Being Prepared for World War Z

Land area: 715.8km2 | Population: 5,312,400 | Population Density: 7,422/km2 [source]

Singapore [Credit: Google Maps]

Those are the statistics of the country I live in.  Judging from the numbers, we are f**ked should there be a case of “zombie invasion” similar to that prepared in the movie World War Z – can you just imagine how quick the infection will spread with such a population density as such?  The entire country (save for the ministers who would evacuate immediately via air) could be lost in couple of hours.

Most Singaporeans live in apartment buildings.  Take my own for example.  I live on the 15th floor, in a 24-storey block.  Am located in the Central Business District (CBD) where there is heavy human traffic during most hours of the day.  My floor has 4 units, and as levels 1-5 are commercial space, that works out to 76 units in my block… and if you take 4 people per family unit, 304 humans.  Add into the equation the people around my area who are not residing here (i.e. office workers, shoppers, tourists… etc.), and the number will rise to the ten-thousands.

Should I be home when the outbreak takes place, there is pretty much nothing I can do except turtle up and see if I outlast the undead… assuming they don’t break down the door or get past the window grilles.  Water supply aside, looking at how poorly stocked my cupboards & fridge is right now (as my mum barely purchases extra groceries – heck we live so close to a supermarket, she does her shopping daily on her way back from work, buying only things required for that night’s dinner), and considering that I’ll have 3 others to share the food with… we not gonna last very long either but it’s better than the following scenario.

MRT crowd[Credit: david5stones]

Should I be on my way to work or getting off work, I’ll be dead in seconds.  No amount of cardio or pre-prep will be able to save me if I’m caught in the huge clusterf**k that is Raffles Place MRT Station on a work day morning/evening.  One can’t even walk comfortably in the mess of people, much less make a run for it.  Scenario applies to if I’m watching a movie in a cinema nearby; am at the gym; am out having dinner… etc.  Only question would be is will I be bitten and turned or will I get trampled to death in the stampede that is guaranteed to occur in times of panic.  The former is “cooler”, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Right.  Since my odds of surviving a World War Z is so pitifully close to nil, perhaps I should not even bother to prepare for it.

BUT… thinking about preparing for a zombie apocalypse is fun.  Am sure many would agree, or there wouldn’t be like tons of sites / posts that offer survival tips.  What am gonna do here though, is not regurgitate everything that I’ve read.  If you wanna know the basics, do a quick google or even better, grab “The Zombie Survival Guide” [Amazon] by Max Brooks, read it at least once and remember as much as you can.  Instead, what I am gonna do here is list some steps that am gonna take in the near future to increase my chance of survival, in the slight chance that I’m away from SG when Z-Day occurs or if I somehow manage to get outta my country before the island gets overrun.

(Warning: this is gonna be very self-centered + long-winded, so free to stop reading anytime)


1.  Re-readThe Zombie Survival Guide”.  Took advantage of Kinokuniya’s 20% off Summer Sale last month and bought the book, along with “World War Z”.  I’ve read it once before, borrowed from a friend, but am sure I’ll find stuff that I’ve missed the first time.  While not ALL the tips apply (especially since we have a law against the possession of certain weapons here), some are pretty practical & would be good to keep in mind.

2.  Improve Fitness.  With my recent surge of interest in running, am hoping to increase both my endurance and speed.

Attempt 04.07.2013

I don’t deny that I’m pathetic right now.  The above is my timing for a 2.4km ‘run’ attempted last Thursday (04.07.213).  I’ve been doing Zombies, Run! 5K Training (Z5K) since the beginning of the year, but I haven’t been exactly consistent.  As a consequence, I still suck.  I envy those who go from 0 to marathon in a matter of months.  I can’t seem to do that.  But I’ll try to fix that.  Goals: 2.4k in >10min; 5k in >30min; 10k in >1hr & complete a half marathon.

Side note: Physically, I’m having some issues… from pain at the arch of my left foot, to pain in my left knee & starting last week, a bruised feeling on my left heel.  I’ve seen a podiatrist once regarding the arch pain and he stated that it was due to my tight calf muscles.  I’ve since started stretching a few times daily, and keeping fingers crossed that the pain will eventually disappear.  The knee and the heel?  Well… I’m hoping that it’s just a matter of my body overcompensating for the arch pain and that those will go away in time too – will go see a doc again if it gets worse.

Cardio aside, I’ll need to develop some physical strength as there will come the time where I will have to defend myself.  Either from zoms or from other human survivors – just watch The Walking Dead, if you want an idea of how low humankind can (and will) fall in times of desperation.  Being equipped with a weapon is insufficient.  I will need the strength to wield it effectively to kill (or disable) an attacker.  Strength is also required to carry supplies should I be on the road.  Guess I’ll have to increase the no. of yoga/pilates sessions that I attend & maybe hire a personal trainer to guide me thru some basic strength training.  Gonna be expensive, hiring a PT, but I guess the $$ is worth the chance of survival.

3.  Decide on weapon(s).  Guns, bows, tasers, brass knuckles, swords and even pepper spray are out of the equation since it’s illegal to own them.  I’ll need something that is lightweight, sturdy & has better reach than a kitchen knife.  Better still if it can double up as a tool.  A baseball bat would be the easiest to obtain but I’d prefer a weapon that comes with a sharp edge in the event I don’t have sufficient strength to bash a skull in.  Looking at either a machete or handaxe… maybe a tire iron or crow bar.  That being said, I should get a baseball bat too anyway + I gotta check if there’s still a hammer in my home.  Having only ONE weapon is not enough.

first aid kit [Credit: istockphoto]

4.  Prepare First Aid Kit.  It’s gotta be something small enough that I can stuff into my backpack when I’m on the run, and it should contain basic stuff like: bandages, gauze, hydrogen peroxide and an assortment of pills (i.e. panadol, tummy meds… etc.) + since I’ve already got them, might as well toss them in – water purification tablets.  You might argue that tummy meds aren’t necessary, but I have frequent bouts of gastric pains – should I be suffering from that while a zom attacks, let’s just say I wouldn’t have enough energy to put up a decent fight or run.

5.  Get Duct Tape.  Duct tape is the solution to everything, ‘nuff said.  Was intending to get some for my Mt Fuji hike, but since the hike didn’t take place, I didn’t purchase any till date.  A great idea was illustrated in the movie that required the use of tape – never thought of doing that, but I will now (during an outbreak) that I’ve seen it.  Such things don’t expire, so I might as well pick up a couple of rolls from the hardware store sometime soon.

6.  Learn to Drive.  Can you believe that I don’t have a driver’s license (I’ve got a motorcycle license + some experience with an ATV and WaveRunner)?  LOL not that anyone is gonna care if you are certified or not during a zombie apocalypse but yeah… I should really learn to drive.  Might come in handy.

7.  Do LASIK (?)  Have always thought about it, but never had the balls and a good enough reason to take the risk (it is a procedure, and like all procedures, there is a chance of failure no matter how slight).  Yeah it probably will worsen my dry eyes, but the result is better eyesight and eradication of the need for spectacles and contact lenses.  While I no longer wear contacts much these days (only do so sometimes when I do sports), I’m highly dependent on my glasses.  Without them, I can’t see well enough to function properly.  I wouldn’t wanna be worried about breaking or dropping my glasses when I’m running away or fighting the zoms/humans, would I?

foodinsilvermoon[Credit: WoW Insider]

8.  Stockpile food supplies.  While I ain’t the one in charge of groceries, and my mum will probably throw a hissy fit should I start hoarding canned food and the like, I should really start building up a small stash in the form of snacks.  Think packets of nuts, dried fruit and some canned food.  Of cos, as I do not know when exactly Z-Day will come, I’ll have to replace those items every few months to ensure that I’ll have as long lasting a supply as possible.  No I won’t throw the ‘old stuff’ away, I’ll just eat them while watching some TV drama.  LOL

9.  Learn Martial Arts.  I’ve been saying this since forever, and have rationalized that I should put it off until my gym membership expires so I’ll have more free days should I wish to go to the gym.  But my membership expires in Nov 2014.  Might be too late then, for Z-Day can happen anytime.  Mentioned once before that I wanna learn something new & that it’s between martial arts vs dance.  Well, martial arts will be the more practical choice.  While I may not have learnt enough by Z-Day for it to be effective, at the very least, the training should assist with Point 2.

10.  Get a transistor radio.  That’s something I haven’t owned for a really long time.  Forget the fancy iphone, the tablet or any other vanity tech gadgets that everyone carries these days – those are highly battery draining & fragile, unlikely to survive the apocalypse.  Old school works better.

There is still more that I can think of (i.e. learning new languages, learning the Morse code, taking an outdoors survival course/camp… etc.), but for now the above 10, not in any chronological order, should keep me occupied for a bit.  It’s a good thing though, that my weekends in July are currently free from commitment, with exception of the regular Sunday raids from 12-4pm (GMT +8).  Indulging in cross stitching aside, I will have to apportion some of the time for my Z-Day Survival Preparation.  Wish me luck!

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