2012 is the year of the Apocalypse...or so we've been told. Be it Mother Nature exacting her wrath, a political leader pressing a button he or she shouldn't, or a culmination of the two, according to doomsayers, this year isn't looking good.
Much has been made of the Mayan calendar's prediction that December 21 is crunch-time for humankind. Some religious factions are touting it as Judgement Day, but the Mayan calendar is more about transition than End Times. So where does 2012 leave the world? In the grip of Zombie Apocalypse fervor, of course.
While the slow, shambling gait of the undead strikes fear into some and the rolling of eyes in others, a Zombie Apocalypse isn't as far-fetched as you'd like to think. The CDC has put out a Zombie Survival Guide, and while it is tongue-in-cheek, there is valuable information on general disaster preparedness.
Rule number one: Practicality
The number one rule when organizing your survival kit is: Practicality. Let's face it, updating your Facebook status or Tweeting about imminent destruction shouldn't be first on your list of priorities. There are several things that everyone will need during an emergency situation. We're created an essentials checklist below. Remember, you should customize your survival kit based on your climate, medical and health needs.
- water (1 gallon per person for at least 7 days)
- food (non-perishables or MRE's are best)
- medical kit complete with medications and first aid care
- utility tools
- supplies such as a short-wave radio, crazy glue, duck tape, batteries, torch, knife
- extra sets of clothing
- sturdy shoes or boots
- identification, including medical and ICE ID's, copies of your drivers license
You'll need these fundamentals ready to survive the first week of the apocalypse and it's important to have regular family meetings where you inspect your emergency kit and discuss emergency plans and safety. Keep in mind water supplies could be contaminated, food scarce, and you'll more than likely be entirely off the grid. That's right, off the grid. Cell phones and laptops may be great sources of communication in the short-term, but their reliance on electricity means they'll fail sooner rather than later. Battery operated communication systems will be your lifeline.
Rule number two: Common Sense
So you've got your basic disaster survival kit organized, what about shelter? This is dependent on the type and scale of the disaster (it's multiple choice time, folks). Rule number two: Common sense. Panicking doesn't help anyone: stay calm and you'll think clearly.
Rule number three: Take Shelter
The best shelter should have a strong foundation, sturdy walls and, if necessary, should be easy to defend. Through history, disasters are often quickly followed by anarchy. When survival is at stake, mob-mentality rules and everything and everyone is fair game. But when disaster is imminent, there are some straight-forward rules that apply:
Tsunami? Don't shelter in your basement, head to high ground. Tornadoes? Head to the basement rather than outside to see the funnels. Biological and/or chemical? Seal a room inside your house and stay put (no sniffing!). Zombie Apocalypse? Fortification.
Your Zombie Survival Guide contains much of the same essentials as your 'standard' survival kit, but with way cooler weapons. 'Zombies' are universally classified as reanimated corpses (or living dead, if you will), or where the 'person' is no-longer fundamentally in control of their thoughts or actions. The current thinking of a Zombie Apocalypse isn't the undead digging their way out of graves, but more pathology-based.
Rule number four: knowledge is power
“Ha! Pure science fiction!” you say. Well, the 'science' is listed for a reason. Take the brain parasite toxoplasmosa gondii, a nifty little bug that alters the brain chemistry of its host where self-control and rational thought no longer exist. Never happen? Rats infected with toxoplasmosa have shown a lack of self-preservation when it comes to cats – they tend to really poke the bearkitty. That Zombie Survival Guide is starting to look appealing, no?
So what do you need when a horde of hungry zombies comes a 'shufflin' your way? You have your fundamental survival essentials ready, now it's time to check that weaponry. Again, you'll have your essentials: pistols, rifles, shotguns, (ammo is a given) pick-axes, cross-bow (which ups your street-cred, too) and for irony, there's always the scythe. Note: Your Zombie Survival Guide advises against hand-to-hand combat due to the high-probability of infection.
Rule number five: protection in numbers
If all else fails, try to locate your nearest 'gamer' – with the abundance and popularity of Zombie video games on the market, they'll be your best Zombie Survival Guide!
Does your family have your emergency kit and plan in place? If not, today is always a great day to get started. Start small by locating a sturdy, fireproof box and placing copies of identification and extra medical supplies then gradually add to your emergency kit each time you visit the supermarket.