Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse

Be Prepared

In light of recent remarks made by the Centers For Disease Control, I thought it was about time I addressed a serious issue that we may all face in the very near future. I am speaking, of course, about the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse. Some may scoff at the idea of a zombie apocalypse, but considering the major advancements that have been made in scientific research, and the ongoing research in the field of biological and chemical weaponry, it is entirely possible that some bug, or chemical weapon will either accidentally infect the world, or it will be unleashed after falling into the wrong hands. Either way, it is best to be prepared. The CDC suggests you prepare as you would prepare for any other major disaster, and while to a certain extent, that is all well and good, there is a rather large difference between a major hurricane, and a hoard of brain-hungry zombies roaming the streets, consuming everyone in their path.

What Is A Zombie? How Will It Happen?


What is a zombie? The idea of a zombie originated with the religion of voodoo. While voodoo has gotten a rather bad rap over the years; with curses, voodoo dolls, and the sort; the religion itself is a little less disturbing and fantastic than the movies would have you believe. The real power of voodoo is in the belief of it. It is said that a powerful bokor, or priest, can use a powerful potion that will kill a man, but make it possible to bring the man back from the dead, and then use the zombie to do his bidding. A zombie, in any sense, is a person who has died and then had their dead body reanimated, no matter the cause or reason.

These types of zombies, while giving us a little historical frame of reference, are not the zombies I am talking about. The zombies I am talking about, the ones most likely to overrun the Earth, devouring all life in their path, are the more famous zombies of movie fame, than those of religious myth. As to what would bring about this zombie apocalypse, there are several theories, and ideas.

One theory as to what would bring about an infestation of flesh eating zombies is a massive infection, that spreads quickly. What exactly would be the source of the infection? More than likely, it would be caused by the release (either accidental or intentional) of a virus. This virus would have to not only incubate rapidly in a person, but also spread rapidly from person to person. Some theorize that a mutated strain of the rabies virus would be the cause. Rabies is a virus that is transmitted through a bite by an infected animal. It can spread to humans, and it can be deadly. It does not reanimate dead tissue, bringing the infected back to life, but it does create a “madness”, a state that causes the infected to act in a more base, animal state. It causes brain damage, affecting thought, gross motor control, and often leading to coma and death.

Also a possibility is a strain of a virus similar to Mad Cow Disease. Mad Cow Disease is a modified protein, called a prion protein. When a cow ingests this protein, it causes brain and spinal cord degeneration. We all know what that means...It causes your brain to degenerate, therefor, causing physical and mental impairments. Similar to rabies, it would not reanimate dead tissue, but would cause a "zombie-like" state. It would have to be a mutant strain of Mad Cow, also known as BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), because it has a rather long incubation period, and therefor, would not spread quickly.

Other suggest that a entirely new, lab-created, virus or toxin will be to blame (think Resident Evil). Experimentation involving chemical and biological weapons is done by more countries and governments than we can even imagine, and the advancements in that research is more than likely beyond what even the most imaginative screen writer could come up with. Testing is done on animals, and in some countries, even people. What if one of these “test subjects” were to somehow get out? As I write this, dozens of epidemic, zombie, and end-of-the-world movies are running through my head.

Truthfully, the possibilities are endless. Anything is possible. A comet from a distant planet, carrying a bizarre virus or parasite, mutations after a nuclear war, so many different scenarios have been explored through literature and film. Cause aside, let's take a look at the most important part...survival. How do you survive when all the odds are against you?

These people demonstrate what a zombie invasion might look like
These people demonstrate what a zombie invasion might look like
Nazi Zombies...now that IS scary!
Nazi Zombies...now that IS scary!

Basic Survival

Basic survival is about meeting your immediate needs; food, water, shelter and safety. That goes for any disaster, no matter what the cause. In the event of a zombie apocalypse, there are other things to consider as well, but we will get to those later. Having an emergency preparedness kit on hand is a good idea, especially if you live in areas where you are more likely to encounter a natural disaster. I have a small kit in my closet, just in case, as well as water and food in the pantry.

In terms of water, the basic rule of thumb is one gallon of water, per person, per day. Water is essential to survival. A person can last around three days without water, depending on the circumstances. Having a supply of bottled water is a good idea. Either fill up some jugs from the sink or spend the money on bottled water, either way, make sure you have water on hand. If the zombie apocalypse comes about, eventually, the electrical grid will start to shut down. Indoor plumbing will be a thing of the past; everything will fall away. Water can be found other ways, of course, rivers, lakes, etc, but with the levels of pollution that are already affecting the Earth, and depending on the cause, those types of water sources may not even be safe. A supply of water purification tablets are also a good idea, if the disaster sends you on the move. Tablets are easier to cart around than gallon jugs of water.

The next concern is food. Anyone who lives in an area prone to hurricanes, generally has a supply of food on hand. Canned goods are a great idea, as are easy to prepare foods with a long shelf life. If electricity shuts down, so does any means for keeping food cold. And, for goodness sake, remember to have a manual can opener along with the canned goods. I know some households don't even have one anymore. A good variety of foods is a good idea; canned fruits, vegetables, meats and fish, as well as crackers and pasta, evaporated or powdered milk, nuts, dried fruits, and other powdered or dried items.

Shelter is a concern in the event of any disaster, but in the event of a zombie apocalypse, shelter is a different concern. In a natural disaster, shelter is needed to provide protection from the elements, such as a hurricane or tornado. Zombies bring about a whole new set of problems. Suitable shelter needs to be fortified, and secure. Some may wish to seek out other survivors, but that poses a certain amount of risk. Large, urban areas are particularly tricky. A large population ensures that there will be a large food source for not only the survivors, but also for the zombies. And in the long run, cities start to smell with the built up garbage and other unpleasant things. Rural areas may be a safer haven initially, but will be less secure, and will provide less of an abundance of readily available food sources. It seems, in this instance, suburban areas are a better bet on the basis that they average out both risk factors. For once, suburbia isn't the horrible place everyone seems to think it is.

A funny movie, showing the more "human" side of zombies
A funny movie, showing the more "human" side of zombies

Defend Against the Living Dead

Beyond the basics of survival, we need to look at the need for protection and defense. You need to be prepared. If you decide that you are safer as long as you are on the move, you need to be ready to defend yourself against the throngs of ravenous undead that will be looking for their next meal. You need to make sure you aren't on the menu.

Weapons are essential, but practically useless if you don't know how to use them. If you don't know how to use a gun, either learn, or stick with a less risky weapon like a sword or large knife. A machete is a great choice. Plus, they have the added benefit of not needing ammunition. Almost anything can be used as a weapon in a pinch. A good selection of weapons is essential for defending yourself against the random zombie encounter. So, now that you have some weapons, there are a few things you need to know about zombies in order for the weapons to be effective.

Zombies are, according to most accounts, slow-moving, and rather unintelligent. That works in your favor. Use that to your advantage as much as you can. Remember, however, that being that they move so slow, they can travel further distances without tiring. Look at a cheetah. They travel very fast, but can only run short sprints before needing to slow down and rest. A much slower animal can cover greater distances, and continue on longer. A zombie may be easy enough to get away from, but they will catch up with you eventually. Their noticeable lack of intelligence means that even the most simple of obstacles may be hard for them to negotiate. Door knobs may even be beyond their understanding, though they are more likely to just bust down the door, instead.

A zombie can sustain an injury and still continue on. Having already been dead, they most likely have some form of injury to begin with. A loss of a leg or an arm may be of no concern to a mindless feeding machine. Always, always aim for the head. That is the only sure-fire way to put down a zombie for good. You must do major damage to the brain, or remove the head all together. While this may seem gruesome to most, it is information that is vital to one's survival. Even a legless, armless zombie will find a way to drag the remainder of their body to the closest source of food. Kind of like an undead version of the knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, just refusing to give up. Be careful when killing a zombie, though, especially in close quarters.

Don't let a zombie get close enough to scratch or bite you. While a scratch may not lead to infection, a bite is almost guaranteed to. Also be careful about getting their blood on you, or in your mouth. The thoughts on the methods of transmission vary, but better safe than sorry. Keeping a first aid kit and hygiene supplies is a must. Keep all wounds clean and bandaged to prevent not only infection by the zombies, but also more common infections that could slow you down, make you sick or even kill you. Just because zombies roam the earth doesn't mean that other nasty bugs just cease to exist.

Important Instructional Video

The World May Depend on You!

Now that you have the basic information you need in order to survive and a list of items you might need for a complete survival kit, you are well on your way to being prepared just in case those cheesy horror movies, and the jokers at the CDC, are right, and the world does end up overrun with zombies. And just in case you are looking for some more in depth information, you can do a little research of your own, and watch some of the numerous zombie movies out there. You will have plenty of great, and not so great, movies to choose from. Or try out some of the great zombie killing video games. Think of it as a training simulator.

© 2011 Anna Marie Bowman

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Comments 20 comments

tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 4 years ago from home

AMB,

i was listening to geore norrie coast2coast am- he had a guest on that said there are a few "species" of zombiesthere is the stereotypical slow movers and a quick moving type each able to live under the sea being dead and all some have been cross engineered by world govts... I don't doubt anything- I know the germans were trying to develop a super soldier- maybe they were dabbling in reanimating thE DEAD...

The US did get allot of that info... who knows I also know many of the german heirarchy were into black magic tooo- odd connection if you ask me....

TH


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 4 years ago from Florida Author

tom-- I have a few more theories as well...maybe a mutant strain of mad cow...it has all the right markers for it.

Shadow Assassin-- I have no idea. Maybe one of those bear suits would protect you, but they are incredibly hard to move around in...or those suits bomb squads use to diffuse bombs...but again, the mobility issues...


Shadow Assassin 5 years ago

I find this really helpful I'm going to pack my stuff right now just in case but I have 1 Q if you wear a juggernaut suit would zombies still be able to kill you? I mean with the helmet and all the stuff?


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 5 years ago from home

AMB,

that is true I believe that "some/A" govt knows about or even createed the disease, by accident or on purpose hard to say...

TH


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 5 years ago from Florida Author

Tom-- Very true, but there is no guarantee that a cure, or vaccine would do any good. Viruses have a way of mutating.


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 5 years ago from home

AMB,et al,

Maybe-only certain folks have a cure- maybe only those who created the zombies...

Maybe it ont matter-if the zombies diseases evole into more dangerous previously unknown Zombie diseases/pathogens

TH


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 5 years ago from Florida Author

Andy-- You might be right. That is a scary thought, though...Thanks for reading!!


Andy Ramjohn profile image

Andy Ramjohn 5 years ago from Canada

Thanks AMB - relevant and thought-provoking. You are right - the scenerios are endless, on many many levels. Food for thought - if this turns out to be man-made, then the most likely reason would be for population control and in order to prevent a total global take over, the powers that be would have to already be immune, or already have the cure for themselves.

Thanks for the getting the information out there!

God-bless!


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 5 years ago from Florida Author

Silent-- Glad you found it helpful. I hope I never have to put to use what I put together here, but if I do, at least I will be prepared as well.


Silent Sinner profile image

Silent Sinner 5 years ago

I have found this very helpful . I never took this so serious. It makes me want to go pack a Zombie Apocalipse bag now. I will be prepared . :)


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 5 years ago from Florida Author

Tom-- Anything is possible, and I agree on the weapon of choice, a sword or big knife is a great idea.

Susie-- Thank you!!

legalese-- It is true that we should be prepared to kill even our closest friends, and most loved family members should they become infected. Bill Murray, too. LOL! (Loved Zombieland, BTW)


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 5 years ago from home

All,

get a big sword/knife Chop their heads off...

TH


legalese profile image

legalese 5 years ago

Here is what the CDC won't tell you: in order to survive the zombie apocalypse, you must be prepared to ruthlessly kill family/friends/fellow survivors/the elderly/Bill Murray at the VERY FIRST sign of infection. So if Grandma becomes mysteriously ill after the zombies attack, shoot first and ask questions later.


SUSIE DUZY profile image

SUSIE DUZY 5 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

Very good read. thanks


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 5 years ago from home

AMB,

I listen to Coast 2 Coast at night and he had a special guest who talked about this and said the Roanoke colony in Virginia didnt disappear- the just went underwater lIKE i SAID, could "CRATOAN" BE A STRAIN OF ZOMBIE VIRUS? AND NOT JUST AN ISLAND.THERE could be a connection... ya never know...

TH


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 5 years ago from Florida Author

tom-- You make a great point. Too many people feel that they would be safe on the water, or going to an island where the infection hasn't spread, but they don't take into account the reality of the situation...zombies are the living dead, they don't need oxygen like we do. As far as Roanoke...you may be right. No definitive explanation has been given to the settlers of the island. It may very well have been zombies. They may be laying low on the ocean floor, waiting for the right time...anything is possible.


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 5 years ago from home

AMB,

There has been alot of "lore" about zombies and their existance. Right NOW-there are reportedly 1000's of underwater Zombies roaming the ocean floor- as they do not need oxygen-being dead and all- living on the ocean floor is ok... I believe the Raleigh colony- that disappeared may have been a start and "Croatoan" may be the disease name given to the zombification of the people there NOW extinct... why are they extinct or have they gone underwater...was the word Croatoan a place of destination or an origin of the virus?????

TH


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 5 years ago from Florida Author

SubRon-- I know...my writing kind of runs all over the place. I don't know what that says about me. I had a lot of fun with this one, and was actually inspired to write it after watching a documentary about the possibilities of a zombie apocalypse. I found it very interesting...can't remember the name of it now, though. I will check out the hub and the show. Thank you for your praise and great information!!!

Marlin-- Thank you so much!!


Marlin 55 profile image

Marlin 55 5 years ago from USA

awesome hub. I agree, anything can happen.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 5 years ago from eastern North Dakota

From "A Timeless Love Story" (which I really enjoyed) to zombies. My goodness, Anna Marie Bowman, you might be one of the last I would expect an Apocalypse-hub from, but what a hub! I voted up all the way, except "beautiful" and I wished there was a button for scarey. You make a very good case for this type scenario. I don't like to hear it but I know research into biological and chemical weapons goes on all over the world, and nuclear. I don't know if you follow Just Ask Susan but she provided a very short hub called "The Feast is Over." A short hub but about an hour-long show from the History Channel called "The Prophets of Doom." It took a lot of my "valuable" time but I watched it to the end, and reccommend(?) it to all. And now after reading your hub I will look into more, different, survival strategies. Thank you, Anna.

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