Use survival guide to live through the end of the world

By by kat duncan/
Dec. 19, 2012 at 6:19 a.m.

Weapons? Check. Food stores? Check. Impenetrable shelter? Well, I'm working on it.

With the world ending Friday, I've done what any self-sufficient bookworm would do, I checked out all the survival books. I've heard the Mayans weren't very clear on how we're going to go, but with all our advances in science and technology, I'm betting on an undead apocalypse.

My guide of choice became "The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From The Living Dead" by Max Brooks. I read "World War Z" a while ago, and I figure the guy knows what he's talking about.

Skip over all the "how the zombies are actually going to happen" stuff (once we're running like hell and fighting them off, do we really care?), and there is a very helpful guide that starts with weapons and combat techniques. Now I know a lot of you here in Texas are pretty well prepared with guns, but I'm going to stick with machetes, crossbows and blunt weapons like axes and sledgehammers.

I won't need to find bullets to put into those. As long as I keep them clean, polished and protected from rust, I've got a weapon that'll last me a while. Brooks puts us through a few questions to help us pick our ideal defense weapon. "1. Can it crush a skull in one blow? 2. If not, can it decapitate in said blow? 3. Is it easy to handle? 4. Is it light? 5. Is it durable?"

Remember, once we're all living in the woods or in the rubble of our great cities, we won't have that many resources. So make your weapons as simple and durable as possible. They might have to last you a while.

Next, armor. Brooks gives us a few suggestions here. Chain mail. Plate mail. I went for the shark suit. Although it is made to protect against shark bites, he lets us know that it can also "stand up to the toughest undead jaws." Thanks, Brooks! I'm so glad these things come with a guarantee. When I'm hacking at a zombie chewing on my leg, I want to make sure it won't get through my protections. Whew.

Of course, the next step is shelter. This is pretty important because just barricading your windows and doors (if you live in an apartment, like me) won't work when thousands of undead are trying to force their way in. It's just logic, they're eventually going to overwhelm your paltry defenses.

Personally, I'm going to wait until the undead take out one of those mansions on the other side of town and then set up my base there. For those of you not willing to make someone else's home into your shelter, other options can be supermarkets, malls, churches, police stations and office buildings. Just be careful. Where there are a lot exits/entrances, there are a lot of ways for the undead to get you.

Once most of the world has been overcome with the undead but your careful preparation has led you to survival (kudos!), it may be time to relocate and start over. In the forest, tall trees can be the perfect place to hole up and defend yourself. In the plains, you have great visibility in open areas but in tall grass, the undead could come at you like those raptors in "Jurassic Park." I, personally, prefer the jungle, lots of foliage for cover and plenty of plants and animals to survive off of. I'm not even going to approach a swamp, I saw what happened to Artax in "The Neverending Story." You get a little bit sad, and you're going down.

Thanks to Brooks' survival guide, I feel ready for the whole end-of-the-world thing Friday. Maybe I'll see a few of you readers afterward, if you've followed my (and Brooks') words of wisdom. But then, maybe not. It's everyone for themselves once the undead rise.



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