“Be prepared” – Scout Motto
That’s a concept boys and girls all over the world are taught from a young age, yet as adults we tend to forget.
“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark” – Howard Ruff
Zombie Apocalypse 101
Plenty of people have seen plenty of movies about zombie outbreaks and think they know what it takes to be prepared. Have some water, some food, lots of guns and possibly a few friends. This formula seems good on paper and works great in games and movies. But the reality of the situation isn’t so simple. In any crisis man-made or natural, being properly supplied is the difference between trying to survive and thriving.
When hurricane Sandy hit New York, people assumed it would only be a two day storm. Still they stocked up on goods in huge numbers causing many stores to completely sell out of their inventories. Ten days later when there were areas still without power or proper emergency care, it became obvious that people didn’t take the storm seriously enough.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, fires and any other disaster are indiscriminate killers. They don’t choose their victims or give chase and eventually they all dissipate on their own.
The undead do not quit, they do not tire, they will not just go away.
Survival Preparation is Everything
In a living-dead outbreak, the scale of the problem will dwarf anything seen before. Steps need to be taken right now to prepare yourself
Your initial general needs are similar to any other emergency. You need enough water to last yourself at least two weeks. Ideally a handcrank radio, canned non-perishable food, handcrank flashlight, lots of batteries, medical kit(more on this later) and maybe some cash.
Unlike other emergencies a zombie outbreak will absolutely require the use of weapons. There is no question that choosing and utilizing the various options available to you will be the difference between survival or death. But there are variables to consider.
1)What weapons do you have immediate access to.
2)Are you competent in their use?
3)What weapons can you get access to? How long will that take? Is there a risk involved?
Plan For The Worse Hope For The Best
Remember that you will not be the only person who plans to hit up the local gun store which all hell breaks lose. Take a moment to explore your other options. Do you own any sporting equipment that would be useful in a pinch? Bats? Clubs? Anything that would deal a good force of blunt trauma might work.
What about bladed weapons? Swords? Hatchets? Axes? Something ideally long and sharp. Plus both these sets of weapons have the added bonus of not needing ammunition. However keep in mind, brains don’t smash themselves. You’re going to need to make sure you have the muscle, endurance, and speed to use these weapons to the fullest safely.
There are ranged weapon choices as well. Bows and arrows have been used for hundreds of years in combat. Longbows, recurve, compound, crossbows. All of these take ammunition and skill to use but some are easier than others. I’ll address these in another article.
Lets assume you do have access to firearms, ammunition and you’re trained in how to use them. Which types of firearms are the best choice?
This can be a huge area of discussion given the incredibly varied types of encounters that may occur. I’ll be discussing each type in more detail later but for now I’m going to keep it general. Rifles, handguns, machine guns, shotguns, and miscellaneous (stun gun/taser/etc…)
Each one of these general types offers it’s own pluses and minuses. Bolt actions rifles are widely available and offering great stopping power. They also require more skill than say a machine gun or shotgun at close range. Handguns are probably the easiest firearm to acquire and when magazine fed give you a moderate amount of shots between reloads. However they take much more skill to use effectively when only headshots count. If you don’t believe me, hang a sheet of 8×11” paper from string outside on a windy day and see how many rounds you place in the center of it. Now assume that paper is trying to eat you and your loved ones.
A lot goes into deciding on which is the right weapon(s) to start stockpiling before the zombie apocalypse. In future articles I’ll be shedding light on these options so hopefully you can make an informed choice.