How to Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse

Warning: This post is rated R for language, honesty, and badassery. If none of those appeal to you, I bid you good day.

Because you know it’s coming. Let’s face it — we humans suck at teamwork most of the time. But we’re great at destroying ourselves with bombs and wars and guns and tabloids — so why not face the inevitable and just start getting prepared for it?


Who doesn’t love those cuddly, zany funsters? They shamble! They moan! They eat your evil boss’s face! You better hope they’re the shambling, moaning kind of zombies, because if they turn out to be the rage-y, 28 Days/Weeks Later type of screaming bastards, we’re all probably just plain fucked. Buggered. Up shit creek with only a still-wriggling arm for a paddle. Any way you slice it, if there are fast zombies? Yeah. You and me? Dead. Deeeead-y dead dead dead dead.

Contingency Plan A: Fast Zombies

Solution: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. As Adriana Ryan said on her blog yesterday, why wouldn’t you want to be on the winning team in a zombie apocalypse? If there are fast zombies, that’s my plan.

Shambling Zombies

If there are zombies, chances are they’ll be sort of ungainly with the rotting and the decaying, and the “muh-muh” quest for human flesh or brains. That’s the eventuality I want to help prepare you for! And since I got an A+ on this zombie quiz, I reckon I’m qualified!

Feel free to follow along with my simple, step-by-step instructions!


I don’t know if you knew this, but you kind of have to eat and drink fairly often in order to stay living. Watching Walking Dead this year made me wonder how on earth they still had enough canned food after feeding nearly twenty people for weeks — surely the stores in a tiny town don’t have that much creamed corn to offer.

Besides, if you wait until the apocalypse to stock up, you’ll have to deal with the idea that every other yokel in your area will have the same damn idea, and while bolting to REI after their killer survival gear would be a lot more free if you didn’t have to pay for it, by the time you get there alive and unbitten, all the good stuff will probably be smashed or gone.

Or there could be a zombie sitting on it, eating the sales associate’s brains.

So save yourself the trouble. Zombie apocalypses are about thinking smart and not getting dead. Costco sells massive amounts of survival food! I know. When I saw it, I about piddled from pure joy. Need vegetarian emergency food? They’ve got it! Emergency kits, first aid, cured meat, water purification and storage? They’ve got that too! Oh, my god. Why don’t I have a panic room yet filled with this stuff?

It might also be helpful to get yourself set up with some survival gear — a solid sleeping bag or three, lightweight warm jackets, lots of layers. Remember. The more layers you wear, the more the zombies have to bite through to break your soft, pearly skin.


Sure. Everybody thinks guns are the bee’s knees. But how many people can actually shoot? And did you see The Walking Dead finale? Shane’s gunshot is what brings the entire fucking horde down on the farm! One shot. If you want to survive, go with something quieter. Maybe learn how to shoot a bow — besides, arrows are both reusable and something you can make if you need to. Most people wouldn’t be any better at making bullets for a semi-automatic than giving themselves their own colonic.

Learn how to use melee weapons. Swords, knives, clubs — anything that can disrupt the brain functioning of a zombie. Aim for stuff that can cut through bone and doesn’t make much noise. Stay quiet, stay alive.

Use a gun only for emergencies — you know, the kind where you’re in a secured location and can help somebody out by popping off rounds in zeds from above.  Otherwise they’re just going to bring more trouble, no matter how badass they make you feel. Ranged weapons are great, but only as far as your ammo flies. The second you’re out of ammo, all you’re left with is a rather inefficient club.


You want to survive? You might have to be uncomfortable. You want clothing that you can move in, but that protects your vulnerable smushiness from zombie chompers if you were to say, get pinned. My choice is leather. It can be soft, it’s durable, and hey, it even looks good.

Yeah, I'd say it looks good.

Barring leather, you could always reinforce your clothes with duct tape. It might look a fair bit stupider, but I’d rather look like a jackass than end up undead.

Sturdy shoes are a must. I’d say go for some reinforced hiking boots or lacing leather boots. They might be clunky, but you want your feet free of blisters.

And finally…


When the apocalypse first starts, you probably won’t have much of a choice. You’ll be stuck where you are, and that’s fine. Get as high up as you can — chances are, zombies will be better at going down stairs than up them. Hole up, enjoy your MREs, perfect your leather gear, and get used to stinking. But when things settle down and pretty much everyone is deader than you? You might want to consider moving north.

If zombies shamble and moan, they probably don’t have a lot of muscle control. And they’re rotting. Which, you know. Gross. Get them cold, and it’ll be harder for them to keep moving. That’s why we better hope this thing starts in the fall — spring time zombie apocalypse would mean much more dead going around the world. (Although if it were spring for us, those in Australia and elsewhere on the flip side of the equator would be in better luck.)

When you do have a chance to migrate north, you’re going to need a lot of skills. Hotwiring cars, siphoning gas, scavenging — all very important. You also might want to think about what the least used roads in your area happen to be — they’ll probably be your best friend in case of apocalypse. I live in DC, so I know for a fact no highway in fifty miles would be passable. Ugh.

Here’s some other useful survival gear to have handy!

  • Compass
  • Map of your area (political and physical)
  • Iodine (for water purification)
  • A good backpack
  • A little wagon
  • A rope ladder (might be useful if you’re in an apartment building)
  • A harness and carabiners (if you’re scaling anything, always stay attached!)
  • Some portable, high nutrient food (for runs)
  • Lots of exercise and working out!

With my handy-dandy guide, you should be on your way to some solid prep work. Always stay vigilant — and if the apocalypse comes, beep me.

Emmie Mears assumes no responsibility if you get yourself dead or fall off your balcony trying to build a rope ladder. Engage in zombie prep at your own risk. If you hurt yourself, it’s not my fault. This is not meant as a comprehensive survival guide, but you’d be silly not to follow it.


About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on March 29, 2012, in urban fantasy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Just read another similar post the other day so, in the interest of laziness, I am going to copy and paste my response to that post here, as it applies as well:

    I have a nice long samurai sword, because, let’s face it, I don’t want to have to TOUCH their blood while I’m cleaving flesh, just in case it’s an “end of the world virus” and not an “end of the world biblical rising.” And rubber gloves, a first aid kit, modified with morphine, syringes, antibiotics, and stitching material. Hmmm…Still a fan of the pistol grip mossburg for full crowd control and portability. And then corn starch/baking soda (never underestimate the power of odor blocking, for the Zeds AND for the people you may have to hole up in close proximity to.)

  2. This is exactly why I always wear hiking boots. If a surprise zombie apocalypse were to break out, I’m good to go.

  3. Nice article! I’ve written a thing or two about surviving the coming ZA as well. Great advice all around. Just remember the longer you can stay hidden and silent during the initial outbreak, the better off you’ll be. Our ADHD cultural habits will get you eaten. 😉

  4. One can never forget the classic katana when the time comes…also, if the Walking Dead and various other zombie-based goodnesses teach us anything, it’s that we all want a redneck or two in our pocket when the time comes. They apparently gain extreme levels in badassery when zombies hit the fan.

  5. @ Chris G. Well, in all fairness, Norman Reedus is badass ALL the time. XD

  6. I’m going to print this out, just in case!!
    Maybe Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory isn’t as crazy as he comes across with the survival backpack he keeps under the bed.

  7. OMG Emmie – you get me laughing out loud about topics I wouldn’t read on anyone else’s blog. Oops … was this serious? Am I missing something here? Maybe Emma has the right idea in her comment above – “print this out, just in case” – will do!

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