Bath salts. That’s what they’re going with.
Updated reports on the incident in Miami last Saturday—where a naked man (Rudy Eugene, aged 31) ate 75-85% of another man’s (Ronald Poppo, aged 65) face before police were able to stop him dead with six gunshot wounds—are attributing his horrific behavior to the consumption of bath salts. Apparently bath salts have become the new hand sanitizer, and people are snorting them to experience a high that allegedly includes a rush of adrenaline, the feeling like you’re going to spontaneously combust, hallucinations, and zombie-like behavior.
How many of us are buying the bath salts story at Sprocket Ink? Not many. Especially when you consider what happened in Hackensack, NJ on Sunday.
43-year old Wayne Carter’s door was knocked down by two police officers, responding to a 911 call that a man in his residence was threatening to harm himself with a knife. Carter had the knife in hand when the officers burst in through the door, and proceeded to stab himself in the legs and abdomen while they repeatedly told him to drop the knife. Then, still coherent after attacking himself, Carter proceeded to throw bits of flesh and intestines (which were protruding from one of his numerous wounds) at the officers. Officers pepper-sprayed Carter, to no effect, and then decided to retreat and call in SWAT. SWAT was able to finally subdue the man, and transfer him to a local hospital, where he is currently listed in critical condition.
Let’s take a momentary break here. I am going to step outside this article and have an imagined conversation with you, the reader:
“Sarah? What the hell is going on?”
“Hell if I know! But shit is getting weird. And if they attribute this to bath salts again, I’m going to start thinking that the zombie virus is being transmitted through our health and beauty products.”
Okay, back to the topic at hand…
Some of the comments on Monday’s post have asked me questions regarding preparedness. I gave some very basic information in that post (which you should likely review, unless you like Rick Grimes) but some more specific questions have arisen. I plan to answer them here! We at Sprocket Ink take the issues of zombie preparedness (read: any emergency preparedness) VERY seriously.
Should I prepare a fallout shelter?
Fallout shelters are problematic. First, anyone who knows about it will be jumping at the chance to take it from you once things go to hell, and people are going to know. The contractors who build it for you and your neighbors are going to remember exactly where your safe zone is. This was covered decades ago in an old episode of the Twilight Zone.
What is the right way to begin preparing?
Good question. Let me give you my top four things to consider now!
1) Water. You may think weapons and fortifying your house are top priorities, but after a day or two with nothing to drink, you’re going to be compromised mentally and physically. Lay in your supply of water now. We learned with Hurricane Katrina it can take days for the federal government to respond to a disaster. You’ll want at least a gallon of water per person per day for every day you think you may be holed up in your current location. The CDC recommends at least a two day supply, but I have a four day supply in my house, and I know to fill the bathtubs (which, on average, hold around 50 gallons).
2) Food and tools. Both of these items in your emergency kit take a slightly lower priority on my list than water, but are very important in the event of emergency. Take stock of non-perishables in your pantry, and perhaps even fill a big Rubbermaid tub with tools, non-perishables you don’t have to cook (like granola bars), and household items you’ll want to have on hand at a moment’s notice (blankets, duct tape, a hammer, etc.).
3) Weapons. This is a tough one. Our first inclination is guns, but they are problematic. Ammo runs out, guns jam and need to be cleaned regularly, loud noises can attract zombies and unsavory characters. Although The Bloggess has long supported the use of flame-throwers, I don’t support them. What’s worse than a zombie chasing after you? A zombie chasing after you while on fire! I strongly recommend tools that are light, easy to carry, and make for easy training. Not everyone has the means to find a sword, but everyone does have the means to find a baseball bat, a crowbar (not the curved end, mind you—that can get stuck in a zombie’s skull, but makes a good handle), or a machete. Go to your local hardware store.
4) A plan. You won’t be able to stay in your house forever. You need to know where your group will convene in the event of any emergency. You‘ll need to have an idea of the safest evacuation route. You’ll need to know where local and federal agents plan to set up shelters and services in your area. And you need to practice your plan. You’ll want your plan for meeting up, securing yourselves, and evacuation to be second nature.
What if I have a question that you didn’t answer here?
Do you see that series of buttons under the heading Social Sprocket over there on the right hand side? It’s towards the top of the page. Click the Facebook button, like our page (if you’ve haven’t already) and feel free to post your questions there. I’ll answer them in the comments. My bet is that if you have a question, several other people have that same question. You’d be doing the world a public service by speaking up and getting it answered!