Making It Out Alive: 5 People in Plano Who Will Help You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

Here’s how it all goes south…

One day you’re drinking your morning breakfast blend, thinking about how Earth is a pretty nice place to live. Specifically, you’re excited that we’re starting to save a lot of whales and that the plans to fight global warming seem scientifically legitimate. It’s even one of those mornings when your favorite song comes on the radio.

But…what’s this? Your song has been interrupted by an emergency broadcast!

“Zombies have invaded America! From the oval office to the streets of Plano, our country has been overrun with mindless, insatiable monsters. Warning: Do not feed brains to the zombies!”

The zombie invasion has completely derailed Plano’s infrastructure. Mandatory curfew is in effect and Whiskey Cake is closed for business, so there go your brunch plans. Things are not good.

Zombie photos by Jennifer Shertzer

In these turbulent times, it’s more important than ever to have a zombie invasion survival plan. A big part of that is knowing who to turn to when the brain-munchers make a trip to Target a no-go.

Here are five people who will help you survive a zombie apocalypse in Plano.

1. The Protector

What zombies lack in mental acuity, they make up for with strength in numbers and sheer determination. Who do you call when you are facing an enemy that won’t stop chewing after you’ve hacked off both of its legs? That would be The Protector.

Erik Hicks is owner and chief instructor of Krav Maga Plano, where he has spent the last 15 years teaching Krav Maga, a self-defense system originally created for the Israeli Defense Forces. Krav Maga has since been adopted by numerous state and federal law enforcement agencies (Police SWAT, CIA, DEA, FBI, Secret Service), as well as every branch of our U.S. Armed Forces.

Erik Hicks of Krav Maga Plano // courtesy Erik Hicks

Zombies don’t play by the rules, so a system like Krav Maga that is actually a refined combination of Judo, Aikido, boxing, wrestling and karate, teaches self defense in hand-to-hand combat.

Erik is certified by the Krav Maga Association of America as a Black Belt Instructor, and his school is the only fully licensed Krav Maga Worldwide training facility in North Texas. On top of his civilian instruction, which includes leading a youth program, Erik is also a certified Force Training Instructor and has worked extensively with members of the military and law enforcement. All of this makes Erik one guy in Plano who would send the walking dead running.

Krav Maga Plano Website >


2. The Hunter

Notice how the gang on “The Walking Dead” has not spent a single episode at Whataburger? With all of your favorite burger joints permanently closed for business, you’ll need to start thinking about how you are going to catch your food.

Zombies love noise. So if you hunt with a gun, you are basically ringing the dinner triangle for the chuckwagon buffet from hell. If you need to hunt, the bow and arrow will be a safer option, and you’ll find no better teacher than Clint Montgomery.

Clint Montgomery from Texas Archery Academy // Jennifer Shertzer

Clint is an expert archer with thousands of hours of training and instruction under his belt, and he is the executive director and co-founder of the non-profit Texas Archery Academy (TXAA) here. Under Clint’s direction, TXAA is a family-friendly, all ages program that teaches archery safety and skills. Students are even guaranteed to hit a target on their first day. For more realistic training, one of their target walls is actually printed with a horde of zombies.

With Clint pulling the strings, you’re sure to hit a bullseye – which is necessary when you only get one shot and the ankle biters are just around the corner.

Texas Archery Academy Website >


3. The Butcher

Once you’ve secured fresh meat, you need to make sure that every bit of food gets put to good use. And how many of us would actually know what to do with a 1,500-lb. cow on our hands?  Time to seek out The Butcher.

With more than 40 years of butchering under his belt, Gary Hirsch is the mustachioed meat master of Plano. He is the owner of Hirsch’s Meat Market, a holy temple of old school butchering.

Gary Hirsch of Hirsch’s Meats // Jennifer Shertzer

Rather than succumb to the chain store philosophy of offering low-grade, over-watered meat to make the best profit possible, Gary leads an experienced team that offers daily cuts of the best meat around, as well as handmade fresh and smoked sausages. In this new world, resources will be thin and you will want to be sure to consume the right parts and to use as much of the meat as possible.

You can be sure to count on Gary for the best butchering around.

Hirsch's Meat Market Website >


4. The Survivalist

In the event of a zombie takeover, you will eventually have to leave the house. Whether it be for hunting or for scouting, you will probably need to set up camp. Time to consult The Survivalist.

Carol Short is definitely the person you’ll want to buddy up to; like the rest of the folks on our list, she has some very special credentials.

Girl Scout leader and trainer Carol Short // courtesy Dallas Photo Club

Other than fighting off a hoard of zombies, what’s the toughest possible thing you can think of managing? How about a group of pre-adolescent girls? #kiddingnotkidding

Carol is a leader and trainer in Girl Scouts of the United States of America, where she has received dozens of awards for excellence in leadership. She possesses an impressive array of outdoor skills, including building shelters, administering first aid and building campfires. She believes that starting a fire, banking a fire for future meals and properly preparing food are all skills that would be priceless in a wilderness survival situation.

Carol also suggests one extremely helpful way to prepare for skirting zombies: “Start practicing your hiding skills now! Preferably once a day, or at least once a week, parents and kids should play hide and seek.”

Secretly, we have another reason for buddying up to Carol. Two words: Thin Mints.

Girl Scouts Website >


5. The Farmer

Perhaps you are determined to stick to your vegan lifestyle even in the post-apocalyptic future. Once Carol runs out of her supply of Tagalongs, you are going to need to start thinking about a long-term food solution. It’s time to consult The Farmer.

Nicholas Burtner is the director at the School of Permaculture in Plano. In order to build a harmonic lifestyle between plants and humans, Nicholas and his wife, Kristi, have had to study and develop permaculture practices for farming.

Nicholas and Kristi Burtner from School of Permaculture // Rebecca White

Given that a zombie apocalypse will leave humans with fewer resources, an organic approach to farming will become essential. Nicholas says, “Conventional farming practices with big machines turn farmers into slaves, and is not possible to maintain without the use of fossil fuels. It also depletes soil and destroys soil life. If you really want to grow any kind of food or natural resource, it starts with growing and focusing on the soil.”

If you can’t tell larkspur from lantana, check out School of Permaculture now and let Nicholas teach you valuable skills, such as how to sheet mulch, map out all known fruit or nut trees in your local area and start a seed vault.

School of Permaculture Website >


We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Plano’s own Ambassadors of Potential Zombie Apocalypse Survival. In the event that the undead don’t set their sights on Plano, it’s always a good idea to learn these useful life skills and teach them to your children.

Sharpen your running-from-zombies skills at Dark Hour Haunted House’s Spring Fever show on April 13-14 and 20-21.

Zombie Jake provided by Dark Hour Haunted House. Model provided by Handsome Brad Modeling Agency.

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