Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.

18 of 30 - When the Zombies Come

   I meant to read The Zombie Survival Guide before writing this entry, but I never got around to it. As such, this treatise will not benefit from the wisdom of that book (which I heard somewhere is pretty good). On the other hand, I can therefore say that everything contained herein is my original zombie survival thoughts.

   Anyway, as they say, "zombies are so hot right now." Last year it was pirates, now the hot ticket is zombies. Next year, maybe it'll be zombie-pirates, or something.
   One of my least favourite things is people acting like blooming idiots in movies. The primary reason I can't stand most horror movies is because I simply cannot stand the level of idiocy usually displayed by the protagonists. Zombie movies are no exception, what with people wandering alone into dark places, getting themselves cornered, etc etc. Here are my thoughts on how to survive.
   For the purposes of this entry, let us assume zombies tend to be fast like in 28 Days Later</i> rather than the classic slow hulking.

When the Zombies Come
   Living humans have one major practical advantage over zombies: ability to intelligently use their their limbs. Use this to your advantage.
   Most obviously, this enables living humans to wield weapons. This fact almost never goes unnoticed. But it can also be used to manipulate one's environment.
   For example, can a zombie operate a doorknob? In 28 Days Later they seem to get around effectively enough that it would seem they can (vis-a-vis running around facilities that have metal doors which would be hard to break down), though this is never shown. They can certainly break down wooden doors, but what about a metal door with a simple doorknob? On any account, they certainly would not be able to get through a door operated by a keypad or a heavy locked door.
   In many zombie related scenarios, they are indeed thwarted by locked front doors, but inevitably break through windows, whether they are boarded up or not. What else can zombies not do without intelligent limb use though? They cannot climb ladders.
   If you can find an attic which can only be accessed by a ladder, you should be zombie safe. Additionally, tree houses should be suprisingly safe. In a pinch in fact, any tree or climbable telephone pole or such should be sufficient.
   And of course, there have been countless zombie related events where characters run and hide in dark places when a perfectly climbable tree or such was close at hand.

   With a lot of ground-level windows and a lack of internal doors and such, residential houses seem to be a zombie death trap, yet they are the perennial first line of defense in depictions. Others have recommended hiding in the woods. While this makes it less likely you'll run into zombies, it doesn't really make you terribly much safer if some do find you.
   At least in Ireland, and elsewhere in the Old World, there are abundant structures that are absolutely optimum for zombie survival. Places that have specifically been designed to be impregnable to zombie-style attacks. In Ireland, you are absolutely guaranteed to be with a days walk of a medieval tower or castle. Despite several hundred years of disuse, most of these are still sturdy to a height of several floors. Many towers do not even have a first floor entrance -- entrance was gained on the second floor via a ladder which could be pulled up to thwart the zombies enemy raiders. Find a ladder and be 100% zombie proof as long as you have food and the zombies don't develop advanced siege engines.
   Additionally, even the castles with first floor entrances frequently have sturdy metal gates placed in the entrance by the Office of Public Works to prevent people from going in and getting themselves killed (I could usually find a second or third floor window to clamber up through though). Break lock, replace with one of your own, and you're pretty good.
   Now of course, I'm pretty sure not one of you is in Ireland, and only a very very few are somewhere else where one might find castles. I just had to go on that tangent though because I thought it was rather novel that in the coming zombiepocalyse castles will be so useful.
   Lacking castles, I would recommend investing in a ladder (a rope ladder might be better since it'd be easier to pull up behind you), find a warehouse (they usually have few windows and doors), pile an ungodly amount of stuff in front of what ground level doors there are, break roof access lock, and call it your little castle.
   Basically I think a ladder is the single most important peice of zombie survival equipment. Zombies catch you wandering down the street with one, quickly prop it agianst a building and escape. Pull the ladder up with you and by the time the zombies reach your floor you can ladder your way down another side or make a bridge to the top of another building or something.

   Also note that since zombies can neither swim nor operate a boat, people out at sea on boats, small islands, or oil rigs, should be totally fine so long as their food holds out (learn to fish!)

   You will want protective clothing. At the most basic, you'll want long sleeves and pants, gloves, (and to protect against infected blood spray) goggles, and some kind of makeshift bandana or such to cover your mouth. You should be within walking distance of a firestation. Fireman gear will give you extremely good protection against zombie attacks, though it may be a little combersome for those not in good shape. Additionally, if you steal the firetruck, firehose is probably a great way to clear a crowd of zombies. For that matter, many firehouses have towers for such purposes as drying their hoses or practicing fighting fire, which may be only ladder-accessable and therefore a good zombie proof perch.
   The very most optimum zombie survival outfit would probably be riot police gear (as illustrated in 28 Days Later). Be sure to stop by your local police station to see if they have such equipment.
   If you're going for that medieval theme and there's a museum near you or something, a suit of armour should be pretty good too, though ultra heavy. Plate-mail is overkill, don some chain mail, pick up a longsword and shield, and practice your zombie killing battle cry.

When You Know the Zombies Are Coming
   In 28 Weeks Later, the government was presumably taking extensive precautions for a second zombie outbreak. It turns out this really just consisted of totally panicking and acting like idiots. It really got me thinking about what they should have done.
   It should have been fairly easy to zombie proof things as well. In the rebuilt parts of town, put heavy doors on every building and within the buildings. Make it so these are all opened by keypad -- you can make every code in the city "123456," it doesn't matter because there are no reports of zombies ever coming near the capability to intelligently enter such information. Secondly, the way buildings already have fire supplies about where you "break glass in case of fire" to access firehoses and extinguishers and such, place zombie survival gear in such a way. Specifically, make sure bite/scratch proof clothing is readily available for everyone.
   This alone should solve your problem. For extra safety maybe make it so you can easily cordone off small sections of the city to prevent outbreak spread.

   This of course doesn't look like the makings of a good movie, since if the government did this there'd be no outbreak and it would be quite anticlimatic. I think you could still make a movie however if you made the downfall of society come from human failings rather that blatant large-scale stupidity. Remember FEMA's poor response to Hurricane Katrina? You could make a point about that, where someone skimped on money or hired their friend who was just a horse-breeder to institute the disaster preparedness plans, and consequently the whole thing got botched up. Now, not only do you have people not acting implausibly dumb, you're actually making a point.

Tags: 30 in 30, phase 4, zombies

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