This post has nothing to do with the New Year. For the record, I have a very optimistic outlook for 2013, my first full calendar year with my new bride and hopefully a year that holds the start of a rewarding new career. I simply thought of my zombie apocalypse plan as a thought experiment a few weeks ago.
Ground rule: avoid the fantasy. No superpowers or stumbling upon lost tanks and rocket launchers. How would you survive a zombie uprising or other apocalyptic scenario within the confines of your own resources and capabilities?
I live with my wife in Richmond, VA, a large American city. Once the sirens start blaring, I must exit the city as quickly as possible. Major cities represent hundreds of thousands of potential zombies.
Once I see the initial signs, I will calmly but quickly fill a duffle bag with whatever supplies I have on hand here at home. I don’t want to take more than thirty minutes, but rushing leads to mistakes and missed opportunities. I will don a mismatched military uniform and heavy duty boots from my time in the Army. The uniforms were designed to take a beating while also maintaining a high degree of comfort and flexibility. I also hope that a uniform will inspire trust and confidence in any other groups of survivors we meet along the way without leading to my ad hoc selection for emergency military service. I left the service after two honorable deployments and I have no desire to let the bureaucracy hamstring my family’s survival chances.
As for weapons, I have a single round shotgun with no ammo. I’m leaving that behind. Even if I find ammunition, the time it takes to reload after each shot makes it completely ineffective. I would love to take something more useful, an M4 or M1 for instance, but I will have to hope chance provides one through scavenging. Instead, we will grab my favorite crowbar, a heavy melee weapon with multiple uses. Crowbars, machetes, and the like become essential in the post-apocalyptic setting. They never run out of ammunition.
As for egress, I assume the roads, especially the major interstates, will quickly become clogged death traps. I intend to walk/jog through a mile and a half of residential neighborhoods. There is a private pharmacy along the way, two blocks from our house. Hopefully we can stock up on medicine before we leave. I trust my wife, an emergency medical technician, can help find the most essential drugs.
Within two hours of the initial warning, we should arrive at the James River. The river provides a good, natural road. I know that it heads west, up into the mountains and away from the largest population centers in Virginia. It provides a constant source of fresh water. It acts as a barrier to zombie packs. I assume they will find swimming difficult and wading takes time. Early in the incident, I hope the deeps won’t be filled with grasping arms and random debris. If the current is strong enough it should take most zekes downstream as we head up. Finally, we should be able to find boats to speed our exit from the city where roads would fail. Despite any drawbacks, that is where the river shines.
Eventually, I would like to make my way into the rural mountains, find a high spot with a good view of the surrounding valleys, and live off the land like my ancestors. It sounds much simpler than it actually is, but if a group of survivors can find their way out of zombie-infested major city, then they can certainly find a way to eke out a medieval existence in the Appalachian Mountains.