I’ve always thought a full scale zombie apocalypse would be cool.
Cause let’s face it, it would.
Once you get past the whole harrowing business of maybe having to kill your friends and family, it would be pretty awesome.
But you have to first of all work out what kind of zombie you’re facing, as it changes the survival chances pretty significantly. If we take the classic zombie (the ‘Romero’ zombie, if you will) I’d say your survival chances are pretty high, but there are many many problems with that. Cabin fever and depression namely, for what the classic zombie lacks in speed, it more than makes up for with persistence, and well, numbers. It’s the unrelenting nature of these guys that will likely drive you mad, and if you’re locked up in relative safety, you could well be there for a while, for as the movies have taught us, if the zombies know there’s people inside, they just moan and groan at the door until they get in, which they might never do. So basically, you’re trapped.
I remember when I worked in the Spar, we had discussions about how it would be quite a good place to hold up if it ever happened. Big shutters covering the doors and windows, access to a (albeit limited) supply of food, as well as the ability to get onto the roof if needs be. But, as I said, you’d be trapped. And eventually, you’d go insane. Maybe after a few months, maybe after a year, but if you’re locked up inside a small building, with the same people every day, with hordes of zombies outside whose only purpose is to get in to eat your face off, I wouldn’t blame you.
Thing is though, if you were just as persistent, you could easily survive on the road during a Romero invasion. A lot of literature on the subject (and there’s a lot of it, trust me. If you’re after something, pick up The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks) says that if there is a zombie invasion, you shouldn’t travel, but if you have to, travel alone. Be a lone wolf. I disagree. I think two people, travelling together and taking shifts, would be the best way to survive. One person sleeps while the other keeps watch, as Romero zombies aren’t fast, you literally could just run away from them, and their subtle satire on consumerism. The best thing is, assuming you could procure one, is that you wouldn’t need to use any form of firearm too often. Just as long as you stayed fit and healthy enough to run away, no weapons would be needed. But you should still carry some form of heavy blunt object with a long enough killing distance, like a spade or cricket bat. And cool as computer games have made it look, a chainsaw is really not a good thing to use, if such an invasion were to happen in real life.
However, if the zombie apocalypse was of the 28 Days Later/2004 Dawn of the Dead ilk, your survival chances drop significantly. We’ll call them the modern zombie and basically…these fuckers are fast. So you’ve got to be prepared.
Numbers are key in this situation. You need as many people around you as possible so as you can take shifts easily so other people can get some sleep, and be alert enough to cover your back whenever you need to sleep. And having more eyes about the place never hurts, as with more eyes, you can cover more places that the zombies could come from. Also it’d be best to find as wide and as open a space as you can find, but while still inside. Outdoors is a big no-no in this kind of invasion. Actually, a shopping centre is probably the best place to mount your offensive, as you can see in all directions (more or less) from a central focal point. If we take Ards Shopping Centre as an example, if you stationed folks at the both of the crossroads in it, you could see in all directions and would be able to ping a modern zombie’s head off before he got too close.
Which leads me to my next point. With the modern zombie, you’re going to needs guns.
Lots of guns.
You will not be able to run from these guys. You could maybe outrun one or two, but if there are a lot of them, you are screwed. That zombie bite has made them better, faster, stronger. They have been rebuilt, they have the technology, and they will chew your arm off for a laugh. Guns are an essential aspect of a modern zombie invasion. Get them however you can, and horde ammo like your life depended on it. Cause it will. I won’t go into gun specifics, cause I wouldn’t know what I’m talking about, but get some long range bad boys as well as something a little more close quarters. The shotgun has been immortalised as the weapon of choice for zombie killing, and I’d have to agree; it probably would be your best friend. Actually, your best friend should be a guy with a good aim.
And now, just a couple of general rules, no matter what kind of zombie you’re facing:
Do not go anywhere alone. This is good advice for the Romero invasion, but especially so with a modern one; as zombies have no regard for their own well being they will smash through anything to reach you. So don’t think because you’ve locked yourself in a room that you’re safe. Always take an armed partner with you wherever you go. You should also be armed at all times.
Always know where the exits are. In case you get cornered by a horde of blood thirsty undead prinks or if they’re blocking your usual exit, make sure you know that there are other ways out. No point running around an unfamiliar place, and running into a dead end. It’s zombie chow for you then. Never run upstairs while being chased unless you have a plan (as you’re effectively trapping yourself) and never lead them in to places that are secure.
Medical supplies. Carry them, and have someone who knows how to use them.
Be ruthless. You get bit, get someone to kill you. Someone gets bit, kill them. Has to be done. Or you could let them go out in a blaze of glory, preferably involving explosives, mainly cause this is what Every Zombie Movie Ever does.
And after all that, have fun.
I mean, it is the end of the world. Time to nut up, or shut up.