Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life
Zombie Apocalypse protocol for dorms
As someone who lives in a college community, I understand how necessary it is for someone to address the Zombie Apocalypse protocol for dorms. I don’t feel like this is an area that has been touch on, as most people give emergency plans for locations like malls or apartments. Although the two are similar, dorms are different from apartments, and so they really should be covered on their own.
I would first like to clear up any misconceptions. In the case of dorm buildings and a zombie hoard, some people may be lulled into a false sense of security. Many dorms require key cards at access the actual residential area and in addition, a key card to access individual floors or stair wells. Although this is a huge bonus, dorms are full of people, and people carry infection. Do not think you are safe simply because you are in an area that requires a key card to get to. Someone can be bitten, and then before they have turned, enter these areas and infect you. Another important misconception is that like most buildings, the top floor or the roof is the safest location. I can’t stress enough that this is true for most buildings, but is not true in a dorm situation. For most dorms, there are no fire escapes on the outside of the buildings or nearby roof tops to get to. If infection somehow gets into the building, the sheer number of people within the building will make no place in the building safe. Working together, the hoard would be able to bring down any door to get to where you are. Since dorms are often very tall, you would become trapped, and most likely join the zombie ranks.
So what do you do in a viral outbreak if you’re in a dorm?
1. Get ready now.
Although your dorm may have a fridge and a microwave, power may go out depending on the extent of the viral outbreak. Be sure to have dry food that can be kept without refrigeration and does not need cooked. Be sure to have something to drink, like bottled water, even if you do have access to a sink. You never know if water lines will continue to function during emergencies such as these. Buy a rope ladder so that you can exit through a dorm room window if needed. Be sure to have a battery powered radio and flashlight in your dorm and ready to go. Candles are another option if allowed, but a lot of colleges think they are a fire hazard. If you can, a small first aid kit wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Unfortunately, you probably won’t have any weapons available to you since schools prohibit this sort of thing. Instead, always think of things you could use as makeshift weapons if needed. And finally, have a bucket. This may seem odd, but if your dorm room stays your home in a zombie attack, you don’t have a bathroom. Buckets are mobile and the contents can be emptied out the window.
2. Have a plan.
When you hear of an outbreak, be sure to know where you are going. Choose a room that you, your roommate, and most likely no more than two friends (dorm rooms are small after all) can flee too. The best choice would be a room on the third floor of a building with a window. The first and second floor are both bad locations because anyone, infected or not, could easily climb into windows on the lower levels. The third floor is just high enough to keep it out of range of people outside, but low enough that the window can be used as an exit if needed. As mentioned before, higher levels could become death traps.
3. Don’t waste time.
Although you may feel inclined to try to barricade the stairs or even the front door, don’t waste your time. There are simply too many people around to try to manage something like this. Not everyone will know what is occurring and may be trying to get out, in addition to people trying to get back inside. The key cards are already a kind of barricade, but not completely safe. They will at least slow everything down until the power goes out. The smartest idea is to go to your planned room as soon as the outbreak occurs.
4. Barricade yourself in and hide.
Although most dorms have a door knob lock in addition to a dead bolt, it might be a good idea to move a desk or bed in front of the door as well. Yes, this may slow down you from leaving your room when the infection is cleared, but it will also slow down anyone from getting in when zombies are still lurking about. Another piece of advice is to cover the windows with a bed sheet so that light you produce isn’t seen by the outside world. You don’t want to bring attention to your location. This is also a good time to make a rope out of linens, towels, or clothes if you did not purchase a rope one before the attack. I recommend that you do this immediately so it will always be available. If your door has a peep hole, use it and check the commotion outside frequently.
5. Wait for everything to be okay.
The one major downside to the dorm room is the waiting. This is a location that it may be take a while to be rescued. There is really no easy way to show that’s where you are which out also alerted the hoard. Your best choice is to use either the dorm phone or your cell phone to alert someone to your location immediately. If this isn’t possible, you will have to simply wait it out.