Tech Magazine

How To Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

Posted on the 18 October 2011 by Nerdywerds @NerdyWerds

How To Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

Uploaded by Mason Costa on October 18, 2011 at 01:05 PM

Are you prepared for a zombie apocalypse?


  • How You Become a Zombie
  • What Do I Do When Zombies are on the Streets?
  • How You Kill a Zombie
  • Wrap Up

I've long thought that technology seemed unattainable to some because of it's stigma of being complex and serious. If you think about nerds talking about technology, it's rarely a humorous conversation. It's typically socially maladjusted people salivating over some piece of hardware or other technology. Science shares a similar reputation; when I think scientist I don't think comedian. It's really a shame that this is the rep technology and science have, because they don't have to be that way. Science and technology can be fun and light. In that spirit, I've decided to cover the lighter side of science today.

As many of us are aware, my wife brought it to my attention last night, Halloween is 13 days away. So what better way to bring an aura of levity to science then by looking at zombies? Zombies are a fixture in scary movies and amongst trick-or-treaters. Actually, one of my favorite shows about zombies premiered this past Sunday evening. I thought it'd be fun to try and cobble together a "Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide" from various zombie movies and shows.

How You Become a Zombie

In The Art of War, Sun Tzu is credited with saying; "Know thine enemy". So before we can survive the zombie apocalypse, we need to know what we're up against. Before we go any further, I feel I should qualify the type of zombies we're preparing for. If you've seen 28 Days Later, you'll notice they're not really zombies, they are infected with a rage virus. Being super angry and violent is different than being a zombie. No where in 28 Days Later does the victim die, only to be reanimated. So, while I think we can all agree violently insane maniacs running loose is terrifying, we're not preparing for that. Also, the traditional form of zombie, the voodoo/west African forms, are out as well. They are more possessed bodies than undead. We're only looking at the zombies that fit the criteria of having something, virus or otherwise, that infects the body, kills the host and then reanimates parts of the brain, will be considered. You can't be an undead if you never died, sorry. Also, the zombification must be contagious through bodily fluids. If zombie were an airborne pathogen, reading this would be of no use.

Our first condition for being a zombie was a virus that kills you. As I stated earlier, they wouldn't be called "the undead" if they didn't die at some point. Typically the virus attacks the body in rapid, usually incredibly painful way. In season one of "The Walking Dead", an incredible series on AMC, one of the member gets bitten during a zombie attack one night. The next morning, he is visibly devoid of color and states that his "bones feel like glass"; leading to a great deal of pain merely riding in a car. In Resident Evil: Extinction, a member of the hero party gets bitten while raiding an abandoned building. He too loses all color, probably a result of the virus shutting down vital organs, and he appears to be in a great deal of agony. The latter case ends with the infected attacking his former friends, lending credence to the notion that the zombie virus only reanimates the part of your brain required for the basest of functions. Zombies never recognize their friends and loved ones.

As I stated earlier, the zombie virus is spread through bodily fluids. This can happen through a bite, blood, saliva, or other fluids. As such, it's important, above all else, to avoid being bitten That seems like good advice on a daily basis, but it's particularly important now. If you've ever ridden MARTA, it's pretty much the same drill. If you have any cuts or open wounds, you need to tend to them and tightly cover them. As hard as it is, if you or a member of your survival party gets bitten, they need to be put out to pasture. One thing all zombie movies would lead me to believe is that there's no coming back from zombiehood.

What Do I Do When Zombies are on the Streets?

So now we have zombies, and there's no cure. We know that zombies only have use of the most basic of abilities; basically they know they need to feed. They don't have any higher motor functions, so they just kind of stumble around until someone happens to be in their way. They can still see and hear and all, so I'd start by cutting off all the power to to your house. Hopefully you have an emergency preparedness kit around; water, food, batteries, medicine, tools, radio, etc. If not, start by filling up your bathtubs. It may be unpleasant drinking from the same place you sit naked, but it's better than dying. If you don't have these things, and need to go out, do it under the cover of night. We're dealing with zombies, not ninjas; they don't blend into their surroundings. They have diminished faculties, so you should be able to sneak by when they can't see. I'd advise against taking your car if at all possible. Movies have lead us to believe zombies will be attracted to the point of origin of sound. If you start your car, you may have to move everyone with you.

If you do leave the confines of your home, be prepared for a rude awakening. Obviously the zombies aren't going to be hospitable; but neither will the uninfected people. Fear does strange things to people, so be aware. If you do go to a store to stock up, you may be met by desperate, scared people that are going to be less than friendly. If you are able to evade the zombies and the arguably more dangerous non-zombies, get what you need fast. Don't tempt fate by lingering around. If you can find one, I recommend getting a gun. If not, raid your shop area at home for axes, saws, hoes, anything that you can use to defend yourself. My preferred method of protection would be an ax or a bat. They don't require any kind of ammunition and they are more quiet than a gun. The gun gives you the option of range though. From watching "The Walking Dead", a cross bow or bow and arrow seems to be an excellent ranged weapon.

I mentioned that people will be dangerous due to fear, there's a chance that you, being levelheaded and lucid, could use this to your advantage. People just want to protect themselves and their loved ones. If you've ever watched a horror movie, you know there's usually safety in numbers. Try to get people to join your cause. If you can pool people together, you'll better be able to survive. Rarely do you see zombies roaming by themselves, they typically have a pack mentality; which makes sense with the limited brain activity. Once you've gotten a group assembled, find a fortress. This probably will have to be makeshift, unless you can get to a military base, prison or something like that. Barricade yourselves in. Don't just throw a sheet over a window and hope all is well. If all you can find are sheets and cloths, that will be better than nothing. If you can cover all the opening to the outside world, you'll be able to light candles and use fire to cook your food and boil your water. If you can find wood or heavy furniture, block all the door and windows you can. A zombie doesn't have logical capabilities, if they try to enter a building and the door won't open, they're likely to just turn around and leave.

It's probably going to be tempting to start shooting zombies as they approach your housing; fight that urge. If you fire your weapon, you'll likely attract the attention of any zombie within a pretty wide radius. Put your efforts into making sure your defenses at home are solid. A mote would come in really handy if you happen to have one of those. I've never seen a zombie swim. So maybe try to get to a boat if you have one. But if you can't get some sort of water defenses, make sure your doors are bolted shut, windows tightly locked with boards over them or something blocking them.

How You Kill a Zombie

Inevitably, you're going to have to get your hands dirty and deal with an undead or two. While there are some differences between zombie origins and physiology; everyone agrees you have to aim for the head. That small bit of brain activity they have needs to be stopped. So aim high. Don't waste your time with body shots or things like that. In the pilot episode of "The Walking Dead" there is a female zombie crawling across a field without the lower half of her body. You may slow down a zombie, but you'll only stop them by disrupting their brain function.

If you're lucky, you won't be swarmed by zombies and you can use a bit of stealth. If this is the case, put away the gun. Opt for one of the other weapons you grabbed from your house. If you keep noise to a minimum, you won't have to deal with a horde of zombies.

Wrap Up

The ultimate goal of anyone trying to survive a zombie apocalypse is to outlast the zombies. I haven't seen a movie that says how long a zombie can go without feeding; but I'd think with the lack of energy they need, it may be a while. So be in it for the long haul. When zombies overtake the earth, and believe me, it's just a matter of time, follow this guide to safety. If you're in the Douglasville area, you can come camp out with me! I really hope you guys enjoyed my first foray into a lighter side of science. If this goes over well, I've got months worth of blunders, oddities and other plain weird things to go over. Thanks for reading and if you care about your friends, send this to them. You never know when you'll need it.

Source: CDC Blog

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog