surviving apocalypse (what i learned at the movies)

i watch and read an incredible amount of science fiction, and am particularly obsessed with the patterns of how communities function when something awful (plague, natural disaster, alien attack) happens.

here’s what i have learned so far:

1. keep necessary information somewhere other than an electronic device. key addresses and directions particularly. phones and computers are the first thing to go and may even turn against you. only alien technology is guaranteed to work.

2. find food fast. and water. generally know where your walkable food store is, and keep a week’s worth of food and water in your home, as most disasters in movies seem to take 3 days to unfold. if something happens in oakland i have my whole foods looting list ready to go!

3. know martial arts, or some other skill, as a mode of self-defense. people quickly deteriorate under the pressures of hunger, thirst and fear, and it’s a good thing to know how to block at a bare minimum, and especially to sweep someone’s feet out from under them.

4. hone your instinct for telling what kind of people you’re with. the best kind of people to be around during an apocalypse are those who stay cool and even funny in crisis. if you have people in your life not like this, why? you’re gonna have to spend the whole crisis talking them down or dying cuz they freak out. upgrade now. maybe all take a martial arts class together.

5. learn what is edible in your neighborhood. after about 2 days the grocery stores will become a zombie-zone feeding frenzy. a secret garden would be the ultimate in preparedness.

6. whiskey/scotch/bourbon has a variety of uses – cleaning, drinking. yeah.

7. boarding up inside your home won’t help, running around during daylight is a certain disaster, and sneaking around at night is a sure bet They will get you. the only real place to wait out an apocalypse is a bunker.

8. pack a little survival bag (octavia fans know where i’m heading with this one): matches in a ziplock baggy, hand sanitizer, a flask of whiskey/scotch/bourbon, a place to write your apocalypse memoirs and something to write them with, a swiss army knife and a towel. hook that bag in some unbreakable way to your person, because you will be blown around or knocked over or attacked and lose all your stuff.

9. it is extremely rare for people of color to survive apocalypses, but if you see someone who looks like will smith, stick with that dude.

10. don’t go by yourself, don’t split up, and don’t let them leave you somewhere. don’t utter or accept the words, “i’ll be right back”. this is not the time for adventures!

as i learn more from my copious research, i will pass it along. in the meantime, pack your bag, stock your cabinets, and pray for peace.