Worst Case Scenario: Zombie Apocalypse
Halloween night is usually a little spooky and eerie around these parts, but this particular Halloween was even more so. Maybe it was the fact that I was in the basement rotating a bag of candy out of my emergency food storage for the trick-or-treaters and I had disaster scenarios running through my head, but there seemed to be a stale sense of doom in the air.As I headed upstairs, I felt a need to make a mental note of my surroundings one more time: food and water stash, 72 hour survival kit, baseball bat. Wait, baseball bat? Foolish, a man of my age letting a silly thing like Halloween frighten me. Nonetheless, I opened the door with caution, almost enjoying the familiar adrenaline rush experienced while watching a horror flick. Pain shot through my hand as the doorknob was ripped from my grasp. The door flew open and I was face to face with a hoard of zombies. Time slowed and I felt as though I was hovering as I retreated down the stairs and into the dark recesses. Questions raced through my mind. Why me? Why now? Why had they come directly to my basement? As I grabbed my bug out bag, I noticed my old high school project on the shelf. A brain I had dissected. It suddenly all made sense. I had contacted my local disaster relief agency to review emergencies that were likely to happen in my area, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, and pandemics, and I had prepared appropriately. Zombies are a big enough part of pop culture that the Center for Disease Control had even posted an article about zombie preparedness, but I hadn’t taken it seriously. I started reciting my survival mantra: WWMD, that’s right, “What would MacGyver do?” I quickly grabbed the rope out of my pack and tied it across the bottom of the stairs. The first zombies to reach it tripped, forming a zombie blockade and buying me a few precious moments to think. Opening the side pocket of my emergency preparedness kit, I grabbed some steel wool and a nine volt battery. I ran the battery terminals across the steel wool, sparking the material. I tossed the flaming wad on the zombie pile, distracting the others. Quickly forming a barricade with my buckets of freeze dried food, I grasped the jar containing the brain, twisted the top, and tossed it like a grenade at the hoard. It exploded on the stairs, causing the zombies to dog pile on the brain. Using my flashing red signal light to distract them, I slid one of my two way radios across the room and talked into the other one to sound like there were more people in the basement. I blew into my signaling whistle to further confuse them. I grabbed a quart jar of canned fruit from my long term food storage to throw at them, but thought better of it. If zombies are in my basement, there is a good chance that there are more out there, and I will need to conserve food storage.Despite my efforts, the zombie hoard was advancing on my position. I was thumbing through my survival guide for ideas when I heard a noise on the other side of my barricade. I peered over the stack to see a zombie standing only inches away. I instantly remembered an old dog-training trick, rolled up my survival guide and hit him on the nose shouting “No bite!” What else could I use against this rank mass of rotting undead? A glint of light in my pack made me focus on my survival knife. As I readied myself for hand to hand combat with the remaining undead, it seemed as if all hope was lost. I hadn’t even had a chance to prepare that delicious dutch oven dessert that I had practiced. I glanced up as they descended upon me.Waking up in a sweat, I was relieved to find it was all just a dream. I was further relieved by the realization that my emergency preparedness kit was adequate for almost any disaster, even those that I hadn’t planned for specifically. With a little ingenuity and creativity, I was able to use the supplies on hand to improvise during changing conditions. Do I believe in zombies? The important thing is that I believe in emergency preparedness, and that it is not to be taken lightly. Whatever your beliefs in the undead, take time to ready yourself to survive for at least three days with little or no support from others.-Gary Jenkins-Gary Jenkins is a father and husband living in Oregon who is a wildlife rehabilitation and outdoor adventure enthusiast.