I've been working on preparing for the zombie apocalypse, etc. for almost a year now. I'm a burner, lived in the effing target that is NYC for years (in the words of Tina Fey: "Bitch, I can't be any more alert!") and generally can keep my head in crisis situations. But after watching 28 Weeks Later with some friends last year and sitting there rabbit-eyed the whole time thinking "I'd SO be zombie food... seriously, right there... yep, I'd be eaten... " I realized I was so very not ready for the big boom to happen. Particularly when I also realized most of my friends are much more skilled than I so in a crisis situation I'd be the first voted for zombie fodder.
Growing up with suburban parents, followed by years of desk jobs and city living as an adult has meant there are some basic things I never learned. Like how to handle weapons, how to make a successful fire, medical emergencies, foraging and hunting/trapping. However, if there's a world crisis requiring someone to cover everyone in sassy glitter makeup, sew them hot faux fur threads, then fit them all in a tiny space, organized alphabetically and by size, while recognizing visual and social patterns... I'm totally your go-to babe.
For anyone interested, this has been my progress thus far...
(the rest of you can just skip this)
I have some health challenges that make some of the survival education a bit slow going, either due to physical limitations or budget issues. For example, it's not very realistic for me to take one of those weekend bootcamp-level, drop-you-on-an-island-with-a-penknife, mountain-men kinda courses. But I've been slowly and steadily learning more and working on new skills.
I've been reading through one of the army manuals (trying to get my hands on the FM-90, specifically for desert), reading through forums, talking to friends. Fortunately I have a network of staggeringly knowledgeable friends with a huge variety of skills that I can mooch some brain goods from.
I've been trying to prioritize the skills to learn:
- - First is the basics of food, water, shelter and fire (all of which have their own challenges in AZ).
- Second is medical treatment.
- Third is weapons (guns and knives, though I am a huge fan of the flaming arrows & crossbow... which seems to go unappreciated by the more practical friends).
- Forth is unplugged/off-the-grid skills like soap making, farming, blacksmithing, mechanics, etc.
I'm in the process of making 2 BOB: one for short term (1-3 days), one for longer term.
With those I'm trying to plan around the possibilities of both having a vehicle and being limited to walking or biking only... and what that means in terms of carrying weight. Being in the desert means having to carry water, which is not only heavy but also runs out quickly (particularly for me because I dehydrate easily). Vehicle evac isn't a problem because I can bring about 11 gallons with me (those awesome large blue containers). But walk/bike evac means I need to figure out how to refill along the way (more than just dew collecting).
I don't have the funds for a fancy awesome internal frame hiker's backpack with built-in hydration system, so meanwhile I'm converting a regular backpack I got from a thrift store (like new, $5, yay!). I've sewed some D-rings on the outside to hold bottles or strap on a sleeping bag. I've sewed on a waist strap for support. And I'm cutting up an discarded car seat cover (cordura type stuff) to make a double pocket for water bladders on the inside. Right now the interim plan is to grab my camelbak and wear it under the regular back pack (they actually stack well like that) so I can bring 1-2 bladders of water along with other gear that won't fit in the camelbak (clothes, food and stuff).
I have most of the basic gear needed for a bug-out, but much of it is used periodically for camping or outings so it's continually being picked through and resorted. Not ideal since it means in an evac situation I'd be running around collecting items from various places. So I'm steadily working towards duplicating some items so I can keep them designated just for a go bag or emergency stash. I've also been grouping gear in related groups (cooking stuff, powered stuff, shelter stuff, etc.) and trying to figure out a box or bag system for those to make them more grab-n-go.
There are a few things on my list to get, but most are improvements (like getting a rocket stove for foot/bike evac, not just relying on the gas camping stove; or a backpack tent instead of the cabin tent) and those can wait until other necessities are taken care of.
I'm also working on various bug out plans:
- - staying at home
- car evacuation
- foot/bike evacuation
- local evac (out of immediate area, but still in or near city limits)
- full evac (leaving the state)
I've shifted my purchasing habits to try to keep a month's worth of food, T.P., extra meds and such stored (which is a challenge in my teeeeeny apt.), as opposed to my previous habit of just buying enough for the month and replacing what runs out. In hopes that I'm not caught with just 2 jars of pickles and a handful of tissues because zombies invaded at the end of the month before payday and I hadn't made it to the grocery store yet.
...so that's my deal.
(EDITS: oops. fixed some wonky spelling)