Survival in an (un) dead world


Can someone actually survive in a world infested with the walking dead? According to Robert Kirkman the creator of the graphic novel ‘The Walking Dead’ and the inspiration for AMC’s series by that same name, it’s possible.

But, how could anyone facing legions of the undead not just survive but thrive?

Based on the zombie canon, the only way to ‘kill’ a zombie is to shoot it in the head or induce massive head trauma with a blunt object. That’s the two standard acceptable methods for removing a zombie. But, not everyone has access to firearms. In some countries, possession of a firearm is illegal and even here in the US, some states make it near impossible to obtain a firearm or even a license to carry one.

What options are left?

Consider this before actually answering that question. In any type of combat, you want to engage the enemy at the furthest range possible to decimate them before they get close enough to you to be a serious threat. This can be seen over the centuries as warfare evolved from clubs to swords to pikes to catapults to crossbows to firearms to torpedoes to cruise missiles.

Who in their right mind would want to engage an infectious person who bites at a very close range? It’s bad enough that the infected have this uncanny ability to track uninfected survivors now you have to fight them toe-to-toe?

Going back to the first question, what options are left?

Melee weapons.

Melee weapons are weapons designed for hand to hand and close combat. During the medieval times, these weapons were used in combat with horrific results.

But who wants to spend time during a zombie apocalypse to locate medieval weaponry?

If you plan to survive, you need to think on your feet and use what’s available.

What you have to keep in mind is that while a headshot is great and if you have the time to line one up then go for it. But the head is also the smallest target to aim for and considering that someone who is even slightly versed in the operation of a firearm has issues putting all their rounds into the X, and hunters suffer from ‘buck fever’ when they see that 12 point in the scope, head shots are just not feasible unless you have a bench rested rifle.

For those of you who don’t own firearms, what do you plan to do about that come Z-day? Sure you could head on over to the local gun store but so will about a thousand other survivors. The closest gun store to you is also the closest gun store to everyone else in your local area. How likely will you be able to get there before all the rest of them, get inside and get out with a new toy? And all this before the employees inside, most of them armed and trained in the proper use of a firearm don’t ventilate you for trying to leave the store without paying for your purchase?

Moving on from that plan, the next step is to get out of the city.

Great idea.

But, one small problem with that. Not only do you decide to get out the city but so do all the people who are un-infected. And they decide to do it all at once. That brings a whole new meaning to gridlock traffic.

Getting to a gun store and getting out of town can be scratched off the list if you aren’t prepared for either of those options.

What about fortifying your home to withstand the zombie horde?

Another great idea, but what about the walking dead’s ability to seek you out? They seem to be able to find you no matter where you go. Now this could just be a Hollywood contrivance or it could actually be something that could happen.

(We all know Hollywood never leads us astray in their films based on actual events.)

Fortification of a home or building is not a bad idea but where do you find the time to do that? After all, the zombie hordes are sweeping the city and you only have so much time. Where’s Bob Villa when you need him?

You might think you have enough food, water, ammo and other necessities but what about toilet paper or someplace to store the waste?

You could always borrow a page from ancient sieges and dump the chemical toilet over the walls and onto the zombies.

Not like they’d notice it.

What about a fortified shelter specifically designed for an apocalypse?

Those are great, but where do put them? If you live in the city, its not  like you can  just go outside and dig up your backyard to put in a foundation for your perimeter walls. And what about the razor wire and floodlights? Some neighbor will surely complain about those.

That leaves a remote shelter far from the city that could and should have the ability to grow crops and support livestock. This would obviously need to be very secluded and remote with defense in depth in order for it to work. Not too many people can afford to live far from any major city and still have work that isn’t agricultural in nature. Any survivor would need to be resourceful, self-reliant and adaptable to change.

Let’s not forget that you may need to change your clothes into something a bit more suitable for a zombie apocalypse. In other words, you may need to dress for success or in this case, survival. No one said you couldn’t look good in a survival situation.

For some, less is more.

Now that we have that clarified, we can all rest easy knowing that resourceful individuals will survive and possibly thrive in an undead world.


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