How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

As early as the 1930s, zombies have been featured in mainstream movies, games, books and series among other media. But how well prepared would you be if these terrifying beings became reality?

The first step to outsmarting and defeating zombies is to understand them. Zombies can be classified as either supernatural (AKA demonic zombies) or viral zombies. Supernatural zombies are corpses possessed by aliens, spirits, demons or a being of similar power. The best way to deal with these zombies is to wipe out the source controlling them.

Viral zombies are the most common in contemporary media, viral zombies being people infected with a virus that (typically) kills them and then partially revives them. These are extremely dangerous as the virus compels them to attack you, infecting you if they bite or even scratch you. These zombies can be terminated by removing or destroying their brains. But be careful to avoid their body fluids as they are likely to still be contaminated, meaning they can still infect you.

Determining what kind of zombie you are up against is vital as it drastically alters the efficacy of your plan. For example, shooting a possessed corpse in the head won't stop it from attacking you as its being controlled by another source rather than its own brain. Also, for most cases of supernatural zombies, extreme lengths to avoid contact with bodily fluids from zombies would be redundant (if you're not sure, better safe than sorry). Protective clothing that doesn't restrict your movement is optimal for any kind of combat as it helps protect you from bites, scratches and potential infection (even the kinds that won't turn you into a zombie!).

Classically, a gun is used in combat against zombies, but if you not able to access a gun there is no need to worry as your ability to stay calm and plan are your most useful tools against zombies who are likely to have minimal intelligence. However, simple weapons like bats would be useful to carry if there is a risk of close combat with zombies, close quarters combat does run the risk of contact with contamination though. Luckily most zombies can be outrun as they have only their most basic motor functions so at best all they can manage is a shuffle. Guns can also run the risk of attracting more zombies because of the noise, but the notion that they are able to determine human activity in an area because of gunfire is questionable. You should also be weary of gangs, bandits or similar potentially violent groups.

In the case of a zombie attack, it is advisable to retreat to a safe secure location stocked with all essential items until the attack has been subdued or until a capable combat plan has been devised. An example of a suitable location would be a well stocked and easily secured shelter such as a bomb shelter, basement or even a shopping mall as demonstrated in the 1978 George Romero film, Dawn of the Dead (and many other zombie related media since). If the area is not supplied for the long wait until help arrives or if you're at all unsure that you will receive aid, retreating from cities and populated areas is the next best option. The more inhospitable the place is for you, the more inhospitable it will probably be for the zombies too.

Remember, the zombie apocalypse will not last forever, zombies should disintegrate within a few months of being created. This, of course, depends on the type of zombie (or in the event of viral zombies, the nature of the virus). At the very worst, they will die of old age as there is so far no evidence of zombies breeding or even having any interest in breeding. Never forget that your greatest defences against zombies are your wits and ability to plan.

AN: Hi! Long time reader, first time poster on FP. This is an revision of an essay I wrote a while ago about how to combat different types of zombies. PM me or write me a review if you're interested in more details or other aspects of zombies/the zombie apocalypse, I'm planning to write at least one more chapter on this already.

Thanks for reading and to those who helped me improve this from the original version.
- Love, AA