The Center for Disease Control recently released some guidelines on how to prepare for the coming zombie apocalypse, Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse. Do not listen to them! It’s quite clear that they’ve never watched a single movie about zombies (though they claim otherwise) and are completely uninformed about what it will take to survive even a small-scale zombie outbreak, let alone the zombie apocalypse itself.
Mistake #1: Types of Zombies
The report focuses exclusively on zombies produced by some kind of infectious virus, which, to be fair, is one of the more common zombie types. But there are many others. And while you might be well prepared to counter a virus-infected zombie, that will do you little good when faced with a zombie produced by a radioactive spill, alien parasite, or evil wizardry, among others. Such simple naiveté can get you killed.
Mistake #2: Location
The CDC obviously thinks that you’re just going to hang out at home through the apocalypse. They recommend having extra “bedding” and list “household bleach” among the suggested supplies. That could be helpful if you need to clean your bathroom while you’re waiting for the zombies to come and eat you. But if you’d actually like to survive, you’re going to have to ditch the house. Houses are like zombie cupboards; it’s where they go when they get hungry.
Mistake #3: Transportation
That’s probably also why the CDC completely fails to mention any form of transportation. Granted, if you’re dealing with older-model zombies, the kind that shuffle around at the pace of a crippled turtle, you could probably escape on some kid’s tricycle. But if they’re the newer, upgraded zombies, you’ll need to do better. Although some suggest larger 4WD vehicles (e.g., humvee), I’m partial to smaller, off-road vehicles like motorcycles or ATVs. You won’t be able to carry as much gear, but they also don’t use as much gas, and they’ll be easier to navigate through roads cluttered by all the debris left behind by people dumb enough to follow the CDC instructions.
Mistake #4: Food
The instructions just tell you to stock up on “non-perishable food that you eat regularly.” That’s not going to cut it. Unless you plan to hide in your fortified bomb shelter (in which case you’ll eventually be trapped and killed anyway), you need non-perishable food that’s ultra portable. If you lived in Middle Earth, you could grab some lembas bread from the elves. But in this world, I’d stock up on freeze-dried backpacking food. It’s lightweight, easy to pack, and non-perishable.
Mistake #5: Tools & Supplies
The CDC’s list is sadly lacking here. Where’s the ax or machete (preferably both), gas cans (as many as you can find), extra batteries, backpack, sleeping bag, etc? And you need to stock up on all this before the outbreak. If you’re dumb enough to visit a Walmart after the zombies start roaming the streets, you deserve what you get.
Mistake #6: Weapons
This one’s almost too obvious to mention. The only thing even resembling a weapon on the list is a utility knife. Do you know how long it would take to kill a zombie with a utility knife? (Now, it might be possible to construct a zombie-killing missile out of the duct tape, bleach, batteries, and first aid supplies. But unless you’re MacGyver, I wouldn’t suggest it.) You’ll definitely need more than this. Shotguns are a safe bet, and I hear that flame-throwers can be fun.
Mistake #7: Meeting People
The CDC gives instructions for meeting up with family members and other contacts. Are they insane? For all you know, these people have all been infected. Once the zombies come, you’re on your own. (Exception: If you happen to meet some random, shotgun-toting, grey-haired, ex-Army fellow traveler, you definitely want to hang out with him.)
Mistake #8: Trust the CDC!
The last section is titled, “Never Fear – CDC Is Ready.” Seriously? If there’s a virus-infection zombie outbreak, everyone knows that it will almost certainly have been caused by some secret, government experiment gone awry. There will be some kind of cover-up, probably led by the CDC, followed by mass chaos and destruction. And we’re supposed to trust them? I don’t think so. (Indeed, it makes the timing of this announcement a little suspicious. I wonder what they know that we don’t. How late is Walmart open?)