Zombie Survival Guide for the UK

The UK isn’t very big and is densely populated, imagine if there was a zombie outbreak! How would you survive? What would you do? From Despair to Where author, Oliver Smith, talks through what he’d do when faced with the rising of the dead. 

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What would you do? Share your wisdom, you never know, it could save someone’s life.

If you’re into zombie books, films, TV shows and or comics, chances are you’ve probably spent more time than you’d care to admit about how you’d survive a zombie apocalypse, I know I have! I’m Oliver and I’ve recently written From Despair to Where, which chronicles the lives of a few people waking up to find the dawn of the dead.

I’ve obviously thought quite a bit about zombies and life in general whilst writing the book, so I thought I’d pen a few thoughts as to how I might survive. Before I begin, I’m making a few assumptions, namely I’m surviving on my own, I’m pretending that I don’t have kids or family as I fear that a real guide might be a little too traumatic and futile to properly comprehend. Cowardly, I know.

Number one survival skill…luck

As I began with assumptions, I’m going to continue down that road and assume that when the shit hit the fan, I was somewhere not too populated, a village or small town. I’m realistic and acknowledge that if there was an uprising of the dead and I found myself in the middle of Central London, or perhaps New York, LA, Istanbul, Moscow or any other major population, my chance of surviving would be slim to none. If you were to try and escape a major city, you’d need to have a plan, know the city intimately, have supplies and be ultra-fit to escape to a quieter destination. The trick is not to get cornered and not to get surrounded, best of all not to be noticed. I think that would be practically impossible in a city as every corner you turn, you’d come face to face with more zombies. Soon your stamina, or vehicle, would give up and you’d be caught and devoured.

Surviving a zombie attack in the city
Could you get out of the city if the dead came back to life?

So, firstly, I’m relying on luck to be somewhere quiet where the chances of coming into contact with large groups of the dead would be minimal. For the sake of clarity and to give you, the reader, a mental picture, I’m waking up, on my own, in a terraced house on a quiet street in a village of about 1,000 people about 10 miles away from a big city, let’s say Manchester for arguments sake.

Don’t panic

Okay, assuming I’ve got my head around the end of the world and the fact that zombies are eating and infecting people around the world, the first few days of the disaster are so important. I see it as setting the foundations of a survival plan and squeezing the last drops of information from modern civilisation while it lasts. That’s why you shouldn’t panic, easier said than done I imagine.

Secure your house as best you can, shut curtains and lock the door. The basics. Avoid light at night if you don’t have black out blinds or shutters and keep noise down to avoid being detected.

The first days of the zombie apocalypse will be hazardous, with so many people caught up in the wrong place or trying to escape, the roads would be chaos (understatement) and it would be every-man-for-themselves on the streets. I would bunker down and lay low for at least a week to let the early bloodshed settle and the new order to find its equilibrium.

Short-term thinking, long-term goals

Fill up as many containers and your bath with water. Who knows when it might cut off? It’s not quite ironic, but it would be laughable if you died of thirst in the UK.

Check your food supplies, do you have enough to feed yourself for a week, month or longer? Everything in your fridge and freezer will be worthless in a week or so, so tinned food is good. If you don’t have a lot, you’ll need to plan how you’re going to get enough food to survive the short-term. I’ll come to that shortly.

If you’re anything like me then you’ll not have much in the way of survival skills. There is so much in the world I know nothing about. I’d use the Internet, fingers crossed that it’s still working on the first day of zombie-land, so get as much information as you can. I’m thinking topics such as:

  • Farming tips for growing your own food. You’ll need to think about food availability in the winter months.
  • Hunting and fishing techniques. When food does run out then it’ll be up to you to grown and hunt what you eat so knowing what you’re doing is a good start.
  • Foraging in the UK (or wherever you’re from). It’s going to be a while before you turn yourself into a farmer so knowing what you can find and eat, and importantly what’s poisonous, will help keep your food supplies stocked up when on the move.
  • First aid. Without any doctors or NHS, you become ill or injure yourself, the only person you have to rely on is yourself so it’s a good idea to look for ways to treat wounds.
  • Mechanical basics. Cars will be your friend in the early days, a vital link to safe places so understanding the basics if something goes wrong will help keep you motoring when you don’t want to be traversing on foot. I’m thinking things like how to hotwire a car, how to jump start it and how to syphon fuel. Vehicles will be a short-term fix though as petrol and diesel go off, even in a sealed container, so cars with fuel over six months old won’t last for long, sooner or later, there won’t be usable fossil fuel to power any vehicle.
learning survival skills to survive a zombie apocalypse
WARNING!! I have no idea if these mushrooms are poisonous or not.

Long-Term Plan

With any luck, you’ll only need one plan as it will be a raving success and in a matter of months, you’ll be giving humanity a second chance.

What would my long-term plan involve? Ideally it would be a community full of brilliant people all qualified in a variety of skills: medicine, building, joinery, engineering, farming, basically all the useful skills that I have none of. This plan is unrealistic though, so I’d look to plan for life on my own.

The first consideration would be where I’d go. I can’t stay home as it’s too populated and too close to a major city. An island would appeal to me, but without any sailing experience or having any islands close by for that matter, I’d discount that as too difficult. I’d definitely want to go somewhere where there were less people.

Let’s say I head north, not too far though, I don’t want to face too harsh a winter without life’s modern comforts. Next, I’d want a place to call home. Fortunately, UK houses are a little sturdier than those wooden houses that you see on The Walking Dead. Many of the wealthy like big walls too, cutting themselves off from the riffraff. The perfect place would be a house with a perimeter wall and plenty of outside space to grow plants. If I was in a bigger group, I’d consider a stately home as many have walls around and have enough land to really go to town with farming.

Once I was set up in my house, I’d need food for the short-term. I’d raid houses near me rather than shops as they’d either be too dangerous to get to or they’d have already been looted. Empty houses would be the best bet for me.

My final step would be to acquire long terms supplies (this is where I’d probably meet my grisly end) and get them in the ground; planting a variety of fruit and veg. Ideally, during my preparation stage I’d have looked for instructions about how to plant and store crops for all the seasons to keep me stocked up.

Life, hopefully, would then become a routine. Tending to crops, ensuring water supplies were kept topped up and attempting to ration and plan my food and water intake for the months and years ahead.

Safe behind my walls, alone, living a simple and quiet life; tending, eating, drinking, sleeping, tending, eating, drinking, sleeping.

Surviving the uprising of the dead
Alone forever...

I’m going to stop now…purely because this was meant to be a concise zombie survival guide, but the more I think the more I could write. I fear that the list has left me with many more questions, so rather than continue to write until the actual end of the world (probably not that far away in reality), I’ll leave it with you guys. What would you do? I’d love to hear; let me know in the comments below.

Now for a shameless plug

If you love books, give From Despair to Where a go. If you’re a zombie book fan then I hope you’ll love it, if you’ve never read the genre, give it a go, these books are always less about the dead and more about the living. You’ll soon be a zombie addict.

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