Apocalypse Survival Guide

A how-to for the end of days

By Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

As the end approaches, you may find yourself experiencing some anxiety regarding the perils that wait for you during the Apocalypse. To help put your mind at ease during this hectic time of doom, the staff at the Dayton City Paper has compiled the following Apocalypse Survival Guide as a quick reference for those who are finding themselves somewhat less than prepared.

The end of the world will play host to a bevy of threats, running the gamut from physical to psychological to spiritual. We at the DCP are here to help you identify problem areas, then divide and conquer.


The most immediate threat will likely be to your physical well-being. Earthquakes, floods, raining sulfur and total darkness will just be the beginning. You must also consider the more long-term problems of plague, famine, lack of potable water and the ravenous needs of the undead. This is not to mention attacks from the animal kingdom including vengeful lambs, snake-like dragons, killer locusts and noisy horsemen. Know what you’re dealing with, and respond accordingly.

1. Earthquakes, tornadoes and fire from the sky: Best to stay inside. Get under something sturdy and, if possible, old. If it’s really old, it may have already been through something like this and has stood the test of time. This gives you an advantage.

2. Floods, tsunamis and boiling rivers of blood: Again, best to stay inside. Aim for high ground, get the water wings on the kids and keep an eye out for crocodiles.

3. Zombies, plague and weirdly vengeful/formerly docile creatures: Again, and we simply cannot stress this enough: STAY THE F*CK INSIDE. Don’t go running around like you just got a snow day. Get the dogs inside, batten down the hatches and do NOT answer the door if the thing on the other side can’t readily sing the theme song from “Friends.”


You just can’t gather more than one done-for human being in one place and not expect the onset of panic and hysteria and dissent into madness and subsequent looting and pillaging and murder and suicide. You just can’t. Stay away from where people have massed. Trust no one. Go raging-mama-bear on anyone who comes near your loved ones with a certain glint in their eye.


So perhaps the worst has happened: you didn’t make it. You’re off to meet your maker, but don’t go unprepared! Have all of your bases covered by carrying with you a copy of the Bible, the Torah, the Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Book of the Dead, the Vedas, the Tao Te Ching, the Tao of Pooh, the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Holy Piby, Dianetics and the Charge of the Goddess. You may also consider toting along a little change for the ferryman and, time permitting, a few letters of recommendation to submit to the courts at that final judgment.


You may consider stocking up on the following supplies to prepare more heartily for the Apocalypse. Not all are absolutely necessary, obviously, and the lighter you can travel, the better. But if you have the space and plan to be hunkered down for the remainder of all time, consider these items:

1. Weapons: Anything you can get your hands on, really. Guns, mace (spray), mace (club), swords, baseball bats, knives, really sharp pencils, etc. You may be defending not only your life, but the lives and honor of your loved ones. Don’t get caught empty handed!

2. Water: The DCP consulted survival specialist Quentin Hiserman, age 10-and-a-half, on how best to anticipate the need for water in an apocalyptic situation. “I would go to all of the stores and buy all of their 24-packs of bottled water,” recommends Hiserman. “You can actually live off water. If you don’t have any food for a week but you have water, you’ll live.”

3. Food: Hiserman suggests stocking up on everything you can get your hands on including junk food, even though you’re not supposed to eat very much of that. For a longer-term solution to food shortage, Hiserman advises beginning a garden: “Always plant mutant plants, like mutant pea pods. You can eat them, and they will also attack and kill the zombies, like in my video game,” said Hiserman.

4. Clothing: Always, ALWAYS layer during an apocalypse. It’s going to be a hot, cold, rainy, dry, windy, muggy, sleeting MESS and no one wants to hear you whine because you couldn’t be bothered to carry along your windbreaker. Hear that, Marie? Remember Mount Vernon, 1990? Yeah, I’m pretty much talking directly to you right now, Marie.

5. Gas mask: Raining sulfur is not only incendiary, but also really, really smelly. Prepare yourself and your loved ones by investing in gas masks. Feel free to dress them up a bit so they’re not quite so paranoia-of-mid-century-America. Be whimsical. Perhaps add a hat. Or a flower.

6. Flint: Let us know if you find any. We have no idea where to look for flint or even what it is exactly, but for some reason we know that it can be used to start a fire in the absence of matches.

All right! You’re all set. Off to Armageddon with you! Hope to see you on the other side! But we probably won’t because, honestly, we’re not very good at ANY of this stuff.

Reach DCP freelance writer Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin at jenniferhanauerlumpkin@daytoncitypaper.com


About Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

View all posts by Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin
Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin is a writer and amateur cartographer living in Dayton, Ohio. She has been a member of PUSH (Professionals United for Sexual Health) since 2012 and is currently serving as Chair. She can be reached at JenniferHanauerLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com or through her website at jennerlumpkin.com.

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