A chill wind blows through the old cemetery, rattling the dry, brittle leaves on the ancient oak tree. A storm's coming. You hear a noise like a dog digging up a bone, only you don't see any dogs. Suddenly, a hand protrudes from the earth, and then another, and another. The sleeping dead have wakened.
Okay, so maybe the chances of a zombie attack are pretty slim, but if you prepare to survive an invasion of brain-eaters, you'll be ready to handle many other types of emergencies as well. (Think blizzards, hurricanes, or extended losses of power or water.) So let's get started!
- Decide where to go in an emergency. If you have a place in your home you plan to take shelter in while zombies beat on your door, make sure you keep your emergency supplies in that location. It won't do you any good if you're cut off from it. A sudden zombie invasion could also separate family members from one another, especially if the intruders have taken over your home. Select a secondary place everyone knows to meet at, such as a business. Also, have each person keep a list of phone numbers of friends and relatives they can contact. Since phone service could be disrupted, it's a good idea to select a couple of websites for everyone to check in on as well.
- Build your emergency preparedness kit. Keep enough supplies to last for at least 72 hours. Click here for a list of things to include. Consider purchasing a few heavy-duty cans of food, since they can also double as a head-bashing weapon if the zombies get too close. You can also buy Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) that pack a full meal in a small pouch and have a long shelf-life. Be sure to check expiration dates and rotate supplies on a regular basis. Want some different options for water besides storing jugs of it? You can purchase water-purifying tablets or a personal water filter.
- Invest in a quality first-aid kit. Click here for one that includes a rescue blanket, tooth preserving kit, and several other great items you'll hopefully never need. Ideally keep one in your car and at home, since you never know where the zombies will strike next. When selecting a first-aid kit, check out the supply list before you purchase it. Many will boast lots of pieces but consist mostly of band-aids.
- Don't forget your pets! If the zombies camp on your lawn for days, you'll need to make sure you have enough supplies to keep your furry, feathered, or scaled companions well fed and watered. If you must evacuate, plan to take your pets with you. It could be days (or weeks) before you can return, and by then it might be too late. The Red Cross has put some information together on creating an emergency plan for pets, and it includes a recommended emergency-supply list. Click here to check it out.
Keep in mind, this isn't an all-inclusive list, but I hope it will serve as a good starting point. Be sure to follow all instructions on any products you purchase. In the event you do see a zombie, get as far away from it as possible and call your local zombie exterminator.