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Zombie Survival Preparation From A Stay-At-Home Mom

I’ve always been worried about the eventual zombie apocalypse; when Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide was released, I bought nearly two dozen copies and gave them to friends and family…none of which even thought about zombie-anything, let alone a zombie outbreak. Several of them became zombiephiles after reading the guide. The rest were reluctant to accept the inevitable, but they did change some of their habits. For example, they don’t open their garage doors until they are safely locked in their vehicles. My own brother cut his long hair, fearing it would be a hazard in zombie self-defense.

I have always said, “If you’re prepared for a zombie outbreak, you’re prepared for anything.” However, I had to rethink everything when I became a mom. Just as zombie survival strategies are different for the individual versus a group, your strategy must change and adapt to live with children. As it is, I can only speak as a parent of an only-child.

Luckily for me, my son was born safely before any major outbreak. I breastfed for several reasons: you can feed your baby on the run (you just have to keep yourself hydrated), you can nurse your child in order to keep him or her quiet while hiding from a passing mob of the undead, and you don’t have to worry about packing formula in your bug-out bag.

Of course, if your child is not potty-trained, you have to remember to include diapers in your survival equipment. You might think that it won’t matter if your baby gets messy when you are fleeing from a zombie horde, but a dry baby is a lot less likely to cry and give away your position.

Dirty diapers piling up? It could be worse - it could be zombies.

Dirty diapers piling up? It could be worse - it could be zombies.

My son is 4yrs old, so I no longer have to worry about diapers or unexpected crying. In fact, we’ve already begun his zombie training. For instance, we have a hiding spot for him to go to if mom and dad have to fight any zombies who get through our home defenses. He also knows the difference between living infected and the undead.

Home defense with a child isn’t much of stretch — even fleeing an outbreak area can be managed, if you’ve planned and prepared in advance. But what if an outbreak occurs when you are away from home? That’s when things get tricky.

I recommend turning your diaper/day bag into a temporary bug-out bag:

Make it a BIG bag.

No one will think twice about a parent carrying a large bag. Consider using a backpack, in case you have to run while holding your child.

Pack enough snacks and bottled water for a six hour period.

If you can’t get somewhere safe within six hours, all the food in the world won’t do you much good anyway.

Put some kind of folding knife in your bag.

It can be a Swiss Army knife, a pocket knife or a utility knife — find out what your state laws are concerning concealed weapons. A knife won’t kill a zombie, but it will have its uses. I can’t list them here for legal reasons.

Carry a lot of pens.

The longer the better. Pens are great for jamming through eye sockets.

Officially no longer fun and games.

It's officially no longer fun and games.

Get a small medical kit to keep in your bag.

It won’t help with major injuries, but it will keep small cuts from getting exposed to the zombie virus.

Carry a map of your area.

Not only might you get caught away from home, but you might not be able to use your regular routes. You might also get separated from your vehicle, so consider adding a compass as well.

Carry glowsticks.

Glowsticks are much more lightweight and easy to carry than flashlights.

Also, you want to be prepared in case a rave breaks out.

Also, you want to be prepared in case a rave breaks out.

Pack toys and a book or two.

You’ll need to keep your child entertained once you get to a safe spot. Its very important to keep your child as stress-free as possible.

Pack sunscreen.

Travel-size bottles will work just fine. Don’t forget sunglasses too.

Yeah. You know the sunglasses I mean. You've TOTALLY been looking for an excuse.

Yeah. You know the sunglasses I mean. You've TOTALLY been looking for an excuse to wear 'em.

Keep things like your cell phone and car keys in your pockets.

You’ll want the essentials on your person in case you lose your bag along the way.

In addition to packing for a possible six-hour escape from a zombie outbreak, there are a few other things to keep in mind to ensure the survival of your family:

Exercise as much as possible.

Put the emphasis on muscle-building. What if your child can’t run fast enough? Are you strong enough to carry your child while running at a top speed? Can you even run fast at all?

Teach your child as much common sense stuff as you can, as early as you can.

Do you want your child growing up in the zombie apocalypse like those idiot kids in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome?

Don't lie. You friggin' LOVED Beyond Thunderdome. I bet you have it on DVD.

Don't lie. You friggin' LOVED Beyond Thunderdome. I bet it's in your DVD player right now.

Most importantly,

Have back-up plans for your back-up plans.

Parents with their shit together are parents of happy, healthy kids.


  1. Hilarious list – liked the glowsticks/rave item the best. If you’d like to read more Max-Brooks-esque work check out Tales of the Zombie War – some humor, plenty of gore, and a few snippets of ‘how-to’ information for those who want to be prepared for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

  2. The google ads are cracking me up. Every time I check back, it’s something different.

  3. Jade

    Thank you for finally creating a guide for surviving with your child. I’ve been worried (and preparing) for the time when either we, or our enemies, unleash the chemical warfare that will cause the dead to rise since I was a kid. The oft repeated nightmare of my childhood and now adult life. When I got pregnant I had to rearrange most of my supplies and planes for my less physically capable self, but now my son is 18 months and it has been worrying me how to keep him safe and protected. With luck, none of my precautions will ever be more than an energizing mental exercise; but like the boy scout motto “always be prepared.” Thank you. I will begin considering how to use some of your suggestions immediately.

  4. Jade, I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner. I can’t help but wonder if the oil spill could somehow lead to a zombie outbreak, but biological warfare seems more likely to most, I think.

  5. cadkls

    Its a virus called solanum by the way that causes the dead to rise.Just so you know.not a toxic spill or oil spill.. How though could oil turn people into mad headache ridden flesh eating deadites?

  6. cadkls,

    That’s great that you’ve read the Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks, and you obviously think it’s the last word on any zombie apocalypse.

    Unfortunately, I make it a policy not to talk to children online, especially 12 yr olds, so I can’t explain to you how envrionmental hazards can affect humans.

  7. Alhazred

    lmfao at that last post.

    and this is AWESOME!!!

    i don’t have a child, and i certainly don’t have a uterus, but i’m beyond thrilled that you wrote this and that i had the opportunity to read it. you never know what the future will bring, and you’ve broadened my spectrum quite a bit through this post. i’ll certainly be using some of the ideas you mentioned above (LOVED the glow sticks bit) in my own life effective immediately, and i’ll be certain to pass along some of this information to a few females in my life.

    thanks again. ^^

  8. Thanks, Alhazred! My son is now five years old, but we still do things much the same way, except now he is old enough to have his own mini-backpack.

    A lot of the tips can actually be helpful when traveling with children in general, esepcially if you have a break down during a road trip, or you are stranded due to bad weather, etc.

    My SIL, who lives in CA, once commented that her “earthquake kit” is very comparable to what I’ve recommened in a zombie bug-out bag, so as I say over and over, “If you’re prepared for a zombie outbreak, you’re prepared for anything.”

  9. I loved that! I have always been wondering wtf would I do with three little kids being a single mom trying to survive a zombie attack! Now I at least have the basics for survival!

  10. Thanks, Sheila…I actually based a lot of it on traveling with my son since he was a baby: all kinds of crap can go wrong, whether it be by plane, train or automobile…or the undead.

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