So, we're ready(er) for a zombie apocalypse. Bring on the future!
Not so fast, Kemosabe. Zombies aren't the only potentially-world-ending threat facing the uncertain days ahead. If you intend to keep yourself and your family safe, you'd better have surveyed a host of different threats. FCN will help you.
Today: a hostile invasion from extra-terrestrial sentient life forms.
Unfortunately, we know much less about aliens than we do about zombies. Don't get me wrong: humans have been rubbing shoulders with aliens for thousands of years (though, for very complicated reasons, that's a closely guarded secret). But those aliens aren't hostile and don't pose a serious threat to humanity. Neither do hostile aliens at our technological level.
The serious threat is a hostile alien force with vastly superior technology, and, as you can probably tell, we have never encountered that yet. We can therefore only count on logic to help us formulate an attack. Let's start with what we know for certain, based on the fact that if any of these facts are untrue the Alien Survival Plan does not need to be put into effect.
1) The aliens can travel through space at reasonable speed.
2) The aliens can find this planet because they have technology that makes them able to detect something they want on the planet.
3) The aliens have weapons capable of making human extinction a real possibility.
4) The aliens have no serious weaknesses, such as vulnerability to germs or water.
5) The aliens want something on this planet and are about to kill us to get it.
There are three possible things the aliens might want from Earth. In no particular order, they are: minerals, water, or humans.
An attack from miner aliens would involve a sudden, coordinated attack on resource-rich areas across the planet. Our foes would either use close-up drilling techniques to bore down into the earth and suck the minerals out or pull the minerals out from space.
If they are using drilling: first, try to ascertain as quickly as possible what mineral(s) the aliens are going for. Everyone else will be trying to do this too; any radio or TV station should be able to give you the best accepted current theory. As soon as you know the target, get as far away from it as possible as quickly as possible. Don't go home; don't stop at Wal-mart for supplies. Get in a car, bike, plane, whatever, and boogie. The safest place to go in a drilling miner alien attack is an old strip mine; it's almost guaranteed to be dry of minerals and the bowl-shape will provide a little shelter from the elements.
Do not try to fight the aliens, as this might cause hostile action directly against humankind. Instead, bunker down where you know it's safe and wait. Space travel physics indicate to us that the alien ships will probably be massive - probably several hundred miles across at least. You will be able to see them clearly in the sky. When you no longer see them, you know it's safe to go home.
If the aliens prefer long range planet draining, your chances are much lower. Most planet drain techniques involve tearing a planet apart and processing each of the pieces in the ship. If this happens, there is really nothing you can do to save yourself. If the methods used are more sophisticated and the mineral in question is simply levitated out of the earth, all you need to do is get to a safe spot as described earlier and wait it out.
Aliens seeking our water pose another serious threat. Water is Earth's most precious resource and the basis of life as we know it. It's very likely that imperially-minded colonizing aliens would seek out watery planets like ours and suck them dry to hydrate their terraforming projects in other areas.
This would involve the creation of a small number of water teleportation vacuums in our major oceans: probably at least one in the Pacific and Atlantic; probably a third in the southern Indian ocean. These vacuums would suck up trillions of gallons in a single day from pipes that pulled water from the bottom of the ocean (just like a straw: you don't suck your soda from the top do you? No. You put the straw down at the bottom of the cup, just like space aliens).
While you will probably be in no immediate danger when the water sucking begins, you will still be in very grave danger. Without water, Earth will die within a matter of weeks at the most. You cannot afford to sit idly by and let the planet be sucked dry. There are only two possible solutions. Neither of them can be performed by you (unless you're a very powerful person, in which case: hello!); they require massive international cooperation and resource expenditure. But you need to know about them so you can adapt.
1) Military action. In anticipation of stellar (pun intended) defensive measures, the whole of humankind's nuclear payload will be launched at the orbiting alien fleet. Any shields or countermeasures the aliens have will hopefully be overwhelmed by the sheer number of incoming threats. In addition, the aliens will probably not have a serious military presence of their own; expecting minimal resistance, they should have just a token escort and should be only marginally capable of immediately retaliating. If we prove annoying enough, the aliens will leave us alone. If not, they'll send a battleship to kill us all, in which case see the "Killer Aliens" section.
2) Deceit. Because the aliens will not stop until they have sucked the planet dry, we must trick them into thinking they have succeeded when in fact they have not yet. Start by plugging the ends of the ocean-floor pipes. This will suggest that there is no more water to be drawn. If the aliens clear the pipes and proceed, start feeding strange things into the pipes such as oxygen, diet Pepsi, and beanie babies. Eventually whoever is up in the ship watching the monitor will get the message and power down the vacuums. This is really a gamble but if it works, the aliens will leave our planet in peace for a long time, if not forever.
PS. Depending on how the vacuums function, it may be possible to merge these two strategies by sending armed nuclear warheads up the pipe. Devious ...
The worst kind! These aliens aren't here for our planet, they're here for us. Contrary to what much of science fiction suggests, our bodies are unlikely to be useful sources of food or energy compared to other terrestrial creatures. We probably won't be as smart as the aliens will, and to them, we'll be hideously ugly.
They'll want us for two things: slavery or the satisfaction of a kill.
Slaver Aliens will try to take people alive, probably by landing in major metropolitan areas, cordoning off an area (perhaps with the use of some sort of energy barrier impassible to us), then processing everyone inside. If we're really unlucky, they'll have a way to detect and abduct us from up in space, in which case our only hope will be prompt military action as described above.
If you are abducted by aliens, do not panic. Keep all your senses open and try to understand how the aliens think and communicate. The aliens don't think the way we do. They won't know you very well and may overlook something very serious about keeping you contained (such as locking the door). If you're patient and keep your head on your shoulders, there's a fine chance you'll be able to escape and return to Earth.
If you're forced to fight the aliens, try to stab them in the eyes if they have any. You have no idea what other parts of the body may be vulnerable. If the aliens communicate through telepathy, you may be able to kill them by overloading their minds with images of themselves dropping dead. This is risky, however, as the aliens will have been able to practice telepathy all their lives (and who knows how long that is), whereas you will only just have gotten started. Eye poking is safer.
Blood Lust Aliens are absolutely by far the worst possible kind of aliens ever. They will come only for the sport of killing us or to satisfy a genocidal passion. They will probably not stop until they are convinced all of us are dead. Again, direct military action is an appropriate response, but considering that these aliens will have come ready for war, the odds of a successful nuclear strike are lower in this scenario than in any other.
No matter what kind of Killer Aliens are attacking, it is imperative that you get away from other humans immediately. Evacuate cities no matter the size - make for the hills and then get off the road, lead your car behind, and hoof it. Try to ascertain what the aliens are using to find you.
If it's smell, find a place you can lie in water and breathe through a straw or reed. If you can find a creek with an abundance of fish (and you like sushi), you may not have to surface for weeks at a time. This will be tricky and require great patience and training, but hey - it's better than getting vaporized!
If the aliens find you by sight, hide from the sky. Caves are your best bet. If you cant find one, dig yourself a dugout and hide inside. Never ever come out in the day or when the moon is bright, or if you see bright/moving lights in the sky.
If by telepathic signature, visualize yourself as a rock, incapable of thought. Hold that image until the aliens leave.
If by sound, keep your breathing shallow. Lie flat on the ground and do not move until the aliens go away (you should be able to watch the proceedings in the sky quite clearly). Be sure to turn off your cell phone. Not vibrate - off. And no iPods!
Whatever you do, don't get near other people. Every additional person in your party exponentially increases your chances of being caught. Stay alone to stay alive. You can rekindle those old friendships when you've all come through the invasion safe and sound.
One more word of advice, and this covers all three kinds of alien invasions: whatever you do, be quick about it. You're dealing with enemies that can zip across light years in the blink of an eye. They're not going to sit around waiting for you to back up your hard drive and grab your sweater. As soon as you ascertain what kind of aliens are attacking, kick into survival mode and head for the hills.
There is, of course, one final kind of alien we didn't mention: space zombies (like head crabs or the Flood). If you're attacked by that kind, well ... you know what to do.