Oct 22 2012 3:00pm

Author Darynda Jones on Preparing for the Apocalypse

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda JonesAuthor Darynda Jones's Grim Reaper heroine, Charley Davidson, is about to have the fourth adventure in her series in Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet. Today, Darynda is here to talk about preparing for the apocalypse, which of course means stocking up on canned chili. Thanks for joining us, Darynda!

(And check back at H&H next week for a special sweepstakes!)

Growing up a Girl Scout, I learned early on to be prepared. Sadly, that’s about as far as that preparation took me. I mean, be prepared for what? A stubbed toe? Hemorrhoids? Infamy?

Still, that motto has lingered inside me for some time, and I have finally figured out what all those Scout leaders were trying to prepare me for.

The apocalypse!

I know, right? Duh.

So, in the name of all things preparative—and to pass along the nuggets of knowledge I’ve accumulated in this area—I have decided to share one small part of my Plan: Be Prepared (which should not be confused with my Plan B: If All Else Fails, Run for the Hills and Hide).

And without further ado . . .

Plan: Be Prepared, A savvy girl’s guide to survival and wellness in a post-apocalyptic world.

Chapter 4, Section 3
Food Stores

Storing food in advance is essential if you are to survive the apocalypse and, again depending on the type of apocalyptic incident, thrive in the aftermath of utter chaos. Keep in mind that, should there be a zombie outbreak, you might be doing a lot of running in the near future and may not have long-term access to your food stores. Have some quick-and-easy items on hand. Never forget, zombies can last a lot longer than you can, so store light, easy-to-carry sources of carbohydrates, proteins, and calories the moment you get word of an infestation.

Below is a list of the most essential items you should keep on hand. The ones marked with an asterisk are the best bang for your buck should there be zombies.

• *Water – This is a no-brainer, but definitely have both gallons of water and bottled water on hand in case you have to run for your life. You might consider keeping a self-contained tank of water in the basement for baths and such. An apocalypse is no reason to skimp on hygiene.

• Canned goods – Try to keep a variety of canned goods to keep boredom at bay. Hiding out for years with only Wolf Brand Chili can get tedious and can wreak havoc on your intestines. And your relationships. Canned goods last forever and are a good choice if stationary. (Do not try to carry a multitude of canned goods while running from zombies. The weight will deplete your energy stores and they will only catch you faster.)

• Grains and Nuts – Rice, oats, pasta and a variety of nuts are great to have on hand, especially if you have access to clean water and a heating element. Pouring the excess Wolf Brand Chili you just insisted on buying because it was on sale over rice or pasta will break up the monotony.

• Sugar – Wonderful for sweetening, sure, but it can also be used as an antibiotic in a dire emergency.

• *Peanut Butter – Unless you’re allergic, PB is a fantastic choice. It is high in calories and protein and zombies hate it when you coat your hair with it. It gets stuck to the roof of their mouths and they become preoccupied and forget about your brains, thus giving you an opportunity to get away. Take it.

• *Breakfast Cereals – Great with or without milk. However, if you keep a cow for fresh milk, make sure it has not been zombie-fied. And for the love of cheesecake, do not try to take the cow if running from zombies. Like the canned goods, carrying it will deplete your energy stores and they will only catch you faster.

• Cow – See above.

• *Beef Jerky – Not only is beef jerky loaded with protein and calories, it is light, easy to carry, and as good as cash at post-apocalyptic outposts.

• *Crackers – Light and great with the leftover peanut butter you didn’t put in your hair.

• *Nutrition Bars – Store these in quantity. They are nutrient-dense, easy to carry, and will lengthen your endurance. You still won’t last as long as the zombies, but . . .

• *Dried Fruit – The sugars will offer an energy boost for a quick sprint when needed and can often be bartered for your life if taken hostage by outlaw scavengers.

• *Coffee – This will help keep you alert when running from outlaw scavengers and/or zombies.

• Vodka – Great for drowning your post-apocalyptic sorrows but even better as an antibiotic and can be used to get the outlaw scavengers who have taken you hostage drunk so you can get away. Don’t try this on zombies, however.

One final note: Being outrageously fit before an apocalypse is actually not a good idea. It will only make you more attractive to outlaw scavengers and who wants that? And should the apocalypse be zombie in nature, the infected can walk for months and can survive on a few brains scavenged from here or there, while you are busy running for your life with little time to stop and smell the lasagna. An extra layer of fat, aka a backup energy source, can mean the difference between an iffy, fear-driven life and certain death.

And that’s my list in a nutshell. I hope this helps and remember, Be Prepared!


Winner of the Golden Heart® for Best Paranormal Romance for her manuscript First Grave on the Right, DARYNDA JONES can't remember a time when she wasn't putting pen to paper. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than twenty-five years and two beautiful sons, aka the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
Now I feel like I need to have my own list prepared...just in case! Really fun post Darynda, thanks.
2. TraciH
Terrific post Darynda!!! I must get started on my kit and bunker! :)
3. avid reader
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these books. I have the Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet on request at the library (think I'm like number 300 or something!). I'm not sure I could survive the Apocalypse but I'm pretty sure I'll go out laughing.
4. Jacki C
Note to self: buy more peanut butter and vodka! :)
kathlyn smith
6. castiel
thanks Darynda - i knew our role-play grup were going wrong somewhere. we had the water and the tinned goods, but forgot the peanut butter!
and thanks for the excuse - i'm NOT fat, i'm preparing for the apocalypse! yay!! =D
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