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Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Steve Cole¹s further thoughts on the zombie apocalypse.
1. Let's face it, there really aren't zombies (no more than there are vampires and werewolves) but the way we're overloading this planet with people something is going to happen sooner or later. There is little functional difference between a world full of zombies and a world full of desperate people who are trying to escape the dreaded mega-flu, or super-volcano, or something else. Preparation should be general, for zombies, tornadoes, riots, plague, and even the election of someone you don't like.
2. It's great to talk about the best gun for the zombie apocalypse, but the reality is that you'll go to World War Z with whatever gun you have. If you have a few thousand dollars and no guns and want to get the best, get a good semi-auto rifle with 30-round magazines in either 7.62-39 (AK47 ammo) or 5.56mm (M16 ammo) and a pistol in 9mm Luger. (There are three kinds of 9mm: 9x19 Luger, 9x18 Makarov, and 9x17 380, and you cannot mix them in each other's guns. The 9mm Luger ammo is also known as parabellum, 9x19, and NATO 9mm.) After that, a couple of good hunting knives and a multi-tool will at least cover the basics. A small pocket knife isn't going to be much use except to cut your own wrists. Machetes can be useful against zombies but there aren¹t any of those.
3. A closet full of great guns is meaningless if you can't get home to collect them, so you may want to consider keeping some kind of legal and practical weapons in the trunk of your car. Or you could get a pistol permit. Or something else. Too many guns is a liability when you have to move suddenly, unless you¹re planning on raising your own militia. Even then, do you really think handing desperate people a rifle makes them automatically loyal to your command?
4. Food is important but bulky. If you have half a dozen power bars (each) in your desk, car, and home, you'll at least last long enough to find something else (as long as you rotated them regularly). The real problem is water. Water is easy to contaminate, you need more of it than you need food, and it¹s heavy to carry. A gallon weighs eight pounds and you need at least a gallon a day (more in hot weather). The simple solution is to get one of those water filters that you can use as a straw.
5. Something I learned in the State Guard is that the best food to have in your pocket is a brownie sealed in a plastic or foil pouch. These are easily found at any pre-apocalypse convenience store. Brownies have enough calories to keep you going and enough moisture to not require water to drink with them. (Power bars are dry and assume you have a bottle of water in your other hand.) Brownies do not melt like a candy bar or crumble like cookies or crackers. You can sit on it, step on it, sleep on it, fall on it, or roll over on it, and a brownie is still a brownie. Besides, they taste better than power bars.
 6. Women need to be ready for the apocalypse as well as men, and I don¹t mean just a bag of make-up essentials. Long before the apocalypse, a woman needs to learn how a pistol and an assault rifle works, test fire them, learn to hit a target with them (or at least know their maximum reliable range), and have access to them (preferably to one of their own). Assault rifles (for all the negative press) are perfect for women because of their low recoil. A 120-pound woman firing a 12 gauge shotgun (outside of a movie) or a bolt action 30-caliber rifle isn¹t going to be able to recover from the shock of the first shot in time for the second shot. By all means, ladies, stash a few of your special supplies in your backpack.
7. Prescription medicine is going to be a problem. Even if you get extra out of your insurance company and pack whatever you have in a special easy-grab pouch, soon enough you won¹t have it. Learn enough about your own health to know what to do to minimize your health issues if you have to go without it for extended periods.
8. Everybody talks about bugout bags. You should have several, one in your house and one in your car and another one in your spouse¹s car. Include a water filter, flashlight (one of the hand-cranked kind that also have a radio and a cell phone charger), a big hunting knife, some spare socks, a small first aid kit, a multi-tool, $20 in currency and a couple of dollars in coins, a toothbrush (which is surprisingly important for staying healthy), and a map. Then fill it up with whatever else is handy and seems plausible. Since you cannot predict the nature of the apocalypse, half of whatever you put in there will turn out to be useless, but the other half may save your life.
9. Nobody knows what the apocalypse will be like. Great plans to go to a mountain cabin or off-shore island won't mean much if the apocalypse turns out to be different than the last movie you saw. Stay flexible, and be fully prepared to stay in one place and fully prepared to go somewhere else with whatever your car (or your backpack) will carry.
10. More elaborate preparations run into practical limits of cost, storage, and carrying. You can have a year of food in your house but you cannot carry it when you need to run. A big armored truck needs gasoline that you won¹t be able to get after the third day.