How To: The End of the World Survival Guide: Staying Alive During the Zombie Apocalypse

The End of the World Survival Guide: Staying Alive During the Zombie Apocalypse

Will the predicted apocalyptic date—December 21st, 2012—really be the end of the world? In this ongoing five-part series, we examine what would happen if zombies, nuclear weapons, cyber wars, earthquakes, or aliens actually destroyed our planet—and how you might survive.

End of the World Scenario #1: Zombie Apocalypse

Coming up on December 21st, 2012, the Mayan calendar will have finished its great 5,125-year-long cycle. This has fueled worldwide speculation as to what will happen on that fateful day, the most popular outcome obviously being death to us all.

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Worries of mass extinction spurred NASA scientists to actually study and analyze the possibilities of what could happen on 12/21/2012. They concluded that there's nothing out of the ordinary, except for the normal December solstice. There is no scientific evidence to support any claims of an impending apocalypse, so where does that leave us?

Well, as everyone knows, science can't explain everything. So why think it can explain doomsday?

Worldwide, people have begun to build bunkers, filling them with cans of Spam and Mountain Dew. So, if December 21st wasn't a real threat, why would so many people be building shelters?

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Whatever happens on that fateful day, you need to be prepared. Whether it be a nuclear holocaust or a plethora of super storms, you need to be ready—even if it's...

The Zombie Apocalypse

When the freaking CDC makes a zombie preparedness page on their site, you know the threat is real, even if it was originally supposed to cover the zombie uprising of May 21st, 2011.

Hollywood is even releasing the movie adaptation of the World War Z novel by Max Brooks, which details the coming zombie invasion on Earth.

Millions of people all over the world have gone through the scenario at one point or another—what would they would do if zombies overtook the world? And no matter who you talk to, the answer will always be the same—they will survive.

In all actuality, some will survive, but for the most part, they'll end up like the dudes below.

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If you really want to survive, instead of just chalking it up to being a natural born zombie killer, you'll need to know the basics.

Step 1: Getting Your Supplies

The first thing you'll want to do is rummage through your house for tools and supplies. In a mere minutes, I was able to find a machete, ax, baseball bat, chainsaw, and several types of hammers.

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As everyone knows, the number one way to incapacitate a zombie is by destroying the head, so any type of blunt object that can cause major trauma to the head would be awesome. Watch the video below to see if you have any of these weapons lying around.

The next thing you'll want to look for is food and other household items you'll need to survive, such as:

  • Water (for drinking, cooking and washing)
  • Canned food (something that can last, especially if you're on the run)
  • Electric generator and stove
  • Gasoline and a gasoline generator
  • Tools to start a fire
  • Flashlights, radios, lamps and the appropriate batteries
  • Telescope (looking out for zombies)
  • Clothing (unless you dig being naked, though it will be cold sometimes)
  • Entertainment (if you survive, you'll get bored eventually)

If you really can't find much of these supplies at home, or are elsewhere when the outbreak starts, you're going to have to find weapons and supplies somewhere else.

Note: If there are no zombies during the apocalypse, these weapons also help to fight off looters and wild animals, while the supplies are good for practically any emergency.

Step 2: Don't Go to Walmart

I don't know how many times I can say this, but—DON'T GO TO WALMART.

Do you understand that if you go to Walmart to loot, you'll run into every other idiot who thought looting Walmart was a good idea? Instead of finding the tools you'll need, you'll find yourself fighting off people that are desperate for supplies. It's like shopping on Black Friday, only ten times worse. Not only that, but if someone infected happens to be inside of a Walmart...well, it's pretty much over for everyone.

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If there are somehow warnings in the previous days heeding to the zombie apocalypse, by all means, head over to Walmart. You'll find all of your shopping needs there, and you'll find them for very cheap. Heck, you can even order them from Amazon RIGHT NOW if you'd like (just make sure to choose overnight shipping).

For those of you who'll be watching Jeopardy in bed when the zombie apocalypse starts, Walmart will not be the smartest option.

As I said in the first step, you'll want to rummage your house. If you can't find anything, or are simply not there, you can search through any neighboring houses that are unoccupied (or occupied with the living dead). After killing your neighbors, you'll want to search for the essentials. Don't waste any time trying to steal money or valuables—this isn't the world you used to live in; money doesn't matter anymore.

If somehow all of your neighbors are alive and well and have barricaded themselves inside their home, you'll need to find a local supply shop. Try your local sporting goods, like Big 5 or something. Who the hell goes to Big 5 anymore? NO ONE. You might have great luck there. Big 5 not only carries all of the camping necessities you'll need, but also any weapon you'll want: baseball bats, crossbows, handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Hell, you could even use one of these to fend off a zombie:

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Note: If there are no zombies during the apocalypse, you should still steer clear of it. It's everybody's first choice for last-minute survival shopping. In fact, you should probably just steer clear in general. Have you seen the crazy stuff that happens at this place on a regular basis?!?

Step 3: Defending Your Home

Once you've gathered all the supplies and weapons needed to protect yourself and your loved ones, head back home. There is no need to flee your city just because there are zombies. Just like going to Walmart, everyone else would be trying to flee their cities in a panic. Clogged streets and highways full of panicked people would make for a dangerous place, so it is recommended you stay home and barricade it.

To keep your home safe, you'll want to:

  • Surround your house with a fence. This may not be the easiest thing to do, but if you have material laying around, build a fence. A chain-link fence might bode well against a few zombies, but they'll eventually knock it down with numbers. If you can somehow build a steel fence, perfect. Cars, placed side-by-side, also make great fences.
  • Destroy any staircases leading up to your house. Use a ladder, or alternative means of escaping, whenever you need to leave.*
  • Barricade any first floor windows and doors. Zombies can easily break through glass, so it would be great to reinforce windows and doors with concrete or steel frames.

If you're rich, completely disregard what I've just written in this step so far. All you need to do is turn on your TV, get a nice glass of whiskey and press "close" on your home remote control.

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Note: If there are no zombies during the apocalypse, you'll still need to protect your home and yourself from dangerous looters and squatters that are looking for a place to stay.

Step 4: Surviving an Attack on Your Home

Once your house is secured, you'll want to prepare for the zombies that will begin to pile up. Zombies have a great sense of smell and sound, so they'll eventually hear where you are or smell the fresh meat they want to devour.

To survive them, you'll need to:

  • Plant vegetables and fruits. You'll eventually run out of food, so this is a great long-term solution.
  • Designate a bathroom. Water will surely be cut eventually, so pick a place where you and your group will poop. Don't want it getting to smelly up in there.
  • Save electricity. Use a manual-powered generator (which you should've have looted from Big 5) whenever needed. Use the gasoline generator sparingly, as it's very noisy and can attract more zombies.
  • Maintain a low profile. Keep quiet, zombies can hear everything.
  • Patrolling. Make sure to sleep in cycles if you're with a group. Have one person on lookout while the others sleep. If alone, keep a weapon nearby and prepare yourself for a break in.
  • Escape route plan. Just in case (god forbid) your home is compromised, make sure to have an escape plan. Have a few backpacks ready with essentials and a way to escape your home if it's overrun by zombies.
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If your home is indeed run over by zombies, then you have only one option...RUN.

Note: If there are no zombies during the apocalypse, it's always smart to have an excess of water and food anyway. We recently saw Hurricane Sandy leave millions without electricity, running water and transportation. For cases like this, it is always good to always be prepared.

Step 5: KILL and RUN

Zombies have now overrun your home. Hopefully you've gathered your supplies and are ready to fight. As is popularly known, the only way to kill zombies is by destroying the head. With the weapons you have, prepare to fight the zombies in your home and bash their skulls in.

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You can watch the video below to see different ways to kill zombies.

After you've killed a few zombies, it's time to run. If you have a car (with enough gasoline), hop in and bounce. If you can steal a car, try to go for a bigger car, such as a huge SUV or pickup truck.

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These may waste more gas, but they can survive a zombie attack much better than a small car. Make sure to take gasoline with you or by cyphering it from abandoned cars. If your only option is a small car, try and find tools and accessories to add to the car to make up for its size.

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You can use other modes of transportation, such as motorcycles and bicycles. These can easily outrun zombies and are good for quick escapes through narrow paths. Hell, you can even modify a bicycle to become a bad ass zombie-killing machine.

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Now that you've escaped your home and have all the supplies you need, you'll need somewhere new to stay and to survive.

Note: If there are no zombies during the apocalypse, large trucks and SUVs still make a great tool whenever you need to go off-road. Smaller cars struggle through tough and steep terrain, and their smaller tires are also more immune to popping than bigger ones.

Step 6: Live On

Now that you're out and about, you have to find somewhere new to live. If the city that you're in is safe enough, find an abandoned house and set up shop. Barricade it and set it up the exact same way you did with your first home. If you plan on leaving the city, leave for higher grounds. During the winter and fall, the cold slows down the zombies a considerable amount, if not completely freeze them immobile.

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This may also mean that you'll be freezing, so make sure to find a nice home or cabin to live in. If finding high ground is difficult, move to rural areas and stay away from cities. Zombies can attack more easily in cities, where there isn't much room to run.

Cities are crowded, noisy, and compact. Rural areas with large open fields would be a better place to live. Zombies will be very easy to see and shoot down due to the open field. The quietness will also be helpful in not attracting zombies.

Rural areas may also have creeks or rivers passing through, in which you can find drinkable water to keep you alive. Find fertile ground and you've got yourself a garden that can feed you forever.

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Once you're life is comfortable, feel free to get back to the normal things you used to do, like read and play. The zombie apocalypse will probably wipe out the majority of people you know and love, so it's up to you to survive and keep the human population from becoming extinct. Just make sure to put up a good perimeter fence and be prepared to start over at Step 3.

Note: If there are no zombies during the apocalypse, you still might want to think about getting away from the city. Hell, living rural might be good for everyone even if the world isn't ending. The city can get crazy sometimes, especially with this L.A. traffic.

Surviving in this world won't be easy by any means, but it has to be done. I mean, hell, people in the movies end up surviving somehow and movies are just like real life, so you'll be fine.

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Photos by Nerdist, TrojanFootball3, Blitz Box, NewsOK, Philip Greenspun

Other Parts to the End of the World Survival Guide

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