Katemandi here: I can’t say enough about pantries! For the end times you need food. Sure, you might be out hunting in the woods for some critters or foraging in the underbrush for mushrooms and other edibles, but stocking up your pantry ahead of the collapse is just good sense.
Of course you need food that will last a while. Perishables are useless! Think dry dry dry. You’ll be adding water of course in most cases, of course. If you don’t have water — well, honey, I got news for you: you won’t be surviving. So think powders, jerky, dried grains and nuts. Salt! In the medieval and ancient worlds, it was a precious as gold. Not just for flavour but for its preservative qualities.
Which brings me to another point: spices! You don’t have to belong to House Atreides to recognise the importance of spice! You’re going to be eating a lot of bland food that’s been reconstituted. You’ll be grateful for those spices. The good news is that spices keep for a long time if they’re completely dried and well sealed.
Speaking of sealing: have you learned canning yet? The techniques for storing delicious fruit in jams, jellies and preserves is not to be overlooked. You can even can meat, my friend Mary tells me (I got these snaps at her fabulous home at Universal Pathways). The skills are out there: learn them before you need them. You don’t want to poison your crew with poor pantry skills. Be safe, be delicious.
I had to follow up who’s next with this little love song for serial killer/zombie fancier types. It’s not really an end of the world track, but it has a suitably sinister note in spite of the chirpy piano playing.
On a personal note, I will always associate this song with Newcastle train station and my old uni flatmate Jolanda. Enjoy.
Hello all! “Sounds of Survival” will be an ongoing spotlight of apocalypse themed audio fiction.
Our first selection, “Forbidden Feast at the Armageddon Cafe“, is a part of the Pseudopod flash-fiction special “Flash on the Borderlands XI – Fearful Fashions.” Written by John Nakamura Remy and narrated by Kane Lynch, the story presents a disturbing and dark look into post-apocalyptic dining.
As with all Pseudopod offerings, the story is not for the faint of heart, or weak of stomach
Keep Your Powder Dry,
A lot of the kitch out there marketed at would-be time travelers works just as well as apocalypse survival gear. Knowing a few basic equations, or having a copy of “The Way Things Work” can make the difference between rebuild society and living in caves.
Here’s a clever example – a handy t-shirt you can wear with the basics of flight, health, technology and chemistry.
Available from ThinkGeek, fine purveyors of geekwear.
Keep Your Powder Dry,
What would you do? What would Mr T do – or Ms T in this case?
Build a 60lb bow from plastic pipe and get up on the roof of course! Even for the most DIY-challenged among us, this looks pretty simple.
Lap it up, suckas!
Don’t go in!
Make sure you know what’s under the surface
Learn to swim
-Save yourself first
In case you missed it the other day, the apocalypse girls were having a little chat on Twitter about a possible Apocalypse Olympics which got me thinking: what sort of games would we have at the games? I’ve made a list of possible events but feel free to add more in the comments section below.
- Speed packing. How quickly can you pack your evac bag with all your survival items?;
- Running from zombies (in heels) one for a giggle;
- Werewolf wrestling;
- Know your idols speed naming competition;
- Shoot the clown;
- Bow and arrow assault course. First part would be traditional archery, followed by different challenges using different parts of your bow, perhaps chop the head off the zombie with the string etc;
- Pin the tail on the (undead) donkey;
- Long jump, over a pit of man eating slugs;
- Aliens attack, laser tag;
- Going back for the cat. How many animals can you herd into the correct pens.
Assuming we don’t lose internet connectivity when the apocalypse comes (and in the words of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, if that happens there’s no point continuing is there?!) there’s a useful tool called the Map of the Dead which allows you to see where there are supplies, medical aid, possible danger areas and more local to you. It’s an interesting site and excellent for all your pre-apocalypse planning. Check it out here.
Welcome back to Ask The Experts
Chris Farnell lives in Leicester and has therefore likely survived a few zombie apocalypses already, we have a fair few of them. He’s also a writer and here is a link to his book.
What’s your favorite apocalypse scenario and why?
Well the Romero zombie apocalypse is obviously the classic for people who’d like to think they’d survive the end of the world, but don’t want to have to do much in the way of actual running. But I’ve got a soft spot for the really weird apocalypses, so I’m going to go with China Miéville’s The Tain, where our reflections rebel against us. It creeps me out because our reflections really hate us, they loath being forced to take our shape and copy our every movement, and then, one day, they just snap. Of course, not all mirrors reflect our entire bodies either, so you’ve got tonnes of disembodies hands and arms and eyes flopping about that were reflected in small mirrors…
Name one thing everyone should do to be prepared for the end of the world?
If you look at most apocalypse stories, zombies, meteorite displays blinding everyone on the planet, alien invasion, our reflections trying to kill us etc. the apocalypse is always the thing that nobody saw coming (When Night of the Living Dead came out there was no such thing as a zombie survival plan). So the whole point is that you *can’t* prepare for it, because nobody could have possibly predicted. You know, apart from catastrophic global warming.
Where’s the line between being prepared and obsessing over uncontrollable future events?
Well, I live in Norwich, where we almost felt an Earthquake once, so aside from keeping fresh battries in your smoke alarm, there’s no much reason to be big on disaster preparedness (unless it snows, of course, then it’s every man for himself). So the line between preparedness and obsessive is probably around the place where you start up a blog about all the various ways everyone could die.
(I think he’s implying we are nuts – Ed)
What’s in your survival “bug out” bag?
Bear with me here, but- Quilted toilet paper. Lots of quilted toilet paper. As society burns people are going to set about hoarding food, and water, and medical supplies, but if you turn up a couple of weeks later with a bag full of Andrex (hidden at an undisclosed location nearby) you can be pretty sure they’ll let you live like a king.
What three things will you most miss about modern society?
Being able to make a living from just sitting down and writing things. Seriously, it’s going to come as a massive shock to go from “sort of vaguely respectable person who runs his own business and is mostly a functioning part of society” to “the guy we should probably eat first”.
Which cultural institution would you die to defend?
Electricity, the internet, printed books, etc Well, top of the list I suppose would be libraries and the NHS, but since they’re under attack now and the most I’ve done is tweet angrily about it and write a letter to my MP, I think it’s pretty safe to say I won’t be laying down my life any time soon.
What’s the most important thing the survivors have to remember above day to day survival?
That if we allow our sci-fi bloggers to die, the zombies/robots/aliens/plague/terrorists/killer reflection people etc. have already won.
When do you open the door, i.e. how do you pick and choose between refugees, or do you leave them to their fate?
I’m pretty sure I’d be a total wuss about this. I’d let anyone in. Check them for weird infected bite marks and make sure the dogs don’t bark at them for being a Terminator, but apart from that, the more the merrier! Hopefull my generosity will be remembered when the food runs out and they’re deciding who to eat.
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”?
Whenever you’re in a public place always pay attention to where the fire exits are, which objects can be used as bludgeoning weapons and which other people you could realistically climb over to escape. For what person or thing would you break all the rules and go back anyway? Again, I’d be a total wuss for this. Friends, family, my Kindle, the hard drive with my writing on it, my secret stash of quilted toilet roll… Really, my survival chances are pretty narrow.
A friend (or should that be fiend?) shared an article with my about a pet hamster who was presumed dead, was buried with full honours but who then rose from the grave and demanded its dinner! Check it out here. Does anyone else have any zombie pet stories?