Everywhere you look these days there are signs of an impending zombie apocalypse. The UK recently saw the release of Charlie Brooker's excellent Dead Set on DVD and this century has seen dozens of zombie-infested movies, a worrying rise that has also infected the world of video games. This generation has been swamped with zombies, from Dead Rising's limitless zombie horde to COD5's marching Nazi Zombies.
We all now have enough experience in dealing with the forthcoming undead doom, but just in case you need some advice in your preparation, here are some basic dos and don'ts in the imminent Armageddon.
Assemble a team of survivors. Make sure they are capable with a weapon and unflinching in decapitating undead loved-ones. A team of 2-4 generally works best and if possible, recruit a multicultural group as to not provoke accusations of racism as you splatter the brains of the ethnically diverse gaggle of zombies. The lightest shade of milky brown will apparently pass as black.
Get to a high, secure location. Zombies generally have poor dexterity and route-planning skills and will struggle when presented with sharp gradients.
Board up the windows. Planks of wood work best but remember to patch them up as zombies will find a way through eventually. It is a good idea to leave room for shooting through the gaps too. Walls will also need replastering should the zombies find a way through the rock.
Try to leave one member of the undead alive. This can be useful to buy time to resupply and secure the building, as the tacticians of the undead prefer to wait until all of their friends have been defeated before unleashing the next wave of slightly more difficult and numerous zombies. Works better if they have no legs.
Check crates, barrels and boxes, as despite the fact that these will usually contain dull things like paper and water before the outbreak, these will become full of useful health and ammo after the invasion has begun.
Consume lots of suspicious-looking green herbs. These can be absorbed into the body via inhalation, inside brownies or any other suitable method, depending on how "high" you want your health to be. Experimentation with different genus and color is recommended: green and red make for a particularly potent combination.
Stock up on weapons. Although they are a fan favorite, shotguns become rather bothersome once the invasion gets seriously underway. Reload times make these guns a bad choice, especially those of the double-barreled variety. Remember: power tools and melee weapons such as chainsaws, lawnmowers and katanas do not need reloading.
Make the most of a bad situation. It won't be all doom and gloom come judgment day; find a bit of time in your schedule to implement a bit of humor into the gruesome proceedings. Placing a Lego mask onto a hapless zombie not only provides some much needed comic relief for your gang of survivors, but also renders the infected as harmless. Also, when the company of your fellow survivors becomes a repetitive and poorly acted bore, wobbly Third Reich marches and zombies harmonizing to Grandmaster Flash can provide an evening's entertainment for those long nights trapped in your safehouse.
It's all about the head: sever the head and this will paradoxically kill the already dead. If you wince at blood and violence however, find a medieval suit of plate armor for yourself and loved ones and wait for the whole thing to blow over. There's no way rotting human teeth can bite through thick metal.
Do not remain silent. Stick to your team of survivors and use teamwork to stay alive. Mavericks who choose not to communicate and refuse to join in with the team's tactics will undoubtedly meet with a zombie mauling, or perhaps even a cheeky bullet wound from a teammate.
Only use fire as a last resort. Fire often simply slows down zombies and can actually make your problems worse. The one thing more scary than a undead Mike Tyson with a chainsaw is an undead Mike Tyson with a chainsaw that's on fire.
Do not run. Zombies have been training over the last 40 years and are now capable of reaching considerable speeds. No longer can you rely on simply leaving the room to protect your juicy brains and many zombies will be able to outpace you in a chase.
If you happen to live in an area that houses a suspicious viral research company or any of its subsidiaries, move house as this is likely to be the epicenter of the outbreak. Siberia and the Australian outback are both acceptable locations for emigration.
Novel or weak weapons do not work effectively. Knives, pistols, Uzis and plastic lightsabers are all inefficient zombie-destroying devices.
Do not search for survivors. Most will be unwilling to join you and few will provide any assistance whatsoever. Indeed, some will open fire upon you. Many will be a drain on your resources and they will require constant escorting. Particularly avoid rescuing president's daughters.
Do not attempt to seduce or reason with the zombies. Although some may display signs of intelligence, the hulks of rotting flesh are generally unreasonable and will likely reject your offer of a cultural exchange program in order to settle your differences. Likewise with a sexual proposition, as zombies are uncaring and selfish in bed.
Carrying space is probably going to be very limited, so split the rations equally amongst yourselves. As handing over ammo and health is an awkward and slow process, try to give your comrades supplies before major zombie massacres, so as to avoid a zombie chewing on your brains as you navigate and rearrange your cumbersome inventory. Remember: do not heal yourself before snatching the last remaining health pack, as this will render you an unlikeable dick.