With a winter apocalypse upon us here in the lower Midwest, where the temperature has plummeted precipitously to the teens and the snow is piled high enough to bury an overly tall mushroom (a “snowfusion” of over three whole inches!), one’s mind begins to wander toward how to survive such an onslaught of nature.

Worse yet, what if the world froze over like in the movie “Snowpiercer?” Or what if the cold temperatures brought out a long-dormant virus that infected us all and turned 90 percent of humanity into vampires or zombies? Or what if the extreme cold drove Canada to invade us in some sort of reverse “Red Dawn” scenario? Horrors!

OK, maybe it is just my warped mind that goes to these places in such moments. Still, humor me, and indulge me in playing out this mental exercise. When the world begins to go straight to Hell, and civilization as we know it looks to be coming to an end, there is only so much time for you and your loved ones to position yourselves for survival.

The timeline is quick because everyone else will be scrambling to do the same, and there is only so much fuel, ammunition, canned food, and defensible geography out there. You will either find yourself getting eaten by zombies, drained of your life-force by vampires, or fighting to the death repelling the first wave of the Canadian invasion. (You Canucks will never take us alive!)

My point is this: You need to move fast in putting your survival plan into action. Don’t waste time dilly-dallying, and please, God, do not think that you will have time to make all of these preparations once the apocalypse actually kicks off. That ship will have sailed, my friends. You will either be ready when the time comes, or you will be a victim, a snack, or a full meal, depending upon your foot speed, body fat percentage, and a host of other considerations.

“Fru,” you may be muttering to yourself right now as you scratch your arms nervously, “how exactly do I prepare so that I am not a blood smoothie for some random vampire, or a bullet sponge for a Canadian sniper?” I am glad you asked. Let us review some simple steps you can take to prepare for a potential apocalypse.

Have an evacuation plan

First, you need to have an evacuation plan. This applies especially if you live in an urban area, where the world is going to collapse first. When civilization comes crumbling down as a result of some instant calamity, the large urban areas will be the first to descend into chaos and Hobbes’s state of nature. They will also be easily sieged and turned into de facto prisons if you find yourself trapped in one. The same goes for suburbia, more or less.

That being said, you need to have a plan to beat feet out of there when the end arrives. I would recommend having at least one friend or family member who lives out in the country. You know the one I mean. This is the guy who lives in a compound-like home off an old country road, out where his nearest “neighbor” is situated a mile or two away.