How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse – Guest Post by Daniel Greene

My name is Daniel Greene, and I am the debuting author of End Time, a zombie apocalypse thriller. End Time is a multi-point of view novel, primarily following elite counterterrorism agent, Mark Steele, and CDC virologist, Dr. Joseph Jackowski, as a zombie virus with a wicked bite is unleashed across the globe.

zombies, litreactor.com

zombies, litreactor.com

Many people have asked me: How will you survive the rise of the dead? What kind of weapons would you carry? What types of supplies will I need? Where would you go? How can I survive? Which friends and family members would you want by your side?

I love these questions. Any person who truly loves the zombie apocalypse genre can imagine themselves in the hero’s shoes as the dead walk the earth.

Well, first things first. I live in a city, which in my zombie world is basically a death sentence. Sorry, city folk, you are going to have a really crappy go of it. There are countless reasons why cities are the worst in a zombie apocalypse, but let’s cover the basics, and potential solutions to keep you alive out there. Knowing is half the battle.

traffic jam, pixabay

traffic jam, pixabay

Problem One: Snowmageddon + Independence Day + D.C. Traffic = Deathtrap

First, public transportation is going to be a nightmare (and you thought traffic was bad at 5:00 pm). We know from watching the news and research that in any natural or manmade disaster, people are going to try to leave town in their cars. Not just a few people, but everybody. Mass transit routes leading out of any city are going to be parking lots. Think back to 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, rain, snow, the dark…Roadways are going to be a disaster. Now add in people who are scared. They are going to be fighting each other, as well as the undead. Infection rates are going to skyrocket among the fleeing citizens, turning all roadways leading out of town into deathtraps.

MREs, wikipedia

MREs, wikipedia

Remedy: One solution to the highway deathtrap is getting a jump on everyone else, and literally Fast and Furious it out of town, as early as possible. There will be warning signs. News stations reporting a weird flu. Missing people from work. Unexplained closures of buildings by authorities.

Another option is to shelter in place. This is only viable if you are well-supplied. We are talking about storing enough MRE style food and adequate water, as well as weapons to defend yourself, or under more dire conditions, seek out someone you know who is a prepper. But I wouldn’t count on it…

zombie, pixabay

zombie, pixabay

Problem Two: Where is Detective John Kimble when you need him?

When zompoc goes down, the first people who will be infected/killed will most likely be first responders. Your EMTs/police/firefighters will be responding to emergencies but will quickly be infected or overrun because they will not know what they responding to. Even if the virus is known at the time, the danger involved with dealing with the infected populace will certainly take their toll. Either way, first responder numbers will dwindle. As their members fall, their ranks will thin for other reasons. Desertion, lack of leadership and fear will drive the remaining to fend for themselves.

Society will lack law enforcement not only to protect people from the undead but also from each other. People will not be prepared, but some will survive. If you have things that they want, they will do whatever it takes to get them from you. This means people, good and bad, will be on their own.

guns, flickr

guns, flickr

Remedy: The first thing I would secure on my person is a sidearm. With the world coming to an end, I wouldn’t want someone to get the jump on me and rob me before I was able to flee. I would recommend any weapon that can easily be wielded in close-proximity fighting. Practice is key here. Any firearm that you are comfortable with is important. If the only thing you have is a shotgun, I would use that. Contrary to anything you read or watch on zombies, headshots are difficult, even for seasoned gunfighters. Now, I am sure some people will disagree, but unless you are handling a firearm frequently, this is difficult. Slap on some stress, it’s harder and mix in shooting on the move, it’s harder still. Throw in moving targets and you have a very difficult energy-intensive task. You get the picture. Can it be done? Of course. Is it easy? No.

Firearms handling will increase survivability during zompoc, but the bottom line is, if you can’t hit something under normal conditions, you definitely are not going to do it when it counts. Training is key. Weapons handling is crucial.

Next, I would throw in enough magazines to be able to sustain a limited firefight, but not too much ammo where you would be drastically slowed down by its sheer weight. Mobility will be important in zompoc. Then again, you only have to be faster than the slowest group member, right?

Gerber machete, wikimedia commons

Gerber machete, wikimedia commons

Problem Three: That’s not a Knife

A very important piece of preparing for the rise of the living dead is your choice of melee weapon. It always blows my mind when I watch The Walking Dead and they are using little knives to dispatch the zombies. While a small knife does offer certain mobility and an option for stealth, it also creates an encounter that is up close and personal. Why would you use a weapon that forces the handler to get within inches of a disease-spreading zombie’s mouth? For example, what if you miss? Now, you are stuck in a grappling contest. Or why would I want to have to grab the back of the zombie’s head to utilize my weapon effectively?

Remedy: To me, it would make much more sense to have a main longer-ranged melee weapon and an emergency short-ranged melee weapon. Just something where I do not have to touch or get close the zombie’s mouth. I have a machete and a tomahawk that offers some range, but I am thinking of investing in a spear. I played lacrosse back in the day, so I feel I have a good grasp on an accurate spear thrust, and if you miss your mark, you can always transition to a smaller melee weapon such as a knife.

Doogie Howser, youtube

Doogie Howser, youtube

Problem Four: Doogie didn’t make it…

Well, he may have made it, but odds are you won’t find a teenage doctor prodigy in the apocalypse or much other medical help.

Remedy: I would invest in a trauma pack. A med pack that includes tourniquets and Quik Clot is essential. There is a wide range of bad things that you could happen to you and hospitals and urgent cares won’t be around to help. I mean, do you really want to go to a hospital during a zombie outbreak? Tourniquets and Quik Clot are easy to use and could save your life.

zombie, wikimedia commons

zombie, wikimedia commons

Problem Five: You’re dressed like John Matrix, so you feel cool, but you are wondering if you forgot something.

Looking like a commando will probably only get you so far, albeit you will look awesome doing it. There are other necessities than lots of weapons to help you survive the zombie apocalypse.

Remedy: To ensure you make it further than day one, I would also pack a bunch of MRE, or Meals Ready to Eat. These stay good for a long time and require minimal preparation to be edible. Since there could potentially be a water shortage or only access to questionable water, I would throw in my pack a water filtration pump, as well as fire-starting materials.

As awesome as it is to sleep under the stars, I would definitely bring a lightweight tent.

With the survivor basics covered, I would throw in my laptop. I mean, someone has to record the fall of mankind. It could be the only source of knowledge from a cataclysmic event. That’s saying we have enough juice to run it. Bringing a radio would be nice too. Never know when you want to rock out to Metallica while taking on a zombie horde…

commercial aircraft, pixabay

commercial aircraft, pixabay

A bit about End Time and Writing…

The book started with a question. What would happen if there was a zombie outbreak onboard a commercial aircraft? Nowhere to run. No place to hide. Everyone is seated practically right on top of each other, with basically no weapons at their disposal. A terrifying prospect to say the least. I hadn’t read or seen anything like it before.

The novel morphed from there, and I was able to include many of the things that I wanted to see in the genre with a focus on the initial outbreak.

zombie apocalypse, youtube

zombie apocalypse, youtube

One of the main reasons I started writing End Time revolved around my love for the genre and the lack of books that showed the viral outbreak from the beginning. We are talking about Patient Zero here. I am constantly reading really good books that show society after the collapse of the government, or thirty days after everyone is infected, or even years after the spread of the disease. Many of these are awesome books, but I am always left wondering, how did we get here? What does the fictional collapse of the government and society look like? What does it take to turn perfectly normal respectable human beings into corrupt, primal animalistic versions of themselves?

zombie, pixabay

zombie, pixabay

That is why I set out writing End Time. I initially wrote the first pages on an iPad. Yes, it took forever, but as more and more words flowed onto the page, I quickly graduated to a laptop. My intention is to show people how easy it is for society to evaporate as the thin layers of order that keep us safe are removed from play. Then, I wanted to show what would cause brave public servants to turn their backs on each other and the public. Corruption? Family? Leadership? Self-preservation?

These questions are the foundations of the End Time series. Simply, I wrote a novel that I wanted to read. The novel shows the struggles of a counterterrorism agent as he wrestles with his identity, his dedication to duty, his love for his family and survival as the dead annihilate the living.

Daniel GreeneReaders, thank you for stopping by. I wish you the best of luck if the dead rise from the grave. If it happens, give me a shout. We will rebuild together.

I hope you had as much fun reading this piece as I did writing it.

Disclaimer: This piece is just for fun. By no means do I guarantee survival if you follow my methods laid out above…I had to put this on here, just in case a few lawyers make it out of the zombie apocalypse.

Lisa, thank you, for having me on.

Daniel Greene

Recommended Articles:
End Time – a Review
Zombies Can Be Fun! – Guest Post by Stephen Helmes

Do you think the zombie apocalypse is part of our future? The following article from Tribunist reveals just how it could start.
Biotech Firm Receives Approval to Use Stem Cells to Reactivate the Brains of the Dead

  3 comments for “How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse – Guest Post by Daniel Greene

  1. Stephen Helmes
    May 10, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Sorry this comment is so long. This is a topic which I have enjoyed discussing among friends and, yes, oh yes, daydreaming about since I saw the original 1978 Dawn of the Dead film. Daniel Greene, you got me started now!

    You nailed a lot of very good points in this article. As for me, the tent would be a good survival strategy as I made my way down to the southern states, Florida, southern Texas, etc; warm climates. But if you are slowly hiking your way down, there are also plenty of truck stops along the way. Remember, after the immediate chaos is over, the numbers of infected will begin to spread out, leaving you some room to sneak through these areas. You still do have to be very quiet, stealthy, and careful, but you should be able to Scooby-Doo tiptoe your way through some areas without ringing the dinner bell.

    Many trucks, semis, if not loaded, the trailers are left unlocked. I am an ex-truck driver, so I know this as fact. This will give you solid temporary shelter for a night, and there are so many trucks in these bigger stops, you will be like a scab hiding in a box of Corn Flakes. As long as you are quiet, no snoring while you sleep, you can sneak out the next morning and make your way in direction of other truck stops along the southbound way.

    Why head south for warmth? Keep in mind, this could be the end of mankind as we know it, but zombies will not last forever, even if they win the war against us: they are dead. What happens when the heart stops beating? They immediately start to decompose. The dead will eventually decompose to bones, then that very small portion of their brain, along with the muscles making their body come after you will be rotted away. They will truly drop and move no more. The moment they become zombies, their days are numbered, and they don’t have very long to roam. Why do we put our leftovers in the fridge? To keep them fresher for longer. Leave them out in room temps and they decompose, so to speak, within hours. In warmer climates, the dead will likely last two, three, four months? It depends on how rapidly the body decays. Up north, who knows? So head to warmer climates, try to stay out of sight as much as possible, and wait it out, because the dead will be dropping eventually, leaving you less to battle against.

    In the beginning, first few months, this will not matter, but as time rolls on, and the immediate war diminishes down to scattered fights, you will begin to see a huge number difference in the zombie population between the two areas. But wouldn’t some migrate down from the north? Sure, but how far will they travel before the hot sun cooks their bodies down to the point of a slow wobble rather than a possible running chase? By the time they reach you, way down in the Florida Keys, they would be scattered, one or two at a time, and rotted to the point they would be very easy to outrun, kill, or whatever you want to do with them. Just never let your guard down. Remember, even when the numbers drop and sightings are fewer, one could linger in at anytime, day or night. They say an unloaded gun is more dangerous than a loaded one. So never take your guard down.

    Daniel Greene, not if, when this happens, if we both make it through the beginning, most dangerous part of the war, I hope to run into you. We’d make a great team!

    • May 11, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      Hey Stephen,

      These are some great additions to surviving the Zombie Apocalypse! I like the idea of using the trucks as temporary shelter, they can be found all over and may be treasure troves of extra supplies.

      I’m curious as to what advantages we could come up with, for heading North instead? For example, the Northeast is heavily populated, so probably not a good direction to go, but what about Northern West or Midwest?

      The Upper Peninsula of Michigan has low populations and if need be the state could just shut down the bridge sealing itself off from the rest of the state. It would still have land access from Wisconsin, but this tactic could provide a level of security. I am thinking any place that has numerically few people and high visibility and perhaps a body of water for aquatic escape.

      I also wonder what would be disadvantages to going south. Higher numbers of living people with guns? Competition for fewer supplies? Just some speculation.

      Another question: What if the zombies don’t decompose? For example: a virus is regenerating their cells preventing the dead from wasting away.

      This topic is a large one, and we could discuss it all day! Thanks for commenting Stephen, and I will be looking to join forces with you when the ZA breaks out.

      • Stephen Helmes
        June 4, 2016 at 7:39 am

        lol Yea, David. If the virus is regenerating their cells, preventing the dead from wasting away, it would really be bad. Then the movies we see would be a lot more accurate than the way I personally visualized. That would certainly change my game plan, but it would be bad because I would probably find that out too late. I would already be in Florida yelling, “Why aren’t they melting?!”

        Going Northwest, where the population is lesser, is a good plan too. The whole reason I said south was simply because of the decomposing rate would be faster in the warmer climate. If they do not decompose, then smaller numbers would be the way to go, for sure. However, over time, as food became less in the heavily populated areas, the dead dudes would likely start spreading out in all directions, because there would be nothing to keep them where they are.

        In the original Dawn of the Dead, it was mentioned that they were swarming the mall because of some basic instinct, a memory of something they enjoyed in their previous life. However, the walkers we know today only know two things: if it’s warm and moves, eat it, and how to get their feet to stagger toward it—hopefully not running toward you like in some stories. So, the numbers would still be light, but you would certainly have to keep a guard up at all times because some could wander in on you when you don’t expect it.

        A closed off bridge is a great idea, especially if it has some sort of shelter on it like a drawbridge, etc, to get you out of the weather. I like the idea of a boat. Not a rowboat or small boat. I mean a boat that comes up at least ten feet above the water’s level. Make sure you do not leave a ladder down, just in case some zombie tries to get smart and swim, or if one gets bloated and happens to float by. Yea, that would be my luck.

        The ocean’s current would be hard for anything or anyone to swim in for any distance. The trick would be to anchor down about 4 miles off shore. You can still see land, but to anyone on land, you would be a distant speck, and that’s on a clear day. Hmm, life on a boat. Rather than hiding in a building and remaining quite, careful not to be heard and draw unwanted attention, you could make all kinds of noise and not be heard over the sound of the ocean’s surf. Jam to Zeppelin while kicked back in the sun. Food? as long as you can fish and have rods or nets on board, you have a never-ending food source. If you thought before heading out to sea, to swipe a few big totes, say about 5 ft long, 3 ft wide and a foot or two deep, some potting soil, and some seeds in the gardening supply of some store, you may be able to grow some vegetables on the deck. I understand this is in a perfect world. That would be a lot to carry, but if you knew that you had a car or truck and a clear road to the boat, it could be done with caution. Travel in at night, have your destination in mind, some store that may have hardware supplies still in it, (people are after food and medical, so maybe they didn’t take the totes and gardening soil). No, zombies don’t sleep, but they can’t see in the dark just as we can’t. They are human after all. So we have a thinking brain so we stay quiet, slow, and out of sight, like stealing the Pink Panther diamond.

        If you could live on the boat, 4 miles off shore, with fishing gear and know how to use it. Oh, and fresh water, can’t forget that. All you’d really have to worry about are pirates that might try to steal what you have. Like you said, people are not your friends during times like these. in fact, I fear them more than zombies. At least you know where you stand with a zombie. A person will lie and act like they are a friend, then when you turn your back… well.

        Yep, you are right, we could drag this on and on. lol But it’s a lot of fun! I never want anything like this to happen because we’d lose a lot of people we love, and there would be no more Sims expansion packs coming out every year to play, but if it did happen, I bet both of us would do well as long as we knew it was happening before we found out the hard way.

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