STAND STRONG: Zombie Apocalypse
When you watched the season finale of AMC's The Walking Dead, did you think entertainment or preparation?
WHAT IS A ZOMBIE
Everywhere you look, the topic of Zombies is generated from entertainment industry. Popular television (TV) shows like AMC's The Walking Dead, the movie World War Z, video games like Left 4 Dead and Resident Evil and an endless array of varying zombie gear has lead Modern Tactical to explore the question- How can I prepare and survive the Zombie apocalypse?
Before we start talking about packing firearms and gear, we need to identify the different zombie behaviors. World War Z pictured a fast moving zombie plagued by a virus, which was opposite of the typical dragging its feet, inattentive zombie we saw in early films such as Night of the Living Dead. The Journal of Clinical Nursing identifies a theoretical real world zombie apocalypse caused by a fictional virus called Solanum. Other names have been derived from the Solanum Virus such as Z-Virus, and the Potato Virus (X and Y). This particular virus, according to the Zombie Survival Guide, enters the victim's blood stream through a bite or contact from bodily fluids from a host. For your protection, we will be focusing on the fast spreading and quickly moving zombie type. We will take the fictional virus seriously like the Journal of Clinical Nursing because this is what preparation is all about. To narrow down and identify the zombie's behavior, you will need to monitor the infected at the safe distance and in a secure environment. Time the onset of each zombie behavior from the time of initial infection. This will be important so that you know how long you have to get to safety if people around you get infected. Become aware of what attracts the zombies. Is it noise or motion, for example? You can avoid these things to draw less attention to yourself and stay safe.
After all, "Knowing is half the battle." - G.I. Joe
Your first goal should be to find shelter or a safe area to keep you out of a zombie's reach. Look for a building with entryways (windows or other ventilation openings included) that can be sealed and locked. You also need to factor in population density. The densest population is more likely it is to spread disease. Country living is looking pretty nice right about now, huh? If you're a city dweller, you may need to consider personal transportation. Public transportation means you're dependent on someone else behind the wheel and stuck in a big crowd. Don't find yourself in this situation. Depending on how fast the disease spreads, you could be putting yourself in close proximity to being the next host. Your best bet is to find a car (a 2-wheeled bike would be more able to weave in and out of traffic or other tight spaces) and to do this quickly (see our article on flight of fight). Stock your gas tank well and consider packing a siphoning hose if gas stations are unreachable.
This location should be stocked with plenty of bottled water. Until you can be sure that the disease isn't spread through water, you're going to want to make sure your water supply is clean and bottled. Once you're in your shelter, take note of any secondary secure areas should there be a zombie breach in any of the rooms. Gates around the property perimeters are a plus and should be considered as your first line of property defense.
FIREARMS FOR DEFENSE
Now lets discuss guns and gear! You're going to want a firearm for distant and close targets. One semi-auto rifle and pistol should be the bare minimum. We recommend semi-auto because you don't want to waste precious time reloading and unless you're a skilled automatic firearm shooter, the recoil could cause the firearm to uncontrollably move away from your intended target. You'll need plenty of stopping power in ammunition while still carrying a round compact enough to fill up your magazines. What comes to mind is the .45 caliber. The 9mm is a little too small and matches in diameter with the .38 special and .357 magnum. Although you could carry enough rounds of 9mm ammunition to limit your reloading time, it's not enough stopping power to put down a zombie. The .45 ACP is a little too big where it limits rounds carried and has recoil that can be wearing on you if you're faced with a non-stop horde of zombies. The .40 caliber is commonly found in all types of manufactures popular for reliable engineering and smart designs. More importantly, .40 caliber is a good compromise with the power of a .45 caliber and maximum magazine packing like the 9mm caliber. The Glock G23 holds up to 13 rounds of .40 S&W caliber rounds and is trusted by law enforcement and military and with good reason. If Zombies are really like our fictional zombie, your goal is the pierce the zombie's brain so this should cover you.
Our choice of rifle would be an AR15 in a .223 caliber. These allow for semi-auto, quick load magazines and the ability to hit [safely distanced] far range targets. The Olympic Arms AR15 Type .223 16 inch stainless collapsible car type with an optics ready flat top has zombie stopping power. Also optics ready is the Rock Rover Arms AR15 CAR A4 LAR .223/556 rifle.
PACK UP YOUR GO BAG
As we have mentioned previously and in our Fight or Flight article, you need a Go Bag. This is a bag that will contain anything you will need in the next 48-64 hours. Water, food, a medical kit, medicines, knives, and flashlights are the basics that everyone will need. For knives we like the Ka-Bar Law Enforcement Last Ditch Effort (LDE) or the Delica 4 Knife. The Ka-Bar Law Enforcement LDE is a strong fixed blade carried by lacing the holster on your boots (so technically, it's not in your Go Bag, but can be stored there until it's go-time. Modern Tactical has a variety of flashlights and we recommend getting at least 2. Zombies may prove to be light sensitive, but you still need to see where you're going in your shelter or at night when you know zombies aren't around. Flight lights can also serve as a communication device. The Energizer 2AA Swivel Light- Military comes with 4 LEDs in white, red, blue, and green color choices which can help get your point across when talking isn't an option. A way to start a fire should also be included such as matches, a lighter or flint. You'll need to boil water to sanitize it for drinking [if your supply runs out] or cleaning. Our last necessity would be ammunition. We recommended .40 and .223 caliber firearms. Ammunition is heavy but you can save space in your Go Bag by loading it in your firearm magazines. You really should have the magazines loaded at all times during the zombie apocalypse since the considerate zombie who will wait to eat you while you load your firearm isn't what we expect. Keeping a clean firearm is necessary to keeping it firing. Frog Lube is a great cleaner, lubricant, is waterproof, and food grade. We've heard it tastes minty and could really end your hunger strike if there's a zombie blocking your food supply. Tacshield cleaning kits pair nicely with Frog Lube and are complete kits in a small, easy to carry case. The remainder of your list depends on your comfort needs and if you are traveling with others (spouse, kids). Keep in mind that this bag should be comfortable to carry for long periods of time and big enough to carry your necessities. Maxpedition bags come in a variety of sizes that will meet your needs and are durable enough to withstand even harsh outdoor environments. The Versipack line (Jumbo Versipack and Proteus Versipack, in particular) have strap buckles that are ideal for a quick get away if a zombie is holding on tight.
STAY OR GO
Now that you have your Go Bag packed, where should you go and when? As we mentioned before, a disease can be easily spread in densely populated areas. The more people around you, the more likely it will be that you will be in contact with an infected person. At the first sign of Zombie Apocalypse, you need to start moving if you live in a large city and do not have a secure structure as a shelter. In our Flight or Flight article, we discuss that traffic flow slows exponentially and will eventually come to a halt during an evacuation. Most cars will run out of gas waiting for the traffic to clear, which causes a definite stand still for anyone in line behind them. It is important that your decision to stay or go is made quickly and decisively. The time recommended for a decision is 30 seconds to get your loved ones and your Go Bag secured in your car. Yes, 30 seconds. We know World War Z is just a movie, but it represents a likely scenario of a fast spreading disease in a crowded city.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PREPERATION
We can see that the real world effects of the viral outbreak, Ebola, today all over the news. The virus is spreading uncontrollably in places medical workers are present. Keep in mind that Ebola is a virus we have experience with. Now imagine a disease we know nothing about. There are no trial drugs or treatments being made on an unknown disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ebola was first discovered in the year of 1976; that's 38 years of scientists studying the virus and we still do not have a cure. Your best chance of survival is to have a realistic plan. Some may think you're overreacting or even unrealistic. But there is no harm in thinking about how to keep you and your loved ones safe in a disease epidemic. Modern Tactical is here to help you STAND STRONG IN A ZOMBIE APOCOLYPSE.
 Stanley, David. "The nurses' role in the prevention of Solanum infection: dealing with a zombie epidemic." The Journal of Clinical Nursing 21 (2011): 1606-1613. Print.
 World Health Organization, "Ebola Virus Disease," WHO Media Centre, September 2014, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/