Since the CDC is getting into it, I figured I’ll spill the beans on my plan just in case. I don’t mind telling everyone this because… well… it’s an apocalypse. Most likely less than 10% of the human race will survive as humans. That means most of you will be zombies and uninterested in my plans (my brains are another story). If I am turned, this hopefully this will help you survive.
First of all, let’s consider the CDC’s recommendations. One gallon of water per person per day, some non-perishable food, blankets, etc. OK, this is The Zombie Apocalypse not a hurricane or an earthquake.
I think everyone should have an “Oh Shit” bag. Depending on your circumstances, the CDC list is a good list. Very basic supplies for getting the heck out of dodge quickly. A change of clothes, some food bars (not real food, but long term food replacements), water bottles, medicines, a gun, first aid kit, spare pair of glasses, etc. Put it all in a backpack or duffel and change the supplies out once a month to keep fresh food and water and keep mold out of the clothes and a blanket (don’t forget toiletries). Have one for each member of the family.
This is great for any local natural disaster whether it be a hurricane or earthquake all the way to a toxic chemical spill down the road. The intent is to keep everyone healthy for a day or two until emergency help arrives from outside. If need be, you can walk out of the situation with this gear.
But we’re talking about the Zombie Apocalypse man. This isn’t a natural disaster, this the end of the world. Just a few hearty survivors trying to bring back a civilization that once numbered in the billions.
There won’t be a government left to come to your rescue in a day or two. If they do, you can bet you’ll be considered infected (or whatever). So, this is my advice for all end of the world type scenarios (zombies, biochemical attack, rapture, whatever). I’ll break this into sections to make it a little easier.
OK, it’s happened, we’ll assume the gross part is over and you and maybe a few loved ones survived. You’ve been eating canned beans and ramen for the last few days. You should have some kind of firearm for defense. Honestly, I don’t like them much, but the shotgun is probably the best all around weapon to have. It’s pretty simple, easy to use, lots and lots of ammo floating around, and can defend your home from zombies and shoot a bird out of the sky for supper.
What’s the first thing you do?
If you said go to Walmart, Target, or a sports & outdoors store… you’re wrong… and probably dead. Those places will be death traps. First, they are full all the time, so probably there are dead bodies and things feeding on the bodies. The food is not sealed or in sufficient quantities (at Academy). And looters (and everyone else) will be heading there to grab a couple of TVs for while the electricity stays on for the next three days*.
Where should you go? First place I’m heading for is the local gun store (one without heavy bars on all the windows). That’s just to stock up on equipment and get it before the looters do.
The next place is the local US Army reserve base. You should have one pretty close, check your phone book. Ask around, if the local reserve unit is a fighting unit, then go there first and get full auto weapons. There you can also pick up military grade vehicles, radios, MREs (Meals-Ready-to-Eat… also known as Meals-Rejected-by-Everyone). This should last you for a day or two.
Hopefully by this point, you’ve managed to gather a group of survivors (here’s a hint… radio stations). Now, you’re ready for phase 2.
By know you’ve realized that things aren’t going well. You’ve probably been attacked by zombies (or infected victims or something) a few times. Your small group has been growing larger. Here’s the things you need to be doing.
First, you need storage. Computer storage. Huh? Think about it, you’ve got maybe three days before all the power is gone and, for all intents and purposes, all the knowledge of humanity is lost. Much of that information is available in a convenient, easily searchable form on-line. You need to get it.
Grab a couple of large hard drives (multi-terabyte) and download as much of wikipedia, webMD, eHow, and farming, ranching, veterinarian, cloth-making, cheese-making, leather making, etc. etc. etc. as you can get. These are all highly important skills to a pre-industrial society… and very few people on this planet have these kinds of skills. You’ll need them, desperately. Even just knowing basic weather prediction could make the difference between life and death.
You also need to be getting a phone database for every city within about 300 miles. That’s close enough to make it to the city in a day, do some collecting and get back to base camp before nightfall.
You’ll also need a base camp. Staying in a city is suicide. First, a larger concentration of people means a larger concentration of zombies (or whatever). You want to get out in the countryside. Other survivors (who might not be friendly) will head for the cities and the supplies they represent. Finally, there is rarely enough open space to grow crops and ranch for even a small group of survivors inside the city limits. So avoid the cities.
Ideally, you can find an already functioning farm to just take over. Of course, you’ll want to beef up the defenses of the place. You’ll need electricity, water, and year-round food supplies.
There are lots of internet websites devoted to multi-year survival techniques. Find them and download them too. But I’ll hit the high-points.
You’ll need a steady supply of weapons. Local military bases is what you want. In the case of the zombie apocalypse, shotguns are just for use until you get some real firepower. You need machine guns (preferably belt fed), 40mm grenade launchers (preferably full-auto), claymore and other anti-personnel mines of all shapes and sizes. Military bases often have armed transport. Tanks are overkill in zombieland, but a armored fighting vehicle like a Bradley or a Stryker would be very useful. Heavy trucks and engineer vehicles would also be useful. Don’t forget the maintenance manuals for the vehicles.
You’ll need year-round food. Find a local supplier of glass and build greenhouses. You can use heaters to maintain air temp and daylight lamps to extend the growing cycle. Even a couple of large barns would work if you had enough daylight lamps. Food is going to be the biggest long-term issue. We aren’t used to growing and making our own food. If you aren’t careful you’ll forget to keep a bread yeast culture and won’t be able to make leavened bread anymore. That would suck.
Early on, you can hit a survival food warehouse for several years worth of stored food in a variety of forms. As you get better and better at farming and ranching, you’ll need to dip into your emergency supply less and less. Soon, you might be able to start adding to the emergency stash.
Finally, we need electricity. Our defenses (spot lights, night vision), our food (daylight lamps, heaters, air conditioners), our safety (fridge, HVAC, etc) all depend on electricity. That’s OK. You or someone in your group will have to learn to be an electrician, but there should be a supply of solar panel somewhere around where you live. If you are lucky enough to live near a wind farm or a solar installation, just move in to a place near those and you won’t even have to install the panels. I would suggest batteries. A single Autozone store ought to have enough lead acid batteries to run your base for a few days. (Keep them in a separate building.)
Water, the military base or the local waster water treatment facility should have a ready supply of reverse osmosis filters and chlorine for water treatment.
Well, that’s some of the things I’ve come up with. It’s not everything because my fingers are tired and I want to sleep now, but it should be enough to get you thinking and investigating your own local area for long-term survival needs.
*Yep, that’s about how long the electricity will last without sufficient power workers to keep it running. Nuclear plants will last the longest, but there aren’t that many in the US and there will be lots of lights and computers left on drawing that power. Brownouts might hit very quickly (within 8-12 hours) and the grid will go down shortly afterwards. You cannot count on electrical power.