Fear not the apocalypse; zombie survival training on offer
BY KARA SPAK Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org June 24, 2013 8:27PM
Zombie Survival Training
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Holiday Club, 4000 N. Sheridan
Updated: July 26, 2013 6:05AM
When the zombies come, you will be afraid.
If Nick Conrad has his way, you also will be prepared.
Conrad, 32, an Eagle Scout, Dick’s Last Resort waiter, former improv performer, small business owner and self-described ecowarrior, teaches Zombie Survival Training in Chicago. His next class, which costs $25, is Wednesday at the Holiday Club, 4000 N. Sheridan.
Don’t expect to learn hand-to-hand combat against the disgusting undead.
“I am all about hunkering down and securing your perimeter and having food and water and making sure you don’t go outside,” he said. “I’m about staying put.”
For cold, thirsty corpses, zombies are hotter than ever. Brad Pitt takes on scores of fast-moving zombies in “World War Z.” AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” where apocalypse survivors battle slower “walkers,” set cable ratings records. Dealing with both the fast and slow zombies will be covered in the class, which Conrad has offered before and, because of interest, plans to teach the last Wednesday of every month.
Conrad is a zombie-genre fan but believes there are more realistic but equally sinister scenarios we should prepare for, like a weather disaster or a terrorist attack. Those who attend Zombie Survival Training — each class has room for about 30 people — will come away ready for those as well.
“I think most people are completely unprepared,” he said. “It really wouldn’t take much. Most people don’t have a backup water supply, don’t have any food or water supply.”
Conrad has background teaching survival skills. As an Eagle Scout in Texas, he taught wilderness survival.
“We would leave blindfolded kids at this ranch with a compass, knife and water bottle,” he said. “We would keep tabs on them but they wouldn’t know we were close.”
He’s an active environmentalist whose dream is to live totally off the grid in the city. His company, Green Suite, teaches local folks how to create more sustainable elements in their homes, like a hydroponic garden created from wine bottles. Through Green Suite, he teaches non-zombie-themed classes showing how to make a big but low-cost impact on the environment.
In his own two-bedroom Lake View apartment, Conrad has built solar panels, a hydroponic garden and a soil garden, all of which can be removed when he moves. On the third floor, Conrad said he is well positioned to survive a zombie apocalypse.
“I’ve got food, I’m building a water filtration system, I’ve got my own electricity,” he said.
Class participants are asked to bring two empty pop cans, which Conrad will teach students to fashion into a stove.
“We’ve had small earthquakes here,” Conrad said. “It’s just a reminder we are not in control. It’s nice to have some sort of backup plan.”
More information about Conrad’s zombie survival class can be found at greenyoursuite.com.