Guest Post by Alexa Munoz, President of Nokomis Club

The few who consider themselves entitled to exceed the law can prevail.


In the case of the Nokomis Building consider:


City Hall says:  The Nokomis Building is damaged and has lost the integrity to be on the National Register of Historic Places.


Fact:  The building’s condition has not changed significantly from its condition when it was inventoried by historic preservation specialists hired by the City in 1998 and 2005.  These specialists indicated there had been moderate changes to the building, but it was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.  Further Landmarking did not take place because the owner of the building since 1972—the Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce—did not want to participate in the Historic Preservation program that began in the year 2000.

All of the historic preservation specialists in the state disagree with City Hall:  Gregory Griffith, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer; J. Todd Scott, Preservation Architect, King County Historic Preservation Program; and Cathy Wickwire, Washington Trust for Historic Preservation—all advocate preservation.

Joe Townsend, President of the Redmond Historical Society, stated in the Public Hearing on July 9, 2015, [The Nokomis building is]. . . “overall a sound, whole, and complete unbroken, unimpaired building, the very definition of architectural integrity.”



City Hall says:  A temporary document to purchase title insurance gives title because it says the vested owner is “OneRedmond, successor by merger to the Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce”.


Fact:  Documents obtained from the Secretary of State indicate their office has no documents on record of a merger or consolidation by the Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce with OneRedmond.



City Hall says The Technical Committee (Director of Planning and Director of Public Works) say the zoning code was obeyed in allowing the 162TEN project; the Design Review Board considered the zoning code in their deliberations; and both groups knew all about the Nokomis Building.


Fact:  The Technical Committee does not keep any minutes of their deliberations—it only issues a report.  Therefore, there is no documentation at all about their considerations while developing their report.

The Design Review Board minutes indicate that other than a few considerations concerning specific building plans there was no acknowledgment of the Nokomis Building on the proposed 162TEN site.  In addition there were no comments on the zoning issues of scale, gradual transition between uses, neighborhood compatibility, or health and safety issues including deprivation of light and air circulation as well as reduction of personal privacy to the housing on the east.

Other than the information found in the book, The Nokomis Club:  A Century of Community Service 1909 to 2009, there is little or no information elsewhere about the construction and operation of the Nokomis Building.


All Redmond residents should ask themselves just when their building will be targeted to disappear next.



Council Study Session 11/10/15


My first Council Study Session and wow what a learning experience!  One of my goals has been to be more involved in the city administration process; I’ve attended a couple of Council meetings; but didn’t realize until recently that Study sessions are open to the public.

Agendas are available as you enter the Council chambers, there were maybe 10 other people in attendance as well; however most of those were there to speak during part of the session.

City Council meetings and sessions are available online. This is a great way to watch the council proceedings on your own time; you can also view Planning Commission, Community Events and Informational Programs from the same link.

It was a 3 hour session, so although I took 9 pages of notes, I’ll condense them down to the just a few points.  I would recommend that you watch the online version and draw your own conclusions.

Agenda Item 1:  Draft City of Redmond 2016 State Legislative Agenda

Doug Leavy, Nina Rivkin, Jane Christenson

They reviewed the Agenda for the 2016 Legislative session in Olympia.  This is a short session, consisting of only 60 days; Redmond had fewer request for this session, however several items will be brought up:

Transportation Package
Affordable Housing (which is tied with Mental Health and Homelessness)
I-1366 — only 2 counties rejected this initiative; 36 counties passed.  It will likely be challenged in the courts, so it remains to be seen how and when it will affect the state.

Agenda Item 2:  Marymoor Subarea Planning Update and Discussion

Kelly Stephens (Homeowner), Bart Phillips (OneRedmond), Kim Dietz (COR), Jeff Churchill (COR) Brad and Wendy Clarr (Employees of Denali Advanced Integration)

Resolution 1415 was passed October 2014; The Committee will carry out the process identified in Resolution 1415 and work with City staff to develop a transition strategy toward the Southeast Redmond neighborhood plan vision.

The plan is based around the adoption of Sound Transit 3 (on the ballot November 2016); but the actual stations/tracks are not likely to be built for another 15 years (2030).

Mayor and several council members voiced their opinion that approval of ST3 is a ‘sure thing’.

At this time the area marked as “South Marymoor” is a 19 acre fully-leased multi-use industrial area.  The area will be transitioned into low-income and affordable housing while phasing out (at some point completely eradicating) light industrial businesses located there.  Plan is to move those businesses to Union Hill area near existing Cadman site and local area.

The housing will be classified as “high density residential”.  Businesses and homeowners are concerned about the transition and eventual reclassification for economic reasons.

Mr. Phillips mentioned his mixed feelings, referencing the current Overlake expansion project.  56 businesses have been displaced in this expansion; only a handful have been able to relocate to Redmond.

Discussion on Market value, property taxes and the eventuality of the project; it’s up to the committee, working with the City to determine HOW the transition is performed and how smoothly.

Agenda Item 3:  Public/Private Development Quarterly Report

Jon Spangler and Steve Fischer (COR employees)

This was a very informative section; both public and private projects were presented with only certain projects highlighted.

Both Public (transportation, parks, sewer & water, etc.) and Private (residential projects) will have interactive maps live beginning of 2016.  Public site is gis.redmond.gov/cip; private will be available but no URL was given.  It is located under “Codes and Regulations” page of website at this point.

Highlighted Private Developments presented:

Edgewood West (46 Market Rate homes and 5 affordable homes)

  • Edgewood East (23 detached homes and 1 duplex)
  • Terrene (converting 4 lots into a 22-lot subdivision for single family homes)
  • Redmond Senior Project (permit issued)
  • 166th Townhomes (demolition of existing apartments and replacing with 15 unit townhome project)
  • Woodspring Hotel (120 room extended stay hotel)
  • Marymoor Apartments (227 unit 5 story complex)
  • Limited Edition Master plan for the first project in Overlake expansion (9.13 acres with 36K sf retail space, 80 room hotel, 173K sf office space and 901K sf residential complex).

Highlighted Public projects:

  • Restroom replacement at Ferrell McWhirter Park
  • Juel Stream Improvement & Repair
  • Sidewalk Improvement Redmond Way between 148th and 142nd
  • Slide Repair on 171st & 84th (“Old Windy”) due to culvert failure
  • Perrigo Park parking lot addition
  • Separation of off-ramps at I405 and 40th / 51st.  City of Redmond and DOT will be working on West and Eastbound to separate.  Westbound to be completed by end of 2015; Eastbound will be more complex.
  • Couplet Conversion (one-way to two-way streets Cleveland and Redmond Way) Construction begins Spring 2016 and continues through Fall 2017.

Agenda Item 4:  Update on Redmond Downtown Park (Project 50020970)

This was mostly a review of the project to date and an update on what is yet to come.

Page 127 of the Master Plan (available by link at the bottom of the page above) shows the summary of funding available:

2013/14 Parks CIP (*) $2.4 M
2015/16 Parks CIP $10 M
Potential State Appropriation:  $3M

The slide during the Study Session that showed the budget revised those numbers a bit:

Master Planning $0.6M (Completed)
Property Acquisition & Relocation $20.9 M (Completed)
Demolition & Restoration $0.75M (Completed)
Design & Construction $15.95 M (In Phase)
(Total $38.2M)

Funding Sources:
Capital Fund (CIP) $2.2 M
Real Estate Excise Tax $1.4M
State Appropriation:  $3M
KC Levy & Misc. $0.35M
Impact fees $9 M
(Total $15.95M)

It’s unclear to me if this is only the funding sources for Design & Construction.

The other notable information regarding the park is that construction for the park and the “Downtown Couplet Conversion” will run AT THE SAME TIME!!!

Construction of the Park will run spring of 2017 through Fall of 2018 (3rd quarter); Couplet conversion begins Spring 2016 and continues through Fall 2017.

Basically, the downtown area between Avondale Way/Redmond Way to 160th/Cleveland will be under construction from Spring of 2016 through Fall of 2018.

I have a number of questions and concerns about these (and other) topics; but I’ll cover those in other posts.


City Council meetings and sessions online
Text of I-1136
Marymoor Subarea Planning
Redmond Downtown Park

LWSD Impact Fees


This is going to be a long one, but there is A TON of information to wade through.  I’ve broken it down into sections to try to make it more palatable…

The Math:  

  • 3,581,495.06 (Impact Fees COR to LWSD) Jan. 2012 – Aug. 19 2015
  • 876,825 (Impact fees KC to LWSD) Jan. 2012 – Aug. 19 2015
  • $2,550,476 (Impact fees City of Kirkland to LWSD) Dec. 2011 – Nov. 2014

$7,008,796  Total Impact fees collected

661,400,000.00 (Bond monies approved 1998 – 2011)

$668,408,796.06 Total funds

12,000,000.00    Bond funds noted as unused

26,708    Number of enrolled students January 2015
24,912    Number of enrolled students in 2012

50 schools including “Choice”, STEM, Senior High, Middle and Elementary Schools

138 portable/temporary classrooms (maximum of 4,140 students capacity)

The Facts:

Redmond Ridge and surrounding areas are located in King County boundaries (not Redmond City Limits) and therefore receives impact fees from King County and not Redmond.  According to Janene Fogard (Deputy Superintendent of Operational Services), there is also a small section between Redmond and Kirkland off 132nd, east of the Redmond City boundary (Redmond Ridge) and some on the eastern section of Sammamish Plateau.  These areas in LWSD are covered by King County and are noted on the map called “King County Unincorporated Service Areas Map” linked below.

  • In 2015 King County adopted School Impact fees in LWSD of $9623 for each single family home and $745 per unit for multi-family homes.
  • Redmond’s impact fee structure is $6,302 collected for every NEW single family home and $207 collected for every unit in a multi-family building.
  • Kirkland’s impact fee structure for 2015 is $9,623 for every NEW single family home and $745 for every unit in a multi-family building.

Between January 1 2012 and August 19, 2015; the LWSD collected $3,581,495.06 ($3.5 MILLION) in impact fees from the City of Redmond and $2,550,476 from the City of Kirkland. During the same time period, LWSD collected $876,825 in impact fees from King County for the areas marked on the map.

Impact fees are calculated using per-student criteria explained in the Six-year Capital Facilities Plan:

“District wide statistics show that new single-family homes currently generate 0.3810 elementary student, 0.1170 middle school student, and 0.0950 senior high student, for a total of 0.593 school-age child per single family home (see Appendix B).

New multi-family housing units currently generate an average of 0.0490 elementary student, 0.0140 middle school student, and 0.0160 senior high student for a total of 0.0790 school age child per multi-family home (see Appendix C). Historically, the district has seen student growth accelerate in developments after five years.

The student generation factors (see Appendix D) were used to forecast the number of students expected from these developments.”

Between 1998 and 2011, LWSD has been approved for $661,400,000 ($661 MILLION) in bond funds from the voters.  Approximately $12 million was not used from the 2006 bond funds.

These bond funds have modernized 16 elementary schools (Audubon, Franklin, Juanita, Lakeview, Mann, Rose Hill, Thoreau, Twain, Kirkland, Bell, Frost, Keller, Muir, Rush, Sandburg and Carson); 3 Middle Schools (Redmond, Finn Hill and Rose Hill); 2 High Schools (Redmond and Lake Washington); 2 Choice schools (International and Community).

Additions to Redmond HS and Eastlake HS; and the new STEM school began construction through bond funds.

In 2002 the District listed total student population as 23,476 in 48 schools.  Some schools occupy buildings within other campuses; but the District listed 25 elementary schools, 7 Jr. High (now middle schools), 4 Sr. High and 12 “Choice” schools.

In 2012, the District Progress report listed total student population of 24,912 in a total of 50 schools; that figure increased to 26,708 by January 2015.

In 10 years, the District has built 3 new schools (Rosa Parks, Rachel Carson and STEM) and modernized 23.  They’ve also built additions at two high schools that were recently modernized (LWHS and RHS).

As of January 28, 2015 the District has 138 portable classrooms in District.  Although some properties have no temporary classrooms, Rosa Parks has 10 (built 2007); Wilder, Alcott Redmond High and Juanita High have 8; Kamiakin and McAuliffe have 7; Mead El. And Redmond Middle have 6.  Portable/temporary classrooms have a life of approximately 30 years.

In January 2015, LWSD School Board with the assistance of a Long-Term Facilities Planning Committee adjusted the boundaries for 4 Learning Communities to help alleviate over-crowding.  In the online report, LWSD states they have enrollment of 26,708 students.

The Opinion:

For the purpose of argument, let’s just take the amount of Impact fees for both King County and Redmond for the 42 months (Jan. 2012 – Aug. 19 2015).  $4,458,320.06   What skews these numbers a bit is that the Impact fees represent all of KC Impact fees for the area on the map, which may include Kirkland and other LWSD boundary schools.

City of Kirkland transmitted $908,409 for 2014; $1,173,380 for 2013; $468,687.00 for 2012 (see links below).  Total for those 36 months is $2,550.476.

Those numbers total $7,008,796 for roughly 3 years of impact fees.
In addition, $12 MILLION was not used from 2006 bond funds; and the District received $10 MILLION more in construction funds from the State.

Total funds available now equals $29 MILLION DOLLARS.

What has the district spent the majority of funds on?   TEMPORARY CLASSROOMS (a/k/a “portables”)!!!!!

  • $12.7 MILLION on 28 “green” temporary classrooms at 5 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 1 High school.
  • Changes in teacher planning spaces and art/science/computer rooms in several schools; adding 35 classrooms total for $1 Million.
  • Permanent addition at Redmond Elementary school for 6 classrooms; $6.3 million.

LWSD has spent countless months through the “Long-Term Facilities Planning” committee to come up with a plan to ask for more money via bonds to build more schools.  Meanwhile they have thrown $13 MILLION dollars at portables and have approximately $10 MILLION of funds unspent.

LWSD estimates it takes between $30-35 million to construct and equip a new elementary school.

In 10 years, the District has built 3 new schools, modernized 23, built additions at two high schools and added countless temporary classrooms.  In those same 10 years the District has had access to $518.4 MILLION dollars through bonds; plus Impact fees of over $7 MILLION. 

In 10 years, the District could have built roughly 10 new schools (my estimates) with those funds.  Instead they’ve chosen to ‘modernize’ existing schools without increasing classroom counts, scatter temporary classrooms like seeds and continue to ask for more funds without sharing plans for the existing properties owned or proposals for new schools.

Currently the District owns several properties they could have built at minimum ONE school for the $29 MILLION they had available to them.  All of this could have been going on while a one-year Task Force ‘struggled’ with the ramifications of a decade of poor planning and execution by the District.

A new 254 page report was released November 10th with the Task Force’s strategies to address the problems. My hope is that the Long Term Facilities Planning committee and the LWSD School Board will be more mindful of their use and distribution of the funds they will be asking for in 2016.

Interesting notes from the Task Force report:


  • Page v:  Schools are grouped into 4 learning communities:  Juanita, Lake Washington, Redmond and Eastlake.  8 new schools (not remodel, replace or additions) are recommended within the 4 communities.
  • Page 9:  Graph representing facilities challenges 1998 – 2016.
  • Page 18:  Needs Scenarios (Table 4)
  • Page 43:  Funding Sources information and Impact fees

    That [state] assistance is available only once a school district has already put together the needed funding through a bond measure or other sources. The district has received between 8 percent and 12 percent of the cost of recent projects in state match funding, however, state funds are not guaranteed and are available only if the legislature provides adequate funding for schools that qualify.

Impact Fees: In Redmond, the impact fees in 2014 were $6,302 per single family residence and $207 per multi-family residence. A 100-home single family home development would generate about $630,000 in school impact fees while a 400-unit apartment complex would pay approximately $82,000. For comparison, it costs about $30-35 million to construct and equip a new elementary school.

  • Pages 50-65:  Explanation of each “Strategy Description”
  • Page 248 (Appendix L):  Facilities and undeveloped properties map (legend of map #’s here)


Long Term Facilities Planning Task Force Report

King County Auditor Special Report 2000-6  

LWSD Temporary Facilities Existing Conditions Jan. 2015

LWSD Boundary Change Process

Paige’s Prattle April 2014 on # of schools built, money spent, etc.

King County Unincorporated Service Areas Map 

2015 Adopted School Impact Fees (King County) Lake Washington #414

Impact and Mitigation Fees for King and Snohomish Counties (includes schools, transportation, Parks, Fire)

Six-year Capital Facilities Plan 

Paige’s Prattle January 2014 on Impact Fees  

Paige’s Prattle January 2015 is a review of more Bond posts

Kirkland Reporter December 2014 Increase Impact fees 

City of Kirkland Washington Impact fees Council Packet

Request by LWSD to City of Kirkland to collect Impact Fees

Kirkland Impact Fee chart (page 2)

2013 Impact Fees City of Kirkland to LWSD

2011, 2012 Impact Fees City of Kirkland to LWSD

LWSD Repurposing Modernization funds

Funding for New Schools 

September 2014 LWSD Short Term Housing release 

Funding sources for LWSD including Bonds, impact fees, state construction assistance.

Coming soon!!!  My first Council Study Session; Getting involved in the City Administration and maybe even a movie review on “Spectre”.

“How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse” (REI)


On a whim, I signed up for a free class at REI.  I figured I had nothing to do that evening (other than everything); it sounded fun and would get me out of the house.  The class was booked up, so I put my name on the wait list and decided I’d go hang out even if I didn’t get a call because the worst that could happen was I would show up to a full class and I’d spend the evening at (nameless coffee-house) with a coffee and a good book-boyfriend.

The morning of the class I received a phone call that they had openings available, so I excitedly prepared for my evening of learning.  I even asked if my husband wanted to go with me; he decided that Thursday Night Football was more exciting.  His loss.

Readied with my trusty smart-phone and my coat, I braved the parking lot and found my way to the classroom.  A 4-page, photocopied handout and some lollipops were waiting next to the sign-in sheet.  My name wasn’t on the sheet, so I wrote it in and checked the waiver box.   Guess they were serious about the legal stuff!

I sat in the front row, because the voice of my parents echoes in my head to this day.  “Only bad kids sit in the back of the church; so you’d better be up front.”  <Yes, I need therapy and my counselor is aware my parents are in my head.>  I scanned the information on the handout; disappointed that some of the text was nearly impossible to read.  I hoped the instructor was prepared and equipped to handle a training of this nature; more than the handout provides.

A young pony-tailed man enters the room and greets me; flippantly discusses my position in the front row then smiles and greets the remainder of my classmates who are, characteristically-for-Redmond, late.   Apparently their urgency to learn about this subject is not as great as mine.  The man continues to chat amiably with the class and then looks up and shouts in surprise as a man stumbles down the aisle of the classroom.  His skin is blue-gray and he is wearing what appears to be a  “Chinaman’s Hat”.  Our instructor screams and runs out of the room, leaving us alone with the intruder.

Our stumbling blue-skinned intruder is hardly scary, but then I’m probably expecting the “Living Dead” (*) instead of “Vampire Lestat” <I am well aware that vampires are in a different classification than Zombies, but it’s my blog.>  Our “zombie impersonator” is even younger than the original man and I’m ready to get that coffee because, really?  Blue-grey skin?  White t-shirt and jeans?  Not even some bloodshot eyes or fake wounds?  How unrealistic!

Our “zombie impersonator” instructor is a 22-year-old who was born and raised in Redmond but spends his time now in Colorado on a “luxury dude ranch” (he says with a sneer) guiding tourists on hikes and trails.  He’s pretty personable and starts in right away with our class, leaving me no time to exit without making a scene.


His opening line makes me shiver a bit; “You’ve all heard the news that the CEO of REI is closing all stores on Black Friday because he wants everyone to get outdoors and enjoy the scenery instead of standing in line for a bigger, better flat screen or phone.”  (pause for effect) “The REAL reason he’s closing the store that day is because the Zombie Apocalypse has been planned for that day and he wants to give us all time to prepare.”  <Deadpan.  This guy is gooooood!>

Types of disasters

There are 3 types of disasters:

Natural — floods, earthquakes, etc.
Man-made — nuclear or atomic bombs, terrorism, etc.
Pandemic — H1N1 (Swine Flu), SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), H5N1 (Bird or Avian Flu), Ebola and Z0mb1

The method of infection for Z0mb1 is via bodily fluid or being bitten by an infected source

The best way to survive any disaster is to be prepared and have a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA).  Those with a will to survive, motivation and the abilities to stay calm, be determined and use good judgement have the best chances of survival.

th (2)

Stressors include injuries, watching people become infected or die, finances, food, water and first aid/supplies depletion.

First Aid course beneficial and may save your life or the lives of others.

Shelter important, make it lightweight for traveling or secure if staying in one place.  Obscure windows and keep lights to a minimum to avoid detection.  Flat areas, hilltops or in a clearing; also lake shores are ideal for camps or shelters.  Long-range visibility is a must!

You will need to be able to build and maintain a fire for cooking, drying clothing, cooking and purifying water.  Flint & steel, lighter, other methods of starting fires are imperative and should be in your emergency/disaster case.

You will need to have 1 gallon or purified water available for each person in your party per day.  Purification systems from sporting goods stores are ideal; boiling water is possible as well.

Food should be non-perishable, freeze-dried, MRE or ready-to-eat meals are preferable.  Canned foods are acceptable but may be heavy to carry and you will need to have a way to open the cans.

Communication with other survivors is essential; you may also need to keep informed of events, quarantined areas, etc.  Alerting other survivors of infestations is important as well.   Making noise is not advised as it will alert the infected to your location and will increase your detection.  Preferred forms of communication or signals include ground to air fire or flares, lights, signals or flags or cell phones.  Air horns or whistles are less favored due to the noise factor.  You will also need to have a weather radio with a hand crank.  You will also need to consider methods of charging cell phones or other electronics; solar chargers are relatively inexpensive and lightweight.  Extra batteries are helpful but only have a 6 month shelf life.

Identify your attacker

Two types of Zombies:
Fast movers and slow movers

Identification is key!

th (3)

Recognizing the Zombie:
Zombie creatures will moan, have a death stench, blue-grey or grey skin color and stumble or have jerky and unsteady movement and mobility.  Face will have grey tone and eyes may be bloodshot or glazed and unfocused.

Physiology of z0mb1

Infection always kills host over the course of contamination.

Initially the infected human will appear dead and be mobile (see “Recognizing the Zombie”), however over the course of the infection, the host will go through 5 stages:

Fresh new


Active decay

Advanced decay


There may be three stages of decomposition of the host; but limited samples exist for confirmation.

Lifespan of z0mb1 host is approximately 48 hours.


Host body is no stronger than they were when human.  So if you were a wimpy noodle as a human, you’re not going to be John Cena as a Zombie.

Zombies cannot be trained as pets (I really don’t understand this comment at all.  WHO WOULD WANT A PET ZOMBIE????)

Zombies do NOT EAT BRAINS.  They eat humans.  All types of living humans.

Defeating the Zombie

th (1)

Limber up before attacking zombies, don’t pull a muscle!  You want to make sure you’ve done all your stretching as you may need to defend yourself for long periods of time.

Best defense is avoidance.  This takes planning and knowing the enemy.

No firearms.  Although guns may look cool and work in the movies/TV, firearms are not the best form of defense against zombies.  They are very noisy and will alert other zombies in the area to the presence of humans.

You should be adequately protected from the zombie and wear a helmet and gloves in addition to your other clothing.

Hand-to-hand combat is the most effective way to defeat zombies.  Hand weapons like pick axe, hatchet, katana (because who doesn’t carry one of these around?) and machetes are very practical weapons against zombie attach.

Aim for the head with plans to crush the skull.  Most deadly locations are head, heart and neck.  Hitting a zombie anywhere else will only slow them down, but not kill them.  Blunt objects are effective too.

After terminating the zombie, you want to leave the body where it falls.  Tape and tag the body, then evacuate your camp and relocate to another spot.  DO NOT INCINERATE THE BODY.  This will release airborne toxins and spread the disease.

Planning ahead

Avoidance of zombies is preferred, but it’s wise to know where the infestations are located.  You should always be prepared for an unexpected zombie encounter.



Heed warnings

Travel in groups

Avoid wildlife

Know environment

Know abilities

Avoid rooftops, sporting goods stores, grocery stores, hospitals, shopping malls (large concentrations of people)

What to pack in your Emergency Zombie Apocalypse container:

Extra clothing.  Plan to layer including a base layer of smart wool, insulating layer of down or ‘prima-loft’ and an outer layer of rain gear.  Don’t forget to cover your head and hands as well.

To cover and protect your feet you’ll need liner socks, smart wool socks and either hiking boots and/or trail runners.  Gaiters are recommended to further protect your feet and legs.

Navigation (Compass, maps, GPS)

Sun protection (wind and sunburn, chapped lips)

Insulation (clothing, extra set if you can)

Illumination (headlamp, candles, flashlight)

First aid supplies

Fire (lighter, flint/steel)

Repair kit (pool kit or similar to repair tire, tents or ???)

Nutrition (food)

Hydration / filter  / Camelback

Emergency shelter  (space blanket)

Communication (walkie-talkies or radios)

Zombie defenses

Batteries / solar

Cooking pans

Emergency kit

Extra clothes

Multi use tools – Leatherman

Toilet paper



Garbage bags

Baby wipes/moist towelettes

Plastic ties

Manual can opener

Meds (aspirin, glasses, Benadryl, prescriptions)

Cash (just in case?)

Blanket/sleeping bag/hammock

Cook stove

“How to survive a zombie apocalypse” may have been a ploy to have people buy emergency gear.  Or it may have been a fun way to increase sales during a traditionally low retail period.  Whatever the reason, it was a fun class with an interesting take on preparedness, camping and emergency readiness.

I’m thankful that my husband and sons are or have been scouts; and the only items we don’t have in the above list are a solar charging panel for the electronics and a water filter.  My only purchase was a weather radio as we’ve talked about the need for one several times.

A friend and I have jokingly (or not) formed an allegiance to fight demons; she is my liege and I am her faithful sidekick.  We have chosen our uniforms and weapons; but have little in the way of actual training.  No word if REI plans on hosting a “How to Kick Demon-butt” class, but I’ll keep my eyes open.

(1)  A little background about my fear of zombies:  Back in the dark ages of the 1960’s, a movie was made called “Night of the Living Dead”.  An impressionable and shy child, I was attending my first year of public school at the middle school level.  One of the amenities this school provided was movie day; if I remember it was quarterly. 

Educational facilities didn’t have to worry about scarring children for life,  offending students or parents or silly things like trauma; so if your parent wasn’t able to pick you up from school when you called at the office (with of all things a ROTARY phone), you weren’t even allowed to sit in the library during the movie.  You were required to sit in the classroom/theater where there was teacher supervision.

My mother, was a work at home mother, but unfortunately was not home during my phone call.  So, there I sat, in the back row with some of the incorrigible youth.  Evidently they didn’t want to see the movie either. 

Unfortunately for me, one of those incorrigibles was a teenage boy I had a crush on; the same boy who initiated me into the harshness of public school hierarchy by asking me if I would f**k him on a dare.  First week of school.  Yeah.  There was no political correctness or “wear orange against bullying” day and certainly no “Kelso” and his stupid guidelines.  Just WJ (I’m not sure why I’m protecting him by using initials, but…) and about 5 of the “cool” guys from school in the back row.  With me.

Back to the trauma of the movie…If you haven’t seen “Night of the Living Dead”, IMDB bills it as a “low-budget, black and white film”.  The zombies are outside and the people who don’t want to be eaten by them are barricaded inside a house.  To this day the only thing I remember from the movie is this little girl eating her mother.  Enough said.

Although I love vampire, ghost and werewolf movies, I have no plans to watch a zombie movie at any time in the present or future.  I mistakenly watched “From Dusk ‘Til Dawn” because I thought it would be just a slasher movie <don’t judge>, but when it turned into a zombie movie, I was done.  I do love “Thriller”, but it’s Michael Jackson and is a music video.

I understand that some of my friends may need to disown me because I have never watched even a portion of “The Walking Dead”.  You will likely be more prepared for said Zombie Apocalypse than I because of your education through TV.