Okay, everyone knows the current pop culture infatuation has gone too far...with everything from zombie movies, tv shows, t shirts, flash mobs, parties and even ammo specifically marketed as zombie approved making the zed the next pet rock everyone will throw away and laugh at in a year about. I wonder how the general public's perception of zombies would change if they knew in certain prepping circles the term zombie is a metaphorical reference to the unprepared hordes that they are planning to have to deal with in order to keep their safety and security assured. There is a reason most preppers keep firearms somewhere in their survial plan....
Pop culture apparently runs in circles....God Bless Bob Hope!
Anyway, while the sun still irradiates lets talk about zombies....
OK, there have been a movie that listed rules to survive a zombie apocalypse (Zombieland), The History Channel devoted an entire show the other night to zombies, there are books and websites a plenty devoted to the subject and even iPhone apps dealing with the issue...so what do I think about it all? Rubbish mostly, zombies are not too different than a lot of other threats that mankind has faced...the plague, wars, natural disasters...all require one basic element in order to survive...a plan and a good head on your shoulders to implement it.
I have read the zombie survival guides, read the blogs, watched the movies and TV shows and have come down with a basic set of rules to deal with the walking dead. I offer this list as causal advice and not as training of the de facto end all answer to surviving Z-day...its just a insight into my ideas....
Huey's 10 rules for staying out of a zombies tummy
Rule 1. Hide. Simple, the average zombie is no Einstein..he has no inquisitive nature to open a door or go down a street other than by pure happenstance. If you provide no stimuli for him to react to chances are he will go right on by your location without notice. Keep your doors shut and locked and observe noise and light discipline. They aren't gifted with x-ray (z-ray?) or thermal vision, they don't have bionic hearing, they lack the smell of a shark...don't be obvious and they won't find you. This includes not taking your Remington 700 up on the roof and playing sniper for the hell of it. Gunshots will attract the undead and once they are fixated on your location they will keep on trying to make you a snack until you either kill them or they are distracted by something else. They don't have lives, don't have families, don't have hobbies, don't have any job but having some human tartar or human sushi for their next meal.
Rule 2. Know the zed. This should be common sense, but you need a brain kill to end a zombie and make them the dead undead. Shoot them all you want, just shoot them in the head or you waste ammo, and last time I checked it wasn't like Remington or Winchester would be in full production during the apocalypse. Take some time to examine how they move and interact. You'll find that they generally shamble about and can only run - or shamble a bit more briskly - for a short distance before they will loose balance and either fall or have to slow down. You will also note how they have a tendency to overcompensate for distance and will often overshoot their target when lunging (no doubt due to the drying of the fluid of the eyes after death), you can use this to your advantage if fighting one to dodge under their lunge and attack them from their rear. Zombies don't possess any super powers other than they don't tire or feel pain, and they lack the coordination required to do many moderately complex tasks...climbing stairs is doable, a ladder is not. Also they have no intelligence...if you place some type of obstacle in their way and then jump up and down to get their attention they will generally walk right into it...use that bit of info a bit farther down this list..
Rule 3. Security. Keep your head on a swivel unless you want it ripped off and your brains consumed. Always know your surroundings as well as you can, try and get a good account of the undead in the area, always be on the lookout for them, travel in pairs or small groups to watch each others back, never go to sleep without a lock on the door and somebody awake to watch the windows..the list goes on and on. This also applies to choosing your selected shelter. Yeah, going to squat in the 5,000 square foot homes over in the ritzy neighborhood down the road may seem like a good idea, but those large glass windows and doors are going to be hard to secure and that is a lot of space to keep an eye on. You want to get fancy and go there to get the closed circuit TV's and sentry robots, fine your choice. An elevated 2 bedroom apartment with a defensible door and patio that you can use as both an escape route and observation deck would work also. Basic or advanced just be sure to keep on it, stay alert and stay alive. There are people that have succumbed to the horde by being overwhelmed by sheer numbers even with a good security plan in place; and there are those that have been chomped on simply by not taking the extra time to secure that back door or ensure the building they decided to stay in over night to sleep was totally cleared of the undead. Don't be those guys. Make the walking meat puppets work for their meal.
You're doing it wrong...
Rule 4. Avoid the melee. A zombie will generally only be able to do serious harm to you by the use of their mouths. They don't know kung fu or how to use weapons. If they are to kill you they need to be close enough to grab you and then pull you close to put the chomp on you. Don't let them get close to begin with! Being still alive we are capable of using our brains to avoid contact with them, use barriers and blockades to channel them away from us, choose alternate routes around them and use firearms that allow us to establish a stand off distance with them. Hell, if you are high enough on something drop cinder blocks on them with ropes tied to them...drop a block, kill a zed, pull up brick, repeat. Going mano-a-zombo with them is just foolish unless its has to be done to avoid making any noise to attract others with a firearm.
zombie attack plan:..be a zombie, bring all of your friends that are zombies...grab...eat...repeat
Rule 5. If you got to melee, smash not slash. I see people all the time talking about using swords and knives against the zed. Stupid. knives and swords were created to attack living creatures and primarily kill by attacking vital organs or causing a target to bleed out...guess what, zombies don't bleed. Sure they may ooze a bit or splatter if shot but that's not because there is a heart beating to pump that blood out..gravity and the force of the shot make that happen. Remember the brain needs to be destroyed. While the stainless steel ninja sword you bought pre-zed infestation may look good on a wall and be impressive as you play ninja in your backyard in your pj's...in real zombie life it won't do much good. Plus, I don't know if you may have noticed, but the human skull is designed kind of like a helmet to protect our brain in the first place. Its hard and round which may cause the blade not go clean through like the watermelons and cantalopes you practice your ninja sword with, or to bounce off the side of the head if you're not dead on and cut off an arm...which isn't going to kill it (See rule #2). You know what I am going to grab? The longest handled hammer I can find or a club. Smash their skull in with a single blow..another if needed. Not a whole lot of skill needed to do that...just grab and smash. Sure, a bit of technique is required to get in close and around its grab, but anybody has the manual dexterity to grab something and smash an object with it. That's probably why clubs and rocks were our ancestors first weapons of choice. A hammer, a baseball bat (metal preferred), baton, 2x4, crowbar, spud bar...anything sturdy with some weight...just grab and swing away!
The war hammer....I'm bringing it back...
Rule 6. Embrace your inner engineer. Obstacles people, obstacles....like I said above, zombies aren't known for their grasps of advanced subject matters. Dig a trench with a zed on the other side and wave at him..chances are that dumb ass is going to go ahead and walk right into it....dig that same trench and line the bottom with spears or sharpened sticks so the zombie impales himself on it and he won't have the mental capacity to free himself most of the time. Then you can casually walk down into the trench and smash him in the head! (Providing of course you have the area secured). Fences are the same way..build one and a zombie will keep running into it, giving you time enough to dispatch him through it with your firearm or spear him in the eye (chain link fence techniques). Now keep in mind that while they don't have super strength, zombies do have numbers. Get enough zombies pushing in unison against a brick wall and it may eventually come down, so you need to use this strategy with some forethought. Another almost forgotten barrier is the tangle foot trap. Pound some stakes into the ground and then connect wire between them. When a single zombie attempts to walk across the web of wires they will fall and allow you to then dispatch them easier. When a mass of them comes across it the first rows of zeds will stumble and fall and provide another barrier against the following zeds to run into. Again, enough zeds will eventually make a "zed floor" for the others to walk across..but it does have its tactical application. Barriers are your friend against the undead, just remember, make it too hard for them to get in and you might not be able to get out!!
You know, this just might work....
Rule7. Guns. Guns are great to have in a zombie apocalypse obviously. The number one rule (of Rule #6) is to have one! Yeah, that little .25 auto your grandmother left you in her will isn't the sexiest thing on the planet but if it shoots and can punch through a zed's melon, who cares? You would think that I would have a lot to write about the subject, but its pretty simple. Have them. Whether its an old Mosin with 100 rounds or a little 10/22 with a thousand rounds they both do the same job. A lot of tactical stuff on them might look good but when dealing with the zed threat means not all that much. They come at your in rather slow moving waves to take down with head shots. Practice shooting paper pie plates at longer and longer ranges and you are headed in the right direction. Yeah, we could talk about the advantages and disadvantages of certain types or calibers, but we won't. They are a tool to deal with the situation. Not the answer to it. You could go all out and actively hunt them but chances are there are more zeds than you have bullets and then what? Plus, as I already mentioned, firing your weapon will just bring more to you like a dinner bell. And in addition to the undead, guns might help deal with any "social" issues that may arrive with other competing groups of the living as well. Just have them folks and employ them prudently.
You idiot! I said "give it to him with your gun!"..."not give him your gun, DOH!"
Rule 8. Deal with the infected. I am not talking about the already undead...but about the soon to be undead. Say you go out on a small scavenging party and somebody gets bit. You manage to fight off the rest of the horde and get to a safe location but then what? The person bit is going to be a full fledged walking corpse in a matter of hours, what to do? Well, some movies have the soon-to-be-deceased making some heroic last stand against the undead to give his or her friends time to get away. Not a great idea in all situations. What if the bite victim starts to convulse and turn just when you need them to blow themselves up while being enveloped by zeds, or not being able to shoot because they are delirious with fever. Then not only do you have your line of defense defeated, but you may have a zombie right in your midst on this side of the barrier! No way! Man up! There is a time for everything to die, and when you get bit...well, its your time. You may allow the bite victim to continue on with you for a short time but when they start to show signs of infection (fever, chills, loss of skin color, shaking, numbness, ect) its time to take Ol' Yeller out back. I am not saying to do it unceremoniously. I mean this person was probably somebody you loved or cared about..or at least thought highly enough about to allow to be around you. Allow them to say goodbye to anyone present, say their prayers to the God of their choice and then put them out of their impending misery quickly and humanely. Too many folks have fallen victim to family members that they have locked in a closet after they had turned that they couldn't deal with. Doors will break under enough force and time...both of which a zombie has in abundant supply of to contribute to that end.
Rule 9. There is safety in numbers...and danger. When threatened with danger many people go into sheeple mode while others become sheepdogs and fight off the danger. Guess what type you want to associate with when the corpses start piling up around you? While having more people around (of the living variety) means more security, it also means more risk...depending on who you have with you. While you may not be able to choose your family you can certainly choose your friends. Choose people in your survival group with like ideas and goals as you (no need to have a Rambo type that wants to do nothing but shoot zeds with you if you have had a successful "hide with pride" approach so far), as well as augmenting or complementing the existing technical or social skills already in the group...Two alpha males never run in the same pack. Remember that for every member of your party you take in based on their strengths, you also take in their weaknesses as well. That guy with all the guns down the street that shows up with a duffel bag of rifles on your doorstep and wants to be part of your group now that his family (wife and kids) is shambling down the street to eat him may have chickened out at the last minute and left his family to die while he ran away with all of those guns. Also consider the more people you take in the more food, water and shelter you need to have provided for the group.
You don't have to be the fastest in your group, just don't be the slowest!
Rule 10. You can always make more rules. BE FLEXIBLE!! Hey, what did you think you would come to some corner of the internet and find someone who has all the answers? Well, if so I guess THAT guy must be in a different corner of the net because it isn't me!! Hey, the big difference between you and the zed threat is that you have the ability to think both analytically and critically. You can take a look at the situation, come up with courses of actions, choose a plan, conduct it and adjust it on the fly to get you towards a desired outcome. What can the zombie do? Walk, grab, eat and wait for you to mess up in order to take advantage of you. Don't be that guy either!! By making a plan in advance you create your own "Z-Day Insurance", by being flexible to make the rules up in a world without rules means you get to collect on that insurance policy...by all means do be THAT guy.