The Zombie Apocalypse has finally happened. You are one of the lucky (unlucky) one. You have managed to survive and escape the city. Wielding your trusty baseball bat and 12 gauge you plowed a path through the shambling hordes of the reanimated dead and reached the safety of the outlying woodlands. Tired, covered in Zombie viscera, you hear a strange rumbling. It is your stomach.

Fighting the undead is hard work, and your body craves sustenance. What to do? Are the Zombies attracted to light? There's no way you want to fight those creatures in a darkened forest. You can't risk a fire, but you crave piping hot pot roast, mashed potatoes, and maybe a brownie. Reaching for your go bag, you pull out a plain brown package. Lucky for you, you have MREs!

You tear into the brown package and begin pulling out its contents. Roast beef. Potatoes. A brownie! A milkshake! Coffee! It's like Christmas morning. Adding water to the heating element you set off the chain reaction that will heat your food.

Half an hour later, you are leaning back full and satisfied. You clean your teeth with the thoughtfully supplied toothpick as you idly chew a piece of spearmint gum. Happy and full you are ready for another day of beating back the mindless hordes of the Undead.

MRE means Meal Ready to Eat. Developed by the US Armed Forces over several decades, MREs fulfill the required nutritional needs of a serviceman in a palatable manner. Each MRE is 1200 Calories. Rations have come a long way since the days of the Civil War when each man was doled out a portion of Rice or Beans for his daily meal. Today's MREs come in over 26 varieties and feature an entrée, side dish, desert, crackers or bread, a drink, towelettes, gum, and seasonings. Each MRE has a heating element that is powered by a chemical reaction that begins when water is added. This is so soldiers in the field can enjoy a hot meal.

MREs have become a favorite of campers, hikers, and survivalists because of their portability and long shelf life. The ability to heat the meals without the use of a fire or a camping stove is a big plus. They are an integral and valuable part of any emergency kit or go bag. In fact, they are often distributed via within the US and other countries after a natural disaster.

Though technically illegal to resale in to civilians, MREs are easily obtained online or at Army Surplus and Outdoor Stores. The same manufacturers who produce these meals for military use subtly alter them so they can sell them on the civilian market. Private companies have also begun to develop their own MRE lines outside of those supplied to the military strictly for the civilian market.

A case of 12 MREs, about 3 days worth, will cost you between $60 and $90 dollars. Mountain House makes a 72 hour emergency meal box that contains 12 meals for $47.00. However, these MREs do not include a heating kit and must be warmed over a stove or fire.

So in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse, it's good to have a handy supply of MREs.