All the men (and most women) I know have one thing in common: They have a zombie contingency plan. If the zombies arise tomorrow, everybody has at least a hazy outline of what, exactly, they would do to survive the coming onslaught. It's the single best part about the zombie mythos: planning your strategy. So I asked everybody I could think of to submit their own zombie contingency plans, and this is but a small sample of what I received:
The "I Had a Good Plan But Then I Tripped" StratagemBy Robert Brockway
Since I'm planning on criticizing the plans submitted, it's only fair that I go first. My zombie contingency plan: I live in the inner city, so I'm pretty well fucked. But I also live in Oregon, which is somewhat sparsely populated outside of the cities. The only way to survive is to get out as fast as possible. To that end, I've looked around and I know that I live within a few blocks of three important things. First is the Gun Room, the scariest fucking gun shop in America. If you want to kill something, the Gun Room not only has the supplies to do it, but they'd probably do it for you at a reasonable fee (caution: "reasonable fees" as dictated by the insane may vary greatly in their definition of "reasonable"). One block away from the Gun Room is the fur supplier/taxidermist. Apart from having warm, tough, weatherproof hides aplenty, they also have complete hunting/survival materials and several items that could make great melee weapons, from old decorative lumberjacking gear to a giant stuffed moose head (come on, what it lacks in practicality it more than makes up for in style). Two blocks away from the Gun Room is the Post Office, and the Post Office has a lot of fully-fueled, well-maintained, simple, rugged vehicles in their high-fenced back lot. They have the keys on premises, and all vehicles have very few windows, but a lot of storage space for supplies. Some of the newer ones do not have driver's side doors, but the older ones have pure steel driver's side doors with old school bolt-locks. They get fair gas mileage, are unlikely to break down and can handle rugged conditions. I know the backroads to get through to these areas, and I would not leave my transport until I reached them. I would load up on guns, ammo and hunting/outdoor supplies, then grab a Post Office truck and take those same backroads out east where civilization thins out a bit. Once there, I would raid one of the many towns along the off-routes that have populations among the dozens, if that. A small pharmacy, a feed market and a grocery store are all you need now that you're supplied with gear and out of the city. There are plenty of those around, so I wouldn't waste time grabbing anything in a danger zone as hot as the city. Even a roadside gas station has first aid kits, batteries, flashlights and packaged food. I would pick my way back to Central Oregon around the Indian reservations where there is fertile ground and high, flat plateaus in the middle of otherwise even plains. High ground to defend, structures already built, out of the way and you can see anybody coming from literally miles away. In the winter it gets cold enough to freeze, but no blizzards or white out conditions exist. I would wait for the winter and see where to go from there--move north and hope for more permanent settlement or just wait out the worst of it until control is restored. Pros: It is awesome. Cons: I once ran face-first into a sliding glass door. I am not competent enough to do any of this. I would probably trip over my own feet and stumble slapstick-style into an undead group hug.
The "I Will Miss You Dearly" StratagemBy Meagan (my girlfriend)
When the zombies appear and start messing with everything, I'm going to rely on you to have planned everything related to our survival. I'll steal a pair of Wheelies to wear so I can glide away when I need to make a speedy exit, but I'll still have good traction when running. I'm also going to pack up our nice sheets because I'm sure you never thought about what linens we would be sleeping on while we're on the run. Before the Internet goes down, I'll get right on making our Zombie Mix CD. Can we have Fiber One yogurt in the zombie apocalypse? Being constipated wouldn't help our cause out any... Pros: It is adorable. Cons: You will be dead within minutes.
The "Feed the Elderly (to Zombies)" StrategemBy Jennifer Bonesteel
Well, I workout everyday so that I can be faster than a slowly moving shuffle. I also try to hang out with at least one person who is slower than me (obese or elderly) so that when the zombies attack I can leave them to be eaten. I'll miss my grandma, but a zombie apocalypse is no laughing matter. Pros: Check the byline, again.That's her real name. Jennifer. Fucking. BONESTEEL. I have no doubt she will not only survive the apocalypse intact, but quite possibly will do so in a silver rhinestone tanktop, and eventually end up running a methane fueled trading post with a mentally handicapped giant and a little person. Cons: Lacks detail. Sure you're going to feed them old people, but where are you going to feed them those old people, and which old people go first? Details are important. Not like old people.
The "Eternal Sausage Party" StratagemBy Thomas SimmonsStart of the outbreak. Destroy the steps to my front porch, and barricade the first floor windows of my house. Wait for the shit to hit the fan, get as many friends and loved ones over to safety. Few days later. After the mass panic has resided a bit, mainly due to more people being infected and dying, scavenge as many supplies as possible. I live in a large fraternity house, so staying put may not be such a bad idea. Load up on food, guns, ammo and supplies. If the outlook for the house is bleak, attempt to clear out and move in to one of the large freshman dorms that were fallout shelters during the cold war. Weeks later. Start a small farming operation on the roof of the building, or the court yard of the house, depending on the location. Months later. If still alive, attempt to lower the zombie population--i.e. kill the fuck out of them--and look for survivors. Years later. Start over? kill as many zombies as possible. Pros: Low expectations. There is no grand scheming here to distract from the day to day survival, and the simpler a plan of action is, the less there is to go wrong. Cons: You are stuck with frat guys forever. "James Bro-lin, that sounds like a sausage party! Who brought the chicks?" "It's the zombie apocalypse, Broseph Stalin, no reason we can't have a kegger!" And so on. You will last two days before the madness takes you.
The "Hope My Head Will Explode Shortly Before Theirs Does" StratagemBy Davis Fyke
Basically using my access to multiple arms and my connections with the chief of police, I would hunker down in the armory with my guns and crack. All I really need anyways. Pros: Guns. Cons: Crack.
The "Don't Feed The Animals" StratagemBy Sarah
Luckily there is a retirement home/community only a few blocks from my house. Plenty of applesauce and boardgames for me; plenty of slow and senile people for the zombies. Pros: Another plan that relies heavily on feeding old people to the undead. It is nice to see that practicality is taking front seat here, with such concerns as "love" or "morality" in the back. Way Back. Like in a trailer. At the gas station. Twenty-two miles ago. Which is now covered in zombies. Cons: Again, lacking in details. It seems like everybody planning on using the elderly as zombie chaff have little else to go off of. What happens when the elderly run out? Much like feeding wild animals, you have taught the zombies to rely on your location to provide free food. The difference here being that when you show up without food for the pigeons, their revolt does little but soil your suit, whereas if you show up empty handed to a zombie feeding, you end up being that which they soil their suits with.
The "Get By With a (Very) Little Help From My Friends" StratagemBy Brett Jones
Alright my plan is actually overall very simple, but is broken down into several steps so that they can be altered based on a few factors: the type of outbreak, heavily infested areas which would be to dangerous to attempt at passing, survivor error or random events out of our control. Step 1: Determine the type of outbreak. Is this an airborne strain? Is it necromancy? Is it passed mainly through bites or can in be transferred by clawing or open wounds? Is this the fault of a biological weapons facility under the guise of a pharmaceutical company? This also applies to what type of zombies are we dealing with? Are they fast? Are they smart? Can they climb? Have there been odd mutations in the strain causing almost superhuman alterations in some of the victims? Once all these factors are determined, THEN and only then may you proceed, because if you just run out of your house waving a machete in hopes that you'll make it, you'll be deader than Liam Neeson's wife. (Too soon?) (Editor's Note: Yes, yes it is. But fear not, there will be little room for political correctness in the zombie apocalypse. Zombies are a notoriously "blue crowd." Get it? There's always time for a zinger!)Step 2: Gather your team. We've all thought about it. If you're reading these plans right now, you've thought about it. If there is an outbreak, who will you take, and who will you leave behind? Sadly enough this usually means leaving your parents and siblings behind unless they have some sort of useful skill. That is all what it boils down to. Do they have a useful skill? It's a good idea to bring a wide range of skilled persons with you. Bring the strong, the intelligent and even bring yourself a couple of slow moving people to put a bit of meat between you and the horde of ravenous bastards. It's important, though, to not bog your team down with too many useless members. You may still have some shred of humanity left in you that makes you want to save that child, but he's just going to slow you down. Try to keep your team tight and essential. Step 3: Get some supplies. Unless you plan on eating canned cranberry sauce for years and beating the infected away with rocks, chances are you're going to need some supplies. The smart zombie survivor already has at least a bladed weapon and a bit of food at the ready, but it won't last you very long. After your team is together you should head towards a large department store such as Super Target, Wal-Mart or Costco but be sure to scope it out first. Big store means a lot of customers which means a lot of infected. Remember your goal is to survive not be reckless. Now places like Wal-Mart all have an outdoor survival section and this should be your first stop. Grab axes, machetes, saws and everything that might be an essential. Next grab tools and medical supplies and then finally grab food. You're looking for food that will last a long time, canned food, cereal etc. Step 4: Move to safety. Now the common tactic for zombie safety is to find a military base or a heavily fortified area nearby. That's not enough. With the amount of people who will turn infected you'll quickly find yourself overrun by the horde. The safest option is to steal a puddlejumper aircraft (or befriend some one who can fly a plane) and get to either Hawaii or Alaska. I'm going with Hawaii on this one. One of the small islands is best. Being disconnected from the mainland, there is a good chance that the infection hasn't spread that far, and if it HAS then with a smaller population to deal with it will be easier to hold back the horde. Yes it is very important when on the island to locate a heavily fortified structure and build up your defenses but it is equally important to locate a supply of food, and tools. Step 5: Stay smart and stay safe. Now it is a matter of waiting it out. No doubt you will lose some allies. This comes with the territory. The important part is that you stay alive. Keep your base of operations organized and send out for supplies only when needed. Clear the corpses from the base and always keep someone awake to look out. And always keep your weapons on the up and up. Like Three Dog says "Never forget the importance of periodic weapon maintenance; rifle, pistol, police baton, I don't care which. If your weapon is falling apart, the only wasteland asshole it's going to kill is you. So be smart. Salvage those parts and make repairs whenever you can." Pros: Comprehensive, complete and largely lacking in any of that pesky mercy or distracting human sentiment. Cons: Largely lacking in human sentiment means you are unlikely to "befriend" anybody, much less a puddlejumper pilot, who will, regardless, have nowhere near enough fuel to get to Hawaii. You will die together 1/4 of the way there, silently despising one another as you sink into the ocean.
The "I'm on a boat, motherfucker!" StratagemBy Chris Butler
So I go to school in Maine, and I'm right on the coast. I have a couple of family members who live further up the coast of Maine on an island that's pretty much 95 percent redneck hicks, and five percent deer. The plan is essentially this: When the zombie outbreak finally does occur, my cousins are going to hijack the ferry used to shuttle cars from the mainland to the island. They're going to float her down the coast until they get to my school. Myself, and any other unsullied survivors will swim out to the ferry, where we will begin the trip back to the island where we will make our stand. The amount of guns, alcohol and pissed-off lobster men will ensure a small amount of relative safety until winter, when the zombies freeze. Resupply missions will then be sent out to look for survivors and other food. Sadly, or perhaps fortunately, I have discussed this plan in great length with my cousins. Pros: The ferry transport is a great idea for an organized evacuation. Cons: Unless you know some ferry captains, you're probably not getting out of the docks. Survivors swimming to boat could be infected. Lobster men are notoriously unreliable folk, unless you're referring to the new roster of the Crash Test Dummies. Those guys are fucking solid.
The "It's Even Fireproof Because Fire Needs Oxygen to Thrive" StratagemBy Jeff Shock
Technically I have two zombie plans: fast zombie (a la 28 Days Later) or slow zombies (like Shaun of the Dead). The fast zombie is pretty simple: First, get food and supplies such as Spaghetti-o's, canned foods, Twinkies, etc. Then procure a nice bank vault and a shotgun. The slow zombie is a bit more in-depth: Walk (briskly) to a mountainous area that's hard to climb. I seriously doubt I'll need to run. Also, it might be preferable to go to a mountain in Alaska as the cold temperatures added to their already low body temps could turn them to corpse-sicles Pros: Multiple plans for multiple scenarios. Too often we fall victim to the arrogant assumption that we know what the zombie apocalypse will be like. Cons: Bank vault = low on oxygen, low on supplies and hard to gain access to. Alaskan mountain = also hard to gain access to... unless you live on an Alaskan mountain. In which case, you're most likely there precisely because of the fear of something like a zombie apocalypse, and so probably also have your stores, weapons and hermit-like persona at the ready. You have made your plan and are living it, so congratulations! (P.S. Sweet beard and flannel shirt, Alaskan native! You totally don't look psycho or nothin'!)