A Down to Earth, No Nonsense Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
It’s one of our worst fears. The thing that keeps us up at night. The end of the world as we know it has arrived. The proverbial you-know-what has hit the fan. Civilization has collapsed. And this cataclysm has come in the form most of us expected: a full on zombie apocalypse.
You, being awesome, were totally prepared for surviving the zombie apocalypse and are riding it out in style. One day you decide to go out and inspect the damage, and maybe gather some supplies. Things are bad out there, but you realize that you can handle it. No matter what happens, you have the will and capability to survive.
Just then, you feel someone- or something- grab you. You turn around and come face-to-face with a member of the undead. A zombie. He sinks his rotting teeth into your flesh, and its game over.
You lost the zombie apocalypse.
Luckily, the last half-dozen or so times this has happened to me (this week), I woke up in a cold sweat and realized that it WASN’T game over. It was all a dream, and I was being given another chance to prepare myself for this scenario. I steel my resolve, and make a promise to myself that I’d never allow this happen (and that I would stop eating Doritos before bed).
With a few easy steps, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming zombie chow during the rise of the undead.
The first step in becoming prepared for the zombie apocalypse is to prepare your home. If the George A. Romero movies have taught us anything, it’s that a secure living space is key. A farm house in the middle of nowhere? Not so good. A deserted mall with security doors? Much better. An underground military bunker stocked with supplies? Now we’re talking.
For most of us, though, we will only have access to our homes, but with a little preparation and creativity we can turn them into our fortresses. If you live in a house, you’ll want to have wood and nails ready to board up all the windows on the bottom floor. Having a fence surrounding your house will go a long way to creating an extra barrier between you and the hordes of the undead, as well as any roving bandits that will inevitably show up from time to a time in a post-apocalyptic world. While it’s tough to fully secure a regular house, if you lay low and keep the lights off at night, you can fly under the radar and avoid most trouble.
If you live in an apartment, you’re in luck. The stairways and apartments are usually supplied with security doors, very difficult for an unwanted visitor to penetrate, human or otherwise. If your apartment is above the ground floor, you won’t have to worry about zombies coming in through your windows. You’ll also have a good vantage point of the surrounding area, giving you a better chance of survival during the occasional supply raid.
After securing your home, you’ll need to stock up on supplies. I suggest at least a month of food and water to get you through the worst of times. If 28 Days Later taught us anything, it’s that after a month zombies start running out of food and starving. You’ll want at least 2 liters of water per person per day, for drinking and washing. (That’s 60 liters per person for a month). You’ll want to store a ton of food as well. Go with non-perishable, nutrient dense food, with a balance of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates. Protein and granola bars, canned fruit and veggies, peanut butter and rice are good ideas to start with. It’s also helpful if the food doesn’t need to be cooked, as energy might be in short supply.
Security, water and food are the essentials. After you have those covered, you’ll want something to keep you occupied during a zombie apocalypse. Boredom can be a killer if it causes you to leave your house. Consider a good supply of books, as CDs, DVDs and video games may be useless if the power stops working.
Once you’ve secured your home and supplied it with food, water, and entertainment, it’s imperative to STAY INDOORS. It can be tempting to want to go outside, but doing so greatly increases the chances of our above scenario happening. As long as your home is properly stocked, there’s no reason to leave it under any circumstances. Lay low and let the worst of times blow over.
OK… SO YOU’VE DECIDED TO LEAVE YOUR HOME ANYWAY
All right, so despite my best warnings, you’ve decided to leave your house. Maybe you need more supplies, food or medical assistance. Maybe you need to help someone out. Or maybe curiosity got the best of you. I don’t support your decision, but I’m here to help you increase your chances of surviving it.
First, you’ll want to have a weapon. Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide, recommends large blunt objects, such as swords, over guns. They’re silent, accurate, and don’t run out of bullets. I generally agree with this, but there’s something that Brooks is forgetting and that is that guns just LOOK COOL. I mean, there’s just something awesome and empowering about firing some rounds into the skulls of the undead. Plus, guns allow for greater distances between you and your targets. Perhaps a combination of guns and hand weapons is the best bet. Definitely resist the temptation to go Army of Darkness and break out the chainsaw, though. It’s a close range weapon, it’s loud, it runs out of gas quickly, and it will spray unwanted bits of sawed-up zombie all over you and your clothes.
You’ll want to wear multiple layers of thick clothing, to avoid any skin being penetrated by a zombie bite. Cover up as much as possible, with no open skin. The ideal would be police riot gear, so do your best to mimic that.
Get out there, do what you need you need to do, and get back quickly. Always have an escape route. Never allow yourself to get trapped in a corner. Be quick and discreet. Keep an eye out to make sure no one is following you, and you just might make it home in one piece.
COMMUNITY (NO MAN OR WOMAN IS AN ISLAND…)
In the short term, the best thing to do is to lay low. The fewer people who know where you are, the better, but in the long run, you can’t do it alone. Human beings’ greatest strength comes from our social bonds. United we stand, divided we fall, as the saying goes. People have different skills, and for us to thrive we need a community of individuals with various tools and talents. Developing these relationships now would go a long way in helping to survive and thrive in the zombie apocalypse over the long term.
Some skills and traits to look for in your future post-apocalyptic community members:
-The ability to supply food, either through farming or raising livestock
-Doctors, nurses, or anyone with medical training
-Carpenters, plumbers, or any other tradesmen
Some things to avoid in your future post-apocalyptic community members:
-Those that seem mentally unstable, on the verge of a breakdown
-Those with violent/criminal tendencies
-Anyone nursing unexplained wounds
If you prepare a network of like minded individuals before the undead begin rising, you will be in a much better position to survive over the long haul.
So you’ve had your warning, and now it’s time for action. Go out there and get prepared.
And always remember- if it looks undead, aim for the head.
Guest post by RamboMoe. Read more from him at Prepared For That.
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