10 Practical Tips For Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse

10 Practical Tips For Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse

When the zombie apocalypse strikes, will you be ready? How can you prepare now to survive the undead onslaught? We got the inside scoop from the Green Light Anti-Zombie Squad, a group that’s dedicated to protecting you from zombie attacks. Here are 10 practical tips on how to survive an encounter with the walking dead.

The Green Light Anti-Zombie Squad offers lectures and demonstrations to help you and your loved ones survive an army of the undead with your brains (and sanity intact). To ensure you’ll make it through the zombie apocalypse, heed their simple tips.

1. Clear the Room.

There’s nothing worse than stepping into a room only to be set upon by a horde of brain-hungry zombies. A team of four armed shooters can easily clear a room if they all stand against the nearest wall: one body in each corner and two in the middle. This position proves optimal for quickly dispatching of a room full of the reanimated.

2. Never Turn Your Back on the Enemy

Shambling isn’t just for zombies. Three live humans can stand with their backs together and carefully rotate through the room, ensuring that all eyes are facing outward and no one falls victim to a surprise attack.

3. The Fine Line

For those lucky enough to amass a relatively large army of live humans, the Fine Line is the best way to fend off roving zombie hordes. Simply form two lines of armed persons, one line in front of the other. Have the front line shoot while the back line holds. When the front line runs out of ammo, the back line steps in while the front line reloads. Tragically, the Squad’s training zombie, Billy the Hunter, died while the Squad demonstrated this technique.

4. Zombies Are the Least of Your Worries

It’s bad enough that you have to deal with the zombified masses, who are tireless, feel no pain, and greatly outnumber healthy human beings. But perhaps even more deadly are the humans who simply can’t cope with the new world order. It’s best if you keep a psychologist on hand who can identify and subdue such persons before they embark on a murderous rampage that makes the zombies look as ferocious as fluffy kittens.

5. Choose Your Weapons Wisely

Not all weapons work for all people, and the trendiest zombie-fighting armaments aren’t always the best. When in doubt, melee weapons are a fine tool against the undead, but think twice before picking up that giant hammer. As satisfying as squishing zombie skull may be, swinging the hammer creates a sizable arc that gives zombies plenty of time to nibble at your armpits. GLAZS advises that you invest in a machete, which is cheap, lightweight, and neatly separates a zombie’s head from its bodies. As for ranged weapons, you may want to reconsider that sawed-off shotgun you’re so fond of. Bolt action rifles are both powerful and accurate, without the ammunition restrictions of the close-range shotgun.

6. Windows Are Not Your Friend

Zombies have a nasty habit of crashing through glass windows, so it’s best to choose a hideout with as few ground level windows as possible. Steer clear of malls, coffee shops, and boutique outlets in favour of Costco, BJs, Sam’s Club, or any other large warehouse. If you find yourself trapped in your house, it’s best to hightail it up to the attic, which the uncoordinated zombies will have trouble reaching. Basements, even windowless ones, spell trouble.

7. Don’t Get Stuck With A Gas-Guzzler

If you’re travelling with a group, you may consider fleeing by minivan or SUV, but be warned that the gas mileage and rollover rates might be a literal killer. If you’re travelling alone, it’s best to take a high miles per gallon vehicle, like a dirt bike, or, better yet, grab a bicycle and escape the zombies under your own replenishable power.

8. Fight World War Z with TNT

Using dynamite around the undead is a tricky proposition; the right amount of explosives can blow them to bits, but you might get cremated yourself. It’s better to stave off those desiccated corpse with a controlled burn. But, GLASZ’s demolitions expert warns, make sure it’s a fire you can contain. A raging wildfire could prove far more deadly than the zombies themselves.

9. Animals: Friend or Foe?

Image: Rex Zombie Killer

Animals can be invaluable allies at the end of the world, but the zombie infection could render them more hazard than help. If the zombie plague is viral, it can infect any living cells, causing even the most inhuman animals to exhibit flesh-craving symptoms. GLASZ members ask: Would you rather fight off a zombie human — or a zombie lion?

10. Suit Up

Perhaps the best way to prepare for the day the dead rise from their graves is to assemble the perfect zombie-fighting attire. Avoid brain spray-back by wearing goggles and covering your face with a non-porous material. Use plate mail or leather to create a bite-proof body suit. Kevlar gloves (provided to some food industry workers) can be worn as is or refashioned into impenetrable sleeves, allowing you to fend off zombie bites by holding up your forearms. Riot shields also add an extra layer of protection and make the zombie head squishing that much easier.

[Green Light Anti-Zombie Squad]

A version of this article first appeared back in 2009.


  • Not sure how “practical” some of those suggestions are. Part of it depends on which zombie lore you’re going by, but Number 1 & 3 at the very least assume that you have 1) an ample supply of guns and ammunitition and 2) people competent in its use. There’s also the potential problem of the noise that they create and having a larger zombie horde heading your way.

    number 4 – I doubt a psychologist would really be able to predict who will and won’t crack under the pressure, and most of the time if someone does crack they’ll more likely assume the foetal position than go on a rampage. Plus what are you going to do about the person who is a ticking time bomb? Abandon them?

    Number 9
    I’d be much more worried about a zombified cat, dog or mouse. A lion at least presents a much larger target and would be easier to hit and take down. Also, why would animals necessarily help out? Maybe a domesticated and trained dog might be able to warn of impending danger

  • A machete? No – Edged weapons are prone to getting stuck in bone and stuff, and it’s also a lot harder to remove a head from a neck that what you think. Last thing you would want when surrounded is for your weapon to get stuck, or break (As edged weapons are prone to after several decent impacts, regardless if cheap or good quality). Consider a baseball bat instead and go for crushing blows – Also less chance of hurting yourself if you miss, and more energy efficient. Also carry a baton or some other smaller weapon, and get in the habit of ditching your main and going for your back up if it’s going to be quicker. Also, good quality knives are going to start getting harder and harder to find. Get used to using what is easily obtained and easily replaced, and requires little maintenance. Remember: Nothing lasts, learn to improvise

    And plate mail? Far out – Do your self a favor, and go get some motorcycle gear. Far lighter, less noise, and way more easier to obtain

    The Fine Line – Waste of resources. Be better off with the front line being equipped with pitchforks and other tools which can stab in to an zombie so one person can arrest and control its movement, while the second line comes in over the top to perform a killing blow. If numbers start growing too high, the whole line pulls backwards to allow faster targets to pull ahead of slower targets, resulting in less numbers to be dealt with at once

    Clear the room – If you have 4 people, you have 3 clear the room while 1 watches where you just came from. Secure your exit at all times

    Blow up zombies with dynamite? Someones “American” is really showing through

  • Number 11 – Don’t ever EVER have a baby. Kill it, before it kills the whole group. They’re noisy and demanding and they smell bad, essentially a zombie magnet.

  • Number 12 – if you are drinking Max Rager energy drink, do not under any circumstances mix it with a dose of Utopium of questionable origin.

  • Using dynamite around the undead is a tricky proposition; the right amount of explosives can blow them to bits

    Max Brooks zombie survival guide and his book WWZ disagree with this… while explosions harm and destroy humans, they’re merely an inconvenience to a zombie and can actually aid in destroying human morale. Even fire can prove less of a hindrance if it doesn’t destroy the brain. Do not use ‘tnt’, just use a solid pointed object to pierce the skull or a large heavy object to bludgeon the head. Remember, machettes are cool but they can get stuck in bone easily. Some pike like weapon, where you have distance between yourself and the zombie is preferred. Katanas look sweet, but unless you know how to wield one you *will* inevitably hurt yourself and those around you.

    And most importantly:

    The golden rule:

    The REAL rule #1:

    No compassion, no sympathy. Survival is all. Anyone bitten MUST be shot immediately. There is no room for fault here. Every single time, EVERY single time this is let go of, people die due to this stupidity.

    • I’d debate that, but it depends on which zombie lore you’re following. Some of them infection is almost instant, others it takes minutes, hours or days. Heck a couple of them the victim didn’t turn until they died. So, if your zombie apocalypse features a slow burning infection immediately executing your bitten teammate is a bad idea. Better to let them live and monitor their condition.

      Serves two purposes, 1) you have the extra person to assist until the turn and 2) improves morale. Executing people immediately is going to lead to dissension and probably conflict within your group.

      If you’ve got a rapid fire infection (like 28 Days Later) then certainly execute them immediately 😛

      To be honest, I think the first rule should be “Figure out what type of zombies they are”. Since the nature of them could make all other decisions irrelevant.

      eg: If they’re like the 28 Days’ zombies then absolute avoidance and distance attacks are better than any close range ones. Plus you’d need protection from the virus, goggles, masks, gloves etc. Your tactic then becomes one of avoidance while you wait for them to die out or at least become to weak to be a threat at which point you can dispatch them safely.

      Conversely, if they’re a slow shuffler where the virus doesn’t “kick in” unless you die you’d probably be better with melee weapons and actively seeking them out and killing them.

      As for the vehicle comments in the article, I don’t see why you wouldn’t take the option of a large SUV or small bus. Especially one with long range fuel tanks. You could do basic fortification on it (weld plates over windows), carry more supplies, people, ammo, food. It’s harder to stop (hit a person in a Ford Kia or hit a person in an F350). And heck, if you’ve got a big vehicle there’s no reason you couldn’t have a bike or motorbike tied to the back/top of it, or in the tray or towed behind in a trailer.

      As for fuel being short, that seems unlikely. If you’re in a genuine apocalyptic scenario where most of the population is dead there should be hundreds of vehicles you could siphon fuel from and service station tanks. You should however, pack a simple hand operated pump (or two).

      • Nope, execute straight away. Because there’s always that one person who’s going to argue they should ‘be allowed to see if they don’t change’ etc. Then something happens, someone takes their eyes off them, they change and bite someone etc etc etc.

        The condition always goes in normal zombie lore: They get bitten, they get sick, they die, they turn. If we’re talking infection movies like 28 Days Later (not zombies, just rage infected idiots or as we call them here, MAN-U fans) then it’s different, that’s a blood contagion.

        As far as a vehicle goes, I’d be likely to get a bigass diesel 4wd and get the hell out of there anyhow. Lock the doors, never open them, carry spare bottles to pee in if I have to.

        And remember… petrols only good for 2 years before it spoils. Train yourself to ride a horse pretty quick 🙂

        • Haha that’s exactly why I said work out what type of infection it is. I don’t disagree with removing the infected from contact but I’m suggesting that you make it at a more practical time. If you’re actively fighting off a horde of zombies and you know it takes hours or days for someone to turn then it’s more logical to keep them alive until you’ve dispatched the last shambler then execute the bitten.

          I’d also suggest that the “maybe they won’t turn” scenario isn’t such a dumb idea. But only IF you can safely isolate the infected. If you have a secure facility (like a jail cell) where you can imprison the potential infected until you know for sure they’ll turn then do that. If not – two to the back of the head. Why? Well it may help determine the nature of the infection, whether it’s run it’s course, whether there’s a cure and so on.

          Take the NoTD idea where it seems like it’s radiation from the passing comet. Once that’s gone they stop coming back. If you keep executing people you’ll never realise that the threats passed.

          The petrol thing is a good point, you’d want to head for somewhere that sells fuel stabiliser or get yourself the materials needed to make quality bio-diesel (not as hard as you’d think). That said, I think the key would be surviving the first few months anyway, during which time fuel wouldn’t have had time to go bad.

          • Take the NoTD idea where it seems like it’s radiation from the passing comet. Once that’s gone they stop coming back.

            Except they kept coming back in Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead… the unfortunate part is that the comet was only a suggestion. There was also the suggestion hell was full, it was a disease and a few others. As Romero himself said “I never wanted people to have a concrete reason”.

            Damn him… :O

  • So … most of these seem kind of useful, except the gun ones. But really if we’re dealing with standard shuffling romero style zombies, they don’t have the motor functions to do anything other than shuffle so technically any kind of uneven ground would trip them and they wouldn’t have the motor functions to get up … so now it’s a deal of luring them to a gutter and watching them fall flat on their face then just leave them there because they won’t be getting up.

    Just walk around in thigh high boots after that point and stay away from their front sides until they can get cleared away

  • 1. Don’t bring pets, especially Guinea Pigs, they’re like car alarms whenever they hear rustling sounds.

    2. Bring toilet paper. Making allies in the zombie apocalypse is hard enough without a poopie bum stink.

    3. Leave your 3DS wireless function switched on. Now that the general populous are shoulder to shoulder, StreetPass hits should increase tenfold.

    4. Research which Antivirus program works best with Zombies. You don’t want to get a computer virus during a hardcore gaming session.

    5. Don’t forget to mow the lawn. Tall grass can (and will) attract velociraptors.

    6. Don’t forget to pay for car registration. Even though you probably won’t get a reminder in the mail at this point, it’s better to play it safe and be legal on the roads. Who knows, some cop might see your unregistered vehicle and will try to run you off the road and into a ditch full of zombies. “Why would a cop do that?” You ask? Have you seen the bosses in those Dead Rising games? They have normal jobs, but they’re fucking NUTS.

  • motorcycle helmet. last thing you want when fighting the horde is to get some in your mouth as it splatters

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