Quick Survival Tip: Stand up for Yourself

Survival, in a pre- or post-apocalyptic world, requires compromise and self-reliance. We often see apocalyptic fiction where there is one leader and it’s his way or no way and everyone just gets dragged along with wide eyes and gaping jaws.
That didn’t work out for Rick Grimes or any of Alice‘s (Resident Evil) friends. Why? Because everyone else had thoughts and ideas and didn’t stand up for them or the value of their lives.
Sometimes people try to speak loudly and use tactics to assert dominance and get you to go with their flow.
Often, we think, this isn’t right. But rarely do we vocalize that thought and even less often do we stand up and fight for it.
Standing up for yourself can be seen as more hassle than it’s worth. However, at the end of the world, with a leader making decisions you’re not 100% for, standing up for yourself could be the only thing between survival and death.
When Rick Grimes is telling you you’re storming Woodbury or Alice is shoving a gun in your hand and leaving you with a child to protect, you’ll wish you had more practice standing up for yourself.
I’m terrible at speaking up for myself, but recently I had the opportunity, and I took it!
I had an insurance claim for my phone recently and they tried to replace my phone with what they were calling an equivalent phone. It wasn’t and everyone knew it.
I called the service line and was asked at least four times in a three minute call if I wanted to complete the claim (read: shut the fuck up and take the offer).
I tried to explain to the woman on the phone that I’ve done my research and I— She just started spewing facts about this lesser phone (it has a calculator too!) at me like an eight-year-old with their fingers in their ears saying, “la la la, I can’t hear you.”
That was neither helpful nor respectful. I still refused to close the claim.
It was clear that they weren’t being fair and my expected role in this scenario was to be quiet, stupid, and compliant.
Instead I took to tweeting (not rudely, mind you) as it’s the loudest place on the internet, citing my research, and refusing to drop or close the claim. I pointed out that what they were doing was quite clear and very offensive.
So, after I stood up for myself, the called me and offered a much more reasonable solution with little to no pain or suffering involved.
Because I stood up for myself, I had a new, actually equivalent phone three days after the incident.
I won’t get into the mechanics of customer service but shit that was frustrating. I wish it had been that easy from Jump Street.
Unfortunately, making things fair and easy isn’t in everyone’s best interest. Most people will feel that frustration and give in to the stat-spewing call rep or finger-pointing ex-sheriff.
If you realize you’re getting a raw deal, don’t stand for it. Channel my mom (who I use to call to deal with things like this), or your demanding aunt, or your picky friend and speak up.
When it comes to the division of food for survival and someone tries to tell you that you don’t deserve an equal share, you’ll be better prepared from practice and you’ll develop the confidence to know you deserve better.

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What's the first thing you wash in the shower?

One of the many frivolous things I wonder about when I’m wondering about post-apocalyptic life is hygiene. I’ve gone on at length about my lady parts, their mechanics, and how I plan to keep them baby free and satisfied. But recently I’ve been thinking about cleanliness.
Well, recently is a lie. I think about cleanliness daily and lady-specific cleanliness almost every time I see women surviving the end of the world alongside men. The Monthly Mess is one thing and The Daily Funk is another.
“The daily what now?” you may wonder. The running and sweating and wearing the same clothes day in and day out and not having toilet paper all add up to The Daily Funk.
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Post-Apocalyptic Would You Rather

Would You Rather is a game where you’re tasked with choosing between two terrible things you don’t want. Today’s Theme: The Apocalypse!

Would You Rather is a game where you’re tasked with choosing between two terrible things you don’t want. It’s usually nasty things like, “seeing you parents have sex or your parents seeing you having sex.” Ew. Not a game I like playing.
So I changed it up a bit. I’m curious about what everyone thinks is a better or worse apocalyptic scenario. Keep in mind, my day job is in market research so I’m kind of curious and inquisitive by nature AND training.

Would You Rather: Aliens or Robots?

Aliens could swoop in and just burn this place to the ground, or they could infiltrate and slowly destroy us from the inside out.

Robots, usually through some failing or hubris or man, would likely become a vital part of our societies then snap like JLo in Enough.
[poll id=”6″]

Would You Rather: City or Country?

Surviving in the City would not only mean scavenging and crumbling structures, but also pre-made everything to use or live in.
Surviving in the country would mean starting from scratch, catching or growing food, and braving the wildlife.
[poll id=”7″]

 Would You Rather: Slavery or Rebellion?

Both seem like so much work! At least with slavery you have food and shelter and consistency. On the other hand, rebels can take naps and drink and fornicate at will.
[poll id=”8″]

Would You Rather: A Dictator or Anarchy?

While I never paid much mind to government, I hear dictators make it their business to be touch the lives of all their subjects in some way. Fall in line and it could be a good way.
Anarchy could be chaotic and upsetting, or you could just slip out the back and go check out the country living. And when the bandits come to raid your homestead you’re free to shoot them and string them up as a warning to any who come after.
[poll id=”9″]

 Would You Rather: Lose everyone at once or Lose everyone over time?

It’s like pulling of a band-aid, do it fast and then get over it.
Alternatively, you could utilize the skills and build relationships with people overtime.
Both would probably drive you mad. *shrugs*
[poll id=”10″]

Would You Rather: Eat People or be a Vegan?

They both have their downsides. Murder on the one hand and being Vegan on the other…
[poll id=”11″]

Would You Rather: Lose an Arm or Lose a Leg?

Things are going to fall, lasers might be fired… Which do you value the least, your arm or your leg?
[poll id=”12″]

Would You Rather: Survive with your Mom or you Dad?

Yup. When you think of people the least likely to survive an apocalypse, you’re parents are probably on there. Mine are. Bare in mind that you’ll probably have to watch them die when they lose their glasses or stop and ask a bandit for directions.
[poll id=”13″]

Would You Rather: Your Co-Workers or Your Neighbors?

Honestly, I wouldn’t know my neighbors if the walked up and punched me in the face. They don’t look especially durable…
Co-workers, well, I spend eight hours a day with them and certainly don’t go home and miss them…
[poll id=”14″]

Would You Rather: Candy Forever or Dehydrated Fruits and Vegetables Forever?

Imagine you and your band of survivors come across a factory that you can defend and live in. Inside is a nearly unlimited supply of food… Kind of.
[poll id=”15″]

Would You Rather: Be Hunted and Loyal or Be Safe and a Traitor?

So say there’s an antagonist, be it the government, or aliens, or an oligarchy, or Amazons. This antagonist finds out that you and yours are not playing like they’d like you to be.
They offer you a choice, give up the goods and help them find the others or take a head start and try to protect your neck.
[poll id=”16″]

If you have any suggestions for other tough choices or would like to elaborate on your decisions above, talk to us via the comments below.

Ask all the questions, avoid all the chaos

Chaotic situations are rooted in no one knowing the answers they need to to stay calm, stand still, and think about basic shit like being quite while decisions are made. To survive after the apocalypse you’ll need to limit your social chaos. How? By asking the right questions —and then having the answers and making people listen.
I’m not typically one for too much pre-planning or excessive deliberation–I’ll take as long as you give me to think about something but then end up making a spur of the moment decision anyway. However, even I realize that the simple exercise of developing a problem solving mindset that includes quickly asking the right questions and processing their answers can drastically affect the survivability of a situation.
The most basic question is usually, “What are we doing?!” or “What’s happening?!” These are valid questions that having answers to would help clam the situation down.
People might shout out other things like, “We NEED to hide!” That’s a suggestion, and a damn good one, recognize it.
Someone else might say, “We’re all gonna Diiiiie!” That’s not helpful. Shut them down quickly and with authority. They don’t deserve to talk.

With almost all situations there’s an easy way to bring order to chaos: QUESTIONS.

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The end of the world: There's a magazine for that

Last week I was putzing around Target shopping for clothes for my kids. I took a detour through the books and magazines because this is what I do every shopping trip. I don’t normally find anything–local stores never carry the magazines I want to read (Discover, Astronomy, that sort of thing) and I’m a digital reader (I love my Kindle) so I don’t get many paperbacks.
But THIS time, I struck gold. And because I’m always thinking about the apocalypse in some form or another (usually because I’m looking for possible topics to write about), my brain somehow found this one magazine, even though it was sitting in the back of the stacks.
It’s called 2012 End of the World.
I kid you not.
I’m still trying to find ways to show you guys pictures without getting a copyright violation suit slapped on me and ICoS, so you’ll have to wait a bit for screenshots. I was thinking of doing an end-times collage (using images from this and other magazines)…would that be a copyright violation? It would be a piece of art (and I use the term “art” loosely).
Anyway. I’m going to give you an overview of the magazine. And, you know, review it. Because I read this shit so you don’t have to.
WARNING: HERE BE SNARKERY. AND LENGTH.
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Quick Survival Tip: Avoid Stress

English: Effects of stress on the body.
English: Effects of stress on the body. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stress can have extremely damaging effects on the body if not properly managed or avoided. Survival situations are hard enough without adding the chaos caused by stress.
According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS) some of the more dangerous symptoms include: Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts, Difficulty in making decisions, Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed, Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness, Overreaction to petty annoyances, Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness, Increased anger, frustration, hostility.
If you know what causes you stress, plan for or avoid it. Some people need to feel that they are supported, in control, have something to look forward to, or just that they know what to do next.
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