If you’re anything like me, you’ve had a zombie preparedness plan in place for some time. You know where you’re going to go, who and what you’re going to take—and who you’re going to leave behind. You may even have a bag packed, or a small stock of food and weaponry. It’s okay…I won’t tell. And you shouldn’t either—or you’re just asking to be looted.
As the zombie genre and its fans mature, the need for increased zombie preparedness grows. A stash of food, weaponry, and toilet paper just isn’t enough any more. Thanks to the proliferation of zombie culture—many of your neighbors are now also planning to hold up in the bowling alley, the local jail, military base, or super Wal*mart. To survive and thrive, you’ve GOT to stay ahead of the zombies, and more importantly, ahead of anyone in the same predicament as you. Hint: that’s pretty much everyone.
The best thing may just be to hold up in your own home for as long as you can. If you decide to do that, there are some necessary items that you should have on hand, ten, in fact. These are not necessarily listed in order of importance. You really do need all ten.
#10 Water Purification Tablets. Sure, you’ll probably have what you think is plenty of stored water in your basement. You’ll be amazed how fast it goes. The average person needs at least 8 glasses of water a day. Even cutting that in half, a family of four will need over 100 litres of water for just one month. Since you have NO IDEA how long you might be staying inside, you will need to be able to purify the water from your tap. If you have city water, it will be undrinkable within 12 hours of the electrical grid going down—unless you are armed with purification tabs. Get a bunch; they last forever.
#9 Dehydrated Food. This is kind of a no-brainer. You will likely have plenty of canned and non-perishable foods around your house. But again, you don’t know how long you might be there. Ideally, you’ll want at least one year’s worth of food for your entire group. Be sure to include astronaut ice cream and tactical bacon, both available from the good people at ThinkGeek.com.
#8 First-Aid. Again, this is sort of a no-brainer in that you probably already have some kind of emergency medical kit in your home or vehicle. To withstand zombies and the collapse of society, you’ll want to be well stocked. Be sure to have a large and plentiful assortment of bandages, cotton, splints and gauze. You’ll need rubbing alcohol, peroxide, and a few different kinds of pain killers, germ fighters, bismuth, hot and cold packs, and smelling salts. Think in terms of a severely injured person that you’ve got to either make travel-ready—or leave behind. You cannot be too prepared. Bonus points for sedatives and alertness pills. Do NOT use caffeine in an apocalyptic situation.
#7 Vitamins. Even if you have a good supply of food and hydration, you will almost certainly need a boost. D vitamins in case you can’t go outside, C in case there’s no fruit left, B’s to keep you peppy and alert, and A because carrots taste disgusting. Note: many vits have more of everything than you actually need. Read the label, but it’s often perfectly fine to cut them in half.
#6 Fire. At some point, you will need to make a fire. Lighters will last a while, matches will last longer. Flints and accelerants are also good to have. If there’s any sunlight at all, a magnifying glass is your best renewable source of fire—if you can refrain from breaking it Burgess Meredith-style.
#5 Fire Extinguisher. If you’re making fire, you will also need plenty of ways to put out said fire if it becomes unruly. Water should never be used for grease, electrical, or chemical fires. Instead, have on hand a blanket, some dry flour, salt/sand, and one or more of each grade of commercial extinguisher. This is another way in which your hidey hole cannot be too well outfitted. Nothing ruins a perfectly good shelter like an uncontrolled blaze.
#4 Eternal flashlight. Do I even need to explain this one? It will sometimes be dark. You will need to see. You may or may not have batteries. Thirty seconds of shaking will give you ten minutes of light. Repeat as necessary.
#3 Wind-up Radio. Not only will this keep you somewhat informed, but it may also keep you from going completely insane and murdering whoever is holding up with you. AM/FM is good. AM/FM/CB is much better. Just be very, VERY careful about giving away your location.
#2 Aloe Plant. This may not save your life, but it will make you a whole lot more comfortable if you experience a burn, a rash, or find yourself without a toothbrush for more than say, two days. Aloe is a miracle healing plant with so many marvelous properties that you should probably avail yourself even if you aren’t expecting zombies any time soon.
#1 Love. Yes, that’s corny. But you know what? The most likely thing to keep you from committing suicide (actively or passively) is a good, solid reason to live. A solitary life is no kind of life at all. So, if there’s no one you like enough to repopulate the Earth with—why not try meeting a few new people while you’re out stockpiling triple-ply TP and Pringles that you hope will last as long as Twinkies? After all, the only thing that keeps us human is our humanity.
Alright, now get to shopping.