What Hurricane Sandy taught us about the Urban Apocalypse – Part 2

(Mark Segar – Reuters)

It was unsettling how things changed. From the safety of social feeds, we watched as photoshopped spoofs and Michael Bay rip-offs paled before the quiet aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Smouldering burns scarred into whiteboard neighbourhoods. A suburban block turned to some vast waste dump. A seafront bar dragged across a bay, a boat perched on railroad tracks. More than the Boxing Day Tsunami, this felt uncomfortably close to home.

We may be incredulous of the naive expectations of the massive storm; or the religious leader who blamed Sandy on New York State’s acceptance of gay marriage. Yet, what lay in front of us was a solid lesson in where the future may lead for many cities across the globe.

In Part One of What Hurricane Sandy taught us about the urban apocalypse, we looked at Corporate Sponsorship, Disaster Parasites, and the not-so sweet smell of the apocalypse.

Past the cut, in Part Two, we’ll be looking at the comfort of petty theft, how hipsters decorate their fallout digs, and why it’s not over til it’s over…

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What Hurricane Sandy taught us about the Urban Apocalypse – Part 1

(Spencer Platt – Getty Images)

It was unsettling how things changed. From the safety of social feeds, we watched as photoshopped spoofs and Michael Bay rip-offs paled before the quiet aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Smouldering burns scarred into whiteboard neighbourhoods. A suburban block turned to some vast waste dump. A seafront bar dragged across a bay, a boat perched on railroad tracks. More than the Boxing Day Tsunami, this felt uncomfortably close to home.

We may be incredulous of the naive expectations of the massive storm; or the religious leader who blamed Sandy on New York State’s acceptance of gay marriage. Yet, what lay in front of us was a solid lesson in where the future may lead for many cities across the globe. Past the cut, here’s the first of a two part blog on what Hurricane Sandy taught us about surviving the urban apocalypse.
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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.


Zombie Preparation for fun and education

So you,like me have been thinking about the end of the world. What if it’s chemical, or nuclear, what if it’s machines. Still I keep coming back to zombies, i’m not sure why.
But here are a few things I have picked up trawling pinterest that have amused me and I wanted to share.

Seriously, we all want one of these don’t we? One in every room and under your desk at the office? Just in case?
Although mine would have a fold up shovel and a sword in it.

heehee, yeah, I like it. We need UK ones, that count even without a zombie apocalypse. You seem like a zombie to me and I have a license. mwahahaha.

So many days at work. Seriously. Telling me you’ve never sat in a meeting and thought… a zompoc would get me out of this? I have. I’ve even sat there contemplating my exits, whether i’d try and take the others with me or just leave them to be eaten. This, people, is how I pass the time.

You need good rules people. They can save your life. Rules are the foundation of survival. Every house needs to set rules, post them up on the fridge with the kids pictures and be prepared.

I just love this, I am no where near artistic enough, but it’s very, very cool. Also, makes me think she wants to bite you.

Sadly I don’t have the original sources for all these, but love the work people are doing on the zompoc. You have favourite zombie stuff you want to share? Use the comments. :)

Canada prepares for Zombie Apocalypse

by GClarkHellery

Government officials of Canada’s west coast are launching a campaign to encourage tourists and residents alike to prepare for a possible zombie apocalypse. Do they know something we don’t?

For some of their survival tips check out their website here but remember, a true Apocalypse Girl is always ready!

Charge your kit – while you cook!

My friend Josh sent me a link to this really cool gadget which is coming out later this year (good to know that all my nattering about preparation for the apocalypse is working!). It’s a special cooking pot which converts heat into electricity, literally charging up your important kit while you rehydrate your rations. Fabulous stuff. For more information follow the link.

Get Your Fight on 2

It occurred to me after posting the last article I did that all of the feisty females were from Europe. That seems a little unfair, so I have scoured the annals to bring you more potted histories of warrior women from around the world. These are ladies who could inspire us all with their heroism, bravery and sheer determination.

Lakshmi Bai, The Rani of Jhansi 19th C. Lakshmi was the Queen of Jhansi, a state in Northern India. She became a figurehead and key player during the Indian Rebellion against the rule of the British East India Company. And a sword and buckler lady to boot, thumbs up!


The Amazons – The Ancient Greeks first encountered these women in Northern Africa (now Libya). There were later amazons of Dahomey in West Africa. These were an elite, all female militia, that served as royal bodyguards and also priestesses.

Fu Hao

Fu Hao – One of many wives of King Wu Ding of the Shang dynasty. She was unusual in that she was also a military general of many campaigns and a high priestess who advised her husband.

Artemisia of Caria I

Artemisia I of Caria – A general under Persian King Xerxes. After the Persians lost the battle of Salamis he commented:  “My men have turned into women, and my women into men.”

Ya Asentewa – Ashanti Queen who led the rebellion against the British in Ghana in 1900, with balls of steel:

“If you the men of Ashanti will not go forward, then we will. We the women will. I shall call upon you my fellow women. We will fight the white men. We will fight until the last of us falls in the battlefield.”

Arachidamia – Spartan Princess 3rd Century BC. When the council of elders suggested sending the Spartan women to Crete during the seige of Lacadaemon, Arachidamea entered the forum with a sword and shield in protest, contesting the idea that the women were expected to survive their own city. She then directed the Spartan women in assisting the battle, digging trenches and running weapons and food to the men.

Hangaku Gozen – Female Samurai, Japan 13th C. Loyal to the Shogun, Lady Hangaku took up a defensive position in a fortress and commanded 3,000 warriors against 10,000 enemy troops during the Kennin uprising. She was said to have been extremely beautiful, and wielded a naginata in battle.

Aijaruc – Tartar Princess 13th C. She refused to marry any man she could defeat in single combat and as a result won 10,000 horses for her father. Marco Polo wrote:

“This damsel was very beautiful, but also so strong and brave that in all her father’s realm there was no man who could outdo her in feats of strength. In all trials she showed greater strength than any man of them.” 

Maria Quitéria – Brazilian soldier and national heroine 19th C. She cross-dressed to serve in the Brazilian war of independence.

Yim Wing Chun – 18th C Chinese Novice Nun. The creator of the martial art from whom we take the name, it was taught to Yim by her mentor Ng Mui, a Shaolin Abbess, who came up with the idea after seeing a crane fighting a snake. Yim developed this art and used to defend herself against a man who was trying to force her into marrying him.

Get your fight on

When planning for a dystopian future it’s sensible to look to the past for inspiration (it doesn’t get much bleaker than that, right?). 
Women weren’t always constrained by society from taking part in combat. High born ladies liberated by the death of a spouse or parent sometimes found themselves inheriting an army, or exposed to sword training normally only reserved for male siblings. Others of lower birth cross-dressed and carved careers for themselves living as men. Some were just in the right (if you count it as lucky) place at the right time. 
So I thought to get ourselves motivated for the end-times, savagery, and survival against the odds we ought to check in with some fighting femmes of yesteryear. There are SO MANY examples you can look to, this is just a small selection.

La Maupin – A fiery, flamboyant, cross-dressing bisexual French swordswoman of the 17th C. She killed at least ten men in duels, and was also a star of the Paris opera scene.

Ana de Mendoza de la Cerda – A Spanish aristocrat of the 16th C. Despite losing her eye in a fencing duel she was considered among the most beautiful ladies at court, and was one of the most talented women of her time.

Jeanne D’Arc – Perhaps the most famous of all. A farm girl who led the desperate French to several victories during the hundred years war, she was later burned at the stake by the English as a witch.

Ann Mills – British sailor 18th C. Ann was a daring female dragoon not averse to a spot of head collection.

Bona Lombarda – 15th C Italian peasant turned condottiere. Kidnapped at fifteen by infantry captain Pietro Brunoro, their relationship developed until Lombarda became his lieutenant and constant companion. After many battles, she tirelessly petitioned for his release when he was imprisoned for treason for ten years, after which they eventually married. At the siege of Castello di Pavone, when it had fallen to the Milanese with Brunoro held hostage, it was Lombarda who, armoured from head to toe and armed with sword and shield, led the recapture of the fortress: “She was the reason the fortress was retaken and she was the first to place her foot inside.”

Catalina de Erauso – 17th C Spanish soldier. She left the convent at 15, having never even seen a street, disguised herself as a boy and signed up to become a soldier in Spanish America.  Awarded special dispensation from the pope to continue to dress in men’s clothing after her secret was revealed, Catalina loved a scrap:
I approached him from behind and said, “Ah, Señor Reyes!”
He turned and asked, “What do you want?”
I said, “This is the face you were thinking of cutting up,” and gave him a slash worth ten stitches.
He clutched at the wound with both hands, his friend drew his sword and came at me, and I went at him with my own. We met, I thrust the blade through his left side and down he went.”

Caterina Sforza – A 15th C Italian noblewoman. Skilled with the sword and given to bold gestures in the face of adversity to protect her family. Most notably when her children were held by invading soldiers at swordpoint Caterina lifted her skirts and yelled “I can make more!”
Mary Read and Anne Bonny – these ladies were true ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, getting into all kinds of high jinks. They were hard fighters and fast lovers who managed to evade the gallows even after capture.

Preparing for Disaster: The GO Bag

Preparing for a Disaster

To prepare for anything from a hurricane or an earthquake you will need a disaster kit. In your disaster kit is your Go-bag (24-72 hours), Med Kit, Extra eRats (longer than 3 days), and the Bag O’ Evil (weapons of mass protection). Put the following items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly. Prepare one Go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work, considering what you would need for your immediate safety.

A “Go bag” goes by many names, Wikipedia prefers “Bug-out bag“, the military likes “Bail-out bag”, and I’ve been known to use “GTFO bag” (Get The F!@# Out). In the end, all the names serve the same purpose. Having a completely pre-placed, pre-packed bag that is ready to simply pick up and go. Hopefully, it will contain everything you need to survive on the short-term (24-72 hours), until the emergency subsides (unlikely if the undead are wandering around or an alien invasion) or until you can get to a bigger cache of supplies (find the resistance or survivors).

A normal Go-bag will contain personal information that might be used to find loved ones, identify medical needs, and possible help get you into other countries. A GTFO bag or Bug-out bag for an apocalypse is a completely different animal. It can be lightweight or heavy for more long-term surviving. It is also just a part of your ultimate survival KIT.

So today, we are going to talk about just the Go bag, GGSA style. You can modify the pack as much as you like. I just recommend looking up and researching what would be best for you.

  1. Flashlight with extra batteries
  2. MP3 player for kicking ass soundtrack
  3. Spare pair of sunglasses that make you look bad-ass
  4. Gas Mask (bio agents or poisoned air) see First Aid kit for bio-warfare counter agents.
  5. Water, at least one liter per day per person
  6. eRats- Emergency Rations, MRE’s, Backpack meals, or energy bars.

Clothing- GGSA’s tend to be fashion forward, however, in an emergency save your ass first fashion second. These are the must haves:

1. Shit kickers ( I have bejeweled Hello Kitty on the side of mine)

2. Bandana and gloves

3.Cargo pants (not jeans and with a quality leather belt)

4. Two (2) shirts (short and long for layering)

5. Kick ass sunglasses.  Think of how the Terminator must have felt , if he could feel. A good pair of kick ass looking sunglasses ramps up a persons confidence.

6. Shelter- Tent or tarp, Mylar blankets and collapsible sleeping bags.

7. First Aid Kit- will go in to more detail later

8. Slim Jim or Lock pick set. Yes I know Slim Jims are illegal, but its the end of life as we know it. Bend a little.

9. Emergency Fire starter

10. Cooking pot: small pot or large metal cup to boil water.

11. Survival knife may not be large machete but a 4-10″ knife to use for survival stuff

12. Side Arm: Pistol, gun that can kill something to eat or maim to run away from.

Now this is just a few of the items you need to have if you survive the initial wave of death and devastation.

We won’t all survive.

by Honeybadger

It’s the end of the world as we know it. Chances are, most of us will die in the first wave. It’s been noted that survivor mentality assumes we will make it through that and have to deal. Well there isn’t much mileage in a story that starts off with not being Arthur Dent.

Besides, I may get the t virus and start craving flesh, or be at ground zero when the bomb drops, I might get nice, quick, clean extinction, but what if I don’t? If I play the odds I don’t need a bug out bag, or an escape plan. I don’t need to know where in my area has low population, good views, high walls and nearby water. why bother preparing when i’m going to die anyway? Face it, I live in the midlands miles from any significant body of water, if zombies attack, even if I do survive i’m liable to get eaten sharpish.

The thing is, what if I am Arthur Dent. What if I am the hopeless idiot that somehow survives the end of the world and has to deal with what comes next? Do I really want to be dependant on Ford, who let’s face it is a moron, the only thing he gets right is keeping his towel handy. Worse still, what if I don’t even have another useless idiot to stumble through it with, what if i’m alone, under attack in my own home by brain hungry neighbours? yes, i’m mixing my apocalypses here, but i’m talking in general terms.

What’s my point? Ignore the odds folks. Prepare like you know you are going to survive the initial blast/virus/whatever because if you assume the worst and then survive, if you aren’t a first wave casualty and have no plans in place for what to do next, well then you are truly f*cked my friend.
Honeybadger out

Visitors since 03/11/11


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