Ask The Experts | Mike McDaniel

Welcome back to Ask the Experts and our expert today is Mike McDaniel or @purpleskypub

Mike McDaniel lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, two
children, and a cat who hates him. (The cat is a really eye-opening
education for dealing with heartless, mindless creatures.) His book, The
Zombie Hunter’s Guide To Physical Fitness, can be found at
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/974893098/zombie-hunters-guide-to-physical-fitness

What’s your favorite apocalypse scenario and why?

I’m definitely partial to the zombie apocalypse, because it is the
ultimate collapse of society, and there’s no going back. Your friends,
family, and neighbors can all be turned into ravenous monsters in an
instant, and you’ve got to either find a way to deal with that or throw in
the towel.

Name one thing everyone should do to be prepared for the end of the world?

The biggest thing to me is getting yourself in good physical condition.
When the zombies come, it’s inevitably going to be slow and the weak who
go out first. Society has made life so easy for us, most people couldn’t
even walk at a steady pace for an entire day without collapsing from
exhaustion. What if they had to do that for days on end, just to stay
ahead of the shambling undead nipping at their heels? Getting in shape,
making yourself quicker and stronger, will give you a huge advantage in
overcoming the hardships ahead.

Where’s the line between being prepared and obsessing over
uncontrollable future events?

Probably somewhere between a having bug out bag or having a
concrete-reinforced underground bunker. You just can’t be prepared for
every possible scenario, but having some extra food, medicine, and weapons
around probably doesn’t hurt anything.

What’s in your survival “bug out” bag?

I’ve always been fascinated by first aid kits, so I keep several of them
around. Other than that, some easily carried food and a weapon.

What three things will you most miss about modern society?

1. Running water, because that’s something we all take for granted, and
it’s going to suck when it’s gone. Along those same lines, toilet paper.
Sure, there will be enough around for quite a while, but eventually it’s
going to run out.

2. I like good food, and I think that’s probably going to be in short
supply when everything goes to Hell. Have you ever tried canned meat?
Ugh.

3. The carefree attitude of modern society will be a very hard thing to
let go of. Most times of the day, you can go out in the world and see
people who don’t have a thing to worry about. They’re well-fed, rested,
and generally happy. Once the apocalypse happens, we’ll probably never
see that again.

Which cultural institution would you die to defend? Electricity, the
internet, printed books, etc

I don’t know that I’m tied closely enough to anything external to be
willing to lay down my life defending it. Electricity can be generated,
mass communication and information sharing become almost meaningless in an
apocalyptic scenario where small groups of individuals have to just find a
way to survive, and there won’t be anyone around to read the books, will
there? Let it all burn!

What’s the most important thing the survivors have to remember above day
to day survival?

Being human, probably. The end of society doesn’t have to mean the end of
decency, although they do seem to go hand in hand. Even if you’re
well-prepared, you won’t be able to help everyone, but that doesn’t mean
you have to be cruel either.

> When do you open the door, i.e. how to you pick and choose between
refugees, or do you leave them to their fate?
Leave them. It’s as simple as that. If you have a core group that you
intend to keep alive, bringing in more people just means a bigger drain on
resources and more drama to deal with. It’s not ever going to be worth
it.

How do you make sure you aren’t caught short when the day comes, i.e.
avoiding “I left my apocalypse kit in another car”?

Educating yourself on where and how to obtain things, and keeping yourself
in shape can take care of a lot of the issues that might arise from being
caught slightly off guard. As long as you know where to go for food,
water, and shelter, and can get yourself there, you can probably weather a
day or two of chaos until you are able to get to your stockpile.

For what person or thing would you break all the rules and go back
anyway?

I have a wife and two kids. Without them, surviving would be
pointless, so there aren’t enough rules to keep me from finding them and
trying to keep them safe. Plus, rules? It’s the apocalypse!

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