My zombie apocalypse team

By the time you realize that zombies have eaten your neighbors, things have clearly gone too far. The neighbors have apparently not gone feral, but rather have fallen prey to the encroaching zombie hordes. All of your survival preparation and training is about to be put to the test…

This is when its time to check your survival gear inventories and make a calculated decision. Do you stay put, maximizing your food supplies and tool set, or do you grab everything worth carrying and get the hell out of there?

It is painfully clear at this point, that your neighbors did not shop at and that they are now slaves to the zombie masters

The price for their carelessness becomes clear as they shamble around their yard and gnaw, glassy-eyed on their once beloved pets.


Sure, you may be thinking to yourself, but what are the chances of a zombie outbreak Really?


zombie survival guide pdf The first thing to do is to define a zombie attack. Zombies come in many forms…. fast zombies, slow zombies, brain eating zombies, flesh eating zombies and cunningly intelligent mutant zombie biker hordes.

By the time the zombies have arrived, it doesn’t matter so much what kind they are, but rather how hungry they are and what do they want from you. Chances are, if you are in this situation, you are not going to want to give them what it is they are after. Unlike a typical intruder, they are not going to simply go away after they get what they want. Unless of course they merely want your brain.

Zombies are notoriously bad house guests. They will do things like chew on your furniture, rip the siding off of your house and frequently scatter their limbs all over your yard. The stench of zombies is particularly gruesome and all the fabrize and pine scented air fresheners in the world will not remove the smell.

In short, it is best not to invite zombies into your house, and in fact you will probably want to deter them at all costs from setting foot in your home. The fact that they may be interested in gnawing on your uncooked flesh is also a bit of an incentive to keep them at bay.

There is a strong school of thought that the best thing to do when zombies encroach on your neighborhood is to simply leave the area as rapidly as possible. It is often considered a good idea to burn down the entire region as you retreat from the scene.

The exception to the above rule, is of course, in the rare situation that zombies are not destroyed by fire. In this situation a hastily designed molotov cocktail thrown at a zombie can quickly lead to a fire hazard situation.

Zombies that are not known to be susceptible to fire will very likely just wander around, blissfully unaware that they are on fire and will do unpleasant things such as burn down most of the things around them.

Typically, this behavior also entails the zombie wandering in random directions searching for things to eat. This unpredictable behavior can be a problem if you have things like fuel tanks, wooden buildings or large forests nearby.

It is clearly true, that where there is one zombie, there will be more. Every known documentation of zombies alludes to this unsettling fact. In this situation, you will be pleased to realize that you have previously prepared your backpack gear ahead of time.

You do not want to have to spend precious time packing for an escape, you want to have your travel kit ready at a moments notice. Once your house is surrounded by your hungry neighbors who are salivating at the prospect of what a tasty snack you would make, your escape opportunities will become severely limited.

What are the odds?

zombie survival sheet In the middle of a zombie incursion, you are probably not going to be on the phone with your bookie. Even if you are, you have to consider the possibility that your bookie has already had his books cooked and may in fact be a zombie. You may have suspected this ever since he started giving odds on a zombie panic occuring to begin with…

Zombie Movies

Zombie movies always portray zombies as coming from an evil book of black magic, a super virus concocted in a laboratory, the work of an evil witch doctor or other longshot event.

What they fail to portray is that your neighbors may well in fact be zombies already. Chances are they spend between 8 and 15 hours a day watching television and spend the rest of their time doing brain-dead activities such as going to their robotic jobs and endlessly circling through the same repetitive tasks day after day, night after night. The only thing that stands between them and you is the thin veil of civilization.

When they smile, you can see their beady eyes sizing you up. Sure they seem like nice people, now, but rest assured they are eyeballing you and wondering how well marbled you are and whether its really going to be worth all of that effort to cook you.

Notice how they show their teeth when they greet you and their eyes are firmly planted forward, a certain sign of a carnivorous predator. Be certain that when the lights go out, and they’ve eaten every scrap of food in their fridge… presuming they even wait that long, that they are going to be heading in your direction. Like all predators, when the choice comes down to them or you, the decision will come quite naturally.


It is one thing when your neighbors turn to zombies, perhaps you can reason with them or count on your long lasting friendship to send them in other directions. This strategy is simply ineffective when dealing with the MZB.


zombie survival guide online read

MZB is an acronym for Mutant Zombie Bikers

You know the type, roaring through town wielding chainsaws, machetes and shotguns. Roaming from town to town seeking to pillage, rape, enslave and subjugate anything they encounter.

In cases of extreme food shortages, these reavers on wheels are not particularly choosy about their menus.

You will probably appear quite tasty to them. Preparation can go a long ways towards being able to evade, negotiate or defend yourself against these types.

While the movies tend to portray mutant zombie bikers as having completely lost their minds and willing to take on any opposition, it is important to remember that this breed of zombie still has some survival instincts intact.

If you are prepared to hold out and defend yourself against MZBs, you will need the right survival gear, a strong survival instinct of your own and a willingness to protect what is rightfully yours.

Unless they are truly desperate, their high mobility will usually convince them to roll past your entrenched position and find easier prey.

For this reason your survival depends on your gear and your ability to identify zombies and avoid tragic mistakes in zombie identification…

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Is this a zombie? Identifying the MZB

survival guide books The ability to differentiate between the MZB and other zombie attack survivors is critical. If you rely on older information such as zombie movies and out of date zombie primers, you may be led to believe that all zombies are mindless, intent on devouring your brain, are typically covered in rotting flesh or are otherwise terrible to behold, and typically travel in packs.

The MZB do not precisely fill these criteria. While they may smell bad, they are typically not reminiscent of leprosy victims. They are often cunning rather than mindless. Whether they intend to snack on your brain is open to debate, but it is likely that they have other malicious motives.

They may be terrible to behold, but that depends on your mental state and how well you have prepared for the situation. A mutant zombie biker may look like a hell’s angel on pcp or may instead closely resemble your grandmother. MZB’s frequently travel in packs, although the individual MZB may be a lone scavenger.

Strangely enough, mutant zombie bikers may or may not actually have bikes, motorcycles, beat up pick-ups or makeshift war wagons. They may well appear as unruly mobs, with few if any vehicles.

The mere potential for motorcycles is enough to classify a wide spectrum of zombies as MZB’s. Have no doubt, if you have a motorcycle and it has fuel, they will want it. They will also want any food, weapons, survival gear, and trade commodities you may have. There is a strong chance they will eyeball your daughter with lacivious intent.

MZBS are marauders

surviving zombies the apocalypse field guide Whether or not they have begun to maraud, or are just milling about waiting to join up with other zombies of this type, MZBs will quickly set about marauding when the time is right.

Unlike some zombies, the mzb may be reasoned with in some circumstances. Regardless, entering into negotiations with MZBs is quite dangerous. If the negotiations do not end up entirely favoring the MZB clan, then they will either just take what they want or simply kill you and then take what they want.

The most favorable outcome possible is likely to leave you completely stripped of supplies, possessions of value, any gear, any food and all vestiges of self-respect. It is entirely possible that you will be looked upon in the same way that they would be looking at your daughters, or they may simply be sizing you up for proper packaging for times when their food supplies run short again.

An unfavorable negotiation outcome, could result in you being used as an example to others who may resist their demands.

On the bright side, the MZB hordes frequently suffer attrition, and if you are able bodied have useful survival skills and are able to communicate in their language, you may be invited to join their mob. Initiation rituals may be non-existent or quite severe. If you choose to take this path, then you will be subject to the rule of the mob and survival may take a very tenuous path. You will also have to forsake what few shards of your humanity remain in order to be a successful MZB.


The MZB has a sense of entitlement. That sense of entitlement is frequently backed by heavy weaponry and the willingness to use that sort of hardware. They generally consider themselves as entitled to anything that crosses their path, including possessions, animals and people to exploit for their amusement.

The MZB is unnaturally cunning for a zombie, and may well be experienced in dealing with resistance.

Without adequate preparation you are undoubtedly going to find yourself at their mercy, and possibly at the end of a set of crudely fashioned chopsticks. This situation is undesirable for obvious reasons. Your lands, house, property, fortress will be ransacked, pillaged or simply burnt to the ground. Your livestock, including any large dogs, will probably be eaten. If they leave you alive, you will be emotionally and possibly physically scarred for life, always fearing their return.

Where do MZB’s come from? How can I prepare myself? What survival gear do I need? Am I likely to encounter an MZB?

Packs of mutant zombie bikers have been spotted in lawless regions throughout the earth. When the rule of law falls, civilization collapses or even the economy collapses packs of MZB’s will spontaneously emerge to fill the vacuum in power.


The mzb will naturally emerge whenever there is a significant failure of centralized authority. When the interruption is temporary, such as during the New York blackouts, mzb’s emerge in their mildest form as crowds of rioters and looters. Billions of dollars of damage occured when the lights went out in NYC. When the lights came back on, the rioters melted back into the woodwork.

During longer periods of social upheaval, MZBs do not disband, and instead tend to gather around charismatic leaders, often attaching to organized gangs or paramilitary groups. The rule of the strong takes place and these tribes spontaneously swell in numbers and expand their territories.

In the most extreme cases of social disorder these factions rage violent disputes and those that are victorious emerge as warlords and possibly as eventual new leaders. This pack hierarchy is usually enforced by violence against everyone in the area that is competing for supplies or resources, or is militarily capable.

The emergence of the mutant zombie bikers

The rumbling bikes of the MZB can be heard rumbling in the distance, waiting for the moment when the system finally shows itself to be unsustainable.

This is the moment you must prepare for and the reason that was created. When people are hungry the mob mentality takes over and mutant zombie bikers emerge as realities rather than as probabilistic potentials.

One thing is certain they will want zombie oil.

Social collapse and zombie oil

Social collapses are a phenomenon of history. They have happened before to every empire. This is typically associated with being involved in a military struggle, civil war (the extreme manifestation of civil unrest), or is precipitated by economic debasement of currency and/or critical resource shortages.

Historically, the military of the current government has maintained control for as long as wealth was reasonably distributed and the government was adequately able to pay and feed its soldiers.

Currently, in the United States as well as several other world countries, conditions indicate that this status quo is under serious strain.

Resource disparity between the wealthy and the poor is greater than at any time in history.

An energy crisis is brewing which threatens to make essentials such as food and shelter unobtainable to a significant portion of the population. This is the true critical mass which has the potential to undermine a nation’s stability.

When the resource disparity has become so great that the basic needs of maslow’s hierarchy* cannot be met the societal structure typically reaches the point of collapse. Social upheaval is the primate’s way of redistributing wealth through society. When those at the top of the primate pack make it impossible to live at the base, challenges for primacy are inevitable. It is hardwired into human primate nature and this has been proven repeatedly throughout history.

Typically the reaction by the powers of authority during times of resource shortages is to tightly control the supply chains of resource distribution. This naturally causes dissent among those who do not have access to those resources. This dissent typically results in escalating forms of protest. The reaction, of course, is for the authorities to use increasingly draconian measures to protect their supply chains and punish those who they perceive as threatening their resources.

This chain of events is cyclical and escalating in nature. The more drastic the response, the more the tao moves to increased resistance, which signals a need for escalating force. This is a destructive chain of events which will escalate continuously as the feedback loop is reinforced. The ultimate result has always been a breaking point which results in a transition of power, either peacefully or more often forcefully. This is called the decline and collapse of a civilization. It has happened countless times throughout history and appears to be an inevitable result of resource pressure.

Internal triggers for this have typically been the debasement of currency, which leads to difficulties by the social underclasses in having their basic animal needs met. In roman times it was done through putting less and less silver and gold into coinage until it was worthless. In modern times this debasement is done through the elegant structure of compound interest. The result is the same. This has been proven in modern societies, when the banks collapse it is usually not long until the government or even the society itself collapses. The greater the disparity in monetary value, the harder and more dramatic the collapse becomes.

In modern America the functional currency, which is the true measure of power is literally power. Industry and the entire economy is designed on the mantra of build more, and consume more. This is ultimately driven by materials, labor and energy inputs into the system. Without these factors the society produces less and the value of its world trade capability diminishes. Without trade, inputs which feed the system are undermined and the system collapses.

The lynch-pin of this system is energy. Oil is the energy form which is easiest to harness and create industrial input from. Oil is used as a mechanism which allows resource harvesting of all types. Oil allows laborers to reach their workplaces. It is also used to propel the food growing mechanisms of modern agriculture. Food is what feeds the laborers. Machines are what harvest resources and runs the factories to feed the production cycle. Oil is the prime input. Oil is the currency which keeps the nation intact.

Unfortunately, oil is not an unlimited resource. The ability to extract it from the ground and refine it has exceeded the demand for its usage. There is more oil available, it just takes more and more resources to extract it, and less is extracted. This is a phenomenon known as Hubbert’s peak. More commonly as peak oil.

When the oil becomes scarce, growing transporting and harvesting food becomes much more expensive in terms of real capability. This is likely to cause increasing unrest as greater numbers of the population find themselves unable to meet fundamental needs.

The United States has an infrastructure based on fuel powered trucking to transport goods. The margins are evaporating and truckers strikes are a definite scenario of high probability. The resources will simply not be able to be allocated everywhere that is needed. Weak points include the food supply chain, the distribution chain and power needed for heating, electricity and factories.

The interconnected system is highly vulnerable to stress points. When Dick Cheney said “The American way of life is non-negotiable” before plunging the US into the Iraq war to secure the oil fields, he understood this concept completely. America has shown that it is willing to kill to feed itself and fuel its transport system. It is also becoming apparent that there is not enough fuel to feed the appetites of America.

What are the best barter items to stockpile for when SHTF?

shtf barter trade

In the beginning of a crisis (such as an economic collapse) and extended power outage, cash in small denominations is always king.

Stores only accept cash because the credit card machines aren’t working and they may not accept checks.

Since stores may or may not be able to make exact change, wise is the man who has saved small bills of various denominations.

However, in a disaster which causes an extended disruption of the food and supplies delivery system, you may have to trade goods with other people for things that you need.

At that point, cash may not be as desirable as certain necessities of living, or things that just make life easier. It would be prudent to put a few barter items back that are always in demand in emergencies.

#1 Coffee and cigarettes

Two of the absolute best barter items in extended SHTF scenarios are coffee and cigarettes. Another highly sought-after item will be whiskey.

whisky would make for good shtf barter trading item
Whisky would make for good shtf barter trading item

You may be able to trade these items for something that you badly need and did not include in shtf list of supplies ahead of time for whatever reason.

Gasoline is something so priceless in a protracted crisis that you may not want to trade it. If you do, trade it sparingly and only for something that you desperately need.

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#2 Chocolate

chocolate as a shtf barter item

Comfort foods will be in high demand in a disaster because no one will think them important enough to stock.

Chocolate candy bars will be highly prized in the shortages after the crisis, just as they were in the shortages of World War II. Spices and seasonings will be valuable commodities as well.

In the wake of Hurricane Charley in 2004 where electricity was out for weeks in some areas, charcoal briquettes for small cooking fires were highly sought after and practically non-existent.

Bic lighters, flashlights and batteries would also make good barter items.

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#3 Precious metals

One of the first things that people think of in terms of trade value are gold and silver coins.

While these are a good investment, most people know absolutely nothing about coins, and the fact that it is a “pre-1965” silver coin may not mean any thing to them in a crisis.

Survivors may also shy away from collecting coins for fear of being deceived as to their real value.

In times of crisis and shortage, people will want to trade for something more immediately useful and basic than coins. They will want fuel, coffee, cigarettes, food, tools, and medicine. You can’t eat coins in an emergency, and they don’t keep you warm.

#4 Ammo

best barter trade items in shtf

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It has been suggested that ammunition makes a good barter item in an protracted emergency. It will no doubt be in short supply and the demand will be high, which will make it a valuable commodity.

But stop for a moment and think:

Do you really want to trade ammunition to people who can then shoot you with it?

If you do trade ammunition, make sure it is only to people that you know very, very well.

Medical supplies will be in demand in a disaster, but you may need all that you have for yourself, especially if you are trading ammunition to strangers.

How to develop a a solid disaster preparedness plan

shtf plan

Step #1 Make a checklist

The first step in a successful disaster preparedness plan is to write down specifically what type of disaster that you are preparing for.

What you need to prepare for may depend to some extent on your geographical area. People in Oklahoma have little to fear from hurricanes, while Florida residents should have them high on their list, especially after the decimating 2004 season.

People in northern New York State may be more concerned about blizzards which temporarily stop the resupply chain.

You may live near a nuclear power plant or a major US Air Force base. Do you need to prepare for a major riot, a terrorist attack, a nuclear assault, or an economic collapse?

Write down all the possible ramifications of the eminent emergency and how they would affect you.

#2 Decide on the timeline

Now that you have decided on a specific disaster and how it will affect you, the second step is to decide how long you think the crisis will last.

Do you want to have enough supplies on hand to last three months, six months, or more? Write down the possible threats to the supply chain and the length of time that you believe each would last.

Be specific.

#3 Numbers

The third step is to evaluate the number of people you are going to prepare for. Who will you be feeding? Will you have a spouse and children to look out for? What about grandma, or your younger sister? Will there be infants to provide formula and diapers for?

Write down everyone that you intend to provide for in an economic collapse and any special needs that they may have.

Now make a list of things that you can do to protect yourself against the unfolding events in the disaster you have chosen to prepare for. If you know what crisis you are preparing for and for how long, as well as the number of people involved, you can now make a list of action steps to take.

How much stored water will you need? Look at the food in your cabinet. What types of food and supplies will you need to get through the shortages? Will you stay put or head for a rural shelter?

If you know who you will have to feed and for how long, you can figure out how much and what types of food to stock up on.

Analyze your grocery buying habits and make a list of how much you will need of each food item to last for six months, or whatever time frame that you have chosen.

Make a written inventory of what is on your shelves right now, and what you buy on a regular basis. What specific food items does your family eat and exactly how much in a month’s time? Does any of your family members take special supplements such as berocca tablets?

A smart food storage plan is based on your family’s preferences. Buy what you know they like, and buy foods that are nutritionally balanced.

A little at a time

Once you have an idea of how much food and personal items your family uses in a month, then you have an idea of what and how much to buy for the amount of time you have chosen to prepare for.

The best thing is that you don’t have to buy it all at once.

One idea is to set aside a little money every week in your budget to be used only for disaster food storage. If you can spend an extra ten dollars on canned goods every time you go grocery shopping, you will soon have a good start on your emergency preparedness plan with very little time invested.

For every canned food item you buy to use today, buy another one for storage and write today’s date on it with a black felt-tipped pen. The following week you could pick up items such as rice, beans, and Kool-Aid, for example.

Once that particular item is on your shelf you can shop for bargains, which will also save you money.

Buying emergency preparedness items in bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco will save you even more money.

Be sure and track your purchases in a notebook so that you don’t wind up with eighty cans of tuna fish and no mayonnaise. Remember to have nutrition and balance in your SHTF plan.


Not only food but other essentials such as soap, shampoo, razors, etc. are important to stock up on. A good example is toilet paper. It doesn’t seem that important, but just try doing without it for a month and you will realize its importance.

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Familiar food is an important part of the daily routine in a crisis. Comfort foods such as chocolate and various kinds of candy will do wonders for morale.

It is wise to include these items in your emergency preparations because they are irreplaceable in times of crisis and stress, and will improve everyone’s attitude.

Have a camp stove or a crisis cooker and plenty of fuel to run it. Nothing boosts the morale of stressed people like a good hot meal and something hot to drink.

Another important aspect of an emergency preparedness plan is to stock up on things that keep the inhabitants happy and content during a disaster.

A good example of this would be to have coloring books and crayons for any small children who will be sharing your home or shelter during an emergency.

You will need plenty of board and card games, books, and toys for the older kids.

If your emergency plan for keeping the kids occupied during a crisis involves card or board games, start playing the games now because staying close to the ordinary routine is important, especially for kids.

Handheld electronic games will be a blessing in a disaster if you have enough batteries, so store a lot of batteries in the refrigerator to extend their life. Portable CD players will be also be a hit in an emergency.

  1. If you have an infant, stock up on diapers, formula, ointments, etc.
  2. Don’t overlook toiletries, personal hygiene items, feminine products, or specific medicinal needs of family members. The unpleasantness of doing without these items in an emergency is unnecessary and can be avoided entirely.
  3. You will also need good books to read, as well as anything else that will keep you entertained during the long hours of boredom that are associated with long power outages.
  4. Keeping emergency preparedness and how-to books in your home or shelter is a must, not only to while away the hours of boredom, but as a vital source of information that could save your life and the lives of your family.
  5. Instruction and how-to manuals are great, but after a while you will want some good fiction books too.
  6. Have at least one Holy Book handy.
  7. If your wife likes romance novels by a particular author, stock some of those on the shelf. Fiction books in general are a good idea in a crisis because you will tire of the how-to books after a while. After you have been cooped up for a while, novels provide a temporary but necessary mental escape.
  8. A musical instrument such as a guitar would do wonders to fill the hours of boredom. Be sure to stock extra guitar strings.
  9. Pens and paper pads are also good for boredom relief in an extended crisis.
  10. A good AM/FM radio is a must because music and information from the outside world will be critical for morale, provided the EMP of a nuclear strike has not disabled the stations. A Baygen hand cranked radio is nice to have when the power goes out and is a neat novelty. They are expensive, around $130, but they can turn an overnight power outage into a fun evening with the kids.

Space, the final frontier

SHTF Plan storageAnother consideration in emergency preparation is how much storage space do you have?

The ideal storage space for emergency supplies would be cool, dry, and dark. Basements make excellent storage spaces for emergency supplies because of the coolness, provided it is a dry basement and not prone to leaks or dampness.

Attics and garages are a poor choice for perishable emergency supplies because the heat will greatly reduce the shelf life of your food. These places are a great place to store paper items such as plates, glasses, toilet paper, etc.

The best storage spaces for emergency food are the spaces with the lowest and most consistent temperatures, ideally between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Failing that, most walk-in closets have shelves that make good storage space for disaster supplies, as well as coat closets.

To store non-food emergency items, mount shelves in your laundry room, or use easily assembled metal storage shelves.

Keep in mind that the heat and humidity of a clothes washer and dryer may shorten the shelf life of canned or dried foods stored in a laundry room.

The space under stairs and even under and behind furniture such as sofas and beds can accommodate a lot of food, as well as spare bedrooms and crawl spaces.

Cupboards and pantries tend to have a lot of wasted space, so rearrange their contents and utilize that space for emergency preparedness storage.

Be sure and do not store food in inconvenient, out-of-the-way places or you won’t use it, leading to eventual food spoilage and wasted money.

A good way to avoid this is to convert a hall closet or utility room into a pantry with shelves for emergency supplies.

Rule of threes

In his book, The Modern Survival Retreat, Ragnar Benson discusses the “Survivor’s Rule of Threes.”

Your system for procuring life’s most critical needs should be redundant in order to ensure that these needs are met.

  • For water, you should have the ability to collect rainwater, carry water from a pond or stream, and siphon from a well.
  • You should have three sources of food: stored emergency supplies, animals to raise, and a garden.
  • For emergency lighting, three good sources would be candles, kerosene lanterns, and flashlights.

These are just a few examples, but you get the idea.


Practice your emergency preparedness system to make sure it works. Turn the utilities off at your house for several days and prepare meals with only what you have.

Any holes in your SHTF plan will quickly surface, and this dress-rehearsal for disaster will give you priceless information for changes that need to be made to your emergency preparedness plan.

Other considerations

Don’t forget to store emergency cash.

In a protracted crisis, cash will eventually become worthless but in those first critical days of the disaster it will be king.

You should have at the very least a three month supply of cash in your home, enough to pay all the bills and buy whatever you forgot to stock ahead of time.

Do not put this cash in the bank because you will not have access to it in an emergency if the bank is closed.

Store it safely in your home and do not spend it on anything else

Do not store large bills

In a power outage, you may need small bills if the stores can’t make change, and they probably won’t accept credit cards or checks.

In your disaster preparation scenario, how mobile will you and your supplies have to be? Does your disaster plan call for staying put at home or bugging out to a remote shelter? To help you decide, read Bug Out or Stay Home In a Disaster.

If you don’t make emergency food storage a priority, it will never happen. Now that you know how to develop a disaster plan, YOU MUST START NOW.

Preparation, not desperation

Philip Hoag, in No Such Thing as Doomsday, says “some people worry, others prepare.”

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Preparation reduces the stress and anxiety of an emergency. It gives you an inner strength and emotional stability when others are panicking, and these can be priceless commodities.

Instead of sitting around worrying, use the planning stage now to imagine how you will react in various disasters, and imagine what supplies you will need for emergency preparedness. Then act. Follow through with your disaster plan.

Instead of living in helpless fear when the crisis hits, you will be in control with confidence. John Glenn once said, “The greatest antidote to worry, whether you’re getting ready for space flight or facing a problem of daily life, is preparation… the more you try to envision what might happen and what your best response and options are, the more you are able to allay your fears about the future.”

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Building underground bomb shelters

If the extent of your preparedness for a nuclear blast or an electromagnetic pulse is total denial (“It’ll never happen”) and reliance on the government by default to take care of you, you had better think again.

If the unthinkable (SHTF) actually happens, the Office of Emergency Services (OES) will not be able to take care of you or your family.

They are the modern day version of the civil defense system. Their plan is to evacuate large cities, ship the city dwellers to smaller “host communities” and lodge them in local homes, presumably by force.

The plans for feeding, housing, and treating all these refugees are a mystery.

  • The government funding for these plans is tenuous if it even exists.
  • If you live in a large city and have no plan of your own, the plan is to ship you as a refugee to god-knows-where and feed you god-knows-how.
  • If you live in a small community, you may expect uninvited guests in your home, possibly at military gun-point.
  • If you don’t believe that, then go to your local courthouse and ask the Office of Emergency Services for the details on what they will actually do for you and your family after a nuclear strike.

When we called our local courthouse and asked for the OES Director, we discovered that he owns a paint store and apparently does OES work in his spare time.

When contacted, the paint store/OES gentleman was very courteous, but was not the depository of information that we had hoped for.

He told us that the OES plan in the aftermath of a nuclear strike is to basically relocate people from large cities to rural counties. When we asked how the government plans to house and feed these refugees, he referred us to the state office.

That conversation was over.

We then called the state Department of Emergency Management, as directed by the paint store/OES gentleman.

At the state level we were stonewalled with hesitant, vague answers and nebulous information.

We now realize that in all likelihood, our government has no organized or realistic evacuation plan for dealing with the survivors of a nuclear strike.

There is no plan.

But one thing is clear: you had better have your own self-sufficiency plan because if a nuclear attack occurs, you will be on your own for a while.

Factors to consider when building a bomb shelter

If you wish to prepare for the effects of a nuclear weapon detonation, you don’t necessarily have to build an elaborate concrete homemade underground shelters.

Under the right circumstances, a much simpler and more easily built structure might be all you need.

When determining what type of underground bomb shelter to build in order to deal with a nuclear explosion and/or its aftermath, you need to think about three things:

  1. Distance
  2. Time
  3. and shielding.

Distance matters

You will obviously want to be as far away from the explosion as possible. A fallout shelter should not be constructed too close to a potential nuclear exchange target, including major cities.

We personally would consider anything less than thirty miles too close, but some experts feel that a distance of ten to twenty miles is acceptable.

A site that would permit the shelter being built into the side of a hill would be strongly preferred. Avoid areas that are downwind (east, generally speaking) of major cities, because these areas will receive much heavier doses of radioactive fallout.

You need time to stay indoors until the danger of radiation has dropped to an acceptable level. That means you need to have enough supplies stocked to enable you to wait it out.

Blast vs fallout bomb shelter

To properly prepare for a nuclear weapon detonation, you will want either a blast shelter or a fallout shelter.

These are very different structures, designed to give different types and different levels of protection.

Blast shelter

A blast shelter is designed to survive the initial blast of a nearby nuclear explosion, along with the associated pressure, radiation, heat and fire hazards.

It requires special construction and a properly built blast shelter will be expensive. If you live close enough to a strategic target to need a blast shelter, perhaps you should consider moving.

One option is the pre-made and pre-molded fiberglass shelter.

homemade underground shelters This is basically a huge egg-shaped shelter which is shipped to you complete.

When it arrives, you bury the entire shelter in the ground and access it through a ground level hatch-type door, somewhat like the conning tower on a submarine.

The top few inches of the command station is the only visible part of the structure above ground.

The blast cell is covered by roughly eight feet of dirt, which provides radiation shielding.

The shelter’s ventilation system utilizes filters for radioactive fallout, biological and chemical agents, and other contaminants.

12-volt deep cycle batteries run the various life support systems, purportedly for one month without recharging.

The built-in water tank is said to contain enough water for over one month. Capacity is said to be up to ten people. Living space is advertised to be around 1337 cubic feet with 72-100 inches of head room.

Toilets, sink, shower, water filters, water pumps, storage compartments, lighting, etc. are all included.

One of the key advantages is the convenience, ease and speed of installation.

Excavate a hole before the shelter arrives. The blast cell is then lifted off the trailer and set in the hole. After leveling, the hole is backfilled, leaving only a few inches of the entrance hatch above ground.

Another advantage of the blast cell is having all the systems pre-built into the unit: water, sewer, electric, storage, ventilation, radiation protection, blast protection, chemical warfare protection, etc.

The cell has a connector port incorporated into the design which allows you to have an underground connecting tunnel to your house or to another blast cell.

Unfortunately, the disadvantages of a blast cell are difficult to overcome.

  1. Blast cells are very expensive.
  2. Reputable dealers and information are difficult to find.
  3. The shelter is not very roomy, and privacy is lacking.
  4. Backfilling and crushed rock placement must be done very carefully.
  5. Having only one entrance hatch could very well mean that the shelter will become your tomb if the door is blocked from above by a fallen tree or a parked vehicle.
  6. The hatch can be padlocked when the shelter is not in use, but that means it can also be padlocked while you are inside it.

Newer models of blast cells now come with an emergency escape hatch built into the side of the entranceway tube.

This escape hatch is basically a cover that can be removed from inside the shelter so that you can dig your way through several feet of dirt to the surface.

Newer models also come with a hydraulic jack under the hatch to prevent the access door from being blocked from above.

Another problem with this type of shelter is the vulnerability posed by the air intake vent. If someone were determined to flush you from the shelter, it would be relatively easy to pump noxious chemicals such as anhydrous ammonia or gasoline down the vent. The installed NBC filters can only handle so much.

Proper installation will hopefully prevent the shelter from floating to the surface after heavy rains raise the water table. This has actually happened to ready-made shelters countless times, most notably to those in Texas after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Other options

Converting old fuel tanks into underground shelters is one option, and in the author’s opinion, a bad one.

Cutting into a used fuel tank with a cutting torch can get you blown up due to the ignition of residual fumes inside the tank.

That would solve your survival problems in a fraction of a second 🙂

A floor must be installed, and space is very limited. If backfilling is not done just right, the tank will settle and its shape will become distorted and dented.

Additionally, cleaning out a used fuel tank can be dreadful, and the residual smell of fuel can be difficult to remove entirely.

But opinions on this subject vary greatly.

One expert I consulted on this subject told me that he has cut doors into several old 1,000 gallon storage tanks without incident.

He favors old fuel tanks for underground shelters because they are “cheap and easy.” In his experience, these fuel tanks had no smell or dangerous fumes.

Steel culverts

steel culverts bomb sheltersAnother idea is to convert a steel culvert into an underground shelter, but this can be extremely expensive.

A steel culvert is not as prone to get dented because it is stronger, due to the corrugated ribs.

Backfilling still has to be done very carefully, but there is more room for error. A floor still has to be installed, and space is still limited.

A popular option is the concrete underground shelter. You can build it as large and as elaborate as your budget will allow. It can be roomy, sturdy, long-lasting, and gives top-notch protection.

If you can defeat the moisture problems associated with underground concrete structures, this is a great option. If not, you are going to have a dank, musty, depressing hole in the ground where most of your stuff gets ruined by moisture and/or humidity.

A concrete shelter requires steel reinforcement to support the concrete ceiling and the earth above it.

Size matters

The shelter must be big enough to accommodate the specific number of people who will be in it, along with all your supplies.

What will you do with family members and close friends who are knocking on the door once you are sealed inside?

You may ultimately have more people in your shelter than you think, so plan accordingly for extra space and extra provisions.

Your plan should generally allow about 20 square feet of floor space for each person, which includes enough space for food, water, supplies, and furnishings for that individual.

How to survive the worst nuclear fallout in history- A preppers definitive guide

how to survive a nuclear fallout

Many people believe that it is useless to attempt to survive an all-out nuclear strike because the blast will presumably kill everyone and turn the earth into a radioactive wasteland.

That is simply not true.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) states that in one week the radioactivity will retain only 10% of its radioactive strength.

Two weeks following the detonation, the radioactive fallout retains only 1% of its radioactivity.

The survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have shown that survivors of nuclear radiation may only have an increased cancer risk of 15%.

Depending on your proximity to the blast and if you are downwind of it, it should be safe in as little as two weeks to begin going outdoors for an hour each day.

As more days pass, you could gradually spend more time outside.

Pregnant women and small children would need to remain sheltered for longer periods of time, and would especially need to avoid exposure to rain, since it will continue to wash radioactive particles out of the atmosphere for several months after the blast.

Generally speaking, the inhalation of fallout particles should not be one of our greatest concerns, since only the smallest fallout particles are small enough to be inhaled.

Since these tend to stay in the stratosphere longer, these tiny particles have lost much of their lethal dosage through radioactive decay by the time they reach the earth.

Radiation dosage would be increased on rainy days as radioactive particles still suspended high in the atmosphere are brought to the ground, but a greater concern would be exposure to gamma rays and beta particles in the initial hours after the explosion.

Radiation Exposure

The amount of radiation a body receives is expressed in terms of exposure and dose.

Different materials that receive the same exposure may not absorb the same amount of energy from the radiation, so a radiation absorbed dose, or rad, measures the amount of energy which a particular object absorbs, typically a human body.

A rem, or roentgen equivalent man, is the amount of radiation required to produce the same biological effect as one rad of high-penetration radiation, such as gamma rays.

With gamma and beta radiation, one rad of exposure results in one rem of dose.

The roentgen is an obsolete term which refers to the amount of radiation exposure equal to the quantity of ionizing radiation that will produce one electrostatic unit of electricity in one cubic centimeter of dry air at 0°C and standard atmospheric pressure.

The International System unit for radiation absorbed dose is the gray (Gy).

A gray is the absorption of one joule of radiation by one kilogram of tissue.

  • One gray equals 100 rad.
  • One sievert (Sv) equals 100 rem,
  • and one gray equals one sievert in whole body exposure.

In a healthy adult it takes a dose of 100-200 rem of radiation within a short period of time to produce radiation sickness.

The symptoms include:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Hair loss
  3. Fever
  4. Abdominal pain
  5. Diarrhea
  6. Skin burns and blisters.

400-500 rem within a few days is fatal. If a group of people were exposed to 400 rem over a short period of time, approximately half of them would die.

Ionizing Radiation

Ionizing radiation associated with a nuclear explosion has a greater effect on the cells in the body that actively divide: specifically the hair, intestines, bone marrow, and reproductive organs.

Symptoms of radiation poisoning include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin discoloration, and hair loss.

Radiation is often linked to leukemia, various types of cancer, infertility, and birth defects. This occurs because the ionizing radiation damages the DNA within the cells, and therefore their ability to control their rate of division. If the DNA damage occurs in the cells of the reproductive organs, these genetic mutations can be passed on to offspring.

Nuclear Winter

There is also a theory that the dust clouds from fallout and the smoke from bomb-initiated fires could block the sun’s rays from the earth, ushering in a “nuclear winter.”

Since this period of darkness and sub-freezing temperatures would presumably last for several months or even years, plants would eventually die, farm animals would die of starvation, and very few people would survive.

This myth was first purveyed on the public in 1982 by scientists such as Carl Sagan and was very useful in frightening the public into believing that it is absolutely useless to prepare to survive a nuclear strike.

The nuclear winter myth has since been refuted by such noted scientists as Starley L. Thompson and Stephen H. Schneider, authors of “Nuclear Winter Reappraised.”

Both of these fatalistic misconceptions held by some Americans are in sharp contrast to the attitudes of most foreign governments, some of which are continuing to make active preparations for surviving nuclear warfare.

Even the former Soviet Union is reported to have over 350 metric tons of grain stored securely in nuclear fallout shelters, most of which was purchased from the United States.

Milk & Steaks

Cows that live in fallout areas would produce iodine-contaminated milk from ingesting fallout-laden grass and water, so it should not be consumed for at least a month.

These animals would become ill and should not be eaten, but animals which appear unaffected in low fallout areas should be safe to eat.

The time after an EMP is not the time to eat your steak cooked medium rare. All meat in this situation should be thoroughly cooked all the way through.

Mammal organs and clams should not be eaten in radioactive areas because they will have a higher concentration of the contaminants.

Food and water that are exposed to fallout may be salvageable.

  • Carefully clean the fallout off the sealed containers and the food inside will be fine for consumption.
  • Fruits and vegetables can be washed thoroughly and peeled, making the slightly contaminated items safe to eat.
  • Water in covered reservoirs such as cisterns would be safe to drink. In fact, any food or water that is covered and dust-free should be considered safe to use.

Nuclear attack aftermath

Even though it would be possible to survive a thermonuclear strike, it would be a grim existence for a while.

Farmers would be unable to get fuel, fertilizer, repair parts for machinery, and other critical farming supplies.

They would be unable to gather the crops in the field, or to plant new ones. Even if they could, there would be no transportation system to take the food to the cities.

Food would rot on the vine as people in the urban areas starve.

Since a nuclear strike would target most major cities, most of our nation’s medical personnel and supplies would be lost within a matter of seconds.

As the drugs and food run out, riots and civil unrest would quickly follow, regardless of the radioactivity.

Sanitation and water systems, left unattended, would promptly fail, causing diseases which would spread at alarming speed.

Another less severe scenario that escapes most of our attention is the radiation fallout the United States would receive in the event of a nuclear war overseas that did not involve us.

We have already received barely perceptible fallout on several occasions from nuclear testing performed by the Chinese and the Soviets.

If an all-out nuclear war were fought in the Middle East or Asia, some of the fallout would certainly reach us across the Pacific Ocean on the prevailing west-to-east winds.

This fallout would be enough to render milk in the US unsafe to drink, devastating the dairy industry. This is only one example of the catastrophic economic consequences in the US.

The economic impact would unfortunately be compounded by the general public’s complete lack of preparation for the shortages which would be inevitable.

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)

electromagnetic pulse

EMP is a surge of high voltage produced by the detonation of a nuclear device in the upper atmosphere.

A warhead for this purpose would probably be detonated at an altitude of 200-300 miles, and would most likely be deployed from a pre-positioned hostile satellite or ship near the US coast.

The resulting burst of electricity would instantly and permanently ruin electrical circuits and microchips, completely disabling almost any electrical device that you can think of.

This would happen because the overpowering surge of electricity in the air would be collected by power lines and antennae and funneled into the electronic components.

It is theoretically possible that one well-placed air burst above Kansas would effectively knock out nearly all vehicles, airplanes, computers, electronic equipment, radio and television broadcasting stations nationwide, as well as the nation’s entire power grid.

Unfortunately, the power grid would be especially susceptible because the electrical lines would gather the voltage in the air, funnel it to the power stations, and blow up nearly every transformer in the grid. Replacing that many transformers alone would take years, since they are all made overseas.

Anything that uses electrical circuits and microchips would be instant junk. Trucks would stop running, and airplanes would fall from the sky.

Older vehicles which are less dependent on computer components may be less affected by EMP. Vehicles made before 1975 with ignitions which are not electronic may not be affected at all.

Almost anything with electrical circuits would be instantly useless if not encased in a hardened metal box, or “Faraday cage.”

Lightning on steroids

Electromagnetic pulse is stronger, faster, and briefer than lightning. The sudden surge of voltage is so great that surge protectors are useless against it, and even equipment that is turned off may be rendered useless.

In fact, most electronic equipment within several hundred miles of a high-altitude nuclear detonation would be affected to varying degrees.

According to the Federation of American Scientists, “The first recorded EMP incident accompanied a high-altitude nuclear test over the South Pacific and resulted in power system failures as far away as Hawaii.”

This was a result of the Starfish Prime nuclear test in space by the US in July of 1962. Street lights in Hawaii went out, burgalar alarms went off, telephone microwave communication links failed, etc.

That same year the Soviets conducted a series of similar high-altitude, high-yield tests which wreaked havoc on electrical systems, even in the vacuum-tubed world of 1962.

Note that The vacuum tubes of the 1960′s were very resistant to EMP; the microchips of today are not.

Today, electronics which microchips run virtually every system that you use to get through the day.

One well-placed nuclear warhead in the upper atmosphere will bring all those systems to a halt in a microsecond.

You won’t hear, see, or feel anything.

Suddenly your cell phone and your computer will go down, and your car will stop running.Shop The Best Deals on Ground Coffee at CoffeeForL

Final Vacation

That brings up an interesting question

What if you are vacationing in Las Vegas, along with hundreds of thousands of other people when the EMP strike occurs?

You won’t be able to leave, because the airplanes and cars will be permanently disabled. You will be stuck in a city that has to bring everything in using microchip technology, including water.

The electric bill to bring water to Las Vegas is $20-$30 million a year. It is a city surrounded by desert, with maybe two days of drinking water on hand.

After that, you will have to walk 30 miles in the heat to the nearest water source- Lake Mead.

Even if you survive that trek through the desert, what will you do then?

In an EMP strike, 92-95% of the inhabitants of Las Vegas will die from the desert heat and dehydration. Similar scenes with lower mortality rates will play out across the United States.

The case of Korea

In 2009 North Korea assembled a medium-range missile with a nuclear warhead capable of attacking South Korea.

That is alarming because South Korea has a vast power grid and is very dependant on electricity; North Korea is still a comparably primitive nation and would hardly be affected by the massive power outages resulting from the EMP destruction.

The blast would level the electronic playing field and make a good first strike weapon for the North Koreans.

The perfect crime

A country using an EMP burst against the US would not have to fear retaliation because the perpetrators would fire the missile near the US coast, sink the ship that served as the platform, and the warhead explosion at 300 miles high would effectively destroy all the evidence.

How is the US going to know who to retaliate against?

Will we even be able to?

It is likely that we would be very busy dealing with the immediate catastrophe that would ensue.

It would be the perfect crime, and Iran knows it.

Iran has written specifically about crippling the US with an EMP device, and is practicing missle launches in the Caspian Sea.

Welcome to 1880

The government is not working on fixing our vulnerability to this threat, because it’s a problem that can’t realistically be fixed.

The nation’s power grid is too fragile, too old, and too interconnected.

In essence, an EMP attack would instantly take us back to the 1800′s way of life. Automobiles would be rendered permanently useless, so the only mode of transportation would be bicycles and horses.

Farmers would have to go back to putting in crops with old fashioned horsepower.

If the grid fails, the food and water distribution system would collapse immediately. The trucking delivery system would stop instantly.

Millions would starve within days.

Anarchy, looting, and riots would be rampant. This would be a terrorist’s dream come true. All you can do is have an emergency preparedness plan to deal with the aftermath if it happens.

Are you prepared?