disease do not finish what the dead start? The man we'll need on that job Dr. Umair A. Shah, the Deputy Director for Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES). Dr. Shah has been in the post for a decade, and has a great deal of personal experience dealing with the aftermath of hurricanes as well as epidemic contagions.

Jess Briley and Cliff Moller - Firearm Manufacturing and Development No sane Texan (Or me) is worried about a gun or ammo shortage in this state. What troubles me, though, is having the right tools for the job. The two heads of Briley Manufacturing are well known for their ability to think outside the box and develop components for shooters that perform for any given situation. Though much of the battle for Houston against the ghouls will be fought silently with bows, there will come times when the gun is called for. With Briley, we'll have people working to make sure the perfect zombie killer is a reality.

Sandra Wicoff - Food Resource Distribution If survival was just about avoiding zombies no one would die today. However, once you've got your community protected you're going to have to feed them. The woman for that job is Sandra Wicoff at Urban Harvest. Not only is Wicoff well-versed in the ways that lots can be converted to gardens intended to provide for food desserts, but she also has great experience in how to get that food to the people who need it. With lines of supplies from America's breadbasket possibly severed, it would be a very good idea to learn to live on what we can produce alone.

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LaVerne Williams - Sustainable Energy Architect Another area we have to consider is energy. Sure, it's unlikely that Houston would fail in this department, but holes in the national energy industry brought about by ravenous zombies might still put considerable strain on our ability to produce. Going green and off the grid in many regards will free up power for essential services. LaVerne Williams, the CEO of Environment Associates, has shown that not only is this possible, you don't even have to sacrifice luxury to do it. He designed a lavish, off-the-grid home for Dr. Rick Wilson, chair of the political science department at Rice University, that doesn't even require the full capability of a fully solar roof and remains cool without air conditioning to boot. When it comes time to house the population in a safe zone, Williams can make sure we do so while building an energy war chest.

Denise Grant - Psychological Counseling When the dead rise we will fight a war that will test our sanity in ways no fight ever has before. If you think that addressing the possible mental damage this will do is an after-the-fact matter then you clearly aren't reading the same suicide rates among soldiers that the rest of us are. Denise Grant of the Lone Survivors Foundation has spent more than 15 years coordinating the treatment of soldiers with PTSD. Our minds are our advantage over the zombies, and we can't allow them to take that from us through the horrors of war.

Blaine Grove - Bicycle Specialist You know what's missing from every zombie film? Bicycles. Seriously, people are either tooling around on horses or in cars, both of which require constant sources of fuel and either expensive care or regular maintenance with resources that would be better spent elsewhere. Bikes are easy to use, easy to maintain, are silent, and can't be spooked by the dead. Houston's bike fleet will be best maintained by Blaine Grove and his team at West End Cycles. You guys picked them as the best bike shop in Houston last year and we see no need to doubt you.

Tom Sorley - Communications It is impossible to predict what level of communication loss will result from the zombie uprising. However, after Hurricane Katrina knocked out communication systems in Mississippi rescue workers were reduced to carrying hand-written notes. That will never do in the Zombie War. Luckily Tom Sorley, the city's deputy director of radio communication services, has already thought of this and helped build a state of the art digital radio grid for use in the event of pretty much any level of disaster, and we're going to need him around to maintain that.

Cheryl McCallum - Recreational Director Fighting isn't all about killing and running away. If that's where you put all your focus you will win the battle but lose the war. Humans must have something to occupy and relax them or they will not function at maximum efficiency and likely deteriorate rapidly. Not to mention we need to think of what our children will be doing while we're out putting arrows in rotting brains. We'll need the education director of the Children's Museum, Cheryl McCallum, on that job. You may think that arts and crafts is a silly way to spend the apocalypse, but McCallum's endless enthusiasm and energy for constructive and fun education will be a welcome diversion for the troubled mind in addition to continuing learning and science. After all, why beat back the zombies only to become zombies ourselves?

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