The title of Alex Newton's recently released "Plan and Prep: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse" sounds like the latest in a long line of zombie, werewolves and vampire books lining the fiction shelves at local bookstores.
But the book is actually a guide to emergency and disaster preparedness that combines common sense, personal experience and professional training to instruct readers in ways to increase their rate of survival should they experience a life threatening event, said Newton, of Highland.
"Zombies are just metamorphic," Newton said. "In a disaster emergency, a zombie is anyone who isn't prepared because they will be wandering around trying to find help and if they can't find what they need, they start looting and running amok. Technically the book doesn't really talk about zombies; it's a real world guide to disaster and emergency."
To illustrate the needs of an everyday family exposed to dire events, Newton uses the fictional Joneses, a Chicago suburban family with very bad karma.
"In the beginning of the book, they suffer a catastrophic fire and they're unprepared which they don't realize until they're sitting in their car watching their house burn up," Newton said. "They don't have any id, mortgage pages, insurance papers or their cell phones; they basically just have the pajamas they're wearing."
After the Jones learn what they need to do to prepare for a fire, they're suddenly under water when a flood sweeps through their neighborhood. Next there is a global flu epidemic.
"I explain what would happen," Newton said. "I ran the numbers based upon the 1918 flu epidemic coupled with modern-day travel where germs can move around the world very quickly."
The last and greatest trial for the Jones is when a zombie flu virus hits.
"It was the wildest thing I could think of and we talk about how they get through that and the psychology of dealing with that," said Newton, who admits to a longstanding interest in not only emergency preparedness but zombies as well. "I want to provide people a good basic knowledge of how to prepare yourself for everything that can happen. Written to be understood by anyone, no matter their level of knowledge or experience, this book is geared to become a staple in the library of many people concerned with safety, security and survival."
Newton is currently working with a publisher on a series of preparedness books, each individualized about a specific subject. In the meantime, his current book is available through online booksellers including Barnes & Noble and Amazon in paperback for $9.99 and .99 cents for the Kindle edition.