I embarrassed a co-worker the other day by expressing an interest in her boyfriend’s Zombie Apocalypse Bug Out Bag. The bug out bag seems to bother Ash the same way she’d be bothered if her boyfriend walked around in a brown bathrobe with a colander on his head and said things like, “Hail good fellow and well met! Do there be trolls in this enchanted forest?” Since I’m not very sensitive, I talked to the boyfriend on speaker phone and asked questions like, “Water purification tablets? Do you have those?” while Ash shrieked, “NOTES! She’s taking NOTES!”
I don’t have a bug out bag. I put one together in New York City after the September 11th attacks, but even then I wasn’t able to commit. My bug out bag consisted of two cans of Spam, a 16 ounce bottle of water, a carton of cigarettes, as much dog food as I thought I could reasonably carry 300 yards or so, and $100 in twenties. I eventually ended up using everything in the bag (yes, even the Spam) and the bag sat in the closet, an accusing empty bladder backpack of non-emergency preparedness.
I don’t have a bug out bag now. I have zero emergency preparedness supplies at all except for some random half-burned birthday candles somewhere in the kitchen. I do have an evacuation plan. It’s actually more like a vague fantasy of me driving three hours (provided there is no traffic) through several cities to my grandmother’s house to hole up there and live on whatever she has in her kitchen until the danger passes.
While Ash is horrified by her boyfriend’s bug out bag, it isn’t a bad idea at all. The government tells us we should be ready for emergencies. Here is FEMA telling us what we should have in our home preparedness kit. Of course, it’s woefully inadequate and shitty, and operates entirely on the idea that the government will rescue the kit owner before he or a zombie eats his family. The clever signalling-for-help whistle is something I certainly would never have thought of. All I have to say to FEMA and their whistle is, “Hurricane Katrina.”
The honest truth is I would like to last through the first round of the zombie apocalypse just to be able to say I did, but I’d be screwed the instant I tripped over a limbless zombie torso and broke my glasses. With two little yappy dogs in tow, I wouldn’t be welcome even in most public storm shelters. If you are looking for real zombie apocalypse survival tips, don’t ask me. Zombie Survival and Defense Wiki is where you need to be.
Jaye here: Every time this subject comes up, I feel a vague sense of panic. Then I remember my purse. The very same purse my family mocks me for because people can ask me for all kinds of stupid items and yes, I will have it in my purse. (Mom, why do you have an Allen wrench in your purse? I don’t know, but it did come in handy, didn’t it? So shut up.) I do draw the line at cans of Spam. I think I would prefer to eat the old man before eating Spam. I’m off to check the Survival Link to see what else I need to be hauling around.
One thing for sure will be Larry the Kindle–whither I goest, goes he. It is well loaded with zombie fiction, including Marina’s Zombies Take Manhattan! which gives me at least five good reasons to stay the hell out of NYC during the zombie apocalypse.