The Zombie Survival Guide
There have been many zombie survival guides making their way online over the last few years, but they all have one major flaw. They operate under the outdated and erroneous assumption that all zombies are slow-moving dull-witted sloths with limited motor functions. Quite how this portrayal of zombies came into being is unknown (although it probably stems back to the cataleptic state associated with zombies in Haiti, created by voodoo, however the victims of these ritual attacks are not truly zombies; they’re just chemically enslaved and therefore have no will of their own).
Regardless, its widespread adoption, along with the burying of news pertaining to zombie outbreaks by the church and, subsequently, world governments, has unnecessarily cost thousands of individuals their lives. No matter what George A. Romero might say, not all zombies are vegetative walking corpses; some can move quickly and apply logic and cunning to outwit their prey. Thanks to illicit experiments on tiny islands in the Pacific, there are now two types of zombies: the walking dead, as portrayed quite accurately by the aforementioned Mr. Romero, and the new, far more deadly ones, infected by manmade viruses.
Whichever type of zombie you encounter, groups of zombies can become particularly dangerous, and not just because of their numbers; they (like ants and bees) have a hive mentality, or collective consciousness as some researchers claim. This means the entire group will function as one, with one purpose…to eat your brain. After five years of silence, as the sole survivor of the 2003 Cook Island zombie outbreak, I feel it’s my duty to share what I learnt in the field, so that you may stand a chance of survival if it ever happens to you. So here are my top 10 tips for staying alive.
1: Stay calm. If you want to keep your brain intact, you’d better not run around like a headless chicken. Fear is your biggest enemy; fear will cost you precious time. A second of hesitation can mean the difference between escaping alive, and having your head ripped open like a boiled egg at a zombie buffet.2: If you are not under immediate attack, plan an escape route. Pack supplies including food, water, medical supplies, clothes, lint, weatherproof matches, iodine (or water purification pills), etc., but keep it light; you don’t want it slowing you down. If you have them, wear heavy steel-toed boots and a leather jacket or other reinforced clothes. A tee-shirt or sweater will not protect you from a zombie bite. Camouflage yourself with blood stains and strips of rotting flesh. The stench might be unbearable, but it beats having the flesh stripped from your bones by hundreds of gnashing teeth.
3: Find and stock up on weapons. Shotguns, chainsaws, and katana are always good choices. The only way to truly kill a zombie is to destroy its central nervous system—i.e., its brain. Bludgeoning instruments like cricket or baseball bats can work in a push, but they are generally too slow, and the zombies might snatch it out of your hands and turn the weapon on you. Trust me; you don”t want to go there. If using a chainsaw or katana, be sure to penetrate the skull—decapitated zombie heads can continue to live for up to three days, giving “ankle biter” a whole new meaning.
4: Plan your stops. Unless you’re a survival nut, you probably don’t have a three-year supply of canned food and five hundred rounds of ammo in your pantry, so you’ll need to make stops along the road. Try to think of grocery stores and weapons shops in quiet areas; big stores and shopping malls will most likely be infested with large numbers of zombies.
5: Be prepared to kill your friends. If you are with other survivors and one gets bitten, you have 24 hours or less before he or she becomes a full-fledged zombie. Even if the person in question is your nearest and dearest you must take decisive action by the 15th hour or risk them infecting you too.
6: Find a safe place to hole up. Try to find shelter on high ground or with a vantage point so you can get a clear lay of the land.
7: By hook or by crook, procure a handheld radio and/or CB radio. If there are other survivors, radio will be your main tool for locating each other.
8: Make improvised weapons. No matter how many rounds you may have holed up, that supply isn’t going to magically restock itself and you’re not going to find crates of ammo lying around like in Resident Evil. Make a makeshift bow and arrow; find a nail gun or any other weapon capable of penetrating the skull. You’ll need to be resourceful to stay alive.
9: In the event of a long-term zombie plague (i.e., a manmade plague), locate and destroy the source of the virus. The virus is propagated mainly through ticks of the family Ixodidae and is usually carried by rats, ferrets, and other rodents.
10: Always keep a bullet for yourself.
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