I was thinking about the whole apocalypse thing the other day because in a future novel, I plan to use something apocalypse-like. And I thought, you know, it’s a possibility. I mean there are a number of ways that an apocalypse could TOTALLY happen. There might be a major political shift that affects the stability of world super powers, leading to widespread panic, riots, homicidal maniacs, economic instability and worldwide famine (deep breath), or a worldwide pandemic (that’s when an infectious virus/disease spreads over a large area, for those who ride the short bus). There could be a nuclear war. We all say “nah” but you KNOW everyone’s hiding a frigging nuclear weapon, so let’s move on. What if ALL THE VOLCANOES erupted at once? Eh? Right? Shudder. I guess an asteroid is more likely to happen. Hello tsunamis. And of course, there’s zombies.
So yeah, after thinking about all this, I thought, “Renee, you should have a plan ready just in case those whack jobs are right and this shit happens.” You don’t have a plan? Good thing you all have me to watch your backs. If you’re one of the unlucky bastards who make it out alive, I think you should try to stay that way, so here’s your apocalypse survival guide, courtesy of me. You’re welcome.
First, get yourself a sturdy, well-made backpack. None of that designer assholes shit. Go for solid, ugly as the creepy post office guy, canvas, lots of zippers and pockets, goes to your knees packs.
And never take it off. Not even if you’re having nasty, bugs-in-your-ass sex with the hottie a few dead zones over. NEVER take it off. Got it? Good. You’ll need this backpack to carry all the shit I’m going to tell you to have ready. And don’t forget condoms. We can’t have no apocalypse babies happening. Look what happened to Rick’s wife. Don’t be that girl…the one who is dead, because she gave birth in an abandoned prison and went zombie so her son had to shoot her in the face. No one wants to be that girl.
Next, gather some warm clothes. The apocalypse conditions we see in movies and television are NOT what a real apocalypse will be like. I’ve researched this stuff, folks. Think nuclear winter, which means “cold as fuck.” But don’t go too bulky. Your bag has more important things to carry than your favorite sweater. Go with lightweight items like long johns (should that be one word? I don’t know.), gloves, hats, a few t-shirts, underwear, and a couple of thin wool blankets and such.
Food is more important than blankets. So I guess you should put food in your pack before the clothes. You might think living in the city or an urban area negates the need for food. Hello? Scavenging. No. How many apocalypse movies do you need to watch before you get that end of the world riots are no joke. People will kill you for a cracker. If you’ve got your own shit, you won’t be all desperate like the rest. You can sit back and watch the show. Pick up what you can, of course, but have water, non-perishables that are lightweight and easy to carry, and a couple rolls of toilet paper stashed away. No, toilet paper is not food, but you’ll thank me later. Oh and you want high calorie foods like Cheetos, cookies, and beans. And chocolate. You can jam a lot of chocolate bars in the bottom of a backpack. And coffee beans. Even if you can’t make coffee, you can chew those bad boys.
Bonus tip: Save your pets. Don’t think of them as one more mouth to feed. I mean, Jesus, they’ve been your loyal companions for, like, ever; chewers of the shoes, shitters in the closet, bringers of the fleas…dinner when times get tough.
Okay, next you’ll need first aid and miscellaneous supplies. If the apocalypse is zombie related, covering those bloody wounds is a wise idea. No need to tempt the natives, am I right? First aid supplies won’t do shit if you get bit though. So there’s that. Think positive. Okay, so you’ll need a small pack of Band-Aids, rubbing alcohol and such to treat minor wounds. Oh! Solar powered flashlights. Batteries suck ass. You want something that can recharge. A survival knife with all those handy gadgets will be useful too…and a lighter. Hell, ten lighters. They’re small, right? Pack some soap and Listerine too. Soap because, cleanliness is next to godliness, and Listerine because it kills lice. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be damned if those little fuckers outlast me.
So you’ve got your bits and pieces to stay alive, warm and whatnot, now you need to think of self-defence. No matter what caused the apocalypse, folks are gonna lose their shit. The most important supply you’ll pack, aside from the condoms, will be weaponry. Some fool will die at some point. Don’t be that fool. When it comes down to you or them, always choose you. So, let’s see, maybe a good knife. You know what? Pack all the knives. Big ones, short ones, whatever, as long as the end is pointy. And a gun. But learn how to use it first. The end with the hole in it? That points away from you. If you don’t have access to guns and sharp knives (Because you’re what? In prison or whatever?), pack a hammer, or anything sharp and/or blunt you find in your garage. Don’t go with bats. Baseball bats are hard to conceal in your bag and, as has been proven in many movies, carrying a bat only invites trouble.
Now, you’re full, warm and defended, let’s discuss drugs. Cigarettes and drugs are must-haves even if you never indulge in such things. Now, we’re not talking about cocaine or anything. You want drugs that will help you survive, like antibiotics and pain killers. Getting all cracked out will just get you dead, but pot and mushrooms are probably okay. Those and cigarettes are handy for trading for food and your life. While you’re at it, if you have enough room, stow some booze in there. Not only is it good for relaxing, booze can serve as a disinfectant and a fire starter. How handy is that?
So, we’ve got food, warmth, weapons, and drugs. Now, you need to have shelter prepared. You won’t need a bomb shelter or anything. You just need a room that’s on the ground floor or below ground with no windows. Let’s be clear: if there’s like a nuclear blast or the sun collides with Earth, no amount of concrete and dirt is going to save your ass. However, if you survive those things, or something else causes the end of the world, you need something the other assholes can’t get into.
Finally, your team. Yes, real people. Face it; surviving an apocalypse is easier if someone’s watching your back. If you don’t have (or would rather not keep) family around, pick a group of friends who have some survival skills, moderate intelligence levels, or at least one that is fatter than you are. When the chips are down—or gone, it’s good to have a chubby buddy. And your team needs to have a plan so you’re not running around screaming like idiots when the shit hits the fan. Decide what you’re all going to do if your neighbor comes looking for a cup of brains. Pick two meeting places to go to if you all get split up. One should be close to home, the other a little further away. Make it clear that if anyone forgets where these places are, they’re on their own. It’s two places for crying out loud. If you can’t remember that, you don’t deserve to live. And if you’re not crazy about your team, make a third meeting place that only you know about, just in case they get on your nerves.
And that’s it. That’s how you survive the first couple of days. After that, I don’t know. I haven’t thought that far, but I will. Stay tuned.