Pittsburgh is no stranger to zombies on the big screen (Read Pittsburgh Zombies). A zombie apocalypse may sound like an improbable event in reality, but it’s proving to be in your best interest to prepare for one. Many of the steps you would take to survive an undead attack could also prepare you for other natural disasters. Both the Center for Disease Control and Homeland Security have advised to prepare for zombies as a fun way to be prepared for most other emergencies.
Here is Popular Pittsburgh’s Zombie Contingency Plan:
- Make sure you get in shape and stay in shape in order to fend off the undead and stay healthy.
- Wear practical clothing and shoes in the event of any disaster.
- Don’t get bitten by zombies.
There are some items you should make sure to have on hand in the case of an unforeseen disaster like zombies attacking or a massive storm. It’s best to have these at home at all times to hold you over until you’re able to get more supplies.
- Canned food/Non-perishable food
- Bottled water (1 gallon per person per day)
- Medicine (Any prescriptions you and your companions are already taking along with pain relievers and antibiotics)
- Tools such as rope, duct tape, and a utility knife
- Battery operated radios
- Sanitation and hygiene products
- Flashlights, candles, lanterns, and solar torches
- Waterproof matches
- Portable solar equipment
- A list of emergency contacts outside of your area to check in with
- Important documents (Identification, birth certificate, etc.)
- Weapon(s) of choice
- Backpacks (These are easier to carry than hand-held bags)
There are some basic things you should already be doing to make sure you’re ready to take on the undead.
- It’s important to make sure you have a survival team in mind. Your team should consist of about 5 to 8 people that can assemble quickly when disaster strikes.
- Make sure to designate a meeting place to gather when it’s time to fight for your lives. You should have at least four different meeting places: one inside your home, one right outside of your home, one in your neighborhood, and one out of town. Run several drills to ensure everyone is familiar with the meeting places and how to get there.
- Have multiple exit strategies for leaving the city. Be aware that Pittsburgh traffic clogs up badly on a normal day and could be much worse in the case of a serious disaster. Be on the lookout for wrecked cars.
Assembling Your Team
Make sure you choose a handful of your most trusted friends to be in your survival group. It’s not advised that you try to take on the zombies alone.
- Establish a chain of command
- Determine your meeting place and mode of contact when disaster strikes
- Choose a specific job for everyone based on their strengths and weaknesses
- Everyone should have at least 3 jobs they are responsible for: 1. When everyone meets up 2. When you’re making your escape 3. Sustaining survival
- You should have a designated person for sniping, melee attacks, scouting, and first aid. Make sure they are dressed and equipped appropriately.
- Make sure you are all able to cover one another when traveling, especially in narrow spaces to avoid ambush attacks
- Be prepared to dispose of anyone on your team that becomes infected
It’s important to have a solid escape plan. Pittsburgh is a difficult city to navigate and will become even more difficult to leave once it’s infested with zombies.
Here are some suggested modes of travel and things to consider for each:
- Faster than driving when the traffic clogs up
- Accessible to almost everyone
- The only fuel it requires is nourishment to your body
- Disadvantages are it’s slow, it can wear you down, and you have little protection when the zombie hordes surround you
- Faster and less tiring than walking
- Can break easily, but can also be repaired easily
- Different bikes provide different advantages
- Faster than human-powered transportation
- More fuel efficient than cars
- Louder than cars
- Can move around traffic jams easier
- They don’t offer much protection
- You must already know how to operate a motorcycle
- Provide shelter from weather, zombies, and enemies
- Can hold multiple passengers and more cargo
- Can get stuck in traffic clogs
- Select a car that offers the best protection and cargo capacity
- Off-road use
- Can be loud
- ATVs offer more cargo capacity and are more stable than a motorcycle or dirt bike
- A basic understanding of how to operate these is important
- Zombies can’t swim
- Zombies can still survive under water, but keeping your vessel out of their reach will ensure safety
- The type of boat you use may not be made to travel as far as you intend to use it
- Weather and other factors could make water travel dangerous
- You will need some knowledge on how to operate the boat
- You can fit more passengers and cargo
- Can move you to a safer area quickly and without encountering zombies
- They don’t require a large area of space to land
- They are loud and will attract zombies when landing
- Cargo capacity advantages
- You must know how to operate a helicopter
- Limited accessibility
There are many options to choose from aside from these, but it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages before committing to one.
You should also consider where you’re going to travel to and what time of day you plan to travel the largest distances. The most important thing is to get out of the city and other largely populated areas, as they become dangerous contagion zones. It’s most likely best to travel during the day when you have a clear field of vision. You should be on the lookout for other survivors that may be a threat to your group. It’s important not to trust anyone and be prepared for danger at every moment from both zombies and humans.
Love And The Apocalypse:
The zombie apocalypse can be trying on the heart, but it isn’t the time to let your emotions get the better of you. Keep the following in mind:
- Do not risk your life to find loved ones that didn’t reach the meeting place.
- Do not keep loved ones around after they’ve become zombies.
- Have a partner in mind to repopulate with when/if the disaster ends
- You may want to select your romantic partner ahead of time based on their usefulness in disaster situations
- Do not fall for strangers during the zombie attacks! Don’t trust anyone!
- Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment in dangerous situations
There are many options for shelter in the event of a natural disaster. Businesses and churches in the community provide some safe places. These would be great options for a normal disaster, but not in a zombie attack.
Here are some options with their advantages and disadvantages:
- No travel required
- Supplies should be readily available
- Requires extreme fortification
- Could be penetrated by zombies and looters if not properly protected
- Could be vulnerable to fires
- Already existing, little maintenance required
- Expensive to build
- Must have access to it prior to disaster
- Meant to withstand elements
The Grocery Store/Department Store
- Stocked with food, water, and first aid
- Limited weapon options
- May be looted immediately by others
- May be taken over and locked up by others
- Large supply of useful items
- Difficult to completely barricade
- Highly likely that zombies have already infiltrated it before your arrival
- Too many untrustworthy people
- Difficult to escape
Army Surplus/Gun Store/Sporting Goods Store
- This is the first place many people will go to loot
- The shop owners may already be armed and waiting to protect themselves from everyone
- Easier to stay away from others
- Less likely to become trapped in any location
- Could be tiring
- Harder to transport supplies
- More likely to encounter zombies and looters
It’s best to avoid public spaces and have your own arrangements for your survival team.
No matter what plan you dream up, make sure it is solid, effective, realistic, and versatile. Your plan at the very basic levels should work for most other emergencies and natural disasters. Make sure you are aware of all the dangers that could be present in a zombie apocalypse. These dangers include spread of disease, inclement weather, and other survivors. Being adequately prepared will drastically increase your chance for survival.
By Meg O’Malley