I have lived in Rochester, NY f0r over forty-five years. People rarely know where this is. I usually have to say we sit between Buffalo and Syracuse; or if you said, “Where Kodak is.” That helped at one time. Of course, that was back when Kodak employed some 65,000 people. That isn’t the case anymore. I actually believe they are down to around 1,500 employees. Regardless, Rochester is still the third largest city in state of New York. While we have nearly a quarter of a million residents, there are over one million around the metropolitan area. The city and surrounding suburbia that is Monroe County, is pretty congested. Trust me, traffic hour on the drive in and home from work is often bumper-to-bumper, and all kinds of stop and go crazy.
My first zombie novel, VACCINATION, tells the story of a 9-1-1 dispatcher who travels from work to his ex-wife’s house (some fifteen miles away) in an attempt to save his two children. The entire book spans covering roughly fifteen miles. The novel is set in Rochester. And this got me thinking . . .
If a time came when there was an actual zombie apocalypse, would I really want to be in Rochester, NY for the outbreak?
I’ve talked to my own kids about how we would handle a national or state emergency. (I picture something like RED DAWN. Cubans [original movie] or South Koreans [remake] parachuting onto U.S. soil for my example). I consider it like a Fire Drill. “Hey, if the country goes to hell overnight, here’s what we will do. . .” It was easier a few years back, before two of them went off to college. I simply said (then), “I will pick you up, and we’re out of here.” The way I saw it as long as we were all together was what really mattered. Now my youngest is off at this school, my middle child is away on another campus, and my oldest, well, he is only a few miles away.
The point being: When the Zombie Apocalypse hits—and we all know it will—Rochester is going to get messed up. Fast.
I needed to come up with a new plan to save my family. I’m family oriented that way. Saving them will always be my first and main priority. So like any good father, I tried to figure out how I can accomplish this feat realistically. (I am not going to get into Zombie Survival supplies. Just assume proper bugout bags are packed full and loaded into the back of my Jeep Patriot, along with an array of weapons, okay? Okay).
First thing I am going to do is drive down the road and pick up my oldest son. He is a survivalist, and carries a bugout bag in his trunk. Very proud of him! [Please note: I am not concerned about the well-being of my ex-wife. As good a mother as she is to my children, I have no desire to leave them in her care during an apocalypse of any kind. Just saying]. The two of us will speed toward when my daughter goes to college (should the apocalypse strike during the school year. I hope it happens during a school break, or summer. With my luck, it will be during the school year though. I’ve resolved to the fact if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all). She knows when the outbreak comes to be ready. It’s an hour and a half drive from Rochester.
The fear is disabled and abandoned vehicles clogging the roads. Unlike the Walking Dead, and Z-Nation, I don’t figure roads will be as clear. They could be. It would be nice if they were. Somehow, I doubt that will be the case. The route I plan to take should allow us options for getting around most traffic jams, if necessary.
Once we have her, we will have a long drive in order to reach my middle child. His campus is also about an hour and a half from Rochester, but south. We’ll be faced with a three hour drive from one university to the next. There is no other way around it. Three lane highways might prove the quickest and most direct route. It will be more of a Point A to Point B, the shortest distance.
The reason I planned the “rescue” in this particular order is simple. My middle son goes to school in the Appalachian Mountain chain. The actual town where his campus sits has a population of just over five-thousand people. The campus itself might prove the most densely populated in the area. The way I see it, once we reach him, we’ve reached our hideaway. We get him into the Jeep and then head toward a nearby state park. There will be secure shelter, a gorge with plenty of fresh water, wildlife for hunting, and very few people, if any at all.
It is a plan. I am sure it is far from perfect. Like any plan, I believe we are flexible to react when wrenches are tossed in to mess with flow of the itinerary. Believe it or not, it actually makes me feel a little relieved to at the very least have an evacuation strategy in place.
My question is: Do you have some kind of plan in place for the eventual apocalypse bound to plague your country?
Phillip Tomasso is the award winning author of over seventeen novels. He works full time as a Fire / EMS Dispatcher for 911. He lives in Rochester, NY, and is always at work on his next story. You can get more information from his website: http://www.philliptomasso.com/
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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.
Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!
Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!