Ask Mike: Zombie Preparedness

Dear Mike,

The state of Kansas just declared October “Zombie Preparedness Month.” Do you have a zombie contingency plan?

– Zombiephobic in Zona Rosa


[Ed. Note: We had no idea he’d get into this much detail. Prepare yourself.]


Dear Zombiephobic,

Of course I have a zombie contingency plan. I’m surprised that everyone doesn’t already have a plan ready to go for the inevitable day that we fight off the undead for our own survival. Because this is such an important topic, I have plans ready to go for all possible zombie situations: slow, lumbering zombies; fast zombies; virus-induced zombies… I’m good to go for all possible zombie cases except ninja zombies, but no one stands a chance against ninja zombies.

Mazuma said I couldn’t post all three plans in full detail because “no one will spend four hours reading it” and told me to stick with one. So I’m giving you my master supply list and general idea of how to avoid zombies while traveling to roughly 15 miles outside of Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada, which is the perfect place to wait out the zombie apocalypse. Obviously.


– bow and arrows (reference guide for construction below)
– fabric scraps for arrows (to be lit on fire before shooting)
– slingshot custom fit with crosshairs
– selection of pointed rocks for slingshot
– a gun, if you can get it, and bullets. I’m not allowed to buy one, which is why I rely on a bow and arrow.

– machete or heavy duty 12″ chef’s knife (which I’ll have to steal from Mom because she won’t let me handle knives usually)
– brass knuckles (should be worn at all times)
– yo-yo (these were used for weapons originally, swearsies)
– in a pinch, you can always use your raft paddle as a weapon if you get one that’s strong enough (see: TRANSPORTATION MATERIALS)
– cigarette lighter (save for emergency situations only)

– 15-speed bicycle because they’re totally faster than the 10-speeds
– small oil can to keep bike chains quiet
– small tire pump
– inflatable raft
– paddles, preferably made of hard steel so that they can double as a weapon (see: WEAPONRY, Short Range)

– portable water filtration kit
– 2 sets of warm weather and 2 sets of cold weather clothing
– heavy coat, preferably heavy canvas that can be waxed for wind-proofing
– scarf
– gloves
– bike helmet (safety first! plus it’s an added layer of protection for your brain)
– zombie makeup kit, including three shades of red lipstick for realistic blood stains, yellow and green powder, and some purple eyeshadow for that haunted look
– yoga mat (for sleeping on and for calming down)
– thick blanket
– first-aid kit
– flint and steel for fires
– camping cook set
– BBQ sauce (to make everything you cook taste better)
– Small robot, like a Roomba (as a decoy to distract the zombies if they get too close)
– tent, preferably windproof, with ties instead of zippers for the opening (zippers might break while you’re trying to get out in a quick escape, and then you’d be zombie food)
– wire with sleigh bells attached (to secure the perimeter and provide advance warning should a zombie come near)
– large camping backpack (very, very large, because it needs to fit all this stuff. If you can find something with hammerspace, or maybe a small TARDIS, that would be best)
– sturdy hiking boots, 2 pairs, with extra laces

An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada, volumes 1-3, in paperback format because you can’t depend on your smart phone for anything when zombies have destroyed the infrastructure. If you’re not planning on going to Canada, you may need a different set of guides.
– The US Department of Defense Plan for Counter-Zombie Dominance Operations
Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

The Impossible Bow: Building Bows out of PVC Pipe by Nicholas Tomihama. Obviously, most people prefer Cherokee Bows and Arrows by Al Herrin because it’s such a classic on the subject, but I feel like using PVC pipe makes for a more sturdy piece of equipment overall.

– duct tape (obviously)
– butcher’s twine (can help with bow making, cooking, basic repairs)
– pack of cards, to keep from getting bored
– scented candle, to get rid of the stinky zombie smell
– a towel



1) Most important is CONSTANT VIGILANCE. If you’re always paying attention to suspicious activity, you can’t be caught unprepared.
2) Have a path already set, so that you know how to get to your final destination. In my case, I’m going to set up camp outside of a small town in Northern Canada, because the cold will slow the zombies down, giving me more time to defend myself.
2a) The best path will stick to roads for speed and ease of travel, but not to highways, which will be too congested and populated. You want to be on back roads that edge farmland in rural areas and stay away from population centers, like cities and mid-size towns. That will keep you further away from zombies.
2b) Bikes are better than cars. You don’t have to worry about gas, because gas supplies will run out. You can also take off across a field in a bike much more easily than you can in a car, in case you find yourself in a chase situation.
3) When you spot signs of a possible zombie outbreak, grab your supplies, check your bike tire inflation, contact any party members you have, and set out on your path. Get in contact quickly so that your group is assembled before the cell phone service goes out.
3a) You should have three preplanned points of meeting, so that you can meet at the farthest point from incoming zombie hordes.
4) Follow your planned route. You may or may not have a destination endpoint in mind (there are pros and cons to this). If you have a camping point in mind, head there. If not, keep moving to keep the zombies far away.
4a) Pros for having a destination:
– You know where you’re heading.
– Any party members who get separated will have an ultimate regrouping point so that you can meet up.
– If your destination point is rural and well-chosen, you’ll eventually be able to set up a defensible position and a more permanent place to stay.
4b) Cons for having a destination:
– Your travel is constrained, leaving you fewer options to escape hordes of zombies.
– It’s easy to pin too many hopes onto reaching that destination. So not reaching the destination, or reaching the destination and discovering it to be more infested than you would have guessed, can lead to suicidal levels of despair.
5) In case of pursuit, try to kill them with long-range weaponry. You have to destroy the brain.
5a) The best way to do this is to put an arrow or bullet through their eye socket.
5b) If you can’t do that, just light the zombie on fire and let the flames take care of it.
5c) Just be careful with fire, because the zombie is likely to catch other things on fire before it burns out, and you don’t want to be caught in the middle of a forest fire.
6) If long-range weaponry doesn’t work, or if the zombies catch up to you, always be prepared with your short-range weaponry. You should have brass knuckles on at all times, because they both allow you to hit harder and help block zombie bites from breaking your skin.
6a) If you know zombies are near but you’re not under immediate threat, use the makeup kit to disguise yourself to look like a zombie. If you look and act like a zombie, you might get lucky enough that they ignore you until you can get far enough away to run.
6b) You may not survive a close encounter with a zombie, or you may be bitten. You should have a plan worked out with your team on how to deal with bitten team members, so that if you get bitten, you’ll have a plan worked out to make sure that your brain is destroyed somehow before you can turn into a zombie yourself. It’s a brutal thing, but we’re dealing with zombies here. Everything is brutal when zombies are involved.
7) If you get to shoot a zombie with a gun, remember what it’s like, find me after the zombie apocalypse, and tell me about it, since I can’t have a gun and can’t do it myself.
8) Keep the guides to native flora around so that you know what plants around you are safe to eat.
9) Get to your camping space (for the night or the permanent space) and SET UP A PERIMETER. THIS IS KEY. The perimeter will allow your party to get more sleep and give you ample warning of approaching zombies.
10) Make sure to destroy all evidence of your camping area when you move on. You need to make sure that zombies don’t know you were there. It will also help throw other humans off your trail, so that they can’t beat you up or rob you blind.

It’s easy, really, if you’ve got your supplies ready to go, know how to cook your meals over campfires (or pick a team where someone else knows how to do that). It also helps to be in mad fighting shape, be good at biking long distances, have great aim with arrows and rocks (you should probably start practicing now), and know how to survive in all elements.

If you’re careful and follow my plan, I know you’ll be fine when the zombies come to eat your brain. Just don’t do something stupid like wall yourself off in a mall, because you’ll die. Everyone knows that.

Good luck!


Author: mazuma

Mazuma is a Kansas City credit union that’s dedicated to banking happy. We’ve got free online banking, low auto and mortgage rates, and of course — you-choose checking. Ready to become a Member?

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  1. Nice colored contacts. You forgot to list the solution for your new contacts. And toilet paper. And Soap. And Undies.

    Post a Reply
    • mazuma

      Mike’s philosophy seems to involve not worrying about niceties such as toilet paper or soap. He’d probably tell you that soap would make you too clean to hide properly from the zombies.

      Post a Reply

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