How many of you out there are familiar with the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough At Last“? It is about a bank teller bookworm who through a series of global events ends up being one of the few people left on earth. As he wanders around he finds a library with all the books he could ever read, but tragically trips and breaks his glasses. Continue reading
Many people have seen movies such as Zombieland, I Am Legend, Mad Max, and The Road. If you have not, I suggest you stop reading this and rent them before you no longer have the electricity (due to the inevitable zombie apocalypse) to power your DVD player. In these movies as well as one of my favorite series, The Walking Dead, you see the survivors driving around in cars and using guns. That is all good and well if the breakout has just recently happened. And if cars and guns are what you need to make it through the initial event, then by all means do so. However, there is going to come a point where you will run out of the resources we as a civilization have become accustomed to over our history on this planet. Continue reading
If you are one of the lucky few who survive the initial zombie outbreak, do not pat yourself on the back yet. Yeah you might be good with a hatchet and maybe you dispatched a handful of walkers with a shovel, but by no means does that make you a battle-worn veteran. Your main objective is to stay alive and not just minute to minute or hour to hour. You want to maximize your chances for long term survival. Most people concern themselves with what supplies and weapons they need and not necessarily where they are going to setup their base camp.
There is only so much ammo that you can find as well as supplies such as clean clothing, food, and fresh water. With the scarcity of these resources the best thing you can do is put yourself in a position to use the least amount possible. That is why the climate you choose to setup shop is so critical. Let’s say for example you are located somewhere in middle America when the you-know-what hits the fan. Heading north into Canada or west to the Colorado Rockies will greatly enhance your chances of making it through alive.
Besides food spoiling faster, flesh rots faster, you sweat more, and smells all around are much stronger in warmer climates. If you find yourself in Miami during the summer and come across a group of walkers, they are going to smell you out in a heartbeat. You will be the needle they find in the proverbial haystack. If you manage to find a way to cover up your human-smell, there are other things to be worried about such as dehydration, heat stroke, and fast moving zombies.
You are going to go through water quicker in warmer temperatures than you would in colder weather. Most of the bottled water will be gone shortly after word spreads of the outbreak. Water is the most essential thing we need to survive, so why put yourself in an area where water is even more scarce? I think you might be able to find sun-tan lotion on the shelves in the stores you ransack, but between the lack of water and heat you face, you are setting yourself up to be someone’s snack.
Now let’s say you take our advice and head to colder weather. For starters you will use less water. If you need to find water there is a much better chance at melting some snow or finding a mountain stream. Now if you go up to higher altitudes, say 5,000ft+, you will need to consume more water than if you were at sea level. However, with the access to more possible fresh water sources, the higher altitude should not play a major factor.
One might argue that you need to have more survival clothing and than you would in warmer climates. This is definitely true, but if you are reading this we know that you have been preparing and stocking up. The extra clothing that you have on and the cold weather will significantly reduce the olfactory glands rotting in the zombie’s face. Zombies that cannot track you by their sense of smell is a very good thing.
There is another benefit to the colder temperatures and that is slower moving zombies. The rotting flesh of the zombies will be exposed directly to the bitter cold, which will cause their festering muscles to tighten up and not be as flexible. Slower zombies means better chance at getting away or taking them out with your shotgun. Your chances of survival long term are increased since many cold weather locations have a lower population. Less people equals less zombies. If you can get to higher altitudes with rockier terrain, that will give you another one up against the zombies since they are not known for their climbing skills.
So right after reading this I will assume that you will be breaking out your maps to search out the best cold climate locations and heading over to the local outfitters to pickup an extra pair of thermals.
If you have ever read about financial planning that will stand the test of time, maybe heard some of Dave Ramsey’s stuff, or spend any time on survivalblog.com, you have probably heard of The Alpha Strategy, by John Pugsley.
This book, which is only about 100 pages long and which has become far more relevant these days for explaining financial strategy to even a young audience- used to be available online, distributed for free by John Pugsley himself at the Biorationalinstitute.com. Unfortunately though- it has recently come to my attention that this link is no longer valid. That is why ZombiePrep.net has decided to continue to host this book for free download for as long as we are able:
So you are planning to survive the necropocalypse, huh? Do you have enough ammo? Are you tough enough to carry it? If you want to keep your thoughts from being food for zombies, here is some food for thought:
Ultimately, the game plan for anyone in the zombie apocalypse is pretty simple: Keep from joining the undead. So when it comes to planning the ammo in your field pack, there are 3 main considerations that must be *weighed* when loading up your zombie kit:
1. Weight- you need to make sure that you are not wearing yourself out carrying huge loads of ammo that may wear you out faster than you can shoot it- making your carcass a looter’s ammo cache.
2. Quantity- On the other hand, you want to make sure that you have enough ammunition so that you don’t make the classic ‘last man standing’ move that is so popular in Hollywood zombie movies.
3. Quality- Lastly, you want to make sure that you have the firepower to stop any large game or cleanly remove the medula oblangata of any zeds that may be thinking of inviting you for dinner.
I have compiled a small list of ammunition that you are most likely to use and encounter in your struggle for survival, so here is a simple table of rounds per weight ranging from lightest to heaviest with a few observations to help you on your way to better packing:
138rds/lb 22LR – lightest
38.25 rd/lb .223
38.25 rd/lb 9mm
28 rds/lb .40 S&W
21 rds/lb .308
11 rd/lb 12 Ga OO –heaviest
Here are some interesting observations: You may have noticed that each rifle cartridge generally had a corresponding weight in a pistol cartridge. So according to this, .223 and 9mm may be the best value in what is considered combat loads for weight/round count.
As you will also notice, the larger shells are not taking you as far, with 12 Ga buckshot being your least weight-effective round with lethal ability. More on that later. So here is where the hard questions start coming in. How much weight can you realistically carry, or should carry in your time of need?
To answer for that, keep in mind that most soldiers in field operations in Iraq carry 6 loaded mags into combat(along with a lot of other gear that gives them backpain, according to NPR). That is 180rds of 5.56, and approximately 4.5lbs. Less than you thought? Well, you also need to keep in mind that they are carrying at minimum 40lbs of other gear with them including food and water, and that you likely will be too- so while carrying more than 10lbs of ammo with you at any given time is not impossible, it may reduce your ability to outrun a horde of hungry brain-eaters.
Make sure that you choose wisely in your decisions on how much of what ammo to carry, and hopefully we will see you on the other side of the Necropalypse. On second thought- probably not.
Ever wonder what kind of resources are out there for the survival-minded? Nationwide, “prepper networks” are an amazing resource for survival and emergency preparedness information. Most states in the USA have a network, and there are many groups for specialized interests, such as Ham Radio Operators. There are also groups for many political and religious organizations.
What will you get out of joining your local Prepper’s Network? These networks cover a wide variety of topics, including:
- how to build an emergency kit
- how to stockpile and store food
- the kind of natural disasters that might occur in your area, and how to prepare for them
- free resources, such as survival e-books
- information about emergency preparedness programs offered by your state
Take this example to see what kinds of resources are available from your local prepper’s network: the Alabama Prepper’s Network recently published a list of the Top 10 Survival Downloads You Should Have. The high-quality books include Army survival handbooks and emergency medical and dental guides. Take the time to check these resources out – they are definitely worth your time.
How to join
To find and join your local prepper’s group, visit the American Prepper’s Network and register. The registration page is located at: http://americanpreppersnetwork.net/ucp.php?mode=register. Once you’ve registered, use the user controls to locate your state’s group. You can join multiple groups from this site, so be sure to check for other groups that interest you.
Are you already a member of your local prepper’s network? Tell us in the comments section what you’ve gained through this membership. Just joining a network? Let us know about the gems you find. After all, prepper networks are all about banding together to survive whatever the world throws at us – even if that is a horde of decaying corpses who want to eat you!
Hurricane Katrina. The September 11 terror attacks. The 2010 Haitian earthquake. All of these terrible disasters resulted in major loss of life, property, and displaced thousands of people. They also provided clear examples of how communication systems can fail just when people need them most. When disaster strikes unexpectedly, the normal means of communication that we rely on are often the first services disrupted. The last thing you need during a zombie outbreak is an “all circuits are busy” message. This article will discuss the reasons communications fail, which methods are the most reliable, and how to ensure you can always get through, no matter what.
With the advent of fiber optics, communication networks are far more durable today than they were thirty years ago, and one of the reasons for this is that much of telephone cabling is now underground. This has vastly reduced the failure rate due to accidents and inclement weather. You might hear a telecom employee referring to “the last mile”, which is a slang term for the final delivery leg of a telephone signal between local stations and your house. (Incidentally, if you live in a rural area, this distance may be much more than a mile.) Almost all telephone service disruptions caused by network interruption happen during this “last mile”. Physical disruptions to service caused by something as simple as an automobile accident can disrupt your phone service. Natural disasters, like floods and inclement weather, can also disrupt the physical network that allows your telephone to work.
Another common cause of outages is power loss. The equipment that powers your telephone line usually runs separately from the power to your house (that’s why you might still have telephone service when your home power goes out). Even so, the equipment on the phone network requires power, so is susceptible to long-term outages.
Still have a landline phone? Ask yourself this question – are all the phones in your house cordless? Most people would answer yes because of the convenience of cordless phones. That cordless phone is worthless even if you have a signal to your telephone jack once power loss to the base occurs.
Many people have switched over to carrying only their cell phone and have ditched their landline. (I’m one of these people.) Cell phone networks are a walking contradiction; the equipment is more reliable than many other methods of communicating, but cell phones are some of the least reliable communication devices during disasters. Why are they so unreliable? Cell phone carriers operate on the least amount of equipment they can because it is expensive. Cellular towers are designed to handle calls during normal usage times, which means that they support only a small percentage of customers are making a phone call at a time. During a disaster where the equipment to carry your call remains intact, the most likely reason you can’t get a call out is that everyone is trying to make a call. The cellular networks simply aren’t designed to handle so many calls at the same time.
Social networking’s role in recent disasters
The Internet is more durable, but not by much. By all means, if your cell phone doesn’t work, try your internet (both on your smart phone and PC). In recent disasters and political upheavals, text messaging and social networking has played a surprisingly important role. Lives were saved during Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian Earthquake because text messages were able to get through when phone calls could not. SMS text messages get through for one reason – they are very small pieces of information and it takes far fewer resources for cellular carriers to transmit these messages compared to full phone calls. It is important to recognize text messaging and social medial like Twitter as a potential option when nothing else works.
Wireless radio is one of the most established tools in disaster scenarios. Radios send signals via radio waves instead of through cables. Anyone within range listening on the right frequency will be able to hear your message.
The major limitation to consumer wireless radio is range. This table shows the basic radios available to the general public, and you’ll quickly see that the range on these radios isn’t helpful out of your immediate geographic location.
|CB (Citizen’s band)||40||Private/business||10+ miles|
|Marine VHF||50||Maritime||20+ miles|
|Family Radio Service (FRS)||22||Personal||2 miles|
|Multi-Use Radio Service (MRS)||5||Personal||5+ miles|
Many professionals, especially first responders and public safety officials, use more robust radio systems that have a greater range. Since the average citizen can’t get their hands on these radios, these are just not an option. So how can you always get through, no matter what? I’m glad you asked!
Amateur radio has moved from a personal hobby to become one of the most valuable assets in disaster management. You may have heard of amateur radio referred to as “ham radio”. Amateur radio operators, commonly called Hams, are able to call literally around the world given the right equipment and conditions. How far they can call depends on the strength of their radio, the type of antenna they have, the band they are operating on and atmospheric conditions.
Given these limitations, amateur radio enthusiasts and government agencies have set up repeaters stations that allow for local signals to be carried across states, countries, even oceans. Additional amateur radio technologies and protocols allow really neat tricks (for example, the D-STAR protocol, which gets bonus points for sounding like a certain sci-fi superweapon). Want to use your radio to call someone’s phone a few states away? No problem! Need to transmit a file or use the Internet? Yep, you can do that too. You can send text messages and morse code, too. This means that on a simple handheld 5-watt radio can be a lifeline when all other forms of communication fail.
So why doesn’t everyone use amateur radio? Well, it requires some knowledge, and in almost every country in the world it requires a license. In the United States licenses are issued by the Federal Communications Commission (the FCC), and other countries have agencies of the same nature. The good news is that the government wants you to have a license (at least here in the USA) because they know how effective amateur radio is in disasters. In the USA licenses are issued when an applicant passes a test, and the first license class (Technician) is 35 questions long. The good news is that those 35 questions come from a pool of 350 publicly available questions that you can study and memorize before taking the test. When you pass the test, which costs $10, the FCC will issue you a license with a call sign, and you’ll be authorized to start transmitting.
I recently attended an amateur radio class and I highly recommend that you do the same to prepare for the test. For me, it was the best way to dive into this community, and it gave me the background I needed to really understand what the test questions meant. There are many free classes available, so keep your eyes open for one in your area. Use Google to find a local Ham Club. I also recommend the site QRZ.com which (despite it’s dated look) has some amazing resources. Be sure to try out their practice tests which are excellent study tools.
Bonus: Zombie Survival Cell Phone
This article provides some very compelling arguments to purchase a zombie apocalypse cell phone. It recommends the Motorola Motofone F3, a phone which is designed for developing countries where cell signals are weak and the environmental conditions are inhospitable. The phone holds a charge for a very long time and makes a great backup to that smartphone you carry. Best of all, you can usually find one on Google Shopping for under 25 bucks. You don’t have to be trapped in a zombie wasteland to appreciate that.