How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies from The Walking Dead

Do you know what would you do if a zombie apocalypse happened for real? ForeverGeek is here to help. Because becoming a meal for a ravaging flesh-eater isn’t fun for anybody.

Zombies are the new vampires. Hollywood just loves showing us what our lives will be like if and when a zombie outbreak occurs. We’ve got The Walking Dead — one of the biggest cable TV successes ever. Video game after video game keeps appearing on store shelves that charge you with staying alive while dispatching the undead. Even theaters are being overrun, the most prominent example coming late next year with the movie version of Max Brooks’ revered novel World War Z, directed by Marc Forster and starring Brad Pitt.

If a real zombie apocalypse should ever occur, society as we know it will no doubt break down overnight, leading to a state of pure, anarchic survivalism. Since preparing is always better than reacting, here are some crucial tips for making it through the end of the world.

1) Food

Still image from The Walking Dead

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Foods high in protein will be the most useful since you’ll have to do lots of moving around, running from place to place, trying to find a safe place to hide. Don’t harp about those out-of-fashion carbs; running for your life is not the time to be worried about your waistline (regardless of all those beautiful, buff, tan survivors you see on TV). You’re going to need to always stay a step ahead if you plan on staying alive, so your body is going to need calories and lots of them.

2) Drink

Still image from The Walking Dead

Water is always essential to life, but a sports drink like Gatorade can put electrolytes back in your body after you’ve gone into shock from a long, bloody fight for your life. Sports drinks will be particularly helpful if you suffer any blood loss during the battle. Energy drinks like Red Bull may come in handy at times, but beware the crash that comes when they wear off — you can’t afford to be run down and off your game if an undead horde should attack without warning. Also, avoid alcohol whenever possible. Sure, you’re going to need to de-stress and have a little fun now and then in order to keep your sanity, but you simply can’t afford the mental and physical impairment that alcohol causes. You can be alert, or you can be dead. Your choice.

3) Weapons

Still image from The Walking Dead

If you want to kill a zombie and look cool doing it, you’re going to need something showy like a revolver, a shotgun, or best of all, a bow-and-arrow. (Nothing looks better than shooting a bow-and-arrow, because it requires action from both your hands and your entire upper body.) Blades are also very effective, and offer the added benefit of not requiring ammunition. Samurai swords will win you geek points (and potential love interests), particularly if you can wield them with precision. But you can’t get any more iconic than the classic chopping axe; neat freaks will love axes because nothing else removes a head from a body as cleanly. On the flip side, if you want the blood to splatter and gush, you won’t get better results than with a chainsaw.

How to Kill a Zombie
Standard zombie lore tells us that the brain is where all the action is; without it, even the undead can no longer function. So it seems to be the consensus that the most effective way to kill a zombie is to chop off its head, though a bullet to the brain will also work in most situations. If you want to live, don’t bother emptying rounds into anything below the neck. Fire is also an acceptable method of destroying a zombie, but it’s riskier because it takes longer to burn to death. So a wimpy little campfire ain’t gonna get it done. It’s got to be a full-on inferno that leaves nothing but ash.

4) First Aid

Still image from The Walking Dead

No matter how careful you are, you’re going to run into trouble. Accidents happen, but then so do zombies. So be sure to stock up on essential first aid supplies whenever you can. Bandages, stitches, and rubbing alcohol will be your chief concerns, but painkillers should be considered a priority as well. Expect plenty of injuries, possibly even lost appendages, anytime there’s a fight against a pack of zombies. (If someone in your party is bitten in the arm, for example, you can stop the spread of the zombie infection if you lop off the entire arm before it spreads to the body.) If a member of your family is diabetic or asthmatic or some other condition that requires ongoing medication, it goes without saying that running out of their needed meds is not an option. Those weapons mentioned above will come in handy in these situations, as you’ll likely have to steal what you need — possibly from other groups of survivors.

5) Tools & Supplies

Still image from The Walking Dead

We tend to think of “food and shelter” as our most basic human necessities, but if you really want to survive, you’re going to need more than Spam and a lean-to. Scavenging will become a way of life. Aside from the stuff listed above, some key items to look for include: extra clothes, blankets, towels, soap, batteries, knives, and any communication equipment you can find, such as walkie-talkies or a radio. (Don’t bother with phones. It’s a safe bet that cellular service will be down almost immediately after the apocalypse begins, since most carriers have a hard time keeping their networks running without monsters eating all the technicians.) Basically, if there’s something you use as part of your everyday life right now — but probably are so accustomed to it that you take it for granted — you’re going to want it when you’re roaming the earth, trying to stay hidden and alive.

All photos courtesy of AMC.

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Robin Parrish
@robinparrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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