So you’re worried the world’s coming to an end. The Mayan calendar is quickly running out and everywhere you go people seem to be talking about Zombies. Even Brad Pitt’s getting in on the action with his upcoming film World War Z. But what can you do about it? You could just sit there and panic, waiting for the next plague to sweep around the planet, but that’s not where the smart money is. You could try ignoring the signs and carry on as usual, but you’ll probably be one of the first to fall when the dead rise. Instead, why not try to prepare yourself a little. That way you’ll be ready when it happens, and even if it doesn’t, you’ll at least have picked up a few useful life skills. Here’s my top five things you can do to prepare yourself for when the apocalypse comes (and that will still prove be useful even if it doesn’t).
1. Do A Wilderness Survival Course: You don’t have to become the next Ray Mears, but it’ll at least mean you won’t starve when you have to flee the city and your supplies of canned food run out. It also wouldn’t do any harm to know how to build shelters and set traps. Post-Apocalyptic Survival Rating: Essential. Real Life Benefits: Just knowing that you could survive if you suddenly found yourself in the middle of nowhere without all the comforts of the modern world is incredibly empowering and will boost your confidence in your everyday life.
2. Learn First Aid: When the apocalypse happens, the medical system will be one of the first things to fall. There will be no more 999 services, no more ambulances and no more casualty rooms. You’ll be on your own health-wise and you need to be able to cope. I’m not talking about amputating limbs here (although if you can do it fast enough to stop that zombie bite on your leg spreading to the rest of your body this might be a good thing to know), just enough to be able to deal with the inevitable cuts, bruises and broken bones that will be part of your everyday struggle to survive. After all, what’s the point of escaping from those radioactive plague victims if you just end up dying of blood poisoning because you let a wound get infected. Post-Apocalyptic Survival Rating: Essential. Real Life Benefits: First aid is always a good skill to have, and who knows you might one day save someone’s life.
3. Learn Car Mechanics: Imagine the situation. There you are, trying to escape from the horde of Zombies that are heading your way but no matter how hard to try, your car won’t start. You’ve only got a few minutes before they’ll be on your. What do you do? Nowadays too many of us rely on phoning the AA (or AAA if you’re in America) when our cars break down and we no longer know how to fix them. Some people don’t even know how to change a burst tyre. Come the apocalypse, if you don’t know how to maintain and fix a car, you’ll be screwed. The solution, start learning now. Find out where the battery is on your car, how to change a fan-belt, how to fix the alternator, how to siphon fuel from one vehicle to another, how to strip an abandoned vehicle for spare parts. None of this is exactly rocket science and with a bit of practice these are things anyone could do. While you’re at it, it wouldn’t do any harm to know how to fix a generator too. Post-Apocalyptic Survival Rating: Essential. Real Life Benefits: It’s cheaper to fix you car yourself than pay someone else to do it, so you might end up saving yourself some money.
4. Take Up Parkour (Also Know As Free-Running): If you have to escape in an urban environment, what better skill can you have than parkour? You’ll have seen people doing this on TV and in You Tube videos. You may even have seen people doing it in real life, leaping from building to building, or from one stairwell to the next. Now’s the time to learn it for yourself. It will allow you to move through the city in a way that others cannot, and this will dramatically improve your chances of surviving as you try to get out. Post-Apocalyptic Survival Rating: Beneficial. Real Life Benefits: It’ll help you keep fit and healthy, and let’s face it, it looks really cool.
5. Get Some Weapons Training: In the movies, it seems that anyone can pick up a gun and start pulling off perfect headshots, or grab a sword and instantly develop the skills of a samurai. Reality is very different. If you’re not trained to use a weapon, the chances are you’ll do more damage to yourself and your fellow survivors than to any attacking infected. I know this having once watched my sister just about blow the head off the guy who was firing clay pigeons for us because she got confused between whether the safety catch was off or on (he was ok, but rather shaken by the incident!). For this reason, I’d always advise anyone who doesn’t already know how to use a gun to stay well clear of them, even when facing the fall of civilisation as we know it. But, hang on, your survival chances would undoubtedly be better if you had guns, so what can you do about it? Get trained now. And don’t just learn to shoot. Learn how to clean a gun, how to maintain it, how to clear a jammed bullet and so on. Also remember guns might not always be available so learn other weapon skills too. Learn how to start a chain-saw, study Iaido (the Japanese art of drawing a sword and striking in a single fluid movement), take up a martial art, give archery a go, try firing a crossbow, anything that might help you survive. Post-Apocalyptic Survival Rating: Essential. Real Life Benefits: If you insist on being around weapons, it’s always safer if you actually know how to use them.
Remember these are just the bare essentials. There are many other skills out there that will increase your chances of survival, all of which you can start nurturing now. So step away from the keyboard, put down that Playstation controller, switch off the TV, and go out and learn something new. Even if the apocalypse never comes, your life will be better for it.
From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in the UK. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more.