Editor's Note: The tips are really important. Watch who you hang out with, and do think about fashion.

How to Survive an Alien Invasion

The following is a distillation of information on alien attacks found in film, television, print, and interactive media designed to offer you a very basic strategy in the unlikely event of an alien invasion.
Surviving an alien invasion may be the single most important thing you do for yourself and for humankind. Do not give up hope. Around 75,000 years ago humanity went through a great extinction. At its lowest point, there were around 15,000 human beings in existence. Now look at us! Surviving an alien invasion will most likely only require surviving the initial attack, then rebuilding. If, however, the aliens appear to be occupying the planet, you must also consider forming a resistance movement.


1. Find cover and find it quickly! When the aliens attack, it is almost certainly going to be a surprise. If I have learned anything (citation needed), it's that aliens are sneaky. They may be hiding on the dark side of the moon, or staying in our orbit on the other side of the sun while they plan their attack, so it's very important to be familiar with your environment and be prepared to use it to your advantage.

2. Once you're there, stay put unless you deem it more perilous to stay than to run for other cover. It's the guy running down the center of the street screaming that makes an easy target. Don't be that guy! If you have run out in the open, do what herbivores do: change your direction randomly to throw off the aim of your alien overlords. While your 6-minute mile may not be any match for superior alien technology, you might just get lucky anyway.

3. After surviving the initial attack, it's important to find supplies. Try places that aren't too obvious. While everyone is looting the grocery store, go loot the hunting and camping supply stores. This has a few advantages: the food in a camping supply store is all dehydrated, so it will be easy to carry, and you can stock up on other things that will be important, like that 12-gauge double-barreled Remington, Colman lamp, propane. Many camping supply stores also have distilled water by the gallon. Feel free to take a few grocery carts, the mall cops probably didn't come to work today.

4. Establish a base of operations. Firstly, try to affiliate yourself with the up-and-comers of the new resistance. You can usually spot them by their stone features, no-nonsense demeanor, and chain-smoking. If no resistance appears to be in place, practice your stony expressions, no-nonsense demeanor, and chain-smoking. Others will gravitate to you as these things inspire confidence.

5. Save the children. These are the people who will grow up to be more scarred and hate the alien invaders more than you hate the neighbor who ran over your puppy when you were little. They will be very important later. One will likely be a tactical genius with very impressive stony expressions, no-nonsense demeanor, and an avid chain smoker. That child may very well lead the ragtag remnants of the human race to victory against the alien invaders.

6. Save the ladies aged 18 - 34. Probably the most important thing to do when faced with extinction is to procreate…a lot! In the original Planet of the Apes (1968) a group of scientists were on their way to some distant world to attempt to populate it. The strange thing is that out of all the people going to populate this world, they brought exactly one woman with them. Had they not wound up on the Planet of the Apes, their opposable thumbs still wouldn't have got them out of that pickle when they realized their mistake. Furthering the species requires healthy fertile females much more than males. In fact, if an Alien Invasion has occurred and you happen to be a young lady browsing this wiki hoping for some last minute cramming since you found cover and have time to kill before seeking supplies, rest assured that you are very important and any macho chuckle-head who thinks otherwise obviously has very little perspective and will likely have a few moments of realization just before getting vaporized in a very meaningful moment. But that's okay; you only need a handful of guys for procreative purposes.

7. Save the technically knowledgeable. While maybe not the most obvious choice when the world is collapsing around you, it is very important to save people with technical savvy. When the aliens invade, they aren't coming at you with pointy sticks. They're going to be packing heat in a form that we probably haven't seen and will likely not understand. The best people to tackle the understanding and application phase are the engineers. What these people lack in pectoral muscles they can more than make up for in a lab coat.

8. Once there are sufficient children in gestation to carry on humanity in the next generation, it's time to strike back. We have probably had a few months where we've setup a lab in our base of operations (see step four). The technically knowledgeable have managed wonders with the few scraps of technology that you managed to gather. We're starting to understand the alien technologies and how to harness them for a counter-attack. Members of the resistance have been observing the alien behavior and may have identified a weakness or general trend that dominates the entire race (not to encourage stereotyping). Now it's time for tactics. If you happen to know any Spartans, Janissaries, Special Ops, or even really good chess players, you want them in on this part. All alien invaders tend to be very centralized. They will have a central "mother ship" or fortify their primary residence in a large citadel, something central, big and intimidating. Obviously, attacking from outside is futile, so you have to find a way in.

9. Sneaking into an alien stronghold can be tricky. It will likely take all of the talents of your technically knowledgeable to figure out how to use the alien technology to help you accomplish this. Mostly, it seems like hijacking an alien vessel and working through the complicated system of security checks is how it happens, although some aliens may have a technology similar to RFID, so the vehicle itself is your ticket in.

10. While it is probably a good idea to have a variety of small and large incendiary devices at your disposal, you may find that the alien technology itself is very volatile. In any event, it's better to have a bomb and not need it, than need a bomb and not have it. Come prepared for the party.

11. Chances are, the aliens did not file the blueprints for their building/mother ship with the local planning office, so you will need the help of some of your technically knowledgeable again—hopefully someone with a background in structural engineering. The idea is to setup an appropriately sized explosive device to take down their central hub and leave the rest of the aliens as sitting ducks. If it's a mother ship, you're probably looking to get it near the center. If it's a citadel your common sense may lead you astray. One would think that a powerful explosion at ground level would be the way to destroy the citadel, but the alien technologies are either hidden well below the citadel in an underground chamber, or really high in the citadel. While an explosion at ground level should take out the stuff really high in the citadel, it won't do anything for an underground chamber, so you really have to take the time to figure out where it is. Once you've done that, you will either be really low underground or really high in the citadel, so you can just drop your appropriately sized explosive device and make for the elevators.

12. Once the alien stronghold is destroyed, you're going to have to start mop-up operations to clear out the decentralized alien forces. They will be weaker now, because they drew heavily on the power of their central system.

13. While you're engaged in mop-up operations, make sure to put the technically knowledgeable to the task of retrofitting the alien technologies to help rebuild. Keep in mind that you have just had a global cataclysmic event, so think small. Have lots of trees and plants. Also, score yourself an alien land and air vessel. You'll be the envy of all humanity.

14. Once mop-up operations are finished, you're pretty much done. The children you saved will have grown both technically knowledgeable and pissed off enough to take over from here. They'll probably figure out how to pinpoint the alien home world and launch an offensive using alien technology and human ingenuity to outsmart the alien race.

15. A lot has happened since the alien invasion. You’ve likely fathered or mothered at least one child if not several. You’ve proven yourself a capable mover and shaker in the resistance, a powerful adversary to the aliens, and a fine pilot of alien land vehicles and spacecrafts. All that’s left is to get involved in agriculture to help sustain the populations. They say that working the Earth has a healing effect on people. I never experienced that working in agriculture, but they say that. Maybe it does. At any rate, you’ll probably need it.


* Hang out with the type of people you think could survive an alien invasion: U.S. Marines, Israeli Police, Pakistani weapon smiths, etc.

* Be prepared. Have a plan. How are you going to find cover? Where's the best place to get supplies in the pandemonium?

* Dress down, think functional. Avoid really bright colors. You just went through an apocalypse, people will think you're a jerk if you dress too cheery.

* Get a dog—not a pug or toy poodle. Get something smart and loyal, like an Australian Shepherd or a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Consider a mutt, if you can't find one with pedigree papers.


*A iens may be hostile, particularly aliens invading the planet.

 Things You'll Need

* A hostile alien force.

* Human ingenuity

Article added: 23 October 2009

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