Congratulations, you have lived through the apocalypse. While your diligent preparation has enabled you to survive through the initial hours and proceeding weeks of complete social collapse, eventually the time will come when you will be required to leave the safety of your fortified residence and venture outside in search of supplies. While it would be nice to envision a new world awaiting where survivors band together to rebuild social structures, this will not be the case. Mrs. Jenkins from No. 4 who often waved from her garden and once lent you a cup of sugar is now quite prepared to empty a clip into the back of your head over that last packet of Cheetos on the supermarket shelf. It may have been a dog-eat-dog world before but even miniature poodles hear the call of the wild after only a few days without kibble. There will be a myriad of other dangers awaiting you in this neo-Darwinist anarchy-fueled kill-orgy social structure, so how do you prepare?
Dress for Success
As it is a new world it is also your chance to present a new you. An extremely well-armed and armored you. Regardless of the temperature outside. Even during the height of summer, SWAT teams do not drop from helicopters and crash through windows while wearing tank tops and flip-flops. As many of your less-prepared neighbors will likely be out shopping in bright green John Deere trucker caps or Laura Ashley dresses, dark or camouflaged clothing provides an advantage in environments where the first to shoot gets the Cheetos. If the element of surprise is wasted, a successful shopping trip may depend on who has the most firepower, so the more pockets the better. A body part that does not have handguns, blades or rounds attached to it is a wasted body part. Kevlar is your friend, as is a good pair of steel-toed but comfortable boots that you can run in. If ammunition is exhausted and retreat is the only viable option, survival may come down to running faster than the rest of your party.
If the air outside is toxic, a simple air-proof mobile suit can be easily constructed from a garbage bag, Ziplock bag, and duct tape.
Selecting who to take on the shopping trip is of key importance. View the party as chess pieces, with you as the king, the one with the most tactical experience as your queen, and the chubbiest members as pawns. Chubby people have usually clocked up the most hours on Halo and although they may slow down the team and be easy targets, this provides good cover in a shoot out and has the added benefit of fewer “big eaters” returning to base. If your lot consists only of marketing reps and IT professionals who couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag, choose those who have seen the movies Mad Max or Omega Man.
In and Out
A well-planned strategy for a tactical armed shopping trip should never include the word "Prius." Social workers will be the first to go when society collapses, as "sitting down with a cup of tea and calmly discussing options" won't get the Cheetos. Two large four-wheel drives will be required as this allows for the breakdown or damage of one. Start with gun stores for ammunition. Lead is the new currency. When shopping for food, choose small supermarkets and avoid big box stores such as Wal-Mart. Stopping to exit the vehicle before entering the shop provides an easy target so it is better to enter through the front window without slowing down. Given enough speed, this will also take care of anyone already on the premises within your immediate trajectory. This is not the time to argue over Cheddar or Camembert, grab the fucking cheese. Load the vehicle and leave within thirty seconds.
Well done. Next week: Post-apocalypse recipes.