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The State of Survival: Surviving Z-Day – Part 1

Posted by on 2012/05/28

During the Zombie Outbreak all the idiots are dead in 48 hours or less.
Your primary goal is not being an idiot.

The first and best tool for survival in the event of an outbreak is the time you have right now, while you’re still a sane, rational, non-cannibalistic, warm blooded, uninfected human. Every minute from now until the outbreak reaches your town, city, village, farm, arcology, or submarine, is the most precious resource you have – and the truth is, you don’t need to spend all of it preparing for the apocalypse, just a fraction, really – there are 5 key elements to outbreak survival.

1. Know your enemy
2. Equip Yourself
3. Stay or GO
4. Moving on
5. Goal Setting

    1. Know your enemy:

There is as much, if not more, lore, mythology, ‘common knowledge’, soft science, and speculation about Zombie Attacks, as any other hypothetical survival situation. There is a ‘wealth’ of information out there and though it is all essentially hypothetical, there is something to be gleaned. The unifying thing about zombie lore, regardless of whether it’s about magical zombies, or virus zombies, or radioactive zombies, is that it lays out a terrible scenario. Essentially the primary hazard of the scenario is this:

Somewhere out there, a highly contagious condition is turning every human into a single-minded aggressive relentless killer that will pursue you until you are killed or until it is thoroughly incapacitated.

Regardless of whether or not ‘zombism’ is possible, this is an illustration of a worst case scenario for survival. Since there is no way to know what ‘zombism’ will manifest as, we are going to use the traditional conventions of the scenario as our loose guidelines.

Zombies will fixate pursue you for as long as possible, without stopping to rest, sleep, or treat injuries.
Zombies will share a herd mentality, and will be drawn to any stimulus be it sight, sound, smell, anything indicative of a live meal, as a group.
Zombism is highly contagious, and all physical contact should be avoided, at all costs.

Do not assume that zombies are dumb, slow, or easily fooled – survival preparation means: assume they are every bit as dangerous and cunning as a living human being that hates you, feels no pain, has no regard for their own life or safety, and will do whatever it takes to kill you. Put in that context: your world is suddenly occupied by billions of sociopathic killer junkies, and your brain is the only fix for their addiction.

What we can take from zombie lore is: Destroy the head.
Not for some scientific, mystical, or superstitious purpose, but because, having no real-world knowledge of how a zombie ‘works’ we have to assume that it’s the only reliable method to kill them. If, in your particular zombie outbreak, that zombies ‘die’ forever if you cut off their index fingers, than you’ll have to adapt on the fly.

    2. Equip yourself.

Alright, I want to get weapons out of the way immediately because this is a conversation that can go on forever. Your ideal arsenal will include a long range firearm, a medium to close range firearm that can be used one handed, a bludgeoning weapon, and a bladed weapon.

Long range firearm: This is all matter of personal preference, but a rifle with an ample supply of ammunition may be the only way to break a siege if your holdout is surrounded by a throng of moaning, clawing undead. If we assume that zombies are attracted to loud noises however, this weapon is a last resort, as it may bring around more curious zombies than it dispatches.

Medium to Close range firearm: I prefer high caliber 1911 style pistols, but you may like a sturdy reliable revolver or a tactical shotgun. Whatever the case, you want to become very familiar with your gun of choice. Go down to the range and practice.

Bludgeoning Weapon: You don’t want to be splattered with zombie blood, because it may infect you, but you do need a reliable head busting weapon, that’s really durable, easy to use, and is perfectly suited to the task. A lot come to mind, crowbar, hammer, the amazing annihilator wrecking bar, but really, what you want is either a nice sturdy baseball bat – like the ‘unbreakable’ brooklyn smasher from coldsteel, or a solid willow cricket bat. The point is, you want a tool that can smash a skull in, and won’t break in the process, won’t get stuck in, and won’t drench you in infected blood.

Bladed weapon: When you need quick and quiet, whether it’s for holding a horde back or stealthily stabbing a survivor in his sleep, go japanese. A purely tactical bladed solution is a full 3 piece daisho, Katana, Wakisashi, and Tanto – or just one Ninja-To, check out the Hanwei line of practical martial arts weapons- but for practical purposes i’m going to again recommend my favorite machete – Buck Hoodlum.

Alright, now that we’ve got some weapons, lets get to the important stuff. Your survival kit.

Sometimes referred to as a go-bag, or a bug-out-bag, your Survive whatever kit should be packed and ready so you can bust out into the countryside and disappear into the unpopulated wilderness. Rather than just link you back to an earlier post, I’ll throw it down right here. Everything you need is inexpensive and readily available. You need to drink water, eat food, start fires, clean and close wounds, protect yourself, find/build shelter, and prevent illness/injury. Simplest terms: You want a first aid kit, a sewing kit, some mylar emergency blankets, rope, a blade, a multitool, a light source, water purification tablets + a PET water bottle or two, a few MREs or meal replacement bars, an entry tool like a crowbar or the wrecking bar, some lighters, waterproof matches, as well as a reliable magnesium firestarter, and a couple pairs of socks, underwear, maps of the surrounding area, solar/battery radio, and some soap. The entire thing should be stowed in a bag you can easily sling over a shoulder and run with. Ideally you want a waterproof backpack.

3. Stay or Go

You’ve got your bag, so you’re ready go if you need to, but where the fuck do you go? Well, if everyone in the world is turning into a cannibalistic killing machine, you want to avoid population centers. The trick is, if you’re in a city, getting out of that city. Just getting your car out of the parking lot of a stadium after a game takes hours, imagine if you were trying to join the throng leaving a city as part of an evacuation. It’s a nightmare, and when you’re under attack from ravenous zombies, that car might as well be a coffin, because you’re not getting out alive. Now, if you have a motorcycle, dirt bike, atv, off-road ready 4WD vehicle, and a path mapped out, then you can probably just leave.

During the evacuation, if there is an evacuation, that is when the transmission of infection will be at it’s statistical highest, and localized to the evacuation routes. It’s probably the safest time to stay put and hole up. If your population center is the only one infected, then you do want to get out, as your region will likely be quarantined and firebombed to contain the infection. If it is a national or global epidemic, then you don’t exactly have anywhere safe to go anyway. So why leave? Well, if 90% of the earth’s population were zombies, then you’d want to go to the area of the lowest population density to minimize your chance of encountering said zombies.

Now, what about fortification? Chances are your apartment complex is not a great holdfast to wait out the apocalypse – but where you go is up to you. When scouting your area for potential hideouts, keep in mind you won’t be the only survivor out there.

-Contiuned in Part 2-

2 Responses to The State of Survival: Surviving Z-Day – Part 1

  1. Erin

    Please keep me updated

  2. Survival Food

    Knowing the enemy and his weaknesses can give you the critical edge at the time of attack.

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