Friday, April 27, 2012

Preparing for the zombie apocalypse: The Beginning

Every so often, I find myself evaluating where I'm at in life. What kind of person am I, and what kind of person do I want to be? What are my beliefs? Do my actions and beliefs conflict? How can I remedy any dissonance?

I often find that I am far too pragmatic. Case in point: the Foo Fighters were in town in September of last year. Andrea asked me if I wanted to go. Hell yes I did. But I went into cost-cutting mode and decided that we could do better things with our money than spend it on a concert -- even though I already know that buying experiences is much better than buying stuff. Now and then, I need to tell my pragmatic self to shove it.

I have plenty of projects -- things for Babbage Technologies, for work, things around the house, books to read -- but I don't really have many fun projects. Today, I decided to start a project that will cost me money and provide little practical benefit, but it will be a fun journey.

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with Aaron and Elissa about the (imminent) zombie apocalypse -- where to go, what (and who) to bring with you, how to survive. After much discussion, I realized that I am grossly under-prepared. Today, I took the first step to remedy this grievous error: I bought 10 feet of refrigerator hose.

Best $1.83 ever spent on a zombie preparedness pack.
Why on earth would I buy refrigerator hose for the zombie apocalypse? Among the first things to go when the outbreak occurs (aside from public order) are electricity and sanitary drinking water. Therefore, any self-respecting individual should have a way to transfer water from A to B effectively and efficiently. This hose is small (read: compact) and will allow me to siphon water as needed.

After electricity goes, distribution networks for fuels are going to be the next to go. Think you'll be able to pop by the gas station with your SUV on your way to a big box store once the virus has been loosed on an unsuspecting populace? Think again. Gas stations will be raided and fuel hoarded before nearly anything else. Your best bet to get gasoline (should you need it)? Siphon it from an abandoned or partially destroyed car.

So you guessed it: I'm building myself a zombie apocalypse preparedness backpack. This backpack is intended to be used to survive for as long as reasonably possible when the outbreak occurs. Some guiding principles are as follows.
  1. Nothing should rely upon the electric grid or fossil fuels.
  2. Very few consumables should be used, as survival is required for an indeterminate length of time.
  3. The pack is self-contained and lightweight. You should be able to grab it and run at the first sign of Zed.
  4. Items in the pack, therefore, should themselves be lightweight, reusable, and do double or triple duty when possible. Heavier, bulkier items may be used in place of less durable items, however. (See #2.)
I have no particular timeframe for getting this pack ready, but seeing as how I am behind the curve on preparedness, I think I need to hurry.

In the meantime, Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic, courtesy of the US CDC.

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