This Sunday, the Season Premiere of the final season of The Walking Dead airs, and if you’re like me, you haven’t watched that show in years. It’s going to be Season 11??
Anyway, I became a zombie aficionado when Season 2 aired, and it was actually my first real fandom, nine years ago. Since then, I’ve gone through multiple zombie apocalypse survival plans, and am actually a card carrying member of the Zombie Research Society. Yes that’s a real thing, and it’s super cool. Go check it out.
With the show coming to a close, I thought about explaining my plan. Now, I’m not going to say “Go to Wickam Road and call my friend Scott” because that’s too nitty-gritty, and you don’t care. However, there are some core pieces to my plan that works almost no matter where I am, and you *might* be interested in that. So here we go.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit, that for a zombie apocalypse prepper, I don’t actually have enough prepped. I don’t have two years of MRE’s in a bag, a CB radio, and I don’t know Morse Code. My prep is more basic, and money conscious. For starters, I do have a small bag of gear that I check in on annually, that probably could use an update. It has a hunting knife, a machete, some combat boots, a heavy duty belt, and a small first aid kit, and that’s almost everything.
My prep doesn’t come from having a ton of belongings, but in knowing my surroundings. Many people think of their local Wal-Mart or Home Depot as great places to hunker down, but that’s the problem, many people think of that. Instead, know where your local pharmacy is, the mechanic shop, the Police/Army Surplus store. These are places that won’t be the first go to by many, so they should be yours. Then, find yourself a cul-de-sac. We’ll get back to that.
Lastly, know your team. Obviously, you want to protect your friends and family, and that’s a good thing. Having a support network in the end of the world keeps your morale up, and makes you want to fight another day. So who do you know, no more than a dozen people, that you want to gather right when the zombies arrive? Think about what each of those people does for a job, what their hobbies are, and what personal issues they are going to have, whether it be medical, or having their own group that *they* want to protect. I’m not saying you should not save your sister just because she takes medications that will be hard to come by, but you should know on some level what else they should be bringing to your cul-de-sac.
3 Phase Clearing
Why a cul-de-sac? Well, I believe that suburbia is actually the best place to be in the zombacalypse. Movies and shows have told us many times that cities are bad, because there are too many people, and they’re absolutely right. So, movies then go to the opposite of a city, the countryside. I don’t know how to farm. I don’t know how to deal with animals that aren’t house pets. I don’t know how to do most things that are needed for farm work, much less apocalypse pressured farm work. And I *really* don’t know how to survive in the woods. So I’m going to look at the next best thing, the suburbs.
Suburbia has all of the supplies you could hope to find, all ready and available, with several individual securable houses. If you find a house at the end of a cul-de-sac, and you board it up properly, that leaves zombies with only one major entry point, and you’ve bottlenecked them. Sure, they could go through the backyard over the fence, but as long as you’re being smart, they won’t know to break down that fence. They only follow where they can see or hear you, so make sure that that’s the front door.
Now, you can go house to house through my 3 Phases, and eventually your small group can each have their own home, and you can begin growing.
What are the phases? Recon, Stab, and Grab.
First, we have Recon missions. You want to go out in as light of gear as you can, and silently travel through zombie-infested areas, and make note of where lots of zombies are, whether or not you see other survivors, any businesses that might have helpful supplies. The plan here is to avoid actual contact as much as possible, and just gather information. If you can, bring a local map and mark where you have gone, any notable locations, and also spray paint an arrow pointing down the street from an intersection, every time you explore.
Then, we have a Stab mission. This is where you get all of your potential armor and weapons, enter a house (or building), and open every door, and completely clear it of zombies. This is obviously the most dangerous mission, and you need to be slow, and methodical. Sometimes, it actually helps to make some noise. Knock on doors before you enter, call out to people, give the zombies a chance to make themselves known. Obviously don’t play music from a speaker, because then you’re getting zombies from next-door coming to find you, and you might find yourself surrounded. Once you’ve completely cleared a house of zombies, spray paint a circle on the door. Once you’ve done every building on a street between intersections, put a circle at the end of the arrow. This circle means “empty of threat.”
Lastly, we have our Grab mission. This is the lowest threat, because unless something drastic happens, all the zombies have been cleared of the house. You can still bring a small weapon just in case, but this is when you bring empty bags, and begin looting like crazy. Remember when I said that suburbia has everything you might need? These houses have pantries of boxed and canned food, they have garages full of tools, or sports equipment, which can be used for weapons and armor. They have bicycles, cars, maybe an ATV if you’re lucky. There’s even some fresh clothes, so you don’t have to look and smell so terrible all the time. The wide range of lifestyles you’ll find in suburbia, means that you’ll find a wide range of supplies that can all be helpful. Stuff that doesn’t require much technical know-how, but is bigger than city apartments can usually hold. Once you’ve taken everything of note, then you spray paint an “X” in that circle, and you know that nothing else is here, but can be used as a secondary safehouse if needed. When it’s time to expand, this is ready to move in.
Each mission has it’s own specified job, so it should have it’s own dress code, supply kit, vehicles, and if you’re group gets big enough, it’s own team members. In a perfect situation, you can have three different teams out there each day, just sweeping through your neighborhood, making it clean of the undead, and getting you an awesome supply line. Even if you don’t, you know you are being careful, methodical, and intentional, which is far better than most, who are reactive and scared.
Now, you can’t just have everyone leave your safehouse all day every day, because then it becomes really easy for someone else to swoop in and take all of your stuff. So, we need two more teams. The Home Team, and the New Neighbors.
The Home Team is everyone that is staying at the safehouse, all day, every day. These people include:
- Healer – Manages medications, and handles any injuries or sickness.
- Farmer – Begins growing sustainable food sources, even if it’s just a garden.
- Cook – Observes inventory, primarily of food, but also other lifestyle supplies like clothing.
- Mechanic – Maintains equipment, and vehicles.
Then, there’s the New Neighbors. Whenever you find any other survivors, you should have a plan on how you are going to interact with them. Most survivors are dangerous, some can be reasoned with, and few are worthy of joining your group.
- Speaker – This is the person that will lead the conversation. They need to stay calm, know how to control situations, and are a good judge of character.
- Healer – Most survivors won’t be doing great when you find them, and being able to help them, and grant crucial supplies and medical attention can be an amazing way of starting off on the right foot. You just have to be careful of giving off the impression you are flush with stealable goods.
- Two Stabs – The other two people on the New Neighbors should come prepared like they are on a Stab mission. It is very likely that other survivors will get violent, and having actionable people on your team increases the odds you’ll get out safely. Also, it’s possible that this meeting of survivors might happen outside of your cleared area, or that they accidentally drew some zombies in.
And of course, you should give some thought to who will lead this group. This person should not automatically be you. Take some time, think about the people you want to be with, and who has been in dangerous or extreme situations. For me, I’m not planning on being my groups leader, but giving that role over to someone I know who has military leadership experience. Being the most prepared does not mean you are automatically fit to lead.
Anyway, that’s the core of my zombie apocalypse preparedness plan. I hope you’ve found it to be helpful.