If the past year has taught us anything, it's the importance of preparedness.
It's with renewed seriousness, then, that we should observe Zombie Awareness Month this May.
Established by the Zombie Research Society in 2007, the month is part of a campaign to "bring awareness about zombies and the possibility of a future zombie apocalypse". Why May? Because, bizarrely, a lot of zombie films seem to be set in this month.
Surely I must be writing in jest such mentions of zombies in relation to reality? Dear reader, zombies are no more than reanimated corpses made possible by the reignition of neurons firing in the brain. In our wonderful world, anything is possible. Take, for example, an extremely rare disease called encephalitis lethargica, an outbreak of which was connected to the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. Those afflicted would hallucinate, settle to catatonia and then suddenly enter a hyperkinetic manic phase.
More examples exist in the animal world. Ophiocordyceps, a fungus, can take over an insect's body within days, forcing it to climb up high before bursting out of the victim's head and falling below to infect others. Then there's the toxoplasma gondii parasite that afflicts rats, causing them to run deliberately towards cats and be eaten.
So, how can you prepare for a zombie apocalypse, should it ever come to pass? Semi-official survival tips include stocking up with food, water and medical supplies, including first-aid kits. Keep handy battery-powered radios, knives and duct tape (because duct tape fixes everything). Of course, if your home itself is invaded by zombies, be ready to escape with the right vehicle.
Helpfully, our top choices are listed here.
Hyundai Elantra Coupe
A few years ago, Hyundai teamed up with The Walking Dead creator-writer Robert Kirkman to create the ultimate zombie survival machine, a spectacularly modified Elantra Coupe. Kirkman, being something of an authority on reanimated corpses, equipped the car with a front-end plough designed to cut through crowds of walking dead, and a boot full of electric and pneumatic weaponry.
Dartz Prombron Black Stallion
If want to survive the Undead Armageddon in style, procure the Dartz Prombron Black Stallion. It's based on the Hummer H2, so it's big and heavy enough to repel horrendous hordes even while you cruise in comfort. Opulently finished inside, it features alligator leather. If that doesn't convince the undead you're not to be messed with, nothing will.
Mercedes Unimog Truck
To defeat the undead like a boss, choose this. The three-pointed star is known as much for indestructible trucks as it is for luxury limos, and this go-anywhere, do-anything supertruck, is a compact, high-riding, all-wheel-drive Tonka toy that's tough enough to withstand the harshest conditions. It is a favourite of emergency services operating in disaster situations, which a zombie apocalypse most certainly would be.
Sherp N 1200
The Sherp N1200 can only manage a maximum speed of 40 kilometres per hour. However, zombies cannot run fast because their decaying limbs are likely to fall off. Plus the Sherp has a few other tricks up its sleeve. The 1200-kilogram nine-seater has humongous tyres that allow it to scramble over all kinds of terrain, debris and reanimated bodies.
It is also amphibious. I know what you're thinking. Can zombies swim? Generally no, but they can walk underwater. However as they stumble along on the waterbed, the Sherp will forge ahead at speeds of 6 kilometres per hour. It's also very self-sufficient with a fuel autonomy time of 65 hours. With those big windows, you may see them coming, but they'll never get you.
Rezvani Hercules 6x6
With one of these in your garage, you won't be dreading the zombie apocalypse, you'll be waiting for it. Based on the all-terrain king that is the Jeep Wrangler, this is fitted with a tuned Dodge Demon 7.0-litre supercharged V8 Hemi, producing 1300bhp and 989 pound-foot of torque powering all six wheels.
It's also armour-plated with bulletproof glass, features underbody anti-explosive protection, a smokescreen, run-flat tyres, night vision, blinding lights, gas masks, a hypothermia kit and even electromagnetic pulse protection. You can capture the undead on the run as you deploy the “ram bumpers” thanks to on-board continuous recording, and fry their brains should they try to get in, using the electrified door handles.