5 Tips For Surviving A Zombie Apocalypse

The unthinkable has just happened. An unidentified virus has seeped into the populace and is now ravaging the country, and possibly the world. The virus’ most distinct identifying trait is turning an ordinary human into a shambling, mindless, undead bearer of death with an unnerving taste for the flesh of the living.
Yes, the zombie apocalypse has fallen upon us. Society and modern governance have been upheaved, infrastructure is falling apart, and that taco stand you love has closed overnight and will not be opening again in the foreseeable future. When every hour carries the risk of encountering hordes of man-eating undead, life may seem completely out of hand. But there are ways to navigate this strange new situation. Here are a few tips to make the most out of the end of the world.

1. Review Your Zombie Characteristics

Once turned, a zombie has the singular objective of locating a living creature and then feasting upon it, presumably to slake some supernatural hunger. As a living person, it is then naturally in your best interests to avoid or mitigate zombie contact. If a conflict is inevitable, you must be able to swiftly and efficiently neutralize the threat. Knowing some traits of the zombie will help you in your encounters:

  • Zombies can only be killed by destroying the brain. This means that a dismembered or even decapitated zombie may still be a serious threat. Even if you must be hasty, try and be thorough to prevent an unexpected attack from a target thought to be dealt with.
  • Zombies mostly transfer the sickness through bites. Avoid bodily contact near the face of a zombie and while it will not guarantee immunity, targeting the teeth or mandibular region may improve your chances during a prolonged engagement.
  • Zombies can have varying speeds of movement. While most assume a deliberate, shambling pace some still possess the muscular capacity for surprisingly rapid advances. One important thing to consider in either case is that zombies do not tire. Whatever the speed, the pursuit will be constant.
  • Zombies are not dexterous. While wholly committed to its objective, a zombie is not capable of handling even basic machinery or navigating the simplest of locks. Given time and numbers zombies can batter down doors and walls, but it will never occur to them to operate switches or turn keys.
  • Zombies are keen to light, noise, and motion. Primal stimuli, to be sure, but they will react swiftly and doggedly at the slightest provocation. Consider dampening these factors in your movements, or if you are convinced you have a comprehensive understanding of the battlefield, use them as a diversion.

2. Organization is Key

A modicum of preparation will go a long way in surviving the horrors of a zombie outbreak. While it may be perfectly natural to assume the apocalypse won’t go down next week, if you are looking for weapons and provisions at minute one, it will be very rough starting out. Even in times of peace, many find merit in acquiring or putting together a bug-out bag, which is typically a portable kit that contains supplies and provisions sufficient for one person to survive 72 hours. Most people make these so they can quickly grab it and go in the event of having to evacuate a civil or natural disaster. They can easily tide you over until your next opportunity to restock. Additionally, keeping your vehicles in good operating condition and setting aside an emergency supply of food, water, and fuel will improve your chances dramatically.

3. Pick the Right Tools for the Job

When you are living amongst the zombie hordes, combat will become a way of life. Due to the nature of a zombie’s attacks, hand to hand is almost never advisable. You must acquire and maintain equipment that will allow you to engage the undead, and permanently dispatch them.
Guns are a common idea. Their destructive power can easily eliminate zombies from a reasonably safe distance. But guns should only be a last resort for the simple reason that they are very loud. Even a silenced firearm will alert every zombie in a large vicinity. If you are fighting off a large horde, then survival trumps noise discipline.
But if the situation allows it always consider using a melee weapon or bow/crossbow before using a firearm. If you come across a sword, you may want to resist the romantic notion of using it. Even with proper training the long blade of a sword can get caught or stuck in the target; hampering your movement and leaving you open to counterattack. If a sword blade becomes caked with blood or ichor, its cutting and cleaving power can also drop precipitously.
Axes and spears carry weight and reach, but you also have to be careful with the same issue of the blades possibly getting stuck in the target. Consider keeping a stout club or mallet handy, as they can crush bones which will limit a zombie’s options against you, or destroy the skull and brain outright.

4. Society and Humanity

In the event of the zombie apocalypse, you will likely encounter fellow survivors. Banding together can be a valuable strategy. Pooling resources and diverse expertise can extend survival, while multiple actors can increase chances of success during zombie engagements. However, threat assessment must always include the living that you encounter. While by nature zombies are primal and unrelenting, this also makes them somewhat predictable. A breathing human is still perfectly capable of deceit, cruelty, and desperation.
In many cases, the ones that haven’t turned will be a more significant threat to your survival than the actual zombies. Hopefully, you are afforded the time to get to know which neighbors you can trust and which ones you cannot. You must be brutally honest in your analysis. Banding together has distinct and tempting advantages but only if the trust is real and mutual. In addition to trust, you must also be identifying which neighbors can be legitimate contributors to prolonged survival.

5. Fortifications

Extended life on the road can become a dangerous proposition. Setting up and fortifying camp will provide safety and order for you and any fellow survivors you are with. Most people will not have an isolated camp set up ahead of time. This is something you will want to begin working on quickly. Densely populated areas are not an ideal place to set up home base. You will want to look for an elevated position with 360-degree views. The farther you can see, the better. Fortify this position with obstacles and barriers that will slow the forward progress of any assailants. You need to account for zombies that while lacking dexterity, may be able to bring large numbers to bear. At the same time, you need to plan for hostile humans that may not have massive numbers but will have critical thinking and possibly complex weaponry. Zombies can be slowed by fences, trenches, and mud. Humans can be deterred by booby traps and razor wire if you can obtain some. You want to be able to funnel attackers to a choke point where they will become more manageable.

The zombie apocalypse is a lot to take in. Danger will constantly be present, and in the likelihood that the conveniences of functioning society are stripped away, you will be forced to become highly self-reliant. But follow these tips, take it one day at a time, and perhaps you won’t only experience the zombie apocalypse. You just might survive it.

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