Sunday, July 24, 2016

Gassing Up During A Zombie Apocalypse

In The Walking Dead, the characters drive all over the place.  It's a great plot device and it beats walking.  If you can find an open road, a car moves faster than a Zombie and can be used as a weapon against Zombies.  However, there is one little problem.  Cars need gas!

I, Dual Freq [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The television shows rarely address how the characters get gas for all of these vehicles.  They also never explain how some of the product placement vehicles stay so clean.  To keep cars running, you need to get gas.  Without power to the grid, gas pumps at gas stations won't work.  You have to figure out how to manually pump gas out of the ground while fending off Zombies.  You need to think about things like gassing up when you plan an emergency evacuation by car.


Once you get that gas, you'll need to carry it because safe gas stations will probably be scarce.  No matter what, for safety sake, you aren't going to want to store gasoline in your home.


The most convenient thing for urban and suburban survivors to do will be to siphon gasoline from abandoned vehicles.  To do that, you'll need a fuel siphon.  Any fluid will flow from a higher level to a lower level.  All you need to do is start the flow.  Typically, a pump is initially used for this purpose.  This guy blows into another tube to start the flow:


Now, there is one more important thing that you should know.  Gasoline is flammable, explosive, and carcinogenic.  You don't want to play with gasoline or store it in your house or in your car outside of the designed gas tank in your vehicle.  You also don't want to have static electricity ruin your day.  You need to read these gasoline safety tips before you mess with gasoline.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

AM/FM & Shortwave Radios for the Zombie Apocalypse

If a Zombie Apocalypse ever happens, you'll want to have some radios in your emergency stash.  Radio can be your window to the wider world.  Radio can answer your vital questions during an emergency.

Are people still living out on the west coast?
How about in Cuba?
Are other countries still transmitting?

How to Get News During A Zombie Apocalypse

To answer these questions about the world, you are going to want to have a radio with reception on the AM/FM and Shortwave (SW) bands.  In the evenings, AM radio waves can skip in the atmosphere and travel very long distances.  For example, if you live in the eastern United States you might get radio stations from Minnesota or Cuba.  Among amateur radio enthusiasts, there is a whole hobby that has sprung up around listening to far off radio transmitters.  It's called DXing for "Distance Xmitter" (or Transmitter).  To learn more about how you can pull in far away AM radio stations check out this page on AM DXing.

If you can't pull in radio stations in your home country, you might worry that the entire world has succumbed to Zombies.  However, if you have a shortwave radio, you may be able to pick up stations from countries all over the globe.  Check out this page for an introduction to Shortwave radio.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Zombie Field Trip - Scavenging Weapons from Home Depot

If Zombies come, you will need a way to defend yourself.  If you don't have a firearm or other dedicated weapon on your person, you'll have to scrounge something up.  Unfortunately, when the Zombies come, people will go crazy in an last minute effort to get weapons, ammunition, and supplies.  You might have to take what you can get.

I recently dashed into my local Home Depot to get something for our home and made a quick effort to note everything that I saw in a quick ten minute run that could be used to kill a Zombie.
Here are five Home Depot Zombie  killers in the order I saw them:

1. Conduit Bender.  I'm not really sure what conduit is.  I think it is heavy duty cover for electrical wires.  The conduit bender I saw has a shaft about the length of an axe handle topped with an oddly shaped metal head.  Looks like a fancy hammer to me!

Several Conduit Benders at Home Depot

2. Pipe.  There were all sorts of pipes at the hardware giant.  You'll want a heavy metal one that is short enough to wield like a club.

3. Drill.  A cordless drill with a nasty bit might do some damage to a Zombie.  These huge drill bits look like the perfect Zombie stopper.  The only problem - Charging up a cordless drill might be tough once the power grid goes down.

4.  Crescent wrench.  A heavy crescent wrench, pipe wrench, or adjustable wrench could definitely ruin a Zombies already bad day.  Really large wrenches make perfect Zombie smackers!

5.  Nail.  You can get really long galvanized spikes for about fifty cents.  They would be perfect for spear points and other gruesome uses.

Interestingly enough, I didn't even get to the chainsaw, sledge hammer, or knife section of the store.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Re-Establishing Civilization After A Zombie Apocalypse

As we approach July 4th, even Zombie preppers need to take a few minutes to think about America.  It's not enough to run from zombies and survive on a day-to-day basis.  You have to survive.  But, to succeed, you have to try to band together with the living and re-establish civilization.  In my case, it's American or Western culture and civilization.

Harvard Square - photo by Muns Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic
Today's academics have trouble with the concept and definition of "civilization" because they find it filled with value judgments about the superiority of progress versus other cultures that might be less developed in the ways of  technology and warfare.  It's important to remember that they can only have such debates because our society has a surplus of food.

After the Zombie apocalypse, it is highly unlikely that academia will survive.  Tweed and pipe smoke offer very limited protection against the walking dead.  Those of us who survive will likely value all aspects of western society as we knew it.

Historical Jamestown, Virginia photo by By National Park Service Digital Image Archives [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
We are going to want civilization that offers surplus food, the rule of law, the protection of a warrior class, and labor that is free to specialize in medicine, food, technology, government, and all the conveniences of a modern society.

The big question:  how do you re-establish civilization during a zombie apocalypse?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Zombie Short Film - Dead Reckoning (Episode 1)

I'm always amazed by the quality of the short Zombie films that I find on Youtube.  This one is the first episode of a series called Dead Reckoning.  A meteor strike has wiped out 40% of the world's population and left radiation that has turned many into zombies.  In this initial episode, we find a mind challenged to find his world filled with zombies.

This was a really nicely done low budget zombie film.  The camera work and editing were top notch.  I hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

How Will The Government Handle Zombies?

One of the most important question about a future Zombie apocalypse is 

How will the government handle a Zombie crisis?

US Capitol at Dusk - Photo By Martin Falbisoner (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The government and major medical institutions will likely not handle a Zombie crisis well.  We can look towards the government handling of three issues:  illegal immigration, mental illness, and fleeing felons.

The illegal immigration crisis is currently being handled in a way that requires intense judicial involvement.  Every illegal immigrant is entitled to a judicial hearing and case before being deported.  In the initial phases of a Zombie crisis, the government may be similarly concerned with the civil rights of Zombies. 

The government is not totally free to confine the mentally ill.  In the landmark case O'Connor v. Donaldson in 1975, the Supreme Court "ruled that a state cannot constitutionally confine a non-dangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by themselves or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends."  I'm no lawyer, but I take this to mean that Zombies can't be confined for long without judicial proceedings to show that they are dangerous.  

Finally, we can't expect the police to roll into a neighborhood like the cavalry and simply shoot all the Zombies. In the 1985 case, Tennessee v. Garner the supreme court struck down laws allowing police to shoot at fleeing felons.  This landmark ruling held that police can't simply execute people suspected of felonies for simply running away.  While is a great protection for all Americans in terms of civil rights, it also means that the police will be very unlikely to summarily shoot Zombies.  Instead, the government may seek to round up the dead in hopes of finding a cure.  Finally, depending on the political persuasion of political leaders, the politicians may also threaten to prosecute citizens who use lethal force or firearms to shoot Zombies and looters.  Even in "Stand Your Ground" states, citizens may have to show that the Zombie was a direct threat.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Zombie Short Film - A New Infection

A New Infection is a short film is from Wes Palmer.  Some young friends bring their supplies to a remote house to hunker down and ride out the Zombie Apocalypse.  However, they're surprised to learn that Zombies have a few tricks up their own bloody sleeves.  It's a nicely done short film with a twist.

A New Infection also shows the importance of conducting reconnaissance on Zombies to determine their capabilities.  If there ever is a real life Zombie Apocalypse, it's unlikely that Zombies will be completely by the book.  When they differ from the notions set by fiction, the surprises will be unpleasant.