Zombie Warfare Preparation: Making Your Escape
Live to Fight Another Day
In the war against the undead, how long can you and your group stay in the same place?
There are a few stark realities we all must consider while under siege against this enemy. They are the embodiment of total war. They are relentless. They do not breathe, eat, drink, sleep, tire, go to the bathroom, or require anything. They don't even use teamwork. Each one of them is a self sustaining threat and a unit unto itself. They do not feel cold, heat, or pain. They do not rest and they have only one objective: You.
You, on the other hand do require food, water, air, sleep, and companionship. There are tasks that you don't want to do alone - like guard duty.
If you are stuck in one shelter by yourself, eventually you'll want to leave. Now I use the term eventually in the sense that while it's completely conceivable to stay in one place for a week, two weeks, or perhaps a month - you won't want to stay there alone for a year or two.
How did I come up with that time frame? Because a zombie does not require food, drink, air, or sleep, it will stay committed to attacking you until one of two things happen. Either the zombie will be distracted by someone or something else and leave the attack (possible - and bad luck for the other person) OR it will keep trying to get into your fortification until its body parts begin to rot away from the elements.
Remember, we as living human beings are constantly regenerating cells. That is the advantage to living. If we over exert ourselves, our muscles will tear and rebuild themselves to become even stronger (hence the mechanics of body builders). Zombies don't have that luxury. The tear a muscle, it stays torn. Eventually the zombie will lose enough mobility that it will only be able to shamble onward.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that the process will take about a year or two - all depending on the weather and general climate. Zombies that stay in the temperate states that have mild seasons could last that long without much stress to their bodies. Zombies that stay in winter zones are prone to freezing which can extend their existence as they will thaw out and be just as deadly as they were before the freeze. Zombies in dryer desert zones will dehydrate leaving their muscles tough. leathery, and sluggish.
The shortest amount of time rotting would happen is in warm, moist states like Louisiana where the amount of parasitic infestation on the zombie's muscle system would aid in breaking it down. In that case, the waiting time would probably be less than a year.
In any event, you'll have run out of supplies by then.
Where would you run to?
There are a few things to keep in mind. Your priorities, depending on the type of person you are, are ideally the same as most military operations: Mission, men, self.
The mission is to get to a better fortification OR to gather food and bring it back. Depending on the health and welfare of your group, you'll need to make that call. Many who have decided to stick it out in their own fortification in temperate zones don't last long in the same place. The odds of getting out of your safe-hold, making it past the zombie horde, and getting back successfully are low unless you have a plan OR an escape tunnel.
Ultimately, your team should not be in any place for more than a week without a self sustaining food supply. While its perfectly understandable to rest for a few days with an injured party, your goal is to get to a self sustaining safe haven.
So what do you do?
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The Four D's
In any good escape plan remember the Four D's: Direction, diversion, distraction, and division.
- Direction - Know where you're going. If your group has a short destination know how you're going to get there. If you say you're going to the car across the street or to the warehouse across the bridge make sure everyone knows where they are supposed to go.
If it's a matter of running one place first and then going to an ultimate goal, once again, make sure everyone is on board.
- Diversion - You will need to create a diversion that will get the attention of the zombies away from your fortification. When you make your escape, you want as few zombies around as possible. Remember, they are not smart. Anything, even if it's lame. Turning on your car remotely might just do the trick. Throwing a bunch of firecrackers across the street (or launching some kind of device to get them there) will work just as well. Be creative.
- Distraction - So long as your diversion is keeping the horde distracted from you and your team, you will have a chance to escape. So long as most, if not all, of the zombies are attracted to something else. This leads us to...
- Division - If there are some stragglers left behind, you will be able to SILENTLY take them out with a shovel or bat. DO NOT USE A FIREARM!!! Your job to to escape as quietly as possible. The success of your escape is dependent on your STEALTH.
Any escape plan you undertake is contingent on the health of your team. The more able bodied your members are, the more likely your escape will be.
There are more unscrupulous tactics that can be taken which are not recommended.
For example, should one of your party be injured, leaving them behind as a screaming casualty will save your life. However, should you be with a group of survivors it is most likely that they will view your callous behavior with a healthy amount of scorn and should you find yourself in a similar situation, you could be the next "casualty".
Remember, despite the "every man for himself" philosophy, you are all in this together.