My name is Glyn Gardner. I’ve recently published APEX, my first zombie/thriller. Today I’d like to talk about the basics of surviving the zombie apocalypse. Maslow tells us that physiological needs always take precedence over safety needs. So what, right?
What this means to us in the zombie apocalypse is this: It’s all well and good to discuss how to kill zombies and secure your house from the walking dead. But, if you can’t feed and hydrate yourself, or shelter yourself from the outside elements, then you will still die during the zombie apocalypse.
So, rule 1 of the zombie apocalypse: Have a source of food and water. You can either have it on hand, or know how to easily obtain these things quickly when the dead begin to walk the earth. One good strategy is to have a large amount of canned/ dried food in your home at all times. If the dead begin to rise, or any other disaster for that matter, move that food to the most secure location in the house.
The military estimates that a soldier in combat needs at least 2000 calories per day to stay fit to fight. If you’re hunkered down waiting on the undead to break down your door you won’t need as much. But, you do need some. Read the labels on cans. Green beans last a long time in a can, and most houses have a bunch. But, they have very few calories; great for losing weight, not so good for surviving. Crackers are always better than bread. Peanut butter has a long shelf life, and is calorie dense, as is SPAM.
Don’t forget about water. Bottled water is your best bet for long term storage. But, most people won’t have enough water for them and their families just sitting in the garage waiting for the apocalypse. So, how do you get enough water? Almost every house has a bath tub. Use it. As soon as the zombies show, or any other disaster for that matter, fill your bathtub with water. A family of four can survive for a good week on the water held in the average sized bathtub. Coolers, buckets, pots, pans all make good storage for water.
And for God’s sake don’t forget to grab the bleach from the laundry room. It takes about 8 drops of bleach to sanitize clear water. If and when you decide to run, or if you still have running water, you can ensure you have clean drinking water
Rule 2: Find Shelter. If you are in your home, you already have a roof over your head. This is the part that crosses from Maslow’s basics to the next level. While physiologically, we need to be protected from the elements, we also need to be safe. This is also your most important decision during the first few days of the zombie apocalypse. As the Clash said in their song: “Should I stay or should I go, now? If I stay there will be trouble. If I go it could be double…”
So, the moment you realize that the dead have started walking, you have to ask yourself: “Can I survive here? And, is it safe where I am, or do I need to move?” Those two questions will determine what you do next.
If you’re in, let’s say, a restaurant; then you know you have access to food and water. Yes, you can survive. But, there are huge windows in front of the restaurant and three doors into the place. The answer to your second question might be No. Time to move.
Or, you’re in your nice cozy midtown apartment on the third floor. You may only have access to enough food to last a week, and enough water for about two weeks. Well, you might have some time. I’d answer no to the first question. Unless the ZA is over in a week, then you’re faced with starvation or trying to evacuate through a city full of hungry zombies. Don’t even look at question number 2. Run! Grab the basics and run like hell. We’ll discuss the basics another time.
So, where do you draw the line? That is up to you. If I’m in the country and have enough supplies for two weeks, I may hunker down and see how things play out. If I’m in the middle of Dallas or New York, I’m on the first thing smokin’ out of the city.
Today we’ve covered the very basics of survival. Next time I will discuss weapons. That’s what everyone likes anyway. It’s not the zombies that are cool, but the opportunity to kill a few dozen of them that is so inviting.
For other ideas about surviving, check out APEX by Glyn Gardner. See how some made good decisions, and some made poor decisions in this action packed zombie horror/ thriller set in Louisiana.
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