Do you think you have what it takes to survive a zombie apocalypse? It’s harder than you might think.
Season 8 of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” premiered on Oct. 22. My husband and I are such big fans that we have actually mapped out how our family would survive if zombies started waking up.
We’ve always said that if things go south, we’d escape to our fairly well-hidden family ranch near the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
What does one include in a zombie apocalypse survival plan?
I decided to reach out to Dr. Ali Khan, director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Khan told AlltheMoms.com that having a plan increases our survival odds.
“If you are generally well-equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse, you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake or terrorist attack.”
Here are eight major factors to consider, and tips to get ahead of the game:
1. Scarcity of resources
Resources tend to become scarce during catastrophic storms. Preparing now could extend life expectancy during the apocalypse, Kahn said.
So stock up on basic necessities. You’ll need:
- 1 gallon of water: per person, per day.
- Blankets and clothing: a week’s worth per person.
- Battery-powered radio: one for every two people.
- Waterproof matches and toiletries.
- Non-perishable food (don’t forget the can openers).
- First-aid kits: one per person (don’t forget medications).
- Electronics: cellphones, chargers, flashlights and extra cash.
2. Risk of infection
In densely populated cities such as New York or Los Angeles, infection would spread in a day or less, Kahn said. That’s because containment efforts are sometimes not quick enough, he said.
Khan said survival odds increase by 5 percent for every 50 miles traveled outside major metro areas.
The 1918 flu epidemic, considered the worst in history, claimed as many as 100 million lives.
3. Lack of medical help and sanitation
Survival odds drastically decrease if there is a medical situation requiring immediate medical attention, such as dialysis or insulin-dependent patients.
Hospitals will be swamped and medical supplies and medications will be scarce in the event of a catastrophic event, Khan said.
If you or your kids have asthma, find your back-up inhalers now. Buying battery-operated medical machines now might save your life, he said.
4. Lack of survival skills
A major reason we wouldn’t survive a zombie apocalypse? Most of us don’t know how to be hunters and gatherers, Kahn said.
Even if they made it out of big cities unscathed, many people would still starve to death because the initial event would impact modern convenience, he said.
If you head toward forest areas, make sure to stay by water sources and don’t roam aimlessly, Khan said. The best thing to do is sit down and make a plan.
5. Location, location, location
People who live on the outskirts of major populated cities have better odds of getting out faster, Kahn said. Major thoroughfares and highways will quickly become congested with hordes of people attempting to escape.
But more than that, they would be lost and aimlessly wondering, which generates more panic. It’s vital for families to have a planned meeting spot and destination.
Trulia, an online company that helps facilitate the home-buying process, compiled a list of 25 places you don’t want to be during a zombie apocalypse.
6. Breakdown of rule of law
It’s a perfect storm brewing when civilization is on the brink of catastrophic events or epidemic outbreaks, Khan said.
A lack of food and resources lead to civil unrest and lawlessness.
He said law enforcement and emergency personnel will most likely abandon their posts to protect their own families, leaving us to fend for ourselves.
Cities would burn when widespread panic and chaos rages. It’s something we’ve seen recently during civil unrest events, Kahn said.
7. Communications failure
If you think your cellphone will help save your life, you might want to think again, Khan said.
Communications failures led to substantial loss of life during Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he said.
Disasters tend to send fragile infrastructure systems into the dark ages when panic spreads and people leave for safety.
8. Economic collapse
Everyday living will be disrupted, cash and cards will become useless, and civilization will revert into a goods-and-services trade system.
Unmanned sanitation and utility services will cease to exist, Khan said, which in turn will cause even more people to become ill and die.
But, if you want a little extra training, just on the off chance zombies take over, there’s a camp for that.
Zombie Survival Camp will teach you all you need to know to survive a zombie apocalypse.