apocalypse

Preparation Everyone Can Do , The Bunker

By Honeybadger

Ok, I know what you are going to say, you can’t afford a large, lead lined nuclear bunker under your garden, especially as you live in a first floor flat. Fine and fair, but for many of us there is something we can do in terms of preparing a reinforced space to retreat to.

Starting with the obvious. The Garage.
I foyu are fortunate enough to have a garage you may well be like me. My garage is full of the debris of a previous relationship, old tool boxes, gardening stuff and a moulding weights bench.  The plan for my garage is simple though. Clear it out, put up some racking make it a useable space. Now my garage even has a power point and lights, so worst come to worst and my home turns out to be no where near zombie proof enough (which I suspect to be the case) then I have somewhere I can retreat to with the cats. What I need is to set it up. That means water, a storage heater, a toilet, food and cat food supplies (things with long expiration dates and circulate into your home restocking into the garage, the little camping stove and gas, sleeping bag and the tool boxes and garden implements can stay for defence. I’ll also need to rig up some means of seeing outside without giving my presence away. That requires more thought.

In a push though it doesn’t have to be a nice big comfortable garage. Line your loft with those heat blankets they use for runners to disguise your body heat from searches and create a little last resort bolt hole up there, even the cupboard under the stairs could be used in this way if needs be, remove the outside handle on the way in and stay quiet till trouble passes.

Take a walk around your home and think, what can you do if aliens or zombies attack and you need to convince them there is no one left alive in your home?

Honeybadger out.

How to Destroy Humanity – Zombies

by Hekate

A felt-based illustration of the experience of the modern zombie.

Bitten

Argh!

 

Run

I’m getting out of here!

 

Woozy

I don’t feel so good.

 

Sleepy

I think I’ll… lie down… for a bit

 

Awaken

Br…?

 

BRAINS

Braaainss!

Disappointment

Brains?

 

Friends?

Brains? Brains?

 

And then...

BRAAINS!!

 

And so we see that Destroying Humanity is best accomplished, and more fun, when done with friends.

Welcome to the Rainpocalypse

If you live in the UK you will, by now have noticed the damp. Flash floods, endless days of grey drizzly wetness, houses washed out, ponding in the streets. Oh it’s not so severe really, but it has gone on all summer. Wettest summer since records or something. Not much of a summer at all really.

This is of course the sort of apocalypse we could have. We could all end up just washed out, damp, depressed and facing gradually rising waters. Grab your sandwich boards folks, ‘The end is nigh’. Nothing so dramatic as the next ice age or an asteroid to wipe out mankind. We just drown. It’s all very bibilical if you are that way inclined, but i’m not and instead it’s making me think practical thoughts. Thoughts like… ‘I wish I had a Kayak in the garage’ and ‘what would the world look like after a Rainpocalypse’. Then I realised, that ones easy.. it would look like this…

Yup, Waterworld. A terrible cheesy, Mad Max on Water of a movie but none the less this could be our future (hopefully with less Kevin Costner and no small children acting as maps to dry land).

Perhaps as guardians of apocalyptic survival, we should be busy constructing small sustainable towns on large reservoirs, just to be ready.

Ask The Experts | Joan De La Haye

Joan De La Haye is a South African author whose post apocalyptic zombie novella Oasis comes out later this month.

So since it’s obviously been on her mind we invited Joan to share her thoughts about the apocalypse with us.

________

What’s your favourite apocalypse scenario and why?

I love the Resident Evil movies! I find the idea of human mutation, whether by natural means or test tubes, fascinating.
Can you imagine mutating into something really cool, but deadly? And then doing that on a global scale?
Every living breathing person mutating into something either absolutely amazing or completely horrific.
Oh! The fun I could have with that …

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

Learn how to shoot! If the end is coming, you’re going to have to be able to shoot to kill, whether it’s to defend yourself against Zombies or other people who want your stuff.

Sooner or later you’re going to have to pull that trigger and you’ll live longer if you know how to aim properly.

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

Good question! I think having a survival kit under your bed is probably a good idea and just being prepared, but spending your life savings on a bunker under your house may be a bit excessive. But then again, if the world really does end in an atomic war, you’ll be glad you did and the rest of us who thought you were bat shit crazy will be begging you for a place in it.

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

I’ve got a space blanket, a swiss army knife, hiking boots, camo cargo pants, a machete (it doesn’t run out of bullets), a revolver and spare amo. And because I’m a writer I’ve also got an empty journal and a few pens. A writer has to write no matter how bad the shit is hitting the fan.

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

I think Electricity and running water are the most important ingredients to civilisations survival. If we can defend those two, everything else can be rebuilt.

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

That even when things are at their worst, you still need to find a glimmer of hope. Hope can be found in all sorts of places. It can be found in a simple smile, in a child’s giggle.
Laughter and hope go together. So stop and find something to laugh about. Sing and dance and make music. I’m a firm believer in that old saying: Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.

When do you open the door, i.e. how do you pick and choose between refugees, or do you leave them to their fate?

Obviously family and good friends come first. It also depends on how much food and space I have and what those refugees have to offer.
If they’re hysterical and are going to get me and everybody else killed, they can fend for themselves. Harsh, I know. But we are talking about survival here.

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”?

By having more than one survival kit and then stashing them in a few places, that way I’ll never be caught short.

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

I’d go back for my dog, Tolstoy. He’s too beautiful to be left to be turned into a zombie dog. Plus he’s a husky, so he can pull a sled with all my survival gear. He’ll come in handy.

Shoot to kill and can ’em up!

Viking victim photo by Katemandi

by The Shloo

Shoot to kill and can ‘em up.

That’s it in a nutshell. There are few philosophies smarter because when the world’s getting its apocalypse on you have few other choices. Best you get your head round that from the get-go.

I started shooting when I was eight years old. Air rifles mainly, but by ten I was shit-hot with a bow and arrow. Mum always said they’d make the best weapon anyway – when the bullets run out, who’s going to be making new ones? Arrows, on the other hand, are relatively easy to make. I can shape a bow out of a piece of willow  – or pretty much any tree with enough bend in it  – in less than three minutes. A clutch of arrows will take me another five, tops. Robin Hood would weep at the skill in my fingers.

And I never miss.

Our bunker’s pretty sweet. There’s a room full of bunk beds that are more comfortable than they look, a pretty well-equipped kitchen, a library, a bathroom, a canning room – my Mum’s mantra is ‘waste not want not’ – and a big communal living area. Dad and Zeke worked hard and it paid off. Speaking of Zeke, my brother and I were both trained in and for almost anything you can imagine: hand-to-hand combat, gas attacks, nuclear fallout, weapon making, foraging, first aid – you name it, we went over it. Sewing’s my weak point, truth be told, but at least I’ve stopped sewing stuff to my jeans and Mum says I sew a pretty strong stitch. That’s what matters.

Of course, I’ve not had what you might call a normal life.

Hardly a surprise, is it? Survivalists? Maybe, but we call ourselves “sensible” – what else would you call those not blind to the inevitable? I was picked on sometimes at school, but after the suspension – and the scrum half’s snapped wrist (thanks Dad, for those self-defence drills) – I was left alone. I didn’t go to dances, never been for a sleepover, never even sat with anyone else for lunch. I didn’t get to do any of that ‘normal’ stuff. Getting attached to people only makes it harder in the long run. It would have made me sad once (I’ve got hormones and hopes just like anyone else), but you’ve got to focus on what’s important.

To hell with normal anyway!

Is it normal to sit and wait for Johnny Mutant to come eat your brains? To wait while the nuclear fallout burns through your guts and your brain spills out the bottom of your spine? To pretend there’s hope, that someone out there’s coming to save you? They’re not, y’know. If you don’t want to end up a splatter-fest of ex-human, then you’d better get wise.

There’s no time for frills and fancy, there’s only one prize and that’s life – or at the very least dying on your own terms. I’m old enough to know that. The future is about survival. It’s all it’s ever about. I wised up to that the day I heard Dad telling Zeke that me and Mum were the weak link, that we were the ones who would most likely slow them down and that if he needed to get rid of us, he wouldn’t hesitate. I didn’t understand. I was a good learner, better than Zeke who was a lazy crumb. I was better with a bow and arrow and I could climb a tree in half the time he could. Just because he could dig earth for longer, I was the dead weight? Like digging a hole and carrying heavy stuff makes the difference when the chips are down? As far as I could see, the difference that marked us out in Dad’s mind was that I was a girl and Zeke was a boy – his boy. I was eleven years old and from that day on I hated my Dad, hated him for marking me out as mattering less because I’m a girl, for seeing me as an albatross and not an asset. It was also the day I decided one thing –

I wasn’t going to be left behind. You shouldn’t be either.

Ironic really that Dad was the first to get bit. I had to shoot him; Zeke froze like he’d learned nothing all those years. Typical. So I shot my Dad in the head and then when Zeke got violent a couple of months later – the isolation got to him bad – and went all frothing-at-the-mouth crazy, I shot him too. If he hadn’t tried for the door I wouldn’t have had to do it. We don’t know what’s out there. Still, at least his death won’t be in vain. Mum can pickle anything and what’s left goes in the cans.

So that was the last of our bullets. Mum and me? We won’t need them, we’re prepared.

 

 

    Visit The Shloo on Facebook or drop by her blog.

 

Library of the Apocalypse: Pandemic Preparation

At GGSA, we’re all about the preparation. When the apocalypse comes – whenever and however it comes – we want you to be ready. So we’re more than happy to share io9‘s reading list of novels that could help you prepare for a future pandemic.

From Camus to Cronin via Shelley and Matheson, there’s something for everyone… so get reading!

Are there any books you’d add to the list? Which novels will you turn to when the time comes? Tell us in the comments, and help us to build the GGSA library!

The Apocalypse according to XKCD

We love seeing people’s views on the Apoclaypse and this came from XKCD

Honeybadger out

Ask the Experts: Alasdair Stuart

This issue of Ask the Experts we present genre-fiction expert and culture blogger Alasdair Stuart.

Alasdair is a freelance journalist who first found out about the end of the world from the seminal BBC drama Edge of Darkness and family discussions about the best ways to deal with nuclear fallout. This instilled a healthy respect for doom in him, which grew into a fascination with horror and genre fiction. He has unleashed countless Armageddons upon us all as the host of Pseudopod, the Parsec-Award winning weekly horror podcast. He’s preparing for the end of the world by climbing, cycling, swimming and studying several martial arts.

What’s your favorite apocalypse scenario and why?

I have two. I always rather liked a New Zealand movie called The Quiet Earth where everyone bar a few people simply disappear. The world is intact, everything’s there it’s just most people… aren’t. That’d be interesting, in a very Twilight Zone-ish sort of a way. It’s a lonely apocalypse rather than a noisy one but it’s an apocalypse nonetheless.

My other favorite has been and always will be the ‘Earth gets knocked off orbit and plummets towards sun’ premise of The Day The Earth Caught Fire. Aside from having one of the best endings in movie history, it’s a fascinating, unflinching look at what we do to survive, to cope, when everything else is falling apart around us. Plus, the arid, barren wasteland much of the Earth would become does lead to unlimited Mad Max cosplay opportunities.

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

In the immortal words of Rockhound, ‘Embrace the horror!’. The world’s ended. You are not okay. No one is okay. That’s okay. Which may of course be the title of my Post-Apocalypse Therapy Book. Get safe first, if you can, get some provisions, get some heat and then take your brain off the hook. Everything’s over, and you, lucky or unlucky, are still here. That means you have stuff to do. That means you’re going to be working, hard, for the rest of your life. That also means that you need to take some you time because it may be the last time you get it. So freak out. Trust me, you’ll get bored and come back to the world way sooner than you think.

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

The point where you find yourself watching the news 24 hours a day.

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

-Clif bars. Protein heavy, small, lots of flavours, plenty of variety, good emergency currency.

-Climbing harness, shoes, and watermelon helmet. Which is a helmet that looks like a watermelon not a helmet made of watermelon. That would be weird.

-MMA gloves. Not because I’m planning on stepping into the cage post-Armageddon, although let’s face it, somewhere in Australia, Tina Turner will already be building the Thunderdome. I’d go with these because they’re warm, they’re tough, they’ve got near total finger mobility and if I do get into it, I’m much less likely to break my hands on a zombie’s face if they’re wrapped.

-Water purification tablets.

-A windup torch.

-A windup radio. The BBC will, let’s face it, be one of the last things to go so as long as I have access to them, I’ll know how bad things are.

-Glow sticks or road flares.

-A map marking the nearest high ground, and routes out of the city. If possible, and let’s face it this is doubtful, it would also map out gas stations, supermarket warehouses and reservoirs.

-A silver foil emergency blanket, because sometimes you just have to.

What three things will you most miss about modern society?

The constant stream of information. I live in America, without cable, as I write this and even now I’m swimming in signal. Internet TV, podcasts, radio, social media, newspapers, TV and music all bounce around me and that sense of being deep in a pool of signal, and potential, is something I love. I’ll miss that the most, so I suspect I’ll be one of the people helping build oral histories.

Tea. I know, I know it’s terribly Arthur Dent but I love tea, nothing else gives you that weird combination of wakefulness and relaxation. So there will be regular raids on supermarket warehouses or I’ll just learn to make nettle tea or something.

Really good bread. I know we’re going to end up with bread again, pretty quickly in fact, but I’ve seen The Hunger Games, I know how inexact a science that is. Give me paninis or… give me paninis later when we can make them again.

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

Cinema. Doesn’t matter what either, but somehow there has to be a way to project stories on a big wall and take people away. Escapism isn’t just a luxury it’s a necessity and at every single bad time in my life, cinema has helped me get out of my head for a couple of hours and escape. Plus, post apocalypse, cinema has an added educational element to it, one which a couple of post-apocalyptic movies, like Reign of Fire and The Postman, have addressed. Cinema takes us out of our heads and teaches us how to live with each other and crucially, does that as a group. It’s entertainment, history, escapism and community building all in one.

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

Patience. Hell isn’t just other people, it’s the only other people you’ll ever know, so try and be patient with your fellow refugees. One of the best ways to do this is be honest, tell people when they’re irritating you and tell them to do the same. The group might splinter, there may be fights, but it’s better to get it done now rather than six, seven months down the line. Society is rebooting itself at every level all at once so the good news is you don’t have to be polite about the guy in the SUV’s flatulence, but the bad news is he doesn’t have to be polite about you making stirring speeches all the time. Work it out, bleed if you have to, but work it out because your lives depend on these people.

When do you open the door, i.e. how to you pick and choose between refugees, or do you leave them to their fate?

Someone once pointed out that inside ten feet, a knife will beat a gun in most fights. Adrenalin cuts off higher motor functions once you get above 170 heartbeats per minute so in the time it takes you to warn the knife wielder that you’ll shoot them they’ve closed with you and suddenly it’s their ballgame. Outside ten feet, the knife wielder has other options, the most important of which is running the hell away.

That’s a good maxim to work with. If the zombies/robots/zombie robots/time displaced zombie robot pirates/delete as applicable are under ten feet away from the door, keep it closed. However, let’s face it, no plan survives contact with the enemy, and the cold, hard decisions are the ones we tend to be pretty bad at. So, very aware as I am the consequences of this, I’d open the door for anyone who could get to it and wasn’t part of why the reason for the apocalypse. It’s the flawed, dangerous, human thing to do.

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”?

Keep a list of what you need, and know where you can get it if you don’t have it on you.

Keep, at the very least, your phone with you and have a message, detailing where you are and where you’ll be, pre-written to send to your loved ones just before the networks drop.

Keep moving towards your destination, and be prepared to go around if through isn’t an option.

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

I’m going to Kobyashi Maru this question, twice, no less. Firstly, my girlfriend, I strongly suspect, is the lady driving the tank I’m about to jump INTO so I have no worries about having to go back for her. My family live far enough away that they’ll either be fine and we’ll meet up further down the line or it will already be too late and in terms of stuff? I travel pretty light these days.

So I’m going to say my iPhone, because I figure it’s going to take at worst, three to four weeks for the communications grid to drop all the way. Even then, hopefully, we’ll have met up with a couple of grizzled First Responders who can give us access to their encoded networks which means we can jury-rig a transmitter of sorts, leave recorded messages for any survivors and post regular bulletins about what’s happened, where’s safe, that kind of thing. Throw in a windup charger and I’m good to go.

Thanks Alasdair!

Keep Your Powder Dry,
Green Valkyrie

Zombie Ride

by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth

Proof our message is getting out there and women are preparing for the apocalypse: even mainstream advertising has noticed.  See the whole story on this advert over at Tecca: Zombie Ride is a short one-minute film created by Josh Soskin as an entry into the Mofilm Barcelona 2012 Video Contest.

Tip o’ the apocalypse cap to L. Vera at A Knife & A Quill.

Essential Author Survival Kit Item

Here’s the thing, all of us creative types, we just don’t know how the hell to stop. It’s a reflex, a comfort blanket, an obsession, a drive, a best friend, worst enemy, love/hate, do it or die essential and, you know what? Even in the event of a cataclysmic world breakdown, that instinct is unlikely to take a powder and run for the hills. You’re going to have a LOT to say.
So how do we go about planning a practical, workable solution to this unavoidable instinct that won’t add a whole bundle of unnecessary crap to your survival bag? Not only that, but this extra piece of kit kind of has to be manual, because there’s no guarantee anything electric is going to work ever again.
Here then is an essential item a scribbler of any stripe is going to need to tuck away into the survival bag:



A metal pen – yes, you heard me, a METAL pen. This puppy will write on anything, under any conditions, even under water! Yes, you heard me… under water! I think I’m in love. It’s apparently got endless ink, but I’m a practical sort and my instinct says to buy two or more; because two pens are better than one, and more pens are even better than two, every writer knows that.

And watch this epic video of its full awesome powers here:

Now, you may want to grab yourself some paper for this puppy but, like I said, it’ll write on anything and we write to be read, us writing obsessives. In an apocalypse I suspect book sales will go down with civilisation, but those left will hopefully read the words we scrawl upon the walls of abandoned buildings, cracked paving stones, and the smoking hulks of cars.
Keep your creativity, your passion for writing the world, never let it die, and leave behind some evidence of your experience for those who come after those who survived. And also smile with smug satisfaction that they will, rather like we do when observing the Mayans, have no idea whatsoever how the hell we managed it!

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