Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse

As anyone who knows me knows, I have been fascinated by the Zombie genre of books and movies [mostly books, because the movies have by and large been crap....still hoping for World War Z to be screen-written]. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I use the term Zombie Apocalypse as a catch-all for any catastrophic breakdown of society.

Unfortunately for my paranoia, I'm increasingly convinced that such a break down will occur in my lifetime. Whether it will come from civil strife, economic collapse or the walking undead is anyone's guess....but our foundation of society is appearing more tenuous with each passing day. Now, I'm not off the deep end with this paranoia as many are; I can't really be termed a "prepper" in the true sense, but I like to think I do what I can to maintain a modicum of self sufficiency should the fabric of our society come asunder.

I stock enough food and water to last a couple of months with rationing; I own firearms and continue to acquire ammunition; I try and find ways to provide for energy requirements should the power grid fail; and most importantly, I like to know the capabilities of my neighbors.

I am fortunate enough to live in a small, somewhat off the beaten path neighborhood in a small town, near a vast forested region rife with game and fresh water. I have neighbors who try to be as self sufficient as myself with varying intensity. I have a neighbor who is also my family physician. In short, I am better off than most should it come to the worst. But what about you? Take a simple inventory of your standing should the power fail, or government support collapse, or a natural or man-made catastrophe occur.

Do you have any food and water stocked? Medicine? What about those items people tend to take for granted like toilet paper or feminine hygiene products? Are you capable of defending yourself? Can you count on banding together with any neighbors or family for protection and resource sharing? Can you produce heat or power to cook and stay clean?

Something else to consider is a bug-out plan. Although I fantasize of escaping to Costa Rica and living like a king, the truth is that if society collapses, it will be sudden and dramatic. Flight canceled. We do however, live within walking distance to an enormous National Park, where one could literally lose themselves in; so I suppose Big Meadows is far more likely than Costa Rica for me.

Finally, I see a sad shift in society today, one that I suppose should be inevitable, given the leaps in technology and our reliance on it. Skills. No, not Skillz Napoleon. Skills. Can you hunt or fish? Make anything with your hands? Handy around the house? Know your way around a toolbox? If not......please don't come knocking on my door unless you're laden with beer, coffee or are able to restock my ammo supply. Too many people today are analysts, or traders, or agents, or in sales. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but if you have no useful skills outside of the contemporary job marketplace, what are you going to do if the shit hits the fan? I joke about the fat and out-of-shape being valuable because the Zombies are going to eat them first....and we can use them as bait....but the general premise applies in reality. If you cannot make any attempt at taking care of yourself, you are going to be reduced to being a leech [I do make an exception for swimsuit models of course...morale is always a consideration].

Just some random musings....if we don't become a police state, we're bound to become a failed state. Call me a pessimist, but the news isn't getting any rosier.


  1. I'm in a densely-populated suburb of a major metropolis, so for me the big issue would be getting out of the city. Water would be problematic, but at the moment I really have nowhere to store it. I have handguns, but in a true societal collapse I suspect that rifles and shotguns will be more useful.

    So in addition to a basic lack of room to store short-term supplies, I also have the problem that I would really need to get the family somewhere else in order to have any chance at long-term survival.

    So honestly, the best bet for me is either zombies or some sort of massive plague. If - if - we don't die in the initial outbreak, then the population will be diminished enough that we have some chance of setting up with enough resources to manage long-term survival. If, on the other hand, we just suddenly run out of gas, then I'll be reduced to descending on the countryside with all the other hapless city-dwellers like a swarm of overpriviledged locusts. Frankly, I think I'd prefer a plague.

  2. I agree that a population diminishing catastrophe would be better in the survival aspect, not that I wish that per se. But a collapse with the current population levels certainly makes the prospect bleaker.

    I don't know where 'Darkest America' is, but if it's anywhere near Northern Virginia, you've got a safe house.

  3. Thanks. "Darkest America" is Texas; I'm in Dallas. I have some family up in the Cumberland Plateau area of Tennessee, and that's probably where I'd want to head... well, to be honest, that's where I'd like to live, but the job and the immediate family are all right here.

    It sounds a lot like where you live, actually.


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