With current medical research continuing at alarming rates it seems to be inevitible that someday there will be an outbreak of some crazy virus that will cause the dead to rise and the living to be fodder for the ravenous hoard of undead. What will you do on Z -day? Head for the hills or stage dive into a crowd of awaiting zombies? For those of you who want to go out with a bang, I suggest reading on.
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Step 1: Day 1
The infection starts. If your lucky you hear about it on the TV before you notice your neighbor lumbering around his yard, gnawing on his own hand. The first thing you must do is size up your opponent. Are they fast zombies that can run as fast or faster than you? Or are they the Shawn of the Dead comically slow zombies? If they are fast zombies I would say you are screwed, but being they are deteriorating reanimated bodies, I will assume they are slow zombies. Now you need to determine what is the game plan.
Step 2: Location, Location, Location.
Location will be very important. You must decide if your house will be sufficient for fortification. If you are in an apartment I would suggest moving on to the next step, Pimp My Ride. Otherwise, decide if your house could stand up to hordes of corpses pushing against it. If you decide to stay, you will need to fortify, namely windows, doors, and any other entrance or weak spot. If you are staying, hopefully you read this and have already purchased loads of plywood, 2x4s, nails, and Spam.
Food will be an issue if you camp out because you probably won't be able to drive anywhere without fear of attracting attention. Go for the college diet of Raman, macaroni and cheese, Spam, bologna, or MREs if you can get them. Farming your own food would be great but outside is dangerous, unless you can secure your yard. One recommendation would be to redirect your gutters into a barrel or storage tank for plenty of drinking water. Lucky for me I have a well, but still would need a manual pump. I would look at staying in your home as a temporary situation. Nomadic life is the life for survival, our ancestors did it and so will I.
Step 3: Pimp My Ride.
The need for transportation will arise eventually and you need to take careful measures in order to be sure of your safety on the road. The obvious choice is a big ol' truck with brushguard, 6 inch lift, and swamp tires, however fuel is a problem. Gasoline is only good for a short while before it starts to break down and gum up your engine as you burn it. I have heard estimates as low as a month for the shelf life. The other challenge is getting the fuel when the power is out, modern gas pumps are electric.
Some suggest a bicycle. You may look like a sissy but it really isn't a bad option. You are unprotected and can carry less but it is faster than walking and less tiring than running, plus the fuel is you. Whenever deciding on mode of transportation, take account as to how many people you plan to roll with.
Step 4: The Rebel Army
You may not want to go it alone. Maybe you want to take your girl, your best friends, both, or that homeless guy that asks you for change all the time. The homeless guy would know an awful lot about living with nothing and that is what you have now, nothing. Your girl and you could repopulate the earth, and you and your buddies could party it up while beating undead skulls in.
Step 5: Mount Up!
So you have decided to not go it alone, chances are you are going to have to devise a way to meet up with who you want to go with. Most likely you won't be able to call so its best to plan ahead. I recommend casually bringing up the subject with your selected army before Z-day or possibly printing off a game plan to hand out.
Whatever you decide, it should be descriptive and include a time frame so you or your crew don't spend all day fending off zombies, waiting for your last bud to come that is already undead. I would suggest meet between noon and two on the first day you hear of infection at a site that is far, far away from a place people would normally go. Outside of town would be great. Youth Ballparks come to mind, as well as soccer fields, abandoned lots, or fields far from houses. Bad ideas would be schools, malls, churches (graveyards right next door? not good.), big stores, and anywhere else many people would usually be while alive.
Step 6: Bear Arms.
Now you have an idea where you are going, when you are going, what you are going in, and who you are going with, but you are still might as well just be a bible study group. You need to arm yourself. Guns are a favorite and are quite useful against distance targets and you can shoot all day. However they are noisy and silencers are hard to come by. Ammo can also become an issue and looting gun stores can be risky business, especially if the owner survived and got a little trigger happy. Bows could be useful and are much quieter and the ammo is reusable if you care to go digging in zombie brains, but if you lose/break them, you have the same issue as guns. Hand to hand combat may be the most reliable way to fight, blades and clubs chopping and bashing. Their downfalls are that you must be close to the zombie hordes, thus being more likely to be bitten or mealed upon (mealed [meeled]-verb: being eaten as a meal. "EZE mealed upon a stick of gum to hide his drinking at school"), plus swinging around things all day can be very tiring at first. I would recommend everybody in your army to be well acquainted with all types, just in case.
Step 7: Survivorman: Zombie Country
So, you got your ride, your crew, and your weapons. Now what? No need to fear, the hardest part is yet to come. Typically in the movies, the only way to kill a zombie is to destroy the brain. Not so hard. Smash, chop, or shoot and you have eliminated one of the possible hundreds of thousands of zombies in your area. Now all thats left to do is get some food. Looting will be one of the most fun activities during the Z-day festivities.
You may ask, "Where to loot?" Shadymilkman knows all*. Grocery stores present a copious amount of food of course, however they could possibly be infested. You need to scope out a place before you bust in. Gas stations/convenience stores can contain some comestibles that will probably not expire for a year or so. One idea is to loot cigarettes, even if you don't smoke because you may run into other bands of survivors and you may need them for trading or gifts of friendship.
Smashing windows may seem like the best idea, but that is just one more way for the hungry hordes to come in if they decide your brain looks ready for the picking. Break in like you would if you did it during normal times, smash a lock or something.
Remember, quiet and quick, the longer you are in an area, the longer they have to do the undead shuffle towards you, and the more likely you are to be eaten. It is believed that zombies communicate "verbally" with grunts and have limited vision but normal hearing. It is also believed that they can sense people nearby, but the "Shawn of the Dead" zombie imitation scene depicts otherwise.
*Shadymilkman's knowledge comes mostly from movies and a misspent youth.
Step 8: Personal Effects.
So I hope I have prepared you for the adventure for your life, but there is one last thing you may want to consider. Is there anything you want to die with or cannot die without? Music would be a good idea considering many have an emotional attachment to certain songs. An mp3 player would be great but you would have to make a solar charger or plan on charging it off of a generator. Where there is a will there is a way. My zombie killing mix would require most of the Beatles, "Come Together" would be the theme song for the revolution for my undead adventure.
Step 9: Until We Meet Again.
This by far is not a definitive guide. Please read up before Z day and maybe we will meet again on the field of battle, hopefully very much alive.