The world of literature and film seems to be tilted in favor of zombie and post-apocalyptic tales recently. With every episode of The Walking Dead I watch, I wonder if those people really have a clue how to survive the apocalypse. Seriously. Farmer Rick? Really?
Though a real zombie apocalypse would probably never happen, I often think about my chances of surviving one. I know they're not good, but are they worse than yours? After all, I don't have to run faster than the zombies, I just have to run faster than you!
The truth is that most of us probably wouldn't survive the night, day, week or month of the living dead. Maybe we'll make it through the first wave, when the virus or plague first starts to claim victims but, once the world (or at least our little corner of it) is overrun, we're pretty much toast liberally slathered with brain jelly because most of us don't know what to do to survive.
Although "surviving the zombie apocalypse" articles are a dime a dozen (including this one), the information contained in them could help save your life in a real emergency or a natural disaster.
I hope the following information will help you to at least become more aware of the knowledge you should have in case the SHTF (look it up!).
You Won't Survive The Zombie Apocalypse Because of Your Eating Habits!
Yeah so you probably hit up old Mickey D's at least once or twice a week to pick up an Egg McMuffin or one of those gourmet Big Macs. Or maybe you're a real big spender and call Papa John's once a week. (By the way, they have a great deal if you call them Monday through Wednesday, just saying!)
Here's a real question for you: What do you have in your pantry? Maybe a few cans of Campbell's chicken noodle and a couple boxes of Hamburger Helper - and those three cans of beets that nobody in your family will eat. You've probably got some french fries and peas in your freezer, along with the couple of pounds of ground beef that you'll need for that Helper. In your fridge there's probably milk, eggs, butter, leftovers, lunch meat, Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer, maybe some salad greens and a whole door full of condiments. Horseradish mustard, anyone?
You're not prepared for a snowstorm, much less the ZA (Zombie Apocalypse). How long will your food last your family? Most of us grocery shop once a week, so you're okay till next Friday. Maybe. If the power goes, you're out of luck.
So maybe you've watched a zombie movie or two and you've seen groups of survivors raid Walmart (or Big Spots, and well all know how well that turned out). What you may not be counting on are the zombies that were previously people trying to do that exact same thing. Now they're shuffling around in sporting goods just waiting for you. And that's the reward you'll get for fighting off all the other soccer moms who also want those Walmart goodies. And you thought Black Friday was bad! Hey, wait for me in the shampoo aisle.
But you've got fruits and veggies growing in the garden in your back yard, you say? Awesome! They could keep you alive provided, you know, that you're able to stay in your home. So, you've canned massive amounts of your heirloom tomatoes and even those three bushels of peaches that you bought from Farmer Brown. Again, awesome! However, you probably won't be taking those with if you if you have to leave your home. And that green thumb you have that helps you grow those prize winning pumpkins will be no good if you're constantly on the run.
So what do you do?
Well, you've probably heard this before, but there are likely plants growing in your yard that you can eat. Don't know which ones? Maybe you should figure that out. Also learn what grows locally and in other areas near yours in case you have to grab a handful of dandelion greens on the run.
Can you hunt or fish? No? Sorry, no protein for you. Maybe you can score some Vienna sausages from the 7-11 on I-10 on your way out of town. I see you turning up your nose. But, when you're starving, you'll eat anything.
You'd Get Eaten By Zombies Because You're Lazy
Maybe I should have said complacent, but "lazy" sure got your attention didn't it?
Most of us are creatures of habit, as in we wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat supper and go to bed. Maybe you watch a little Sons of Anarchy or, praise all the good things in life, The Walking Dead.
Who are you kidding? You're too lazy to vote, what the heck makes you think you could survive the zombie apocalypse?
Do you have an emergency plan set up in your house for things like fires and tornadoes? Do your kids know what to do if there's an emergency when you're not home? Do you even know where your house is?
You probably laugh at all those zombie apocalypse survival guides in the bookstores and on the internet and think that "preppers" are just paranoid nerds with too much time on their hands, but guess who's going to survive the ZA? Yeah. Not you!
Let me help you out a little bit. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, while not exactly the first people I would call in case of a hurricane, has an entire chunk of their website dedicated to educating folks about what to do in case of emergency. It's called Plan, Prepare & Mitigate and it could save your life and/or your personal possessions during tornado season or a pesky little zombie apocalypse. You're welcome.
What's A Boomstick?
You're Zombie Bait Because You Can't Use A Boomstick
I usually don't get political, but if you're one of those folks who don't think that people should own firearms, well, good luck to you. You shoot a zed with a Nerf gun, they're just going to laugh at you and a zombie's laugh is NOT pretty. Trust me on this.
While most folks agree that the only way to really kill a zombie is to destroy its brain, when it comes to weapons, many zombie apocalypse experts (yes, they do exist) are not in agreement on the best ones to have and use. Obviously, firearms are the preferred weapon for killing walkers, because you can shoot them from a much farther distance than, say, punching their domes with a Phillips screwdriver - therefore decreasing your chances of being bitten. However, firearms may not be ideal for the following reasons:
- They make too much noise and alert other brain hungry hooligans to your location.
- Most people couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a handgun or a rifle.
- Ammo doesn't grow on trees. Unless you can make it, save the pea shooter for special occasions.
For the rest of us (and by "rest of us" I mean non-gun toting crazies), weapons should be kept simple. Many people prefer melee weapons for the ZA, like knives swords and Michonne's katana. If you go this route, at least familiarize yourself with the weapons so your first encounter with the drooling dead doesn't go down as the worst practice run in the history of history.
If it comes down to it, anything heavy that is also capable of smashing heads is usable. Lamps (not the shade, you big dummy), baseball bats, hammers, axes and crowbars will do.
It would also benefit you to find some kind of clothing that cannot be torn or bitten through. Try those coveralls that mechanics used to wear. If you can get your hands on full body armor then would you like to be my friend? One somewhat interesting thing I've come across in my quest to read every zombie related novel on the planet is suits made from carpet. (Thank you Jonathan Maberry!)
Also know which people in your group are capable of fighting and leave the others to perform other tasks. If you have people in your little band of survivors with special skills, like a doctor or a mechanic, try to keep them out of the zombie Wrestle Mania because you will need their skills later.
How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse (According to Videogames)
The Zombieland Rules
Know them. Get them tattooed on the inside of your arm if you have to.
2. Double Tap
3. . Beware of Bathrooms
4. Wear Seat Belts
5. No Attachments
6. The “Skillet”
7. Travel Light
8. Get a Kick Ass Partner
9. With your Bare Hands
10. Don’t Swing Low
11. Use Your Foot
12. Bounty Paper Towels
13. Shake it Off
14. Always carry a change of underwear
15. Bowling Ball
16. Opportunity Knocks
17. Don’t be a hero (later crossed out to be a hero)
18. Limber Up
19. Break it Up
20 It’s a marathon, not a sprint, unless it’s a sprint, then sprint
21. Avoid Strip Clubs
22. When in doubt Know your way out
24. Use your thumbs
25. Shoot First
26. A little sun screen never hurt anybody
28. Double-Knot your Shoes
29. The Buddy System
30. Pack your stain stick
31. Check the back seat
32. Enjoy the little things
33. Swiss army Knife
Knowledge Could Keep You From Getting Eaten By Zombies
There's not much that any of us (except maybe the CDC and the Church of Scientology) can do to prevent a zombie apocalypse. There are, however, a few things that you can do to increase your chances of surviving one:
- Take some first aid and CPR classes. At least you'll know what to do if your mother-in -law breaks her leg. (I heard that! Feeding her to the zombies isn't nice!!)
- Learn how to forage so you'll at least have enough sustenance to provide you with energy when you're trying to outrun the walkers.
- Stock up on essentials like batteries, hunting gear, water purification tablets and portable food and keep these things where you can easily get to them. Shoot for 72 hours worth of supplies for each member of your family in case you have to leave your home.
- Make a plan for the evacuation of your home at the very least and get to know your general area in case you have to flee. Make sure your family knows what to do also, in case something happens to you.
- Get in shape. There's no way you can run from the biters if you've got three spare tires and you're huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf and you've only run eleven yards.
- If you or your family members take life-saving prescription medicine, try to have some extra on hand, although your health insurance provider may frown on this. It may be difficult to obtain your medications, especially if your friendly, neighborhood pharmacist is nomming on your mailman's brains.
While I've left out a lot of pertinent information that could save your brain in the ZA, my hopes are that reading this article (peppered with my special brand of sarcasm) will increase your awareness. You don't need an impending zombie apocalypse to prepare your family and your home for emergencies. Read the link I've provided to the FEMA website and know what to do during hurricane season or those lively shakeups along the San Andreas fault. At the very least, you'll have a little peace of mind because a brain is a terrible thing to waste!
In case you were wondering, the pretty purple and yellow flower with the poll under it up there somewhere is a plant called nightshade. And no, you can't eat it, unless you like poison. The purple one probably won't kill you, but the black nightshade might. Another variety of nightshade is referred to as Belladonna. Yeah. Brush with death anyone?
Jim Henderson from Hattiesburg, Mississippi on May 14, 2020:
I laughed so hard...until I read that one part...who said you can't feed your mother-in-law to the zombies?! Bummer!
I am impressed that you put so much thought into this. Now I have to ask, how did you learn so much …unless zombies are -shudder- real?!
Oh great! Now I'm worried ...so who do I send my therapy bill to?
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on January 26, 2019:
I have an entire zombie loving family which makes it exceptionally difficult for me to avoid a conversation that the walking dead pop up in. For the record: I am not a fan of zombies (I get nightmares from horror movie commercials) so would be completely unable to sit through a zombie anything lol. I do think though that you are completely right on the survival skills. They definitely could save your life in any number of situations including the undead suddenly popping up from the ground in an attempt to live again.
Addison Molrower from Slovenia on December 31, 2014:
Meh, I live in pretty depopulated part of the country, so big Zombie outbreaks would be extremely unlikely, if they weren't impossible of course. In case of one I would probably run to the hills :D I know all local plants and the forests are speckled by my shelters (I practice wilderness survival, since my dream is to be able to survive like our ancestors). I think I would have in zombie-scenario good chance of survival, since where there is no people, there is no zombies :P
Heather Ann Gomez from Monterey, CA on November 21, 2014:
You are really funny. I enjoyed reading this. In response to the food issue. We always have cases of bottled water (Don't ask why), lots of dried beans, tortillas (flour), and an array of spices. Pretty much after we ran out of meat, veggies, fruit etc we would be down to bread/tortillas and beans. Worse comes to worse we could gas out the Zombies to keep them at bay.
Jeff Boettner from Tampa, FL on January 18, 2014:
I'm currently sitting on 3 storage units packed full of argyle socks. I plan to trade them when SHTF. Everyone has beef jerky, guns, water,...no one has a sock supply, except the munkey...Bummed out cuz your fam is all zombies, its all grey outside and the world has ended? No prob, try these bright red argyle's on....mmm hmm.
Jason Smith from Bastrop, Texas on January 05, 2014:
I think something is going to happen soon, but I don't know what. It will be big and life changing. Be prepared, read my article for some useful information.
Nightwolf2033 on December 10, 2013:
I can get my hand on military rations body armor made of Kevlar and guns so I will be good but the fat guy playing world of war craft who thinks he is a ninja see you in the Twinkie isle (zombie land reference) ha
Susan S Manning on November 30, 2013:
That was fun, but we've got a plan. We'll make it.
Anna Marie Bowman from Florida on November 30, 2013:
This was so fun to read!! Even more fun, because I wrote a "How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse Hub a few years ago! I have a garden, a machete, a spear gun, a bow and arrows. I think I might fare pretty well. At least, I hope I would.
torrilynn on November 28, 2013:
I found this to be very humorous and a great explanation on why we wouldn't survive a zombie apocalypse. Due to our laziness and our lack of knowledge of hunting with sticks and bows of arrows along with various other reasons, I agree we wouldn't survive. Great article. Voted up.
Mitch Turnure from South Jersey on November 28, 2013:
Very good...various and sundry thumbs up...I thought I was reading one of my own sarcastic humor hubs...big fan...thanks.
Ericajean on November 26, 2013:
Voted this one Up and Funny because although zombies aren't real, it is so important to know how to survive in case things do get really...bad. Thanks!
Joe Poniatowskis from Mid-Michigan on November 26, 2013:
Nicely written. True, a real ZA seems outrageously unlikely, but to be prepared for it means one is prepared for many far more likely scenarios. Time to remove the pile of clothing from the treadmill and put it back into service.
Mike Robbers from London on November 26, 2013:
Extraordinary and very interesting,way to go Georgie!!
Levy Tate from California, USA on November 25, 2013:
You sure know how to write an engaging title x hub! Kudos to you :) Thanks for sharing. Voted up!
Jdavis410 on November 23, 2013:
Well I have just started to write a Survival guide of my own. My guide is different because it focuses on preparing so you know if that "pretty blue plant" is edible theres a reason its called what its called (don't want to give spoilers)
pmorries from Golden, CO on November 22, 2013:
Hmm...there does seem to be a lot of articles about surviving the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse. Maybe I should write a hardcore survival article like, "How to make edible beef jerky out of your zombie neighbor" Or," Necrophilia the new "Normal" after the Zombie Apocalypse!" No, I do not think America is ready for that yet.
Keith Abt from The Garden State on November 22, 2013:
Awesome work, G. And thanks for posting the Zombieland "rules" - it reminds me that I'm overdue to re-visit that movie!!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 22, 2013:
Well that was entertaining. I'll be thinking of zombies the rest of my day. Thanks for the laughs and....yes...reflections.