9781400049622

The Zombie Survival Guide

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781400049622

  • ISBN10:

    1400049628

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 9/16/2003
  • Publisher: Broadway Books

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Summary

The Zombie Survival Guide is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now. Fully illustrated and exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain. Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack 1. Organize before they rise! 2. They feel no fear, why should you? 3. Use your head: cut off theirs. 4. Blades don't need reloading. 5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair. 6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it. 7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike. 8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert! 9. No place is safe, only safer. 10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on. Don't be carefree and foolish with your most precious asset--life. This book is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now without your even knowing it. The Zombie Survival Guide offers complete protection through trusted, proven tips for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against the living dead. It is a book that can save your life. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Author Biography

MAX BROOKS lives in New York City but is ready to move to a more remote and defensible location at a moment’s notice.

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii
THE UNDEAD: MYTHS AND REALITIES 1(27)
Solanum: The Virus
2(3)
Source
Symptoms
Transference
Cross-Species Infection
Treatment
Reanimating the Already Deceased
Zombie Attributes
5(14)
Physical Abilities
Behavioral Patterns
The Voodoo Zombie
19(3)
The Hollywood Zombie
22(1)
Outbreaks
23(2)
Class 1
Class 2
Class 3
Class 4
Detection
25(3)
WEAPONS AND COMBAT TECHNIQUES 28(36)
GENERAL RULES
29(2)
Obey the Law!
Train Constantly
Care for Your Tools
Beware Display Items
Develop the First Weapon
Close Combat
31(7)
Bludgeons
Edged Weapons
Miscellaneous Hand Weapons
Power Tools
Slings and Arrows
38(3)
The Sling
The Slingshot
The Blowgun
Shuriken
Throwing Knives
The Long or Compact Bow
The Crossbow
The Hand Bow
Firearms
41(10)
The Heavy Machine Gun
The Submachine Gun
The Assault Rifle
The Bolt-/Lever-Action Rifle
The Semiautomatic Rifle
The Shotgun
The Pistol
.22-Caliber Rimfare Weapons
Accessories
Explosives
51(1)
Fire
51(3)
Molotov Cocktails
Dousing
The Blowtorch
The Flamethrower
Other Weapons
54(4)
Acid
Poison
Biological Warfare
Zoological Warfare
Electrocution
Radiation
Genetic Warfare
Nanotherapy
Armor
58(6)
Plate Mail
Chain Mail
The Shark Suit
Helmets
Bulletproof Vests
Kevlar Covers
Tight Clothes and Short Hair
ON THE DEFENSE 64(30)
The Private Residence (Defending Your Home)
65(13)
Preparation Part I: The Home
Preparation Part II: Supplies
Surviving an Attack
Immediate Defense
Public Spaces
78(8)
Office Buildings
Schools
Hospitals
Police Stations
Retail Stores
Supermarkets
Shopping Malls
Churches
Warehouses
Piers and Docks
Shipyards
Banks
Cemeteries
Capitols and City Halls
GENERAL RULES
86(8)
The Fortress
87(8)
Military Complexes
Prisons
Offshore Oil Rigs
ON THE RUN 94(30)
GENERAL RULES
95(6)
One Goal
Establish a Destination
Gather Intelligence and Plan Your Journey
Get in Shape
Avoid Large Groups
Train Your Group
Remain Mobile
Remain Invisible
Look and Listen
Sleep!
Refrain from Overt Signals
Avoid Urban Areas
Equipment
101(2)
Vehicles
103(6)
The Sedan
The SUV
The Truck
The Bus
The Armored Car
The Motorcycle
Additional Motor Vehicle Equipment
Alternate Road Transportation
Terrain Types
109(8)
Forest (Temperate/Tropical)
Plains
Fields
Hills
Swamp
Tundra
Desert
Urban
Alternate Means of Transportation
117(5)
By Air
By Water
GENERAL RULES
122(2)
Know Your Waterway
Stay in Deep Water
Don't Skimp on Supplies
Watch Your Anchor Line!
ON THE ATTACK 124(30)
GENERAL RULES
125(5)
Collective Response
Keep Discipline
Be Alert
Use Guides
Have a Base, Have Support
Use Daylight
Plan Your Escape
Let Them Come to You
Knock!
Be Thorough
Maintain Communication
Kill and Listen
Dispose of All Bodies
Incendiary Control
Never Go Off Alone!
Weapons and Gear
130(2)
Transportation
132(1)
Terrain Types
132(6)
Forest
Plains
Fields
Tundra
Hills
Desert
Urban
Jungle
Swamp
Strategies
138(16)
Lure and Destroy
The Barricade
The Tower
Mobile Tower
The Cage
The Tank
The Stampede
Motorized Sweep
Airborne Sweep
The Firestorm
Underwater Battles
LIVING IN AN UNDEAD WORLD 154(28)
The Undead World
155(2)
Starting Over
157(13)
GENERAL RULES
159(11)
Assemble a Group
Study, Study, Study!
Wean Yourself Off Luxury Items
Remain Vigilant
To the Ends of the Earth!
Know Your Location
Become an Expert
Plan Your Route
Plan B-C-D-E!
List Your Gear, Be Ready to Shop
Construct Defenses
Plan an Escape Route
Be on Guard
Remain Concealed
Remain Isolated
Terrain Types
170(8)
Desert
Mountains
Jungle
Temperate Forests
Tundra
Polar
Islands
Living by Sea
Duration
178(2)
Then What?
180(2)
RECORDED ATTACKS 182(67)
60,000 B.C., Katanda, Central Africa
182(1)
3000 B.C., Hieraconpolis, Egypt
183(1)
500 B.C., Africa
184(1)
329 B.C., Afghanistan
185(1)
212 B.C., China
186(1)
121 A.D., Fanum Cocidi, Caledonia (Scotland)
186(2)
140-41 A.D., Thamugadi, Numidia (Algeria)
188(1)
156 A.D., Castra Regina, Germania (Southern Germany)
188(1)
177 A.D., Nameless Settlement Near Tolosa, Aquitania (SW France)
189(1)
700's A.D., Frisia (Northern Holland)
189(1)
850 A.D., Unknown Province in Saxony (Northern Germany)
190(1)
1013 A.D., Jerusalem
191(1)
1253 A.D., Fiskurhofn, Greenland
192(1)
1281 A.D., China
193(1)
1523 A.D., Oaxaca, Mexico
194(1)
1554 A.D., South America
195(1)
1579 A.D., The Central Pacific
195(1)
1583 A.D., Siberia
196(1)
1587 A.D., Roanoke Island, North Carolina
197(1)
1611 A.D., Edo, Japan
198(2)
1690 A.D., The Southern Atlantic
200(1)
1162 A.D., Castries, St. Lucia, the Caribbean
201(1)
1807 A.D., Paris, France
202(1)
1824 A.D., Southern Africa
203(2)
1839 A.D., East Africa
205(1)
1848 A.D., Owl Creek Mountains, Wyoming
206(1)
1852 A.D., Chiapas, Mexico
207(1)
1867 A.D., The Indian Ocean
207(1)
1882 A.D., Piedmont, Oregon
208(1)
1888 A.D., Hayward, Washington
209(2)
1893 A.D., Fort Louis Philippe, French North Africa
211(2)
1901 A.D., Lu Shan, Formosa
213(2)
1905 A.D., Tabors, Tanganyika, German East Africa
215(1)
1911 A.D., Vitre, Louisiana
215(1)
1913 A.D., Paramaribo, Surinam
216(2)
1923 A.D., Colombo, Ceylon
218(1)
1942 A.D., The Central Pacific
219(1)
1942-45 A.D., Harbin, Japanese Puppet State of Manchukuo (Manchuria)
220(2)
1943 A.D., French North Africa
222(1)
1947 A.D., Jarvie, British Columbia
223(1)
1954 A.D., Than Hoa, French Indochina
224(1)
1951 A.D., Mombasa, Kenya
225(1)
1960 A.D., Byelgoransk, Soviet Union
226(2)
1962 A.D., Unidentified Town, Nevada
228(1)
1968 A.D., Eastern Laos
228(1)
1971 A.D., Nong'ona Valley, Rwanda
229(1)
1975 A.D., Al-Marq, Egypt
230(1)
1979 A.D., Sperry, Alabama
231(1)
Oct. 1980 A.D., Maricela, Brazil
232(1)
Dec. 1980 A.D., Juruti, Brazil
233(1)
1984 A.D., Cabrio, Arizona
233(1)
1981 A.D., Khotan, China
234(1)
Dec. 1992 A.D., Joshua Tree National Monument, California
235(1)
Jan. 1993 A.D., Downtown Los Angeles, California
236(3)
Feb. 1993 A.D., East Los Angeles, California
239(1)
Mar. 1994 A.D., San Pedro, California
240(1756)
Apr. 1994 A.D., Santa Monica Bay, California 241
1996
A.D., The Line of Control, Srinagar, India
242(1)
1998 A.D., Zabrovst, Siberia
243(2)
2001 A.D., Sidi-Moussa, Morocco
245(1)
2002 A.D., St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
246(3)
Appendix: Outbreak Journal 249(4)
Acknowledgments 253

Excerpts

Chapter 1

THE UNDEAD: MYTHS AND REALITIES

He comes from the grave, his body a home of worms and filth. No life in his eyes, no warmth of his skin, no beating of his breast. His soul, as empty and dark as the night sky. He laughs at the blade, spits at the arrow, for they will not harm his flesh. For eternity, he will walk the earth, smelling the sweet blood of the living, feasting upon the bones of the damned. Beware, for he is the living dead.
-Obscure Hindu text, circa 1000 B.C.E.

ZOM-BIE: n. also ZOM-BIES pl. 1. An animated corpse that feeds on living human flesh. 2. A voodoo spell that raises the dead. 3. A Voodoo snake god. 4. One who moves or acts in a daze "like a zombie." [a word of West African origin]

What is a zombie? How are they created? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are their needs, their desires? Why are they hostile to humanity? Before discussing any survival techniques, you must first learn what you are trying to survive.

We must begin by separating fact from fiction. The walking dead are neither a work of "black magic" nor any other supernatural force. Their origin stems from a virus known as Solanum, a Latin word used by Jan Vanderhaven, who first "discovered" the disease.

SOLANUM: THE VIRUS

Solanum works by traveling through the bloodstream, from the initial point of entry to the brain. Through means not yet fully understood, the virus uses the cells of the frontal lobe for replication, destroying them in the process. During this period, all bodily functions cease. By stopping the heart, the infected subject is rendered "dead." The brain, however, remains alive but dormant, while the virus mutates its cells into a completely new organ. The most critical trait of this new organ is its independence from oxygen. By removing the need for this all-important resource, the undead brain can utilize, but is in no way dependent upon, the complex support mechanism of the human body. Once mutation is complete, this new organ reanimates the body into a form that bears little resemblance (physiologically speaking) to the original corpse. Some bodily functions remain constant, others operate in a modified capacity, and the remainder shut down completely. This new organism is a zombie, a member of the living dead.

1. Source

Unfortunately, extensive research has yet to find an isolated example of Solanum in nature. Water, air, and soil in all ecosystems, from all parts of the world, have turned up negative, as have their accompanying flora and fauna. At the time of this writing, the search continues.

2. Symptoms

The timetable below outlines the process of an infected human (give or take several hours, depending on the individual).

Hour 1: Pain and discoloration (brown-purple) of the infected area. Immediate clotting of the wound (provided the infection came from a wound).

Hour 5: Fever (99-103 degrees F), chills, slight dementia, vomiting, acute pain in the joints.

Hour 8: Numbing of extremities and infected area, increased fever (103-106 degrees F), increased dementia, loss of muscular coordination.

Hour 11: Paralysis in the lower body, overall numbness, slowed heart rate.

Hour 16: Coma.

Hour 20: Heart stoppage. Zero brain activity.

Hour 23: Reanimation.

3. Transference

Solanum is 100 percent communicable and 100 percent fatal. Fortunately for the human race, the virus is neither waterborne nor airborne. Humans have never been known to contract the virus from elements in nature. Infection can occur only through direct fluidic contact. A zombie bite, although by far the most recognizable means of transference, is by no means the only one. Humans have been infected by brushing their open wounds against those of a zombie or by being splattered by its remains after an explosion. Ingestion of infected flesh (provided the person has no open mouth sores) results in not infection but, rather, permanent death. Infected flesh has proven to be highly toxic.

No information-historical, experimental, or otherwise-has surfaced regarding the results of sexual relations with an undead specimen, but as previously noted, the nature of Solanum suggests a high danger of infection. Warning against such an act would be useless, as the only people deranged enough to try would be unconcerned for their own safety. Many have argued that, given the congealed nature of undead bodily fluids, the chances of infection from a non-bite contact should be low. However, it must be remembered that even one organism is enough to begin the cycle.

4. Cross-Species Infection

Solanum is fatal to all living creatures, regardless of size, species, or ecosystem. Reanimation, however, takes place only in humans. Studies have shown that Solanum infecting a non-human brain will die within hours of the death of its host, making the carcass safe to handle. Infected animals expire before the virus can replicate throughout their bodies. Infection from insect bites such as from mosquitoes can also be discounted. Experiments have proven that all parasitic insects can sense and will reject an infected host 100 percent of the time.

5. Treatment

Once a human is infected, little can be done to save him or her. Because Solanum is a virus and not a bacteria, antibiotics have no effect. Immunization, the only way to combat a virus, is equally useless, as even the most minute dosage will lead to a full-blown infection. Genetic research is under way. Goals range from stronger human antibodies to resistant cell structure to a counter-virus designed to identify and destroy Solanum. This and other, more radical treatments are still in the earliest stages, with no foreseeable success in the near future. Battlefield experiences have led to the immediate severing of the infected limb (provided this is the location of the bite), but such treatments are dubious at best, with less than a 10 percent success rate. Chances are, the infected human was doomed from the moment the virus entered his or her system. Should the infected human choose suicide, he should remember that the brain must be eliminated first. Cases have been recorded in which recently infected subjects, deceased by means other than the virus, will nonetheless reanimate. Such cases usually occur when the subject expires after the fifth hour of infection. Regardless, any person killed after being bitten or otherwise infected by the undead should be immediately disposed of. (See "Disposal, page 19.")

6. Reanimating the Already Deceased

It has been suggested that fresh human corpses could reanimate if Solanum were introduced after their death. This is a fallacy. Zombies ignore necrotic flesh and therefore could not transfer the virus. Experiments conducted during and after World War II (See "Recorded Attacks," pages 216ff) have proven that injecting Solanum into a cadaver would be futile because a stagnant bloodstream could not transport the virus to the brain. Injection directly into a dead brain would be equally useless, as the expired cells could not respond to the virus. Solanum does not create life-it alters it.

ZOMBIE ATTRIBUTES

1. Physical Abilities

Too often, the undead have been said to possess superhuman powers: unusual strength, lightning speed, telepathy, etc. Stories range from zombies flying through the air to their scaling vertical surfaces like spiders. While these traits might make for fascinating drama, the individual ghoul is far from a magical, omnipotent demon. Never forget that the body of the undead is, for all practical purposes, human. What changes do occur are in the way this new, reanimated body is used by the now-infected brain. There is no way a zombie could fly unless the human it used to be could fly. The same goes for projecting force fields, teleportation, moving through solid objects, transforming into a wolf, breathing fire, or a variety of other mystical talents attributed to the walking dead. Imagine the human body as a tool kit. The somnambulist brain has those tools, and only those tools, at its disposal. It cannot create new ones out of thin air. But it can, as you will see, use these tools in unconventional combinations, or push their durability beyond normal human limits.

A. Sight

The eyes of a zombie are no different than those of a normal human. While still capable (given their rate of decomposition) of transmitting visual signals to the brain, how the brain interprets these signals is another matter. Studies are inconclusive regarding the undead's visual abilities. They can spot prey at distances comparable to a human, but whether they can distinguish a human from one of their own is still up for debate. One theory suggests that the movements made by humans, which are quicker and smoother than those of the undead, is what causes them to stand out to the zombie eye. Experiments have been done in which humans have attempted to confuse approaching ghouls by mimicking their motions and adopting a shambling, awkward limp. To date, none of these attempts have succeeded. It has been suggested that zombies possess night vision, a fact that explains their skill at nocturnal hunting. This theory has been debunked by the fact that all zombies are expert night feeders, even those without eyes.

B. Sound

There is no question that zombies have excellent hearing. Not only can they detect sound-they can determine its direction. The basic range appears to be the same as that for humans. Experiments with extreme high and low frequencies have yielded negative results. Tests have also shown that zombies are attracted by any sounds, not just those made by living creatures. It has been recorded that ghouls will notice sounds ignored by living humans. The most likely, if unproven, explanation is that zombies depend on all their senses equally. Humans are sight-oriented from birth, depending on other senses only if the primary one is lost. Perhaps this is not a handicap shared by the walking dead. If so, it would explain their ability to hunt, fight, and feed in total darkness.

C. Smell

Unlike with sound, the undead have a more acute sense of smell. In both combat situations and laboratory tests, they have been able to distinguish the smell of living prey above all others. In many cases, and given ideal wind conditions, zombies have been known to smell fresh corpses from a distance of more than a mile. Again, this does not mean that ghouls have a greater sense of smell than humans, simply that they rely on it more. It is not known exactly what particular secretion signals the presence of prey: sweat, pheromones, blood, etc. In the past, people seeking to move undetected through infested areas have attempted to "mask" their human scent with perfumes, deodorants, or other strong-smelling chemicals. None were successful. Experiments are now under way to synthesize the smells of living creatures as a decoy or even repellent to the walking dead. A successful product is still years away.

D. Taste

Little is known about the altered taste buds of the walking dead. Zombies do have the ability to tell human flesh apart from that of animals, and they prefer the former. Ghouls also have a remarkable ability to reject carrion in favor of freshly killed meat. A human body that has been dead longer than twelve to eighteen hours will be rejected as food. The same goes for cadavers that have been embalmed or otherwise preserved. Whether this has anything to do with "taste" is not yet certain. It may have to do with smell or, perhaps, another instinct that has not been discovered. As to exactly why human flesh is preferable, science has yet to find an answer to this confounding, frustrating, terrifying question.

E. Touch

Zombies have, literally, no physical sensations. All nerve receptors throughout the body remain dead after reanimation. This is truly their greatest and most terrifying advantage over the living. We, as humans, have the ability to experience physical pain as a signal of bodily damage. Our brain classifies such sensations, matches them to the experience that instigated them, and then files the information away for use as a warning against future harm. It is this gift of physiology and instinct that has allowed us to survive as a species. It is why we value virtues such as courage, which inspires people to perform actions despite warnings of danger. The inability to recognize and avoid pain is what makes the walking dead so formidable. Wounds will not be noticed and, therefore, will not deter an attack. Even if a zombie's body is severely damaged, it will continue to attack until nothing remains.

F. Sixth Sense

Historical research, coupled with laboratory and field observation, have shown that the walking dead have been known to attack even when all their sensory organs have been damaged or completely decomposed. Does this mean that zombies possess a sixth sense? Perhaps. Living humans use less than 5 percent of their brain capacity. It is possible that the virus can stimulate another sensory ability that has been forgotten by evolution. This theory is one of the most hotly debated in the war against the undead. So far, no scientific evidence has been found to support either side.

G. Healing

Despite legends and ancient folklore, undead physiology has been proven to possess no powers of regeneration. Cells that are damaged stay damaged. Any wounds, no matter what their size and nature, will remain for the duration of that body's reanimation. A variety of medical treatments have been attempted to stimulate the healing process in captured ghouls. None were successful. This inability to self-repair, something that we as living beings take for granted, is a severe disadvantage to the undead. For example, every time we physically exert ourselves, we tear our muscles. With time, these muscles rebuild to a stronger state than before. A ghoul's muscle mass will remain damaged, reducing its effectiveness every time it is used.

H. Decomposition

The average zombie "life span"-how long it is able to function before completely rotting away-is estimated at three to five years. As fantastic as this sounds-a human corpse able to ward off the natural effects of decay-its cause is rooted in basic biology. When a human body dies, its flesh is immediately set upon by billions of microscopic organisms. These organisms were always present, in the external environment and within the body itself. In life, the immune system stood as a barrier between these organisms and their target. In death, that barrier is removed. The organisms begin multiplying geometrically as they proceed to eat and, thereby, break down the corpse on a cellular level. The smell and discoloration associated with any decaying meat are the biological process of these microbes at work. When you order an "aged" steak, you are ordering a piece of meat that has begun to rot, its formerly toughened flesh softened by microorganisms breaking down its sturdy fiber. Within a short time, that steak, like a human corpse, will dissolve to nothing, leaving behind only material too hard or unnutritious for any microbe, such as bone, teeth, nails, and hair. This is the normal cycle of life, nature's way of recycling nutrients back into the food chain. To halt this process, and preserve dead tissue, it is necessary to place it in an environment unsuitable for bacteria, such as in extreme low or high temperatures, in toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, or, in this case, to saturate it with Solanum.

Excerpted from The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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