Some recent horrific news is all the internet it takes to restart the zombie frenzy. This pandemonium is nothing new. Every season of The living Dead brings up undead theory subscribers. Especially the film version from next spring World War Z will too (Brad Pitt + zombies might be the only thing more exciting than Abraham Lincoln + vampires, right?).
The truth is that zombie consciousness never really goes away. On the contrary, it is creeping ever closer to becoming an authentic part of life. Do you want proof? Keep an eye out for the following very tangible options that anyone can choose to prepare in the face of an explosion of interest in zombies.
The state of zombie speed and agility has been the subject of a lengthy debate (see Wired, Slate, USA today). Survivors apparently assume the worst: undead armies will move like Olympians and physical fitness will be the key to survival. It’s the only explanation for something like ZombieFit.
ZombieFit is an exercise class offered in Illinois to “help you prepare for the impossible so you’re ready for the unlikely”. The people behind this initiative believe in simple skills for success: lifting or throwing heavy things, running fast and far, swinging efficiently through urban environments. If you’re not a local, the site offers daily workout suggestions online that combine cardio, strength training, and parkour elements to help participants get into peak apocalypse shape. Combine it with, say, an augmented reality app like Zombies, RUN, and you should be ready to take part in your first Run for Your Lives 5k (as a human, of course).
Malls, churches, prisons – many buildings have been fictionally tested as accommodation against the undead. Naturally, something had to be put into practice and Kansas realtors stepped up to the plate.
The Survival Condos are made from a 1960s military-built silo, formerly an Atlas “F” missile base. The original goal was a nuclear safe haven, but based on its characteristics, a zombie commune would work quite well. Concrete walls encase the whole thing, between two and a half to nine feet thick. Between 36 and 70 people can live off the grid at the facility for more than five years. There is a water tank with purification system, an air supply that is cleaned by NBC filters (nuclear, biological and chemical) and a military-level security system that requires training for all residents. As Buzzfeed points out, they even have guns in the case of massive amounts (or so we assume).
Full-floor condo suites cost $2 million (with half-floor options for half that), but that price includes the space, the training, the rations, and the peace of mind. Unfortunately, there is a recent sale pending that would fill the last vacancies. Serious.
Zombie inspired survival guides
It’s not worth spilling too much ink on zombie literature, as the offerings are varied and vast. But to complete the theme of preparedness, some information about survival is essential.
The most respected has to be Max Brooks The zombie survival guide. This is the text that emerged World War Zas well as spin-offs like the The zombie survival guide: recorded attacks comic or this strange card game. It is the most comprehensive text to date; with a breakdown of historical attacks, differences in zombie characteristics by type of zombie, and guides to both shelters and weapons. The book turns 10 next year, but it’s still the go-to zombie field guide.
For a quick cliff nut alternative… try the CDC. The government agency provides its own official guide. The agency claims it was a tongue-in-cheek attempt to get started, but the guide remains live on the web. The CDC relays this: “Generally, if you’re well equipped to handle a zombie apocalypse, you’re prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack.” Right. Anyway, tips like how to develop emergency kits or where to access official information follow in graphic novel form. Ridiculous as this is or not, at least the government recognizes that it’s the message that matters, through any medium.