Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Be Prepared for a Zombie Apocalypse

Be Prepared for a Zombie Apocalypse
By Christine Faraday

Nothing fires up the imagination more then the thought of a zombie apocalypse. With Halloween approaching and season 3 of my favourite show The Walking Dead beginning, I do have a case of zombies on the brain. I thought it might be fun to do a look at preparedness through the lens of the threat of a zombie attack.
In my mind zombie prepping does encompass all aspects of prepping and although it obviously has a bad name due to the fantasy aspect, it does cover all the basics of prepping and then some.
I'm going to say that again for effect, if you prep for a zombie apocalypse, I believe you are prepared to ride out just about any storm until the end of your days. It covers pandemic preparedness, defensive and offensive action, food, water and medicinal supply prepping, societal collapse and bugging out among many other facets.

We're going to begin with a scenario about how it might go down, and end with some ideas for prepping and surviving during and after the event.

It starts with a pandemic.
A strange fever brought back from the deep jungles of Africa by a brave yet hapless explorer who unknowingly shared the virus with his team and all others who travelled on any bus or flight on their respective trips home. All passengers on any of those trips carried the virus to their respective destinations and so on, and so on. The virus itself might not be anything totally new, it might be a combination of several known viruses that have spliced and mutated. It could be rabies combined with the common cold or flu, giving it an extraordinary ability to spread like wildfire. No matter what it is, it is new to us and therefore very difficult to combat as quickly as it mutates and infects new hosts.
The pandemic begins in several major cities and quickly spreads to the outskirts. With a dormant period of about three weeks, it has already been spread to much of the population without any symptoms.
Just three weeks after that explorer walked out of the airport, half of the country has already come in contact with someone who was a carrier.
Four weeks after he left the airport, people all over the world are showing symptoms of the virus.
In the beginning, it presents with a terrible headache, high fever, loss of appetite, and flu like illness followed by extreme confusion, uncontrollable anger, a large increase in appetite and encephalitis.
Five weeks later, there are just too many sick and infected to continue to keep up the infrastructure. Many people who did not become infected leave their jobs to take care of their families. As a result, hospitals, police and fire services are stretched way beyond capacity and begin to shut down. Rolling blackouts are the new normal as the grid cannot maintain the regular level of service with so little manpower. The grocery stores were emptied out early on in the pandemic scare and there are just not enough truck drivers willing to risk their lives to deliver goods any longer. The infected, driven by their massive appetites begin to loot all possible food sources. Eventually they do turn to cannibalism.
Those who were prepared and saw the signs early did manage to hole up in seclusion during the event and avoided becoming infected.

Ok fine, maybe it can't happen that easily, maybe it can. The point is that it's an exercise in mental preparedness. It's a little bit fun to imagine ourselves as the heroes in these stories especially when we do put some time and effort into surviving anything that we can imagine. I've put together a couple of little reminders for you on prepping for the zombie apocalypse.

What are the signs to look for?
The zombie apocalypse likely begins with a pandemic. If we learned anything from the SARS outbreak, it should have been to pay attention to the warnings. The media did a good job of getting the information out to us and keeping us updated. As a result, we took the necessary precautions to avoid a massive pandemic. The hospitals posted signs about the symptoms and requested that anyone entering with any of them was to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer upon entry. Any large events where people gather and could transmit the virus was cancelled or postponed. When you hear about any of these signs, it's time to really pay attention as if your life depended on it, because it very well might.

How to 'Staycation'-
When those flags go up you might want to begin your extended 'staycation' at home, with your closest family. It would be ideal to have on hand at least 3-6 months worth of food, water, and supplies- minimum. It could get alot worse before it gets any better. You should review plans for a pandemic and restock based on that scenario.
Be Financially Ready! I can't stress this enough. Without getting too deep into my views on the Canadian economy, I really believe that there won't be a better time in the near future to do this. Again, you will need to be able to cover your basic expenses, rent/ mortgage payments for at least 3-6 months for the time you plan on staying home.
If you are not financially prepared to leave your job for at least 3 months, you will have an impossible time making the decision to stay home and you might just reconcile your decision to continue going to work at the risk of your health and your family's well being. Just because there's a major health scare the banks will not suddenly grow a heart and the last thing you need is to be tossed out of your home during this period. The other part of that is to have a reliable banking system set up from your home to pay bills online or through the phone. Again, the goal is to remain out of contact with any possible carriers while doing your best to maintain a roof over your head during the crisis and after.
Keep Fit- Eating heavily salted, canned storage foods while being confined to your home will take its toll on your health. You should try your best to maintain a healthy exercise regiment while on your staycation. Not only will it help keep your immune system functioning at its best, but you might eventually have to outrun a horde of starving zombies.
Make sure your first aid kits are topped up-
During this time, the hospital is the last place you want to be. If you can, take a first aid or CPR course near you and make sure you know how to handle any basic first aid and treatment. Double check your kits and supplies. In my house, bandages go like water so anytime I remember I pick up an extra box of bandages and shove it in a new place that the kids don't know about. Make sure you have what you think you'll need, and what you know how to use. Natural remedies are also a great resource to know and learn about, not to mention a great store to shop at when the panicking public has cleaned out the shelves at the local pharmacy. Of course, once the general public is panicking, you should already have your shopping done. In case you didn't think ahead, there are some other stores that carry the goods that you might want when the well known stores are dry. Examples are hardware and paint supply stores for masks, and pool supply stores for water cleaning supplies. You might want to map out the area with any stores that might have useful things for you just in case it does get really bad and you end up being really on your own for a long, long time.
Home Defence-
Don't forget the vital aspect of defending your space when there might not be police to help you. You could plant prickly bushes under the windows, and put up a big fence around your yard. Some other thoughts might be to have enough plywood and screws around to be able to board up your windows when the time comes. You might want to get a dog, or at least a 'beware of dog' sign, not so much for real zombies but it helps sometimes for would be robbers.

After the Pandemic-
We're going to assume that it's not an extinction level event and most of society did manage to survive. Of course, if it does not go well you might want to print a copy of the WHMIS symbols if you have to borrow some diesel, gasoline, or propane from a tanker truck or stopped freight train. It is not a good idea to try to bust open a container when you have no idea about what is inside for numerous reasons.
Once the media begins reporting that the pandemic has burned itself out and the number of cases reported had significantly dropped or stopped, you should be ok to come out. Remember to try to keep up your immune system with exercise and vitamins just in case, and as soon as it's financially possible do try to restock your depleted supplies.

As much as I do love the zombie movies and t.v. shows, it certainly would be a nightmare of horrific proportions if anything remotely similar to a zombie pandemic were to occur. I hope that you've enjoyed this exercise, and I hope that it will remind you to review pandemic preparedness material. After all, it is flu season.
Happy Halloween!


  1. Thanks for the fun and informative read Christine. I really enjoyed it.

  2. Good job Christine - I'm looking forward to reading more!

  3. Thank you, I'm glad you liked reading it.