THE DEAD TIMES

DEAD ARE COMING...

Survivalism

The situation is both critical and, as far as you knew, completely illogical the dead have risen as mindless Zombies. They roam the streets, seeking out life and consuming every last morsel. They will never stop. They have no quest to fulfil, no mission to accomplish. Their docile minds do not understand the concepts of victory or defeat, surrender or diplomacy. No pause will be given, no quarter. The world becomes a darker place the streets, shops, malls, office complexes and vast industrial factories begin to dim, fading like under-powered lights. Survival in this new dead age is far less of a guarantee than the old world where mortality was exhaustively well-defined.

The obvious question, and hopefully the first question to pop into your constantly operating mind on the horrific news of the dead rising and attacking the living, is "How do I survive?". This is a critically important query for anyone who does not want to get their face bitten off by a rampaging ghoul, only to rise again as a mindless shambling corpse. It is also a deathly difficult question to answer, most of it revolving around careful planning and sheer luck. I am going to deal with this tricky dilemma in one of the best ways possible by completely ignoring it.

Whao, hold on there. Before you quit this site, cursing my name in a fit of rage and hope that a ravenous horde of Zombies invades my Undead Command Centre (aka "my flat"), let me explain.

Firstly, Zombie survival has been covered time and time again by the media. Books on the subject include; Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide by Keith Cox, The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead by Roger Ma and Ministry of Zombies: The Official Zombie Handbook by Sean T. Page, to name but three. I have not read all these books and, no doubt, never will they simply regurgitate too much information to be worth my concentration despite being about Zombies and therefore, supreme. In addition to printed words ready to be flicked through by the thumbs and forefingers of the living, the continent-spanning Internet is a flood with Undead Survival methodologies. That said, you often have to do some digging to find that information. Most Zombie sites (websites containing information pertaining to the living dead and not sites owned or operated by Zombies although I would like to see one of the latter!) prefer to do this as a sideline to their main wordplay as demonstrated by Zombie Crisis and ZOMBIE HUB.... The Net of the Living Dead. At the time of writing, I have only found a handful of websites that are dedicated to helping you, the modern man, survive the time of the dead squidoo: The Essential Zombie Survival Kit and, the innovative, Map of the Dead are two that stick out.

If you want to know how to survive an Undead attack be it a minor outbreak or full-blown apocalypse, there is only one book you need The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. It is a true tome of knowledge and just how the author knows so much about surviving in a world without true 'dead means dead' death, is far more scary than it should be. It covers everything from sustainable locations to preferred forms of transport, weapons advice to outbreak classification. I read it from cover to cover, devouring every nugget of text-based virtue just as a Zombie would devour a freshly excavated brain, and simply cannot recommend it enough.

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I do not want to resurrect what has already been laid down, write what has already been written. Instead, I will avoid detailed musings on survival as if it was a bubble of fetid marsh gas. That being said, if I feel strongly about an aspect of survival such as the pros and cons of being in a group of survivors or a common misconception like the belief that a chainsaw is the ultimate Zombie dispatching weapon, I will write feverishly about it. I will also point devoted readers (and casual glancieers) at external sites which provide Zombie survival material, one-off reads as external articles and whole sites in the Links section.

Secondly, I'm not a huge backer of survival guides in general. They are definitely handy in a tight spot having an invisible and invulnerable, all-knowing mentor to tell you what to do when the situation becomes dire is an invaluable resource but I don't believe survivalism can be whittled down to 'in this situation, do this' rules. Staying alive in a perilous environment, particularly one full of hostile walking corpses intent on eating your flesh, is a constant struggle. No one can really tell you what it's going to be like and, as a consequence, they cannot prescribe a full-proof strategy for survival. I very much doubt there will be time to calmly remember rules when the walking dead come a knocking at your door.

My third reason is that, in all likelihood, a major Zombie outbreak of world-destroying proportion is not going to happen in your lifetime and if it does happen, it is probably not going to be sudden. Be optimistic and don't waste your life worrying about impending cataclysm. However, there is no doubt in my mind that one day, the dead will rise and exact their terrible wroth upon the living a healthy dose of preparedness for that illogical day is not to be mocked.

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The Dead Times © Tom Clark 2013 onwards

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