Thoughts from a (girl) Gamer

Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life

Category Archives: Zombie Survival

Becoming More Afraid of the Zombie Apocalypse

This past month I got married, went on my honeymoon and realized how easily it would be for the zombie apocalypse to actually spread.

I guess I have always been a little more worried about not necessarily zombies, but infectious diseases, more than the average person. I don’t know if it’s because I was briefly a biochem major or if it’s because I find myself  reading books like The Hot Zone in my spare time. Either way, the realization I had coming back from my honeymoon was terrifying.

It is crazy easy for a sickness to be transmitted from country to country.

I guess I will start at the beginning, when I first boarded the cruise ship. When you first go to get on the boat, they have you feel out a medical questionnaire. Have you been vomiting or had diarrhea in the past week? Are you on any medications? Pretty standard stuff. The goal was to keep sick people off the boat. The goal was to keep someone from bringing a sickness into the confined space. Alright, sounds like a good idea.

Flash forward. Do you know what they do when you get off the boat, when you re-enter the country? What they do to keep something you caught while in a foreign country out of the US?  Answer: Nothing.

That’s completely terrifying! Let me explain.

At the end of my honeymoon, I looked like a wreck. I was sick incredibly sick.

Firstly, I had a touch of sea sickness through a lot of the cruise. I wouldn’t vomit, but I’d get dizzy if I weren’t near a window or something. If I could feel the boat moving, but I couldn’t see the boat moving, my brain got all confused. Secondly, I was allergic to my new deodorant I bought. I had rashes on both of my inner arms. I was bright read because of my sunburn… probably had a fever… and the worst part was… I had caught a little bit of Montezuma’s revenge while in Mexico.

So let’s break this down, when I went to reenter the country I

  • was dizzy
  • nauseous
  • vomiting
  • had diarrhea
  • had a fever
  • was bright red
  • was sweating
  • had a rash on my body
  • looked like death.

And I was able to walk off the boat, and into the country just fine.


I mean, I know I was fine to reenter. I know I was dying from something that I couldn’t transmit. By the customs guys didn’t. Like really, if I had seen me, I probably would have taken me to the doctor.

So the new most terrifying thing I can imagine is someone getting bit while in some port of call while on vacation… wondering back onto the cruise ship… and then getting off just in time to turn and infect everyone in the US.


Zombie Tara

After I was done presenting at Otronicon at the Orlando Science Center, I decided to participate in Zombie night. Check out my killer face paint. Love it.

Zombie Apocalypse protocol for weddings

by Tara

As someone who is a member of multiple wedding parties next year, I understand how necessary it is for someone to address the Zombie Apocalypse protocol for weddings. Although the likely hood of an outbreak while exchanging vows or observing others doing so is slim, that’s no excuse to not be prepared.

Although parts of this article can be applied to weddings at any location, this article will mainly cover weddings in churches. Weddings in other locations will be covered separately, or fall under the protocol of other buildings.

1. Pick the right location for your wedding.
As mentioned before, this article will mainly be addressing weddings in churches. If you have decided that you would like to have your ceremony in a religious location, do not simply choose to have your wedding in the building that your family has attended services in for years and years. Not all churches are fortified equallily in terms of the Zombie Apocolaypse. When choosing the proper church, older ones are the way to go. Older churches are more likely to be made of stone or brick, not have basement windows,  have a elevated entry way, and have a  thick wooden entry way. New churches often have glass doors that were made for aesthetic reasons and will not provide enough protection from the infected. They are also more likely to have more exits leading to the outside world. More exits are merely more entries for the infected.

2. Decorate your wedding accordingly.

If you have chosen to have your wedding in a church, it is very likely that there will not be guns in the building, and this is understandable. To make up for the lack of weapons, be sure to choose wedding decor that can be quickly converted in survival tools and weapons in case of infected. Be sure to have a lot of candles at your ceremony. Candles can provide light in case of a power outage but also produce less light that electric lights and would there for be less likely to alert infected to your location. They can also be used to boil water or heat food. This also gives you an excuse to have plenty of matches and lighters around. With so many candles, it would only make sense that one would have many tall candelabras. When sturdy candelabras have been chosen, they make a fairly efficient staff or long distance weapon. When compared to other weapons available in a church, it makes a viable option. Please remember, that although you have a multitude of candles, do not use the fire to try to harm any infected. Fire does not slow down zombies, but only causes you to know have a flaming zombie coming after you instead of a non-flaming zombie. It would also be a good idea to have a lot of fabric at your wedding, such a a aisle runner. This can be used as a rope if needed.

3. Dress your wedding party appropriately.
This applies not so much to males as it does females, but there are some simple rules to follow. Be sure that you have chosen comfortable shoes that are easy to move around in. You never know when you may need to run, so be sure that you are able to do so in your shoes. Full length dresses and ball gowns are not a good idea. They are hard to move around in and could slow down the wearer. In addition, it makes the wearing have more that a zombie could grab at and get a hold of.  Knee to mid-shin length dresses are the best option for all females (assuming that you want to have dresses for your wedding party). If you are set on wearing a dress of a longer length, make sure that the skirt can be easily rolled up or ripped to make it easier to move around in. Having an extra set of clothing on hand may be a good idea, but remember that you may not be able to use them.

4. Have a small wedding.
More people mean more infected. Keep it small. In addition, if there are less people in the building when an outbreak occurs there are less people to feed and take care of.

5. Have an on site reception.
Having an on site reception allows you to have ample food at your disposal while you are waiting out attack. Be sure to pick foods that do not need refidgerated and can be eaten at room temperature. Having an on site recption also allows you to have knives at the church, which may not have been there before. It is never a bad thing to have more weapons at your disposal.

6. Use what God has provided.

Churches have pews, and this gives you an ample amount of wood. Use the pews to barricade all doors and windows. You’re best idea is to get to the highest part of the church you can reach. If the church has an upper balacony or a bell tower, be sure to make it accessible and easy to block aid in the case of infected entering the church. Be sure to have a way to get out of a balacony or bell tower if you can not leave the way you came. A good idea would be to leave you aisle runner up there and ready to go if it is needed as a rope.

How to Make a “In Case of Zombie” Kit

instructions from Tara


In case of Zombies

What you will need:

Shadow Box– These are available in sizes 5×7 to 24×36 at most craft stores. What size you want will depend on what items you would like to put in your case.
Hot glue gun

Masking tape

Letter stickers: These are available at most craft stores in the scrap booking sections. For larger lettering try the home improvement department and look for address lettering for mailboxes.  Recommended fonts are  Stencil and ARIAL ROUNDED MT BOLD. It is not recommended that you try and paint the letters on with stencils.Not only can this look sloppy, but it is easier to break the glass this way. I know. You will need the following amount of each letter-
i: 2, n: 1, c: 1, a: 3, s: 4, e: 3, o: 2, f: 1, z: 1, b: 1, r: 1, k: 1, g: 1, l: 1

Zombie fighting gear– this is up to you and what you can fit in your case depends on the size of your case :

suggested items:
toy gun (pistol or shotgun)
spray paint (for spray painting toy gun to make it look more realistic**)
field med kit
emergency glow stick
Zombie Survival Guide

Toy GunknifeMed Kitglow stick

1. Buy everything you need.
2. If you have purchased a toy gun and would like to paint it to look more realistic, do so now. This is most easily accomplished by painting a toy pistol black.
3. Allow the gun to dry over night.
4. Take the backing off of the shadow box and arrange everything how you would like it to be displayed in the case. Be sure to pay attention to the orientation of the hooks on the backing. If you plan to hang your display case, make sure the hooks on the back are aligned properly.
5. Once you are satisfied with the lay out of your items, use the hot glue gun to attach them to the backing one at a time.
6. Set aside and allow this to dry.
7. Decide how you would like your warning to be arranged on your display case. I recommend that it is arranged as such:
“IN CASE OF ZOMBIES” is displayed at the top of the case and “BREAK GLASS” is at the bottom.
8. Measure your display case so that you can keep your letters evenly spaced.
9. After determining how far apart your letters should be, mark where you would like to place your letters with tape.
10. Carefully place your letter stickers on the glass.
11. Remove the tape.
12. Your zombie survival gear hot glued to the backing should be dry now. Just to make sure that all items are securely fastened, and make adjustments if necessary.
13. Place the backing back onto the shadow box.
14. Revel in your glory.

Your case is now ready to be displayed on the wall of your choice. It is recommended that you hang an accent light over your case to draw attention to it.

*Everyone needs to be ready for the Zombie Apocolypse, and this case isn’t the way to do it. This display case is for show only and will not support the weight of a real gun. As everyone knows, all real Zombie fighting equipement needs to packed and ready to be mobile. Hanging your real apocalypse needs in a case on the wall would only slow you down.
** Some states require toy guns to have an orange tip to show that they are toys and not real. Thoughts From a Girl Gamer is not responsible for any readers who paint over the orange tip.

Zombie Apocalypse protocol for dorms

by Tara

zombies3As 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.

Zombie Apocalypse protocol for camping

by Tara

zombiesatackingcampAs someone who has gone camping, I understand how necessary it is for someone to address the Zombie Apocalypse protocol for camping. Although the likely hood of an outbreak while you are on a outdoor camping break may be small, that’s no excuse to not be prepared.

I would like to start off by saying that this is not nearly as bad as you think it may be. The most important thing to remember in any zombie situation is that people mean infection, and you aren’t near people when camping. With that in mind, here is everything you need to know for this situation.

1. Don’t take chances.

When you leave to go camping, basic survival gear is a must. The bare minimum you should have when you leave is a gun or bow and arrow, a knife or hatchet, matches, flint, a canteen, a medical supply kit, food and spare clothes. No questions. Having any less than this will leave you in a situation in which you will not be able to defend yourself, hunt, make a fire, meet your basic nutritional needs or unable to treat your wounds. Additional recommended gear includes a lighter, gas lamp, flash lights, batteries and a battery powered radio.

2. Be prepared to move.

Considering you are most likely in a tent, you are probably not in a location that you can fortify. This only leaves you with one option, staying on the move. Keep all your belongings organized in a way that will be very easy to pick up and go. If possible, keep all items in nap sacks and back packs. If you have a vehicle, the most ideal situation would be to have everything that you are not using kept in the vehicle. Whether or not you should bring your tent with you really depends on how long it takes you to disassemble. If it can be done quickly, by all means take it, if it can’t then leave it behind. You have to be able to move at the first site of infected. Remember, you do not want to return home unless you live in a rural area that does not require you to drive through any towns to get to. Remember, cities mean people, and people mean infection.

3. Choose an a good spot to settle down.

When choosing a location to settle down at, it is very important to look at your surroundings. Avoid areas that put you out in the open, as you will become an easy target. When in an open area, you have to constantly watch all sides, and can be easily seen. Try to pick an area where you can at least have your back to something, leaving you one less area to have to keep an eye on. If you are near bluffs or cliffs, I highly recommend setting up camp near the base. Try to stay in an area that has lots of wildlife. In addition to be a hunt-able food source, they can also be an early warning system for nearby infected. Animals can sense zombie flesh before we can, so if you find yourself in a quiet forest with no animals, it is time to move- the infected are on their way. Try to choose a location near water. This is mainly to ensure that you constantly have something to drink. Be sure to boil any water before drinking it. Cave or caves systems are not recommended unless you have intimate knowledge of the caves. The only thing worse than a zombie apocalypse is being lost in a cave during a zombie apocalypse.

4. Play it safe.

Only light fires during the day time. When fire is lit during the day, the smoke can be used to signal rescue teams that survivors are present. Fires light at night only alert the hoard to your presence. Constantly have someone on the lookout at all times of the day. When on look out, keep in mind that there are more signs of the infected then physically seeing a zombie. If all wildlife has fled the area, you should too. Be sure to listen for the zombies’ classic moan and their highly unique (and repulsive) smell. Do not panic if you see any one of these warning signs. Remember, the infected are slow, and you can easily out run them.