In the (unlikely?) event of a zombie apocalypse, how could you survive?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weighed in on the subject, albeit tongue-in-zombie-cheek.
Besides knowing how to defend yourself, it’s also important to know where you have the best odds of making it out alive.
Inspired by the CDC’s Zombie Preparedness 101 guide, the experts compared the 200 biggest US cities on 26 key indicators of zombie invasion-preparedness, such as the share of the living population in poor health and access to “bunkers,” hunting-gear stores, and supermarkets, to rank 2022’s Best Cities for Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse.
Check out the 10 best (and 10 worst) cities for fighting against the undead below, followed by some highlights and lowlights from the report.
Most Prepared For Zombie Invasion
|2||Salt Lake City, UT|
|5||Colorado Springs, CO|
Least Prepared For Zombie Invasion
|1||Sunrise Manor, NV|
|4||Spring Valley, NV|
|10||North Las Vegas, NV|
Highlights and lowlights:
- Orlando, almost immune to zombies: To whoever can read this transmission: The survivors colony has moved to Orlando, Florida, from Huntington Beach, California, our 2021 Most Zombie-Resistant City.
Although The City Beautiful doesn’t have the healthiest population alive (No. 144), you and the other survivors won’t run out of food or weapons for many years while waiting for a cure: Orlando ranked first in both the Supplies and Protection categories.
- Gambling with your life in the Vegas metro: “Army of the Dead” isn’t far off from reality. Although the movie depicts Sin City as a zombie wasteland, it’s pretty safe (No. 19 overall). But the suburbs would be nothing more than a strip of human steak.
Half of our bottom 10 — Sunrise Manor (dead last), Paradise (for zombies) at No. 2, and North Las Vegas at unlucky No. 10 among them — surround Las Vegas proper. You’re more likely to survive in Henderson (95th best or 106th worst, depending on your outlook), but we wouldn’t bet on it.
- Coastal mobility: If pop culture has taught us anything, it’s that you need to keep moving in a zombie apocalypse. The research data shows it’s much harder to stay mobile in inland, and especially landlocked, cities.
- Map your trek through cities near water, such as San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Baltimore. Most of these cities have access to ports and marinas, which would make it easier to evade an army of hungry corpses (zombies can’t swim).
Stay in the middle
If you fear the walking dead, then your best strategy for avoiding getting bit would be to shelter in place.
Surprisingly, the Midwest is the smart choice for a hideout. The Kansas City metro area, the Twin Cities, and Chicago suburb Naperville, Illinois, are all good places to invest in a home before the apocalypse. Properties in the Midwest region are not only generous in square footage, but they also commonly come with basements that you can convert into bunkers.
Nebraska’s two biggest cities, Omaha and Lincoln, as well as Des Moines, Iowa, are also ideal candidates. These cities are in states that are friendly toward an off-grid lifestyle. Des Moines’ population is especially at risk of being outpaced by limping zombies due to a low physical inactivity rate (No. 111), so staying inside and away from others (dead or alive) here would be to the locals’ advantage.
And remember: If you ever encounter an actual zombie, aim for the head — and double tap!
Final thoughts: Zombies are among us!
Zombies, it seems, are never far from our collective minds. The Walking Dead’s 11th and final season aired in August last year, so you could say a zombie apocalypse is already upon us. Fear the Walking Dead’s Season 7 also limped its way onto screens last October.
Zombies have long been a staple of pop culture. Amazon has a whole category of Zombies Books. Among these are the “Plants vs. Zombies” series, “Last Man Standing: The Complete Zombie Apocalypse” trilogy, and “The Zombie Survival Guide” by Max Brooks.
In movies, Will Smith tries to find a cure in “I Am Legend,” Brad Pitt battles the undead in “World War Z,” and it’s “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies” in a 2012 action-comedy horror B-movie. George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” (1978), considered one of the best zombie movies of all time, was remade by Zack Snyder in 2004, followed by his “Army of the Dead” in 2021.
In music, it seems The Zombies never left us (well, maybe they went underground for nearly 30 years). The band, maybe best known for the 1968 hit “Time of the Season” and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019, is back and are currently on tour.
Can’t get enough zombies? There’s Zombie Burps cotton candy, zombie stress balls, Roblox Apocalypse Rising action figures, and all sorts of zombie socks.
Wayfair even has a Zombie Bedding page with some scary comforters that might not help you to rest easy. But maybe catching some Z-z-z’s means catching some zombies for some dreamers?