I have enough to worry about these days without thinking about an impending zombie apocalypse (hi there, underwear lines and the gray hair I discovered this morning); but I can't deny that it's something to prepare for. So what exactly are we going to need to survive? According to a survey from the Big Bang STEM festival, the people who will survive the zombie apocalypse possess a set of specific skills largely encompassing engineering and math. Dr. Lewis Dartnell, a scientist who attended the fair, said, "People's survival instincts are strong but without a greater focus on STEM skills, the speed at which we'd return to 'society as we know it' would be seriously impeded." Dr. Dartnell thinks there is great importance on skills related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the case of surviving any catastrophic event, and zombies are no different.
I like to look at it all as a sort of return to the caveman era, when your life depended on what you were able to do with your hands, your brain, and the materials and resources available to you. In the case of a zombie apocalypse, we'd no longer be able to rely on Amazon Prime for everything we needed; we'd have to make it. So, what exactly are the skills that the Big Bang STEM survey says we need to survive a zombie apocalypse, and who can we count on to have them? Let's take a look.
1. Skill: Basic First Aid
Who has it: Doctors, nurses, veterinarians, firefighters, EMTs, etc.
Why it's useful: Mastering CPR, a defibrillator, infection control, and bandaging are just a few skills you'd want in your back pocket in the case of a zombie apocalypse. Antibiotics and other medicine might be hard to come by.
2. Skill: Preserving Food
Who has it: Farmers, gardeners, chefs, cooks.
Why it's useful: It's safe to say that food would be a limited supply; so knowing how to preserve what you're able to get your hands on is an absolute must.
3. Skill: Making Clothes
Who has it: Seamstresses, weavers, knitters, fashion designers, costume designers.
Why it's useful: Weather permitting, you could always walk around in your birthday suit, but let's assume you'd prefer to be clothed. This is yet another supply that would eventually run dry. Shoes in particular have a limited shelf life, and you certainly wouldn't want to run around during a zombie apocalypse barefoot. Ew.
4. Skill: Growing Crops Or Rearing Animals
Who has it: Farmers, herders, gardeners.
Why it's useful: This one's a no-brainer. Plants and animals are a solid source of food — if you know how to handle them. Start planting some potatoes and corn and grab yourself a cow or two, because the zombie apocalypse might take awhile.
5. Skill: Making And Repairing Tools
Who has it: Mechanics, engineers, farmers, doctors, some types of artists.
Why it's useful: Cooking a meal? You need tools. Fixing a car? You need tools. Purifying water? You need tools. Tools, tools, tools.
6. Skill: Making Chemical Substances
Who has it: Medical professionals, pharmacists, chemists, scientists, engineers.
Why it's useful: Whether you're making fuel or drugs, channeling your inner Bill Nye certainly would't hurt during the apocalypse. A lot of people will want to be your friend.
7. Skill: Fixing Engines And Machines
Who has it: Engineers, mechanics.
Why it's useful: The zombie apocalypse is the last time you'd want to be caught with a broken fan belt or faulty brakes. Transportation will be in high demand; make sure you know your stuff.
8. Skill: Making Things From Wood
Who has it: Carpenters, woodworkers, some types of artists.
Why it's useful: Wood is a versatile material, namely in providing shelter. Unless you want to be totally exposed to the zombies, I suggest you make friends with a carpenter. Better yet, master the skill yourself.