The Walking Dead? Am I talking about the hit TV show now in its 10th season on amc? Not exactly, though one could draw parallels to what I’m about to suggest…
First, “Prepping and Preparedness 3” is a level of being prepared for up to 1 year. It’s a hypothetical low probability but very high impact event or set of events.
Check the series overview (linked below) for my logic and reasoning why I split it the way that I did.
Who Are The Walking Dead?
Zombies. Human zombies. A Level-3 societal meltdown will result in “walking dead” zombies.
While it’s difficult to realistically think about, the reality will be LOTS of desperate, then dying, and eventually dead people.
If we were to lose our critical infrastructure systems due to an event or events which collapse our modern way of life —
I don’t care where you live during this event, in my estimation you WILL (eventually) be dealing with some of this (or much of this). It’s not going to be easy, or pleasant, to say the least.
First, The Zombies
The unprepared, and even some, or many of the prepared (up to level-2) will begin to run out of critical life-sustaining supplies. Water. Food. In that order. Distribution is down. Infrastructure non-functional.
The cities descend into chaos first. Quickly followed by suburbia.
Imagine (and multiply this over and over…) — a million city people without running water. Seriously. Think about that. While there are few limited events that could actually cause that (which is not the point of this article). But “if”. Oh. My. G.
It is debatable what percentage may eventually end up dying in place versus those who flee their area and become the walking dead in search of water and food. My instinct is that a majority will not go far from where they consider “home”. When they’ve waited to the point of weakness and extreme desperation, it will be too late to effectively venture out. Though even those who do, will not readily find long lasting relief, if at all.
I haven’t defined the level-3 event. But one presumption is the affected geographical area extends beyond just a region or two. It’s large. Lets say mostly nationwide. Will other nations come in to the rescue (opportunistic invasion – or on purpose)? Maybe. Maybe a bit of relief for “some” who acquiesce to the “invaders”? But maybe the event is approaching global. Then what? Okay, I’m digressing beyond the intent here. Point being, a level-3 event is not counting on “rescue” or partial restoration for 3 months to a year. People will rapidly become desperate.
Zombies During The Outset
So the zombies will be out and about to an extent, especially during the outset of the breakdown. Given the widespread nature of level-3, it won’t take long for reality to set in.
Most people will be fairly civil at first. There will be those who help others and share their supplies with the zombies knocking on their neighbor’s and friend’s doors. However those who share will also run out (and run out quicker). Then what?
Zombies Turn Violent
At some point the zombies stop knocking on doors. They start kicking them in. It gets violent. Sporadic at first. Then worse. Obviously the cities fair horribly. Suburbia also descends into danger. Rural too. Just not as much.
Those prepared for level-3 will be on high alert. Security of utmost importance. Hopefully being “gray” and not standing out as a target.
The danger will be the zombies.
Some may be smart zombies who will pass by a well-secured home looking for easier prey. For example, Dennis (a contributor here) said, In good times or bad, people who would take what’s yours will consider the risk. That is why shootings in “gun free zones” are common, and shootings at “gun shows” are exceedingly rare.
Eventually though, zombies will start dying.
When The Zombies Start Dying
I don’t even like writing about it within the context of potential reality. I would much rather write a novel – at least it’s pretend…
But here we are. Level-3. Considering the mass die-off. Not pleasant. Wow I hope something like this never happens. If we could just control the Sun (and it’s potential ‘Carrington Event’ flares). And if we could just magically disappear the technology of weaponized EMP. I’m digressing again.
What’s going to happen when all these millions of people start dying? Answer: not much. They’re not going to be buried (maybe a few at first – or someone you may know if you have the ability to get the job done).
There’s going to be a lot of bodies. And disease. And disgusting smelly horror.
What Happens When A Body Decomposes?
Found this info doing ordinary internet-search. It’s gross. But it is also reality.
- 24-72 hours after death — the internal organs decompose.
- 3-5 days after death — the body starts to bloat and blood-containing foam leaks from the mouth and nose.
- 8-10 days after death — the body turns from green to red as the blood decomposes and the organs in the abdomen accumulate gas.
- Several weeks after death — nails and teeth fall out.
- 1 month after death — the body starts to liquefy.
Insects arrive to the scene very quickly as they are really sensitive to the smell of decomposition. Flies will lay eggs in skin openings and in entrances to the body; nose, ears and mouth. Maggots will hatch and start eating the decomposing flesh.
All of the breakdown and digestion of the body’s cells are causing gases to be released; these gases are the what give bodies their terrible smell. This stinking liquid attracts more flies, beetles and other insects.
Between 20 to 50 days after death, the body begins to dry out as all of the remaining flesh is consumed by insects. Maggots can no longer feed on the dry body because they can’t chew through the tough tissue. This is where the beetles take over. They can chew through the remaining tendons and ligaments, until all that is left is bone and hair.
Between 50 to 365 days after death, moths and bacteria consume the hair. All that is left is bone; it can last indefinitely as long as there are no predators around.
That Was Gross!
I know. And “if” this type of event happens, it will be unimaginably gross.
But it looks like after 4 to 8 weeks of the massive die-off, the smell will have gone. Thereafter becoming skeleton over the next several months.
Well, I suppose the takeaway is to wrap your head around the possibility of zombies in your area of operation, and eventual mass die-off.
I suspect the first 3 months of the event will be the worst. At the 6 month mark, most of the remaining will be dead (unless there’s a mass rescue).
Isn’t it weird to think about how modern civilization is so dependent upon our modern infrastructure? Literally!
No electricity – we’re dead.
No water – we’re dead.
Bare grocery store shelves – we’re dead.
Unless of course, we’re prepared.
End of story.
[ Read: Preparedness Level 1 – 4 Series Overview ]