I’ve read quite a few survival guides, but this one is different. It’s not funny – it’s serious, dead serious. The Official Zombie Handbook (UK) by Sean T. Page is the most informative and complete zombie survival guide I have ever read; it is nearly 200 pages – large pages – packed full of information to make sure you survive the zombie apocalypse. This is not something you’ll read in two evenings, as there is so much information and research in the book that you will read it slow, perhaps even taking notes or highlighting important ideas that you’ll need to refer to in the actual event of a zombie apocalypse.
Sean T. Page wrote this book because he feels there is a lack of information and zombie apocalypse preparation material out there and he wanted to make sure the UK (or anyone else for that matter) has a chance of making it through the country’s takeover by the living dead. He sent me a copy for review and I can’t thank him enough because it was far down on my purchase list – I (mistakenly) thought it didn’t apply to me since I didn’t live in the United Kingdom, but I quickly realized how wrong I was about that as I read the book.
The book starts off with a section titled “A survivor’s guide to zombies” which includes a discussion of the various schools of thought regarding zombies, such as the scientific school and the supernatural school. It goes on to describe the zombie virus and zombic condition, how to kill a zombie and the weapons that zombies have at their disposal. It goes on to describe how to rate the intensity of a zombie outbreak into ratings Zed-Con 1 through Zed-Con 4, zombie controversies such as zombie speed, zombie animals, aquatic zombies, and zombie intelligence. The section ends with a zombie outbreak history throughout time beginning in 55 A.D. and ending in 1986 with the Burma (Myanmar) outbreak. Many survival guides have an introduction to zombies, but this is one of the most comprehensive that I have been exposed to.
The second section of the book deals with a zombie apocalypse in the UK: what would it look like, who and how effective the first responders are, and complications such as zombie rights and government information control. The detail this section provides is phenomenal – we’re given a detailed analysis of the police response, branches of the armed services including the Army, Navy, Air Force, and intelligence agencies like MI5, and even the criminal underworld. The section ends with numerous case studies of outbreak scenarios and what they will look like. Scenario planning in general is discussed as a preparation tool. Lastly, the section provides a letter template for contacting your government representatives to demand that the government begin planning for this type of disaster.
This is followed by a section on complete zombie defense, from fortifying your home and establishing perimeters, to planning for moving to a new shelter. Page bases his survival plan on an initial 90 day period where you will be unable to move about freely and will want to “run silent” as you survive, defend, and plan on your next move. It contains advice on laying down supplies such as food and water, fuel, and other items you will need to survive during that period. Again, this is one of the most detailed lists I have seen – shelf lives of common foods are presented to help in advance planning. Page describes creating a “bug-out” plan, the next step in survival – what to pack, how to pack, and where to go. Finally, this part of the book has an exhaustive list of weapons, both normal and improvised, along with a rating system to help you in preparing your own personal arsenal choice. It is important to note that guns are not discussed here, as unfortunately in the UK and many other countries guns are pretty much off-limits to most citizens.
The last section deals with the longer term survival aspects, from day 50 onward. It discusses travel options, scouting and transport methods, and possible locations to look for as a safe survival location. The research here is amazing – every possible solution from islands to forts, military bases, prisons, industrial complexes, office buildings, and even emigration if needed.
The book ends with a great list of resources for further information and research. Whether you live in the UK or not, there is a plethora of valuable information contained within these pages. It might scare you, might depress you, might worry you – but it might just save your life. I don’t rate books on a scale but if I did this book would receive the highest rating possible. It does, however, receive my “MUST HAVE” rating which means that every person interested in survival, zombies, disasters or even anyone worried about the sustainability of the human race needs to read this book and keep it handy on the bookshelf! In fact, I am so impressed with the book I am hosting an interview with the author in the next day or so to learn more about the book and his research.