I have been working on my latest young adult novel about zombies for the past year and a half. Without giving too much away, it starts at the beginning of an outbreak and follows a group of characters that quickly realize the world as they know it is crumbling and they must embrace survivor mode. From a reader’s standpoint, I put myself in their shoes and thought “What would I do if this actually happened?” and so is the reason for this post. Feel free to agree or disagree (and yes, it is meant to be lighthearted), but if the zombie apocalypse ever does happen here are a few things to think about.
1. Round up family and friends: Once the world clues in that the dead are not really dead and craving your meaty body, there will be mass exodus and chaos. Emergency services will become overwhelmed and phone availability will be limited as people attempt to contact loved ones. Don’t even get me started on what will happen when jobs are abandoned (think nuclear power plants!). Have a primary and secondary meeting place in case you are or become separated. Try to avoid main roads.
2. Have an emergency bag: If you have to leave your home or workplace in a hurry, make sure you have an adequate amount of required medications (and a first aid kit), some water and non-perishable food, along with at least one change of clothing. It wouldn’t hurt to have a flashlight, batteries, a blanket and fire starter items. During a zombie apocalypse, you don’t want to be near highly populated areas so you may have to seek refuge elsewhere (ie. forest, mountains, etc.). Pack lightly and a backpack is preferable. Suitcase wheels don’t exactly travel well over uneven surfaces. Makeup is not an essential item.
3. Always carry a weapon: This is where survival mode really kicks in – it’s either YOU or them so you can’t hesitate. No one will know how the virus/bacteria/illness is spread so try not to get any icky parts in your eyes, mouth, or open wounds. And of course, aim for the head or even better, decapitate the zombie. If you have time, burn the bodies for good measure. Be crafty. The whittled end of a toothbrush makes a great shank. Don’t ask me how I know that.
4. Travel in pairs: We’ve all watched those movies where the guy/girl goes off on their own to investigate the noise from inside the dimly lit house or other area, and nine times out of ten they’re killed. This is where a partner is essential especially if you’re overrun by a mob of zombies. Even better, have a dog with you, unless it’s a really yappy dog then it’s just a beacon for the undead. For some reason, zombies are attracted to noise.
5. Be leery of strangers: Of course human nature is to help others but the end of the world doesn’t always bring out the best in people. Lack of laws and accountability may allow the “psychopath” in some individuals to flourish. Enough said.
These are just a few suggestions. As I write more of my novel (I’m on chapter eighteen), I will add to the list. For now, I’m going to go work on my cardio just in case. Be safe everyone.