Prepping for the zombie apocalypse

What if the  world I knew came to an end? What if millions of the undead began roaming the streets in a quest to fulfill their never-ending hunger? Let’s say this process occurred over a period of a week or two, so I had some time to prepare.  What are the first things I would do? How could I get ready in just a few days for the oncoming zombie horde? Well, I’ll tell you.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsFirst I would head to the grocery store. Hopefully my hyper-awareness of an imminent zombie apocalypse would allow me to be one of the first to realize that things had gotten bad, and I’d be able to load up a couple months worth of non-perishable items. I would also empty the store garden center of seeds in case I had to stay some place for a long time. Once I had secured my food supply, I would head home to load up my wife and doggy. Doggies are essential, since everyone knows zombies hate them. My dog is a Puggle and not particularly fearsome, but he is plump and may make a good zombie snack. It could give me a few extra minutes to get away in an emergency… OK, I’m kidding. I already said zombies hate dogs; they’d never go for the Puggle snack trick. I’d need to find a cat instead — way more tasty to zombies.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Next on my list would be armaments. Guns, bats, dynamite, missiles, and anything else that can make a zombie head explode. Food, family, and weapons would be tightly packed into the SUV, and we’d head to my parents’ house out in the countryside to secure more weapons. Country folk are always armed — my parents are no different. I’d make sure my brother was on his way from Terre Haute with his arsenal, and we’d begin to inventory the ammo.

Last on my list, after food and firearms, would be fortifications. We’d block up every window and unnecessary door. If blocks are not available, then I’d board them up. I’d leave very few holes to see out of. Anywhere I can see out of, a zombie can see in. I’d rather avoid them than fight them. I would also need board games. I would have my family sealed in a house with me for an undetermined amount of time. They will be forced to succumb to my call for Monopoly at some point. There would be no “mush pot” in the middle for when you land on free parking. They’d have to earn their money through rent over several hours like the game is supposed to be played.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThat’s my plan. The four F’s of zombie survival: Food, Family, Firearms, and Fortifications. One could argue that a good sword is actually better than a gun. I would agree in the long-term. Guns create noise which attracts zombies. In the initial days of the zombie apocalypse, speed is the most important thing. You need to get the hell away from wherever you are, and nothing is quicker at dispatching zombies than a bullet through the head. Once you establish a base and plan to stay there for awhile, then it might be wise to limit your gun usage to only emergencies.

So dear readers, what would you do to get ready for the zombie apocalypse? You don’t have to get as detailed as I did, but I’m curious if you’ve put any thought into it. Where would you go first? To the family farm like I did? Maybe you live in the big city and are completely screwed. Would you head for a military base, or possibly a university? You can also tell me what I missed.

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JUSTIN BLAZIER (on FanLit's staff since September 2009) is a Cyber-Security Analyst/Network Engineer located in Northern Kentucky. Like many fantasy enthusiasts, Justin cut his teeth on authors like Tolkien, Anthony, and Lewis. Due to lack of space, his small public library would often give him their donated SFF books. When he is not reading books he is likely playing board games or Tabletop RPGs. Justin lives in a quiet neighborhood with his wife, their daughter, and Norman the dog.

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  1. I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how cute your puggle is. ;)

    Hmm, zombie apocalypse. I’m not sure I have a brain, so I may be safe anyway!

  2. Well, maybe it’s just us Europeans, but countryfolk here don’t always have weapons. My parents certainly don’t. My grandparents do, but they are hunters.
    I wouldn’t shut myself up in my house either, because if they’re out to hunt humans that’s the first place they’ll be looking for.
    I’d probably fly somewhere where there don’t live many people (like the Brazilian rainforest or some desert or Mongolia or Niue or something :D), so it wouldn’t be on their list of places to hit. And then I’d just hide out there until I can figure out what the hell is going on :D If I do have enough time to prepare, I’d do basically the same you would do… buy lots of food and survival stuff, get my family and pack some entertainment… and then wait for Will and Tommy to save the world.

  3. Ahh, silly, silly man. Writing what you “would” do. Asking what others “would” do. While some of us “have done.” We’ve got the non-perishable food, and because we’re not fighting zombies or you procrastinators, we’ve got the good stuff–no cat food or hamburger helper for us. We’ve got the weapons–guns,automatic guns, sniper rifles, Stingers and flamethrowers. And we’ve got silencers (but you keep shooting off that noisy old pistol of yours. Really.). Not to mention the tripwire, C-4, cluster grenades, smoke grenades, garrotes, crossbows, longbows, and handcrafted Damascan steel broadswords, daggers, bastard swords, etc. rather than some LOTR fandom catalogue Anduril reproduction you picked up the week of the apocalypse.

    And we’ve got all that stored at our multiple bunkers, which by the way are all underground, surveilled by video, filled with hydroponic gardens (just had a carrot from one the other day) and have multiple exits, not to mention tunnels than can be closed off, filled with gas and ignited. No need to board up anything (besides, we all know any boarded window watched for more than 35 seconds will have 4-8 zombie arms break through and grab the idiot standing in front of it with their back turned to it). We’ve got stoves, heaters, air-conditioning, piped in music and several home theaters, all of them fueled by cold fusion (you silly people, buying the retraction of that story). The sound system is amazing.

    We’ve got board games, arts and crafts supplies, Kindles/Nooks/iPads, Wi, X-box, Nintendo, Sony, and that really cool thing from Apple that hasn’t been released to the public yet but that will change everything. And when we’re bored with that, we’ll just plug in a feed of the outside world and watch our own version of Dawn of the Dead with you people running around like madfolks thinking of all those things you “would have” done.

  4. SandyG265 /

    I think I’d head for an island down south someplace where it’s reasonably warm during the winter months. An island should be easier to defend since zombies wouldn’t be smart enough to swim and you could blow up any bridges and only access it by boat.

    In addition to non-perishable food and weapons I’d stock up on medical supplies, batteries, flashlights, fuel, matches, lanterns, candles, clothing, books, board games and jigsaw puzzles.

  5. @kelly: I know, which is why I debated on his usefulness as zombie bait. Something that adorable has to be delicious.

    @bill:Well said! However, you left out landmines around your 10ft perimeter fencing.

  6. Well, my stepmother and family live on an island, so we’d go there. My step-brothers work in the timber business so I’m sure they could bring chain-saws and explosives which would take care of the ferry landing. (I hope it’s not the summer because we would have to kill off the tourists, and that’s always so awkward.) Guns, seeds, medicine . . . I’d probably try to buy out a hardware store before we left, and get a couple of books on how to make swords, bows and arrows, etc because bullets don’t last forever. Is anybody working on a zombie cure? Just wondering. Oh, and I’d probably bring novels from all those Russian writers who wrote long, and the Complete Works of Shakespeare, since we’ll have a lot of time on our hands.

  7. Oh, and why are they called puggles? Why not beugs?

  8. Tyro /

    For a long time, I had thought that taking to the sea would be the way to go. The zombies in many movies looked so stunned, I figured there’s no way they could swim. But in “World War Z”, the zombies just sank and would clamber up any anchor chain making boats a frightening place to be. Imagine having zombies pop up unexpectedly out of a murky ocean at random times through the night, eek! They did have one thing right – get aboard a tanker or some other vessel with sides too steep to climb and you’re safe. Replenishing food would be a trick but hey, that’s always going to be a challenge.

    I’m not sure about going into the country. In the books & movies, the country-folk can be more than a little crazed, shooting people to defend themselves. Worse, roving gangs of raiders move from house to house, plundering and raping. The isolation would really work against you then, since there would be no one to help out in cases of emergency.

    But I found that the biggest problem was that I too was starting on the assumption that I recognized danger days or weeks ahead of others. What if the zombies came before there was time? That’s life for most people. Have to get together with a few strong people, arm yourself with machetes and hope that zombies actually do need to take in energy to drive their chemical reactions, unlike in the movies.

    And apologies to the dog lovers but even under a zombie apocalypse, I would have to think long & hard before I’d want a dog near me :)

  9. Tyro is our winner, despite his evil dog hating ways. Congrats Tyro. Pick something from the stacks and let us know what you want via the contact form. Thanks everybody!

  10. Tyro /

    Thanks Justin! I don’t live in the US (and have become a bit of an ebook snob) so why don’t you pick someone else. I actually didn’t notice this was a contest, oops.

    I like Marion’s idea of using Russian literature which, I can only assume, she’ll use to torture the zombies into committing suicide. It’s that sort of forward thinking which deserves some recognition. Plus it sounds like she know how to use a good book.

  11. Tyro–No, the Russian novels would be to torture my step-siblings whenever they refused to bow to my superior wisdom. I think we should crown Tyro the winner and make a donation of a book to someone s/he recommends.

  12. How about SandyG, who had a great idea and always plays?
    Sandy, please choose a book from our stacks and send me (Kat) your address. Thanks for the comments, everyone!

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