NOTICE: Posting schedule is irregular. I hope to get back to a regular schedule as the day-job allows.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The (Zombie) GUIDE: Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse [Full link to blog for email clients.]

Zombie Squad, the nation's premiere non-stationary  cadaver suppression task force
Growing up as a Boy Scout, I learned all about disaster preparedness. I learned how to camp,to cook on an open fire or can't stove, color to identify plants and animal tracks and how to deal with basic necessities such as hygiene and where to place a tent or latrine. As an Eagle Scout I further learned how to provide service to my community. So, it is only natural that some of the skills carried through to adulthood, and that is why I have joined the Zombie Squad, the leading experts in "ambulatory cadaver removal." While some of the discussions are quite fun, and cover the high points of effective zombie suppression, as covered in our last blog, there's a more serious side to the Zombie Squad.

Disaster preparedness.

After all, if you're prepared for zombies, then you're prepared for just about anything.

So let's look at the principal behind preparedness for a Zombie Apocalypse: in the event of a zombie Apocalypse, you may find it necessary to barricade yourself in your home, cabin, or even a hole in the ground. If that happens, you'd better have enough supplies laid in so that you do not need to go out and expose yourself. What kind of supplies? Water and food are the most common necessities. We really don't know how long the Zombie apocalypse is going to last so it's a good idea to stock up with enough food to last several weeks, or better yet several months, for each person that you expect to support in your little hideaway. A minimum diet should consist of around 1200 calories per person, but if you are (A) male, (B) greater than average body size, and/or (C) very active, you'll need 2 to 3 times that amount per day. On average you should be drinking 3 to 4 L of water per day, up to 8 L in hot or very humid conditions. You either need to store clean water, or have a way to pump and purify water that you collect from other sources. These are the bare essentials, but they don't take into account other factors-such as the potential for power failure, the need to get messages and information from the outside world, or how to deal with injury and illness. Your zombie redoubt needs to have candles for lighting, a stove and fuel for cooking, blankets for warmth, a battery operated radio, flashlights, a chemical toilet with lots of toilet paper, and a first aid kit.

All of this should look very familiar, since it is the basic recommendation for home disaster preparedness. Keeping the supply stocked in your house, means that you will be able to hole up and wait for the zombie apocalypse to pass, just as easily as you can manage through hurricane, tornado, earthquake, winter storm, or civil unrest. Thus, the principle behind preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse, is one of preparing for just about any disaster. Oh, certainly there is the issue of preparing a means of self-defense and the weapons to defeat zombies. A good machete, several knives (make sure their sharp!) and firearms our recommended defensive items both for zombies and just in case you face the sort of breakdown in civil services that have been noted after large-scale disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Of course there are very practical uses for these items as well, in the event of a prolonged breakdown and services, tools will be needed to plant grow and harvest crops, to hunt for food, and for self-defense from feral creatures, whether they walk on four legs or two.

A word or two about firearms: as I stated above, I'm an Eagle Scout, and I received my first exposure to shooting sports at a young age. Even today I look upon it as a sport, and enjoy the competitiveness of accurately hitting paper or wooden targets, or flying clays. I have shot rifle, pistol, shotgun, and bow, and I highly recommend trying each of them out even if just once for practice. There are very few ulterior motives in the concept of "shooting zombies," except in regards to self-defense. It is not intended as a racial slur, nor as "embracing violence." It is, however, our second amendment right, which embodied the concept of the citizens militia prepared to defend their home, their state, and their country.

At the risk of being labeled "survivalist nut job," I heartily endorse the idea of emergency and disaster preparedness. In the past 30 years, as an adult living on my own way from home, I have experienced ice storms that have left us without power for more than three days, and winter storms which left some roads impassable for nearly a week. I've my own community we've experienced tornadoes and hurricanes which have left some houses without power, water, ability to cook, or refrigerate - with repairs to whole communities taking more than a week and up to 2 months.  I have seen what happened in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina and in Joplin, Missouri with the tornado. I have been fortunate not to experience earthquakes, or any sort of prolonged break down of civil services, but I have seen it happen and know that it can happen, and therefore I should be prepared.

It has been great fun this past two weeks discussing the humor in the science of zombies, but I wanted to end this on a serious note that we can take the fun and put it to very practical use. After all, if you protect your brain from ravenous zombies, one would hope that you also protected it from injury and disease!

So, until next time, take care of your brain, and watch out for the zombies!

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