Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mental Exercise - What would you do in a Zombie Attack?

Ok, I admit it - attack of killer Zombies is about as likely as Mr Obama becoming conservative - but it is an interesting mental exercise - and it can pay dividends in other areas. While I'm not a 'survivalist' of any sort, I'm fully willing to admit that theres always a possibility of a worst case senario - and having to find a way to deal with it.

So, I present to you - in short form, what Jon would do in the coming Zombie Apocolypse!

First - lets consider a few things. I live in a three story apartment building thats part of a complex that serves 'upper middle income' type folks with familys. Its not the greatest digs in the world, but its comfortable.

I live on what used to be the outskirts of Fargo. Three years ago, you thought you'd left town by the time you found me. These days? Not so much. Five years from now? Yah - they're planning on building a Walmart south of me a good bit. Then I'll be in the middle of a fairly heavy residential area.

I own a high calibur, high capacity handgun, and of late haven't kept less then 200 rounds availible at any given time. I have intentions of picking up a semi-automatic carbine or rifle in the near future - but for the moment, I don't have one.

I own an old, beat up '87 S-10 Pickup. It has power nothing. Five speed transmission, and I have enough tools in the pickup's tool box to tear it apart and put it back together again. (When you drive something old, and worn - it pays to know enough about the mechanics of your vehicle to do your own service work. Plus, its not overly hard - if you can put the effort into learning.)

So. What do I plan to do?

First, and formost? Get the hell out of Dodge. Or in this case Fargo - as the largest population center in a hundred miles it will be the epicenter of zombie activity in the area. Since I live on the outskirts (for the moment) this isn't too horrible of a problem. Just pick a road and drive. I'd avoid interstates, and main highways until a good distance out of town as they're likely to be congested with paniced motorists. As a primarily agricultural state, there are plenty of back roads to get where you want, as long as your patient.

While part of me thinks that zipping into town avoiding Zombie hordes and looting the local Scheeles or whatever might not be a bad idea (whoever heard of having too much ammunition) - the reality is that in this situation, survival comes first. Ammo won't guarentee survival. Getting away from Zombies, will.

What do you take? Well, admittedly I don't have a great selection of ready to go in a moments notice things. I have a few things prepped if life goes to hell - (they also work great if you find yourself a little strapped for cash.) First - warm clothes. This is North Dakota 6 months out of the year it probably averages below freezing in this state. Maybe seven or eight. Pack light. Weeks worth of clothes, in an easy to carry pack - layer a sweatshirt and a good coat/parka on with what you're wearing - but be comfortable.

Food is also a necesity - I keep onhand dry goods out of habit. They seldom go bad, and those months I don't budget so well, I don't go hungry. Plus they're cheap. You can get soups and carbs that only require fresh water and heat to prepare for very little these days if you know what you're buying. So my stash goes into the back of the truck. (You can even eat most of them dry, in a pinch)

So does a couple (full) cans of propane, my spare gas can, a small portable grill/hotplate thing I aquired a while back that runs on propane, my tent and two sleeping bags. Oh, and my propane heaters. (I did mention it gets cold as all get out here right?). My spare fluids for the truck, and the extended version of my tool kit goes in my truck's toolbox.

Pistol, loaded mags, spare ammo, cellphone, emergency jump kit, car charger (for cell phone) a standard plug in charger, and a first aide kit that includes a decent stash of excedrin all go in the cab.

That, and my emergency stash of cash (yes, I have one - don't you? Plastic only works if there's power and the banks are operational - more importanly then the 'crazy' theorys - again, an "OMG" back up can get you through a minor finacial crisis.) and its time to go.

So - where to I go? Ideally, I can hook up with some friends and we convoy the hell out of dodge, and head north, or south. My friends have places out of town in less populated areas that would be a great hole up spot.

But, lets say for a second that those aren't an option - for no better reason then because this is a mental exercise - and fun.

I don't keep water on hand - and honestly, with a zombie apocolypse, I'm not going to hang around to fill the bathtub or whathave you and try to bring fresh water along. I don't keep any - so I don't have any - but I'm going to need some. This is a survival situation after all. I have maybe three weeks, if I'm lucky, of food on hand. So I need somewhere where I might beable to find food, or aquire some before I run out.

So - I'm going to the farm. As I've noted before - I grew up around a small grains farm in Northern North Dakota. Unfortunately all the buildings (except for some grain bins) are now gone, due to time, and a tornado. However - the shelter belts are still there (Trees put up to block the wind), its fairly close to a few small towns that might be explored for resources, (or, if the zombie apocolypse hasn't reached them yet, cash still spends) it gets plenty of snow that can be melted for water in the winter (using either wood, or my propane) and has three possible sources of fresh water beyond snow that I can think of within a mile. (four, if I can scroundge together a pump for the onsite well)

Its not perfect. There are no sold structures that aren't bins locally, so I'll be roughing it in a tent, unless one of the bins is empy. (And even then, the bin will keep off the snow and the wind, but it won't be particularly warm, very often - and I'd have to remove the bin cap to feel safe burning anything inside. But I'd be well away from major population centers - its within driving distance for my pickup (if barely, with my reserves) - and it would give me a fighting chance.

Sometimes, thats all anyone can ask for.

It certainly wouldn't be *fun*. But I'll take alive to shambling undead anyday.

Think about it sometime - its a fun 'what would you do' scenario. And it can give you ideas on how to prepare for other, very real problems you may face.

And hey, if we *do* get a zombie infestation - you'll be ready!


Histoire said...

Honestly? You want to have guns, but pick up a good sturdy axe or machete. Something that requires moving parts and ammunition can jeopardize your survival if the gun jams, you get a squib load, or some other malfunction. Not much goes wrong with a sharp heavy axe and a good swing.

Jon said...

You have a fine point. But, I didn't go there because I wasn't going to list the extensive nature of my toolbox. If I did, people might be mildly disturbed... I wasn't kidding when I said I could tear my pick-up apart and put it back together pretty much on the spot.

Also, Zombies are infectious. A hatchet should be a weapon of very last resort.

Heath said...

Time to budget for a shotgun dude. You mentioned a carbine, which is a good thought, but in the scenario you've described a shotgun will serve you much better.

And more fuel. You mention a can, and if I'm guessing right, that's about 5 gallons... Say you need to get to a place, you need to have enough fuel to get there, and then some. figure out your MPG for the truck, and then add at least 20% more for extra. Just in case...

Also, like the blog, you write well!

trebor1415 said...

You should stop by Zombie Squad at

They use the "zombies as a metaphor" idea to promote preparedness to the SF/Fantasy/horror fan crowd.

ZS is also a registered non-profit that does local charity work at communities across the U.S.

Check out the forums. There's a lot of good, real world, info there. They tend to keep the totally zombie fantasy stuff restricted to one or two specific sub forums.

Sounds like you'll fit right in.