Sunday, July 31, 2016

Zombie Prepping - First Aid Kit

If the Zombies come, you are going to need a well-stocked First Aid kit.  If you are on the run, you are going to get scraped and scratched.  You're even going to skin some knees.  

A Zombie Mob in London - photo by [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
At a minimum, you are going to want to have plenty of bandages of various shapes and sizes, gauze, bandage tape, and lots of betadine, hydrogen peroxide, neosporin, and the like.  You'll also want tweezers for removing splinters.

Beyond the bumps and bruises you may need to deal with twisted ankles and even broken bones.  Those sorts of serious medical issues require real first aid and medical training.  They are the sorts of thing to learn about and train for now.  You can get training through the Red Cross.

Finally, you may have to deal with Zombie bites.  Let's just hope the betadine works!

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?