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How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse: A Beginners Guide

Brendon Thorne, Getty Images

Zombies, zombies and more zombies. Everywhere you look these days, you’re bound to run into a bunch of bloody zombies. We’ve got books about zombies (‘World War Z,’ ‘Tooth and Nail’), television shows about zombies (‘The Walking Dead‘) and tons of zombie movies, like the classic ‘The Night of the Living Dead,’ and the more recent ‘28 Days Later.’ Not to mention the real life flesh-munchers like Rudy Eugene and others who are making us all believe that some sort of virus has been released on the masses that will no doubt bring about the zombie apocalypse. 

There’s no escaping the eventual takeover of the earth by the undead, it seems, so you’d best learn how to deal with your future human flesh-eating neighbors now. Here’s some practical advice to get you started.

Zombie Etiquette 101: Advice For The Zombie Novice

1. Don’t get bitten. That’s the first, and most important rule. If you do get bitten by chance, you can either off yourself, or tell your friends. There’s really no other choice, unless you’re aye okay with becoming one of the undead. “Hey guys, guess what just happened to me?” Don’t worry. We’re sure your friends will be very gentle with that axe, or that chainsaw, or that sawed-off shotgun. (To learn how to avoid the undead, you could sign up for zombie boot camp.)

2. If you’re a woman (or a cross-dressing man), get rid of all of your high heel shoes. Get hold of some sturdy boots that will last, as well as some trail shoes built for speed, because you’re going to be doing an awful lot of running.

Most of the zombies you’ll come across don’t have a lot going on upstairs, except the never-ending urge to feed. But when they hear, “Oh, darn, I’ve broken one of my heels,” that’s beautiful music to their putrefying ears. (Practice escaping from zombies with this mechanical crawling lawn ornament.)

Brendon Thorne, Getty Images

3. As politically incorrect as this might sound, avoid fat people. They’re just going to slow you down and get you killed. In zombie vernacular, someone who is morbidly obese is simply referred to as “an afternoon snack,” or as they say in England, “tea.” Zombies that inhabit Spanish-speaking countries tend to look at fat people as “tapas humanas.”

If you’re already on the hefty side of things, you should really go on a diet and get into shape as soon as possible. A zombie marathon or a 5K race might be a good way for you to prepare both physically, and mentally, for the real deal.

4. During the first few days of the zombie apocalypse, stock up on canned goods, dehydrated foods, weapons, medicine, outdoor clothing and fuel. Really, this should be a no-brainer. By stocking up, we mean commandeer a bunch of semi trucks, load them up and park them somewhere that’s easy for you to get to, but hard for zombies (like a small island with a drawbridge). Also, driving around with a truckload of ammunition is a pretty good idea too. Those folks in ‘The Walking Dead’ should have never run out of ammo. Really, this is America. There are plenty of bullets out there to spare. (And watch out for zombie poodles.)

5. You might want to think about getting a boat, and staying near a large body of water. Zombies aren’t known for their graceful swimming ability. Really, when the attack commences (and you know it will), rather than running through the forest or a city street that looks like a war zone, wouldn’t you prefer to just hop in your boat, sail out into the middle of the lake or the bay and give those pesky zombies the bird? “That’s right, you stupid corpses. I learned how to swim at the YMCA! What about you?” (Find out what the CDC recommends for zombie invasions.)

6. Bomb shelters might seem like a good idea at first, but if you’re surrounded by the undead, you’ll eventually run out of food and have to come out. Use a bomb shelter only in a last ditch effort to save your life, when rotting cadavers are swarming all over you and trying to take a bite. (Find out how to live in a posh “survival condo.”)

7. Use common sense. Don’t elect a psychopath as your leader, and always keep your group together. This isn’t a ‘Scooby-Doo’ mystery — you’re trying to stay alive. No matter how tempting it is, never split up. There’s strength in numbers. When it’s just you and 120 zombies, your odds of survival decrease significantly. (Learn the signs to spot a zombie apocalypse.)

8. If you’re really worried about being caught unaware, you might want to zombie-proof your house. This might seem like going overboard, just a bit, but there are worse things you could do with a lazy Sunday afternoon. A zombie wake-up call inside your bedroom just before you’re off to work can be very unpleasant, to say the least. Always be prepared. (And don’t forget your “zombie gun.”)

9. And most important of all (besides not getting bit), have a back up for everything. Back up generators, batteries, ammunition, food, escape routes, weapons supplies, vehicles, leaders and so on, ad infinitum. When the gooey zombie juice hits the fan, every second counts. By the time you say, “Now where did I leave my extra gun clip,” some greasy monster just back from the dead will have already ripped your arm off, or your head. (Plan ahead with this handy “map of the dead.”)

You’ve got to be smart out there, and stay ahead of the pack. Remember, the dead don’t sleep. If one of them catches you snoozing on the job unprepared, it will simply add you to the zombie ranks, or turn you into an all-you-can-eat buffet. Good luck out there. And keep your brains where they belong — in your head.

Learn the 10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Zombies

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