Z101: Introductory Course in the Undead – Week 4 – Defense Against the Living Dead
Welcome to Week 4 of Z101!
For enrolled students:
>Click here for the quiz covering Zombie Identification.
>Your password to log into the quiz should have been emailed to you.
So you now know how to identify a zombie. What if you are faced with one? Do you know what to do? How to protect yourself and your family in the situation? Unless you have an arsenal of weapons (which most of us don’t) you may not be sure what to do in this situation. This week’s lesson will cover some basic defense strategies for the everyday person who doesn’t have the equipment to supply a small militia.
The Basic Principle: a zombie can only be killed by destroying its brain.
In the remainder of the lesson we will discuss some techniques to killing a zombie, all of these will be based on the above mentioned Basic Principle. If you find yourself in a situation where none of the following are available, remember the Basic Principle and apply it according to your situation and tools at hand.
There are three basic weapons groups for killing zombies:
- Blunt Objects
- Sharp Objects
Let’s look into each group.
You may not have a ton of guns or any powerful guns, but many people keep a shotgun or rifle around for hunting and such. If you have a gun around please consider the following warnings and techniques:
- Only a head shot will kill a zombie, so don’t shoot for the heart or stomach or anything but the head if you are looking to kill the zombie.
NOTE: you may not have the opportunity to go for a head shot. In this case you may want to simply immobilize the zombie. You can shoot the legs, but be cautious, this may slow down the zombie, but it WILL NOT KILL it.
- Guns run out of bullets. Do not put all faith in your firearm. Have a backup plan and weapon.
- The best way to destroy the brain, especially with a small bullet like a .22 your best bet is to enter through the eye from the front, or from the base of the skull from the back. These will offer the least resistance to the bullet penetrating the brain.
- While firearms may allow for a safer distance from the zombie, they also allow for friendly fire and misidentification. Be aware of these dangers and make sure you are targeting a true zombie and no human is around to get in the way.
A blunt Object may be the best thing you have around. The goal with this is to cruch the skull and destroy the brain inside. A few common household items that would fit into this category include:
- Baseball Bats
- Cast Iron Frying Pans
- Cricket Bats
- Large Rocks
- Sledge Hammer
A few things to consider in this category:
- Blunt objects will most likely require you to get close to the zombie. Be cautious of teeth, open wounds, exposed bones, and finger nails. These could cause infection if they break your skin.
- Use things that are durable. You wouldn’t want your baseball bat cracking in the middle of your attack.
- Make sure you actually destroy the brain, not just knock over the zombie. You wouldn’t want it getting back up to catch you unaware.
Sharp objects can be an easier way to kill a zombie, if you have something sharp around to penetrate the zombies brain you may want to go this direction. A few common household items that would fit into this category include:
- Kitchen Knives
- Fire Pokers
- Crowbar edge
- Sling (or lawnmower) Blade
- Collectable Swords
- Hunting Knife
- Ax or Maul
A few things to consider in this category:
- The longer the blade the better, you want to keep as safe a distance as possible form the zombie.
- Know how to use your weapon, don’t grab a sword if you don’t know how to handle it. You may harm yourself more than the zombie
- As mentioned above, in the blunt objects category, use things that are durable. You wouldn’t want your kitchen knife breaking in the middle of your attack.
- Do not cut yourself. Even a little cut could expose you to fluid transfer from the zombie and infection could ensue.
You may have noticed the crowbar in both blunt and sharp categories. I believe that the crowbar is one of the best weapons in defense against zombies. In addition to the fact that it has both a blunt force and a sharp edge, it is also quite durable (being made of a single piece of metal) and it could be used as a tool (to get into locked doors, smash out windows and pry things open. It is also light enough to carry significant distances. This may prove to be invaluable. I believe with a crowbar you get the most bang for your buck.
Based on my explanation of the crowbar I would like to share some final thoughts on weapons:
- Choosing a weapon that is not too heavy may help in the long run because you can carry it with you if you end up heading out on foot.
- A weapon that can be used as a tool may come in very handy for more than killing zombies.
- Durability (as I have mentioned) is crucial. Don’t get “caught with your pants down” on this.
- A weapon that can be used in multiple ways will help save you the weight of carrying multiple weapons for specific situations and save you the time of having to find the correct weapon for the correct scenario.
- Guns are good, but never forget: A Crowbar will never run out of bullets.