What to do and how to survive a zombie apocalypse

Imagine the scene: it's 6pm and you have just sat down in front of the telly. You've got your tea and you're ready to watch the news. As you do so, the first story - something boring about politics - is suddenly interrupted by a startling statement. Reports are coming in from all across the UK that the dead are rising up and munching down on the living. In London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Norwich, Leeds, Belfast, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh. In fact, everywhere. That's right: the zombie apocalypse has begun. And all you have to do is survive it. Simple, right? Actually, no. But, follow our advice and you might just make it through the terrifying disaster.

"I like the zombies being us. Zombies are the blue-collar monsters."

George A. Romero, director of Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead.

Don't become a flesh-eater

Okay, so the nightmarish outbreak has begun and, to the horror of everyone, the dead are not quite so dead, after all. In fact, they're up and about, roaming the land, and with just one thing on whatever is left of their minds. And that one thing is food. And food, unfortunately, means you. So, how do you avoid becoming breakfast, lunch or dinner for a bunch of near-unstoppable cannibals that have risen from the grave, the morgue, or the hospital bed? Very carefully, and with a lot of thought and planning, that's how!

One of the most important things to take into consideration when the corpses start to rise is your physical location. A city teeming with millions of people will soon become catastrophically overrun and infected, whereas a small, isolated village in the wilds of the green and pleasant countryside will not. So, it's decision time: if you're a city type, do you hit the road for your mother-in-law's little cottage on Dartmoor? Or, do you stick it out among the hysterical masses in the concrete jungle?

One thing to be aware of is that pretty much everyone who has not yet been eaten or infected will be thinking the very same thing as you. And, as a result, it won't be long at all before the M25, M6, M5 and pretty much just about every other major road across the UK will be clogged with vehicles, all at a complete standstill, and with their drivers all honking their horns in frustration.

That is, until the zombies appear on the horizon, delighted by the sight of thousands of stranded meals just ripe for the picking. Chaos, of course, will quickly break out as people flee their cars, lorries and vans in an attempt to keep as much distance as possible between them and the dead.

So, whether you're in the city or the country, a good argument can be made that you should stay there. What you do need to do, however, is fortify your home - quickly - and get tooled-up.

Protecting you and your home

So, you have made your decision: you're going to stay where you are and face whatever the future and the zombies bring. But, to even stand a chance of surviving you're going to have to stock up on provisions. This is not going to be a minor, short-lived disaster. This is the future. The only future. Probably for years.

That means, before the infected are all over the place, a speedy drive to the nearest Spar, Asda or Tesco is essential. Tinned food (in case the electric goes out) and bottled water are going to be vital for your survival in the weeks and months ahead. And it may not be a pretty sight in the shops where, inevitably, looting will soon break out, swiftly followed by the complete, nationwide collapse of good old British society.

As everyone knows, there's only one way to put a zombie down: a bullet in the head. But Britain is not the United States. Over here, you can't simply walk into your local grocery shop and say: "Alright, mate? Give us a couple of semi-automatics, three pistols, and a machine-gun." So, you are going to have to improvise.

That means getting a few big sticks and carving them until they are near razor-sharp. Dig out that old fork from the garden shed. And make sure you keep close by the meanest-looking kitchen knives you can find. It's going to get very messy when the zombies start breaking down your doors and windows, but a powerful blow to the head with a cricket bat, followed by a screwdriver through the eye-socket, will be just as effective as an Uzi.

Then, when you're in full-on Terminator mode, it's time to board up the windows, stack as much heavy furniture as you can against the doors, and wait out the disaster unfolding all around you.

When it's time to venture outside

The time will inevitably come when you're forced to leave your home. Maybe you're running low on food and water. Perhaps someone in your family has fallen sick and you need to raid whatever is left of the local chemist. Whatever the reason, you're going to have be prepared for a difficult and dicey time.

After all, you have not left the house for weeks and, to your horror, after carefully and quietly venturing outside, you find that your car-battery is stone dead. That means there's only one option available to you. It's time to strap those knives around your waist, and those big sticks on your back, and take a stealthy and careful walk into zombie-town.

Before you do so, however, make sure your clothes are thick and strong enough to protect you from those zombie jaws. These creatures will stop at nothing to get your arm in their mouth. So, it's down to you to try and ensure that can't happen. Heavy jackets, motorbike helmets and thick gloves can't guarantee total protection, but they can considerably increase your chances of survival.

Then there's footwear. Forget shoes and even boots. You need a good, solid pair of trainers. Zombies come in two types: the slow and shambling kind and the fast-running variety. Either way, you're going to have to skilfully dodge them as you plunder the shops for whatever you need. And that means making like you're an Olympic runner at pretty much all times. So, get sporty!

And, if you can keep your home fortified, yourself and your family protected, and your food supply intact and ongoing, you just may survive the days, weeks, months and even years, ahead. Good luck!

Zombies: we all love them

While most people would not even want to contemplate dealing with a real-life zombie apocalypse, the fact is that in the world of entertainment, the flesh-devouring nightmares have become all the rage in the 21st Century.

28 Days Later, the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, the Resident Evil franchise, the hysterically-funny Shaun of the Dead, and TV's The Walking Dead have all proved to be incredibly popular. Yep: everyone loves the dead. And particularly so when they don't stay dead.

Then there are the increasingly popular Zombie Walks, where people get decked out in torn clothes and fake blood and stumble and stagger around city streets, entertaining the locals. It's all good, gory fun. And let's hope that when it comes to zombie apocalypses, they firmly remain in the world of fiction and fun!

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About the Author

Nick Redfern is the author of many books on UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Hollywood scandal and much more. He has worked as a writer for more than two decades and has written for the Daily Express, Military Illustrated and Penthouse.