First the dead started to twitch, then sit up, then take their first faltering steps. Everyone looks on in amazement, unsure of what’s happening. Before you know it, they’re everywhere; attacking the living, tearing them apart. The zombie apocalypse has begun. The question on everyone’s lips is simple: if I’m to stay alive, what should I do next?
You might not realise it, but whether you live or die will most likely be determined by the actions you take in those initial moments. Make the wrong decision then and you won’t live long enough to regret it. Make the right one and you might live to see the end of the day, and if you can make it to the end of the first one, then your chances of survival will be greatly enhanced. With this in mind, what are the first three things you should do if you are unlucky enough to find yourself caught up in zombie apocalypse?
Well, the first one is to get off the streets as soon as possible. Most people who succumb to the zombies in the initial phases of the outbreak will be those who are caught in the open. This means you must get inside as soon as possible and at all costs. It doesn’t really matter where, all you are doing is putting a barrier between yourself and any marauding zombies. This will give you your most precious commodity in those first few minutes the zombie apocalypse: Time. Specifically, it will give you time to do step two.
The next thing you need to do is assess your situation. You need to work out how many zombies there are in your local area. If there are too many of them then you will have no choice but to barricade yourself in to your current location. If the density of zombies is sufficiently low, then you have the option of moving to a different location. However, you will only want to do this if the location you are moving to is more secure and better suited to survival than the one you are currently in. This means you also need to assess the suitability of your present location as a safe house for surviving in a world filled with zombies. Look at how easily you can seal all the entrances and exits, assess the likelihood of zombies being able to break in and whether you will have an escape route if they do. You also need to assess what provisions you have available to you: is there access to food and water and, if there is, how much is there? Are there any weapons? Will you be able to communicate with others, and possibly form a survival group? In this way you can formulate a plan of what to do next to maximise you chance of surviving both in the short-term and in the long-term.
The final thing you need to do is put the plan you have formulated into action. If your decision is the stay where you are, you need to set to work making it zombie-proof. If you’ve decided to move, you will need to leave your temporary location and set off into the zombie-filled world outside. Whichever you choose to do, don’t waste time. Instead, you will need to move fast. This is because the number of zombies will be multiplying exponentially with every passing minute, and the more zombies there are around, the greater the chance of you being attacked and killed. It’s also important to be decisive. You’ve made your plan and you have to fully commit to it. Anything less than this and you are likely to greatly jeopardise your survival. In particular, don’t try to hedge your bets or keep your options open. If you’re going to move, move; if you’re going to stay, stay. Don’t sleep on it and see whether things are better in the morning (they won’t be and all you’ll find is that you can no longer implement the plan that by then you will know for sure was your best chance of survival!).
So there you have it, the first three things you should do if you get caught up in a zombie apocalypse: Seek immediate shelter to buy yourself some time to assess the situation and create a plan based on the situation you find yourself in, and then put this plan into effect as soon as possible. Of course, this is easy for me to say, sitting in the comfort of my own living room while an old episode of Star Trek runs in the background. Whether I’d be quite so calm and objective when faced with a horde of zombies is quite another question, and it is one I hope I never have to find the answer to.
However, it does strike me that these are also the same initial steps you’d need to take to improve you chances of survival in a wide range of situations ranging from natural disasters to civil unrest or a terrorist attack. So while some might consider all the time you spend working out what you’d do in a zombie apocalypse a complete waste of time because zombies are fictional, they are wrong. Instead, you are actually developing key life skills which can help you survive in a wide range of real world scenarios which you might find yourself suddenly thrust into. So keep thinking Zombies whenever you have the time. You never know, even if the dead don’t rise, it might still, one day, save your life.
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 print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.
To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.