There is only one likely way to survive in the event of an apocalypse, zombie-induced or otherwise, and that is to be prepared or join a group that is. We as a group have decided how best to deal with such a situation and what we think we need to do to have a better chance of surviving than a fart in a bonfire. The group is made up of two distinct classes of member, those assigned as Officers, and those categorised as Ordinary Members.
The Ordinary Members are people who have decided to join the group for the security that such an organisation can bring in the event of an apocalypse, but have no particular skills to bring to the table other than manual labour. Such members will be expected to pull their weight and do manual work where required for the benefit of the group and must be capable of helping protect the group by taking part in the guard rota, and by direct conflict with enemies should this be required. Females of breeding age are considered to be particularly important to the group, and whilst they are normally expected to work alongside everyone else, are given special status when heavily pregnant or whilst looking after young children and will be provided for and protected.
The Officers, however, are individuals who have an advanced level of knowledge in an area important to the group, and as such are given a position of pseudo-leadership on the assumption that they are intelligent enough, knowledgeable enough and sensible enough to know what they are doing.
The group as a whole will be run as a democratic dictatorship, where all Officer class members are of equal standing and decisions are made between them in a hopefully democratic manner.
The Officers as a group will effectively rule over the Ordinary Members, instructing them on what to do and when, and have the power to evict troublesome members if it becomes necessary. There will be no punishment inflicted for insubordination as anyone can leave the group at any time, but if you do you're on your own, and the zombies will taste your intestines. Members who commit crimes against other group members or the group as a whole will be tried by their peers and a fitting punishment meted out by them.
We believe our Officers represent the pinnacle of human evolution. They are therefore limited in number, and for your reference and entertainment are listed on our Officers page along with information about them.
Prior to a mass-extiction event, each member should equip themselves with adequate weapons to defend themselves against marauding zombies, and be adept at using them. No member should assume others will provide for them, as whilst on the way to the initial muster site they may well be travelling alone.
The subject of weaponry has been discussed extensively amongst the officers and during some of our infrequent sober moments we decided the best strategy would be to favour low-maintenance impact and cutting weapons such as battle axes, war hammers and swords rather than the more impressive firearms.
The disadvantage with firearms is the mechanical complication of the devices and the need for ammunition, whereas a battle axe can be easily carried, instantly deployed and doesn't need to be re-loaded as often. As is common knowledge, zombies can only be killed by destroying the brain, and a good clout to the head with a war hammer is as effective as a 9mm bullet.
When the apocalypse strikes, all members of the group will need to make their way to a common muster site here in the South West of the UK where we can evaluate the number of members who have been lucky enough to make it, assess the extent of the disaster, document existing supplies and decide which of the pre-arranged fortification sites we will move on to.
The location of the muster site has been discussed between the officers, and after many hours' discussion, several gallons of good ale and three packets of dry roast peanuts it was decided that we will all meet up within the enclosure of the bronze-age settlement of Grimspound, on Dartmoor here in Devon.
This site was chosen because it is sufficiently far enough away from centres of civilisation, Plymouth and Tiverton to be virtually zombie-free, is well known and easily located, has nearby road access, an adjacent water source, is large enough to accomodate the group and has two excellent lookout points overlooking the site. A quick internet search will pull up a host of pages about this place and it is strongly recommended that all members discover its location and take a trip there to ensure they are familiar with the best access routes when the poo hits the rotating blades.
You are responsible for your own survival at this stage and therefore must take with you a decent tent, non-perishable food supplies for a month, anti-zombie weaponry, sufficient clothing for the climate and a copious supply of toilet paper as the grass in this region tends to be a little coarse.
The group will stay at the muster site for four weeks to allow time for stragglers to arrive, or less time if missing members have reported in dead before the four week limit. After that time, the group will move to a fortification site where a more permanent base will be set up.
We have a choice of several suitable locations for a permanent base which have been already agreed between the officers, and a meeting will be held at the muster site to decide which one to use. A scout group will be dispatched to the prospective location to check if it is safe and suitable, and if not another will be chosen from the list until a decision has been made.
The group will then move, under direction from the Master-At-Arms and the Logistics Officer, in defended convoy to the approved fortification site, where the building or area will be cleared of zombies and looters, secured, fortified and a watch rota put in place to guard the perimeter.
Work on the site will begin immediately, and teams will be assembled under the direction of the Horticulture and Livestock Officers to begin preparing the land by erecting fences and preparing the soil in preparation for livestock and the growing of crops. This is a longer term project but essential to the favourable outcome of the group and work needs to start on this immediately as well over a year could pass before any results are realised. It is important in these early stages that field workers go out in threes and never alone, in case of zombie attack.
It is generally hoped that in the event of an apocalyptic disaster, there will be other small groups of survivors besides ours scattered around the UK, and at some point it would be highly advantageous to be able to locate and contact some of these to either join forces or to trade skills, produce or wenches. Due to geographical and logistical limitations, the only practical way to do this would be by radio communication.
With this in mind, a shortwave radio communications station will be established under the watchful eye of the Communications Officer. After much discussion, pulling of hair and the demise of several pasties it was decided that the station will be listening and transmitting on the following frequencies and modes:
• 3.600MHz LSB
• 7.100MHz LSB (primary frequency)
• 14.100MHz USB
These frequencies were chosen as the most universal, accessible even when using older radio equipment which had been restricted to the early amateur allocations. Most operating will be conducted on the primary frequency as there is a good chance of contacting other UK stations throughout much of the day and night, although the lower frequency will also be used in the evenings to enhance the chances of inter-UK contacts. The higher frequency will be used during the day in the hope of contacting survival groups in other countries.
Probably the most immediately important task to be undertaken is the assembling of foraging parties who will travel out to see what supplies can be salvaged from various locations in the vicinity.
Foraging parties will be assembled under the expert guidance of our Logistics Officer, made up of suitable members appropriate for the type of foraging to be undertaken. Although anything of possible use will be sought and stored, the following is a list of specific categories of commodity the foraging parties will be instructed to look out for:
Of immediate importance would be food supplies, and initially the foraging parties would concentrate on nearby villages where stocks of food would be salvaged wherever possible from local shops and garages. The towns and cities are considered to be too dangerous at this time due to the presence of excessive numbers of zombies and the possibility of other, probably hostile, foraging parties.
The type of foods to be targeted would be tinned foods of all kinds including dog food (cat food tastes a little fishy so is best avoided), jams and preserves, pot noodles, packet noodles, cereals, porridge oats, dried pasta and rice, in fact anything that will keep a reasonable amount of time. Dried food of this type tends to have a high calorific value, and enough would be stock-piled to tide the group over until such time as they can become self-sufficient.
Once food has begun to accumulate in the stores, the group can turn some of its attention to searching out weapons to supplement those already on site.
It is expected that most people will arrive with their own weaponry for personal protection, but it would be a good idea to stock-pile further items for future use. Equipment such as axes and suchlike make good hand-to-hand combat weapons as well as being useful for other tasks, and will be collected whenever discovered.
Firearms do have a place in the early days so at this stage guns and ammunition will be salvaged from local sport and gun shops, and it has been decided that the only truly practical ranged weapons would be .22 rimfire rifles and full power spring air rifles. Shotguns are of limited use due to their short range and the bulky ammunition.
The .22 rimfire rifle was decided upon because it is so common, and the ammunition small, plentiful and light meaning many rounds can be stored and transported easily. The type of ammunition salvaged should ideally be the high velocity type, but anything will be taken, including subsonic rounds. Despite the relatively small calibre and moderate muzzle velocity, these firearms still represent a good defence against raiding parties as they are reasonably accurate and effective beyond 100 yards, but it would be considered wasteful of ammunition to shoot zombies with them when a good beheading with a scimitar will do the job in better style. OK, a 50 calibre may be more fun, but a tad difficult to come by here in the UK.
The full power .22 hunting air rifles were chosen as most suitable for hunting rabbits, as these would represent an important source of meat for the group in the early stages. Air rifles are very common and quiet in use, and the ammunition small, plentiful and very easy to store, leading to an effective way to hunt small game for several years into the group's existence.
Obviously a point will come when all the ammunition has been used up at which point the firearms will become useless, but hopefully this will not happen until the group has had time to establish itself and the Master At Arms has had a chance to pass on his archery skills to many members of the group.
In the early stages of the group there will be a need to acquire vehicles to use for foraging and salvaging, and more pressingly, fuel to run them.
This subject has been discussed and a decision made to limit the vehicles to Transit vans and estate cars, as these are a sensible compromise between carrying capacity and size, bearing in mind that the condition of the roads will rapidly deteriorate (to an even worse state than they are now) meaning that bulky lorries are out of the question.
All of the group's vehicles must be diesel fuelled, as diesel engines tend to be more rugged and provide more mileage per gallon, and the fuel doesn't deteriorate as quickly in storage, and is easier to store.
A certain amount of the foraging parties' time will therefore be allocated to the locating and salvaging of diesel fuel. This can come from basically three sources: abandoned vehicles, garage forecourts and industrial/commercial red diesel tanks such as those found on farms, heavy plant contractors and heating supplies for large factories and warehouses. Hopefully the man from the ministry will turn a blind eye to the use of red diesel on the roads at this post-apocalyptic time, but we are prepared to take that chance.
Besides powering the foraging parties' vehicles, a certain amount of fuel will be allocated to powering generators to provide occasional electricity for operating workshop machinery and radio equipment when required. Obviously this fuel is a finite resource and will eventually run out, but with careful planning the group will be self-sufficient in power generation by the time this happens.
Solar Panels And Wind Turbines
Once the immediate essential supplies have built up to an acceptable level, the foraging parties can turn some of their attention to salvaging materials for longer term projects.
Two such items are photovoltaic panels and wind turbines. We don't expect there to be much competition for these as few raiding parties would see any value in them. However, as the technically enlightened group we are, we know the long term value of such items and we will endeavour to salvage as many as reasonably possible. Obvious sources of solar panels would be the roofs of houses, but there are also far larger arrays to be found in fields making for a more productive salvage operation. Domestic scale wind turbines can be found dotted around here and there throughout Devon.
The solar panels and wind turbines (in conjunction with appropriate inverters) can be used to generate electricity for the group once the fuel for powering the generators has dwindled, allowing important engineering work to be carried out, along with powering the radio station and a host of other neat stuff, such as the monthly disco.
Solar cells combined with wind turbines will ensure a useful electricity supply on an albeit intermittent basis for the long term benefit of the group.
It is expected that after approximately 5 years most of the accessible fuel will have been used up and any lead-acid accumulators which had previously been salvaged will have lost much of their initial capacity. At this stage the group should be well equipped to generate electricity as required and be well established agriculturally, being able to produce enough food for the expanding group.
Although it has been proposed that a breeding ban be put in place until such time that the group becomes suitably stable, it is expected that after 5 years there will be some young children and babies in the group.
As the group slowly expands, there will come a time when it will have to consider moving to a larger site or possibly splitting into two. Hopefully by this time the number of zombies will have dwindled due to the lack of new victims to infect, and disorganised raiding gangs will have run out of resources and perished, or got their acts together and settled into a sustainable way of living. This would open up the arena vastly allowing large-scale food production to be undertaken which in turn would allow for further increases in population.
Ultimately, more satellite groups would break away from the original leading to a slow but steady repopulation of our planet and the beginning of a new enlightened age, a brave new world, the 'sixth age of mankind'.
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