Where would you go if a Zombie Apocalypse hit the country?
This question has been plaguing (plague, get it?) me ever since I got hooked on zombie movies like Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, REC and video games like Left4Dead. The second season of The Walking Dead is also set to air in a couple of weeks (Woohoo)! If you’re familiar with these movies, games and shows, you’ll know that if you don’t have a defense and escape plan yet, you’ll probably end up a zombie snack very quickly.
Travel Up asked fellow zombiephiles for some travel tips in case an outbreak did hit the country. Here are their suggestions of where to go and what vehicle to use to make an escape, with valuable insights from the book “The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead” by Max Brooks (who also authored World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War). Both books are must-reads and offer practical advice for surviving zombie attacks, which may just save your life in the near future.
Suggested by Sam Vigilia, Founder of Dead Zone (a Zombie Horror Enthusiast group)
Favorite zombie movie: “All of them, really. Specially B-movie type zombie flicks. But if I have to pick one, it would be a tie between Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead.”
“I would avoid obvious places like police stations (I would not rely on guns in a zombie outbreak, there won’t be enough bullets to fend of a horde. And even if there was enough ammo, it would be practically impossible to carry all of them), places of worship and malls. I’ll fight my way to home. If I can’t, an office building will do. Because a typical office building has a back-up generator, communications equipment, monitoring station, canteen, and lots of nooks and crannies to hide in. For my escape vehicle, a bus will do. A car won’t be much use against a horde blocking the street.”
- Overall defense factor- 5
- Accessibility of weapons – 2
- Accessibility of food – 4
Office Buildings: Many of the same rules regarding apartment houses can be applied to office buildings. Once the first floor has been abandoned, the staircases destoyed, and the elevators shut down, an office building can be a tower of safety. ” – The Zombie Suvival Guide, On the Defense. p. 78
The Bus: These large road monsters can present as much a danger to their drivers as to the living dead. Forget speed, forget maneuverability, forget fuel efficiency, off-road capability, stealth or any other feature you will need to escape an infested area. A bus has none of these. Ironically, if a bus has any “advantage” it is as a means not of escape but of defense. – ZSG, On the Run, p. 106
SHIP / YACHT / MILITARY BOAT
Suggested by Karl R. De Mesa
Favorite zombie movies: “Dawn of the Dead (Zack Snyder remake), 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, Dead Set (mini-series), Deadgirl, Resident Evil 1 and 2, Tokyo Zombie, Zombieland, any of the Romero originals”
“Likely to a ship/yacht/military boat (an airboat would be nice but you can’t live on it) so it’ll be easy to move. Land is just too problematic to defend from a horde overrun. That said I won’t say no to a defensible mansion with curtain walls and electrified barbed wire — although I’ve only seen one in Forbes park and Shariif Aguak. Armored vans are great but can be overturned. One of those expensive gas guzzling hummers would be precious. A Simba LCV would be awesome.”
- Overall defense factor – 5
- Accessibility of weapons – 3
- Accessibility of food – 1
Boats: Boats, in almost any form, have been found to be the safest form of transport during an attack. Although zombies do not use their lungs and can travel underwater, they lack the coordination to swim…Studies have shown that over-water escapes have a survival ratio five times that of land. — ZSG, On the Run, p. 120
The Armored Car: Despite their poor mileage and lack of all-terrain capability, armored cars present a number of advantages for people on the run. Their massive armor gives the driver virtual invulnerability. Even in a breakdown, those inside could survive as long as their provisions held out. — ZSG, On the Run, p. 106
Suggested by SpiderDan Geromo
Favorite zombie movie: Day of the Dead (1985)
“I have no plans, so I’m probably going to stay on our rooftop. Escape vehicle: I have no idea. I don’t trust vehicles, but whatever passes by will do.”
- Overall defense factor – 4
- Accessibility of weapons – 4
- Accessibility of food – 5
“First-floor apartments present the highest risk simply because of their accessibility. Tenants living above the ground floor are almost always safer than those in any type of house. Destroying the staircase effectively isolates the rest of the building. With the elevator turned off and the fire escape too hight for a zombie to reach (strict limits are imposed by law), any apartment house can become an instant haven from the walking dead.” – ZSG, On the Defense, p. 69
MILITARY BASE OR FORT
Suggested by Ella
Favorite zombie movie: “I LOVED Zombieland!”
“Siquijor. Ipapabarang ko ang mga zombie sa mga aswang! That or, I’ll have the witches teach me how to put people under a spell and then I’ll head off to Capiz and have the manananggals do the killing for me. If those two options fail, I’ll stay within Q.C./M.M. The problem with going to the places I mentioned is they tend to be surrounded by forests–defense-wise, mahirap because the zombies can come from all corners. In the city, there are condos and commercial centers. Plenty of avenues of escape, plus the building materials are solid enough against zombie attack. Nandito din ang Camp Crame, Camp Aguinaldo, Fort Bonifacio. I’ll pick a condo near these two military bases.”
“Escape vehicle: SUV. You have enough metal, enough speed and enough exit points in case zombies manage to get their way in. The problem with a tank is, though it can crush them by the dozen, if one gets in there, you can’t get out–it only has one entry and exit point. However, best to avoid hulking SUVs like Expeditions or Fortuners–they guzzle gas. Stick to something reasonable like Rav 4, probably even Montero Sport. A typical car is also good BUT it’s low. It being low makes you close to gravity so you won’t topple over easily. The problem is, in a zombie pile-up, the car gets easily crushed. So your vehicle should have a little height. Hey, better yet, get a Cessna or a helicopter. If you’re rich. Hehe.”
- Overall Defense Factor – 5
- Accessibility of weapons – 4.5 (baka antique naman ang ibang baril kasi, at ang tanke tumitirik)
- Accessibility of food – 4 (Greenhills Shopping Center, Robinson’s and Megamall, several Mini-Stop branches along the way)
Military Complexes: Army, Marine, or even Air Force bases should be your top priority when searching for a fortress…Almost all have elaborate security fences around their perimeters. Some have secondary, even teriary defensive positions. Most are equipped with fully stocked, fully functional fallout shelters, some with the capabilities of small city…What is most important, however, is not the physical fortifications but the men and women within them. As has been noted, well-trained well-armed, well-disciplined people are always the best defense. — ZSG, On the Defense, p.88
SUV: At first glance, they appear to be the ideal means of escape. With the off-road capability of a military vehicle and the comfort and reliability of a sedan, what could be better for fleeing the undead? Despite their appearance, not all SUVs are equipped for all-terrain driving…Research your options carefully so you can tell these genuine models from the gas-guzzling, aesthetically engineered, irresponsibly marketed vanity pieces. — ZSG, On the Run, p.105
Suggested by Khal Drogo
Favorite zombie movie: “Dawn of the Dead (2004 remake). The only zombies that pose a real threat are those that can run.”
“Corregidor, because it’s a kick-ass secure fort in the middle of the sea.”
“Escape vehicle: Mountain bikes, kayaks and motorycles. Human powered vehicles will always be the best, as you don’t have to look for fuel to use them. If you need to get fast somewhere though, the motorcycle is king. Read the “Zombie Survival Guide” or watch George Romero’s “Day of the Dead”
- Overall defense rating – 4 (It’s a fort in the middle of the ocean, how secure is that?)
- Availability of weapons – 2 (If you have a knife, you can do like Bear Grylls, or McGyver and make your own stabbing weapons from the trees and wood there)
- Availability of food – 2 (There probably isn’ t much food stored here, but at least you can fish the sea and farm the land)
Islands: What could be safer than land surrounded on all sides by water? Zombies can’t swim…Even islands a few miles offshore will save you from the writhing, clamoring hordes. — ZSG, Living in an Undead World, p. 175.
Motorcycles: “Definitely the best choice for fleeing an infested area. The motorcycle – specifically the dirt bike – can reach places inaccessible to four-wheeled vehicles. Their speed and maneuverability allows them to be ridden througha crowd fo zombies. Their light weight allows them to be pushed for miles.” Bicycles: “The common bicycle is fast, quiet, muscle-powered , and easy to maintain. Add to this the additional advantage that it is the only vehicle you can pick up and carry if the terrain gets too rough. People using bicycles to escape from infested areas have almost always fared better than those on foot.” — ZSG, On the Run, p.106-109
Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack (from the Zombie Survival Guide)
- Organize before they rise!
- They feel no fear, why should you?
- Use your head: cut off theirs.
- Blades don’t need reloading.
- Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
- Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
- Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
- Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
- No place is safe, only safer.
- The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.
If you want to see the Undead take to the streets, join the Zombie Flash Mob Dead Walk (Zombiethon 2011) happening on October 30, 2011 (3pm) at Ayala Avenue, Makati City. Come in zombie costume and make-up and shamble around the streets and scare people. Why? Because it’s fun. Let’s Horde!
This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for October 2011 with the theme “Dark Tourism” (Halloween special featuring sites in the Philippines associated with death, suffering or the macabre; ghost stories on the road; rituals during All Soul’s Day, etc.) hosted by The Pinay Solo Backpacker.