Being prepared for emergencies used to be simply a case of learning how to “Duck and Cover” in case of nuclear attack. Everybody knows ducking and covering protects against radiation (just ask your parents about hiding under their desks at school), keeps your body from immediately combusting in million degree temps, and it really does make a stable foundation to keep your fragile skull from being crushed by falling hunks of twisted rebar and concrete from surrounding buildings. What a useful skill!
Lately, however, the threat of nuclear warfare has been overshadowed almost entirely by the threat of Zombie Apocalypse. Everywhere we turn, we’re being inundated with new information on this threat. Shaun of the Dead, The Living Dead, Left 4 Dead; pop culture is REALLY laying it on thick, and people are demanding more zombie content than ever. As we’ve been taught in Economics 101, supply adapts to keep up with demand. At least, I think that’s what we were taught in Economics. I may have spent much of class time napping and dreaming about zombies.
People are demanding so much, in fact, that now biology is giving credence to the imminent threat of a Zombie Apocalypse by actively turning people into zombies. Good work, science! Recently, in Florida (of course), a naked man was found eating the face off of another naked man. When police told him to stop, he lifted his head, mouth full of flesh, growled, and kept attacking. Allegedly. The police officer had to shoot him multiple times, because after every bullet he’d return to his meal of human face. Finally, he died. Allegedly. But we’re waiting to see if the victim, who lost 75% of his face in the attack, was infected with this strain of zombieism. Allegedly. If you think I am making this up, then you should read the news.
Things are getting REAL up in here. As responsible Curvy Girls, mothers, wives, children, husbands, family cockatoos, what-have-you, we should have some basic survival gear ready in our homes for any type of major attack. There may not be zombies (yet), but having a bag or trunk of gear that is ready to go in case of any type of emergency is going to give you peace of mind, and it may save your life.
Here are 10 items that you should have ready to go in case of emergency, Zombie Apocalypse or otherwise:
1. Sterile water supply– Nothing builds up thirst like fighting the undead, and water can be hard to find, so keep a good supply on-hand. This can be as simple as gallons of water from your local grocery, or as tactical (read: fun to purchase) as individual serving bags of water to help you ration your supply. I have these Datrex Emergency Water Pouches and think they’re great. They’re about the size of a small ice pack, and they include instructions on how much you need to drink per day for survival. They are necessary if you have zero access to any kind of water. If you can find a stream or water source, it’s probably going to be contaminated, so having a portable water filter is also clutch. Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter rocks, but there are less expensive options out there. The point is that your number one emergency item should be water. And then maybe red wine because, as Andy Borowitz reminds us, it goes so well with face.
Experts say Florida cannibal was on LSD, which is weird, since red wine goes with face.
— Andy Borowitz (@BorowitzReport) May 29, 2012
2. Basic food stores– Before you get infected with the desire to start eating brains, you’ll want to have access to something more palatable. Like…really anything. Having some kind of nutrition that doesn’t spoil or require cooking is crucial to survival. Canned food can be heavy and cumbersome, and what if you don’t have a can opener? I recommend these light, nutrient-dense, and probably not extremely delicious emergency food rations. They’re easy to grab, and each one has 3600 calories, which is enough to sustain an adult for 3 full days. Once you become one of *them*, they’ll make a flavorful breadcrumb topping for your Person Casserole.
3. Antibiotics– Is there a cure for Zombieism? Who knows. It might be like herpes and be forever. Or, it might be like syphilis and a quick dose of penicillin can cure it before anything even seems amiss, but if you ignore it, then you end up with neurosyphilis and kill strangers in bathrooms because your brain is swiss cheese. I’ve seen the real crime documentary Law and Order: SVU. I know how these things go down. Ciprofloxacin cures everything from urinary tract infections to anthrax (the terrorism, not the band), and I stockpile it. Levaquin is another good one to have around, because it’s particularly effective for skin infections like cellulitis (the infection, not the thing that happens on my thighs). If you don’t have either of those available to you, I’ve read that fish antibiotics can be used for humans in a pinch. I am not a doctor, so I wouldn’t advocate following my advice. Just know it’s a thing.
4. First Aid Kit– You will definitely have injuries…probably. Being able to handle basic wound care, rashes, etc is an important skill. Get a good, comprehensive kit put together using this basic guide. I’m pretty sure that zombies can smell blood, like sharks and bears. I’m going to assume they can also smell fear. So in my First Aid kit, I’m going to include tranquilizers for myself. Nobody needs me panicking and running in circles like I’m being chased by bees. Best that you give me a Xanax and put me in the corner to weep quietly. You’ll probably need them, too. I am also including concealer, pink lip gloss and a razor. If I have to justify them, I will say the concealer is to cover attention-drawing tattoos, the razor is to shave hairy man body parts before stitching up lacerations, and the lip gloss is just because I’m vain. Maybe it waterproofs something.
5. Caffeine– After consuming all of those tranquilizers, you are not going to be a useful sentry. Keeping watch over all the entry points in your home is exhausting work, and your companions will need some kind of stimulant to stay effective and cover your shifts. Caffeine pills are small, simple, and effective. Even more effective might be a diet supplement like Hydroxycut that contains things like iron and B vitamins. Nobody knows if diet supplements are 100% safe, though, so don’t let anyone take them unless the risks outweigh the benefits. Those consuming caffeine should also have good water access, because caffeine is a diuretic.
6. Weapons– You can’t fight zombies with sarcasm, sadly. Since that’s my normal weapon of choice, I’m going to have to branch out a little if I want to survive. Guns are a good place to start, but involve safety measures and ammunition and…amendment rights? So, if you’re not a gun person, a couple of good, hearty, serial-killer-esque hunting knives with safety sheaths might be a better choice. Poison darts might also be a good choice if you’re well-versed in rainforest warfare. Baseball bats and crowbars always come in handy. Frankly, if some dude is trying to eat my face under a bridge in Florida, I’m going to reach for whatever I can to defend myself. And then I’m going to be like, “What am I doing under a bridge in Florida?”
7. Condoms– Look, sometimes being in a dark, scary situation with a well-muscled survivalist who happens to be sporting a 5 o’clock shadow can make you feel like throwing down a tarp in your hideout and getting frisky. It’s never happened to me (not that I’m bitter), but it feels inevitable. What doesn’t have to be inevitable is pregnancy. In an emergency situation, getting pregnant is an awful idea. First, unless your pregnancy craving is “survival bars,” you’re in for a letdown. Second, no epidurals available. Third, you are a liability. Pregnant chicks can’t run fast. I ran while pregnant, and I was slow and it was uncomfortable and involved a lot of peeing and trying to restrain my monstrous bosom. Then, when you have the baby, the baby becomes an enormous liability. They are loud enough to alert zombies, they can’t run at all, and, as a mother, the fear involved in trying to protect a helpless infant would make your head explode. Don’t be an apocalyptic fool–wrap that tool.
8. Flashlight– I don’t even need to tell you why this is important, as everyone should have multiple flashlights for emergencies as serious as zombies or as minor as locating a pacifier that has rolled under the washing machine. The side benefit of a good, solid flashlight like a Maglite is that you can also use it as a weapon. Those suckers are HEAVY, made of metal, and virtually indestructible. Just make sure you also have a solar-powered battery charger and rechargeable batteries, or you’ll just have to cross your fingers that your emergency is short-lived and takes place during summer months.
9. Map– I am directionally impaired, and in an apocalypse, I’m guessing my cell coverage will be too spotty to achieve GPS capabilities. If I need to find water or mountain caves or a pharmacy to loot, I’d like to be headed in the right direction instead of just using my internal compass, which is broken and would land me square in the middle of the zombie capitol. I bought a few topographical maps of my home state and surrounding states, and a guide to edible flora in the area. I vacuum packed them all into one plastic package, so they’re waterproof, and threw in a cheap compass for sport, in hopes that my mountaineering gland will start secreting whatever enzyme is required to properly use a compass and map in tandem.
10. Fire– Unless you’re married to or personally ARE someone *much* more capable than I, you won’t be able to make a fire just rubbing sticks together like Pocahontas. I’m sorry to be mean, but it’s just true. You have other valuable skills I’m sure, okay? So a few lighters, some waterproof matches, and a couple wads of cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly are probably a very good idea. The lighters are reusable, the matches are indestructible, cotton is tinder and petroleum is flammable. It’s what gasoline is made from, right? Actually, thanks to BP, if you’re near the Gulf of Mexico, you can probably just dip your cotton balls in the tar balls that wash ashore. What happy coincidence! Fire will keep you warm, can be used as torches to set zombies on fire, and will cook any wild game you manage to catch before your palate leads you to raw brains.
I am so ready for the impending Zombie Apocalypse. Are you?
zombie woman photo credit Josh Jensen
additional photos courtesy of Microsoft
PTA photo, courtesy of Kristie Webber