Preparing for (and Dealing With) Natural Disasters: The Geek Way

As much as I’d like to start this post on a positive note, the strongest storm system on the planet this year is currently Falcon Punching the heck out of my country and I find it hard to be upbeat. Which is why I’m writing a doomsday manual. For geeks. Because we need to survive: so we can rise from the ashes and rule the post-apocalyptic world as masters of the human race.

But, sadly, I’m thinking that this is how some of you would react at the first sign of a disaster:

Just think of it like this: if you act like an idiot before and during a calamity, you’ll end up dead. And you won’t even have the time to clear your browser history.

So no matter what type of calamity might occur—be it a storm, an earthquake, a kaiju attack, an EMP burst, a zombie pandemic, or a full-on Day After Tomorrow, 2012 kind of apocalypse—you need to be ready. Below are five essential things that should always be part of your preparedness plan:

1. PROTECT YOUR ELECTRONICS

Okay, you’re a geek. Or a nerd. Whatever you are, you’re probably tied to your electronics like a dying man on life support. You can’t be unplugged. This is why you need to secure your lifeline. First off, your computer. Back up all your data (except, of course, what you don’t want to survive the calamity–yes, I’m looking at all that weird-ass porn you have). Try to back it up (heh.) both on the computer itself and on an external hard drive, just in case. Also, IMPORTANT, delete your browser history. 

Okay, other electronics. Charge your damn phone. No one’s gonna text or call you, of course, but you can use it to call the authorities (provided the government hasn’t fallen). Your consoles…you gotta let those go, man. I’m sorry, but you won’t survive if you gotta lug around an XBOX all the time. My advice: slowly wean yourself off of the consoles and become a PC gamer instead. I did it and it was amazing. (Microsoft, if you’re reading this, I can accept my fee for advertising via cash/check.)

2. FIND AN ALTERNATE SOURCE OF ENERGY

Of course, you can’t do shit with your electronics when their batteries run out. The best thing would be to get one of those personal generators at the hardware store. They’re relatively inexpensive, you can hoard gas beforehand, and you’ll be able to livetweet your daily struggle because of it. “Walker fell down the stairs LOL” Of course, you’ll be screwed when you run out of gas. The next best thing? Hoard potatoes then use ’em high school science fair style.

You also need alternative communication solutions, since you probably won’t get reception during a calamity. Those cheap walkie-talkies at the hardware store can be a lifesaver since those things run on basically the same channels as other, more sophisticated, radios. You’ll need them for when you’re craving for pizza in the middle of the night and your phone’s not working. “Hello? Is anyone out there? Please, is anyone out there? If anybody’s listening to this…I am really jonesing for a pepperoni pizza. Extra cheese.

But, like this video says, you can’t survive with electronics alone, especially if society has crumbled. So what else?

3. LEARN NEW SKILLS

Let’s face it, you’re not really cut out for survival. You reading this post is proof enough. I’m willing to bet you also spend several hours of your day looking at cat .gifs or staring at photos of Emilia Clarke (I am not describing me at all, no). You’re Tumblr famous, your Facebook posts get a lot of likes, and your Tweets get retweeted dozens of times, but you don’t know shit about jerry-rigging household items Home Alone style, or even lighting a fire without a match.

Thankfully, you still have access to the Internet, which is pretty much an information gold mine if you’re willing to dig through the layers of horseshit first (and judging by how long you’ve been scrolling through 9gag, you are). A quick YouTube search will lead to dozens of videos, playlists even, that are designed to teach you how to survive in the wild. Of course, some of these are total crap done by amateurs who think that because they went camping once they’re wilderness experts. But if you’re a geek like I am, you can spot the good, helpful ones. Good luck.

4. HAVE A MED PACK READY

The worst thing about life–real life, I mean–is that you don’t get extra hearts. You can’t get hit by a turtle shell and expect to come back without a scratch like that Italian plumber with a mustache who just won’t accept that the princess isn’t getting kidnapped, she’s having an affair with Bowser. Jeez, Mario, get your shit together.

You don’t get save points either. You can’t save any time a la Mass Effect. You don’t get even those shitty auto-saves from the Batman: Arkham games. And there’s no Pokemon Center where you can get healed after wading through a shit-ton of zubats. You only get one life, are you really gonna risk going out there without a med kit?

5. STORE FOOD AND WATER

You’re not a video-game character. Unless the video game is The Sims (without the cheats, you asshole). You have to eat, and drink. Let’s talk about both.

Now, unless you wanna go all Bear Grylls on this whole survival thing, you need to store plenty of water. Be aware that water easily gets contaminated, so you can’t hope that the water that comes out of your kitchen tap is potable. Find a place to store clean, drinkable water, and do it now. Unless you have cash. In which case, you can get this straw that automatically filters water while you drink it.  Oh wait, it’s only $25. I’m totally getting one for myself.

You’re out of shape. You and I both know that, and I had to say it so we can get past it and move on. You’re out of shape. You eat too much and when food runs out, you’re gonna be the first to die. Unless you hoard food. And don’t share. You’re gonna live. They’re gonna die. And you’re gonna step over their dead bodies while munching on your M&Ms.

BONUS TIP: TALK TO THE NEIGHBORS

Okay, here’s a question for you: two other people live in apartments on your floor. One is an ex-army dude with extensive experience in the field (and probably has a gun locker somewhere), and the other is the pretty girl next door you’ve always had a crush on. Who do you talk to to ensure you survive come the calamity? The army guy, right?

It was a trick question. The answer is both. 

Why talk to the army dude is obvious, he could save your ass a million times. But why talk to the girl? You like her. Everything’s going to shit. When else are you gonna tell her?

And honestly, what is the point of struggling to survive if you don’t have even the possibility of love to look forward to?

______________________________________________________________________

For non-geeks who are reading this and thinking WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON, congratulations on making it this far. I want you guys to survive too so I’d have a source of manual labor when I rule the world, so below are some links which might be of help:

I’m going to leave you all with the wise words of Mad Eye Moody, everyone. If you don’t know who he is, get off this blog.

Keep safe, everybody! If you do die, we’ll probably use your bodies as fertilizer so, thanks in advance!

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