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How to Survive a Zombie Attack

Updated on February 4, 2010

What is a Zombie?

In order to best survive a zombie attack, you'll need to know your enemy.

Zombies, as you've probably seen in various forms of media, are reanimated dead. They can be brought back numerous ways, but they generally have the same general properties and weaknesses.

Most zombies are in some way decayed and have a taste for human flesh and / or blood.  They will seek out these sources of food and devour them like ravenous animals.  Once a zombie gets a hold of you, it's very difficult to get away.  Because of this, the best way to avoid zombies all together. 

How Zombies are Made

Radiation zombies: These zombies are created from radiation and were common during the 50s and 60s.  This is due to the large amount of nuclear testing that took place in that era.  These zombies are not generally infectious (although they can be), and are usually dead that have risen from the graves.  These zombies typically enjoy brains more than flesh.  Under most circumstances, anyone that dies in a radiation zombie outbreak will become a zombie themselves.

Chemical zombies: Chemical zombies are similar to radiation zombies but are created through chemical means.  You will usually find these types of zombies near toxic dump sites.  If the chemical is airborne, it might infect living humans.  Many chemical zombies, however, become so due to chemicals being poured on their grave.  Chemical zombies may or may not be infectious.

Plague zombies: Currently, these are the most common type of zombie.  They are highly infectious and any contact with their blood or saliva will turn a person into a zombie.  Fortunately, this seems to be the only way to become a zombie and someone that dies of natural causes will not become one.  The zombie virus typically has an incubation period of 3-18 hours, depending on viral load and medical intervention.  There is never, ever a cure for the plague, so don't listen to any looping broadcast that says there is.  They're just lying to you.  Remember that this type of zombie is very aggressive and will attack without warning.

No place left in Hell zombies: These are a strange type of zombie that comes about due to overcrowding in Hell.  Typically, in this time of zombie apocalypse, people that die will automatically become zombies because they have nowhere to go.  Oddly enough, this type of zombie is usually infectious and being bitten will cause a person to become a zombie.  Fortunately, these types of zombies are relatively rare.

Fast and Slow Zombies

Regardless of how they're made, zombies can be broken down into two major categories. The first is the traditional slow zombie, followed by the new and improved fast zombie. Fast zombies are exponentially more dangerous than slow zombies and need to be taken very seriously.  If you've been out of the zombie killing game for more than ten years, you'll need a refresher: the name of the game is now "fast zombie."  If you haven't killed one, then you are a no one in the zombie killing community.

Here, I'll break down the differences between the two types of zombie.

Slow zombie: The slow zombie, also known as the retro (or traditional) zombie, is one that moves much more slowly than someone walking at even a brisk pace.  These can only overcome you in large numbers and are relatively easy to escape.  Slow zombies have shown some signs of intelligence and are sometimes able to be trained.  If you find yourself in a slow zombie apocalypse, consider yourself lucky.

Fast zombie: The fast zombie didn't even really exist up until about 10 years ago.  These have almost completely replaced the slow zombies and are much more dangerous.  Most fast zombies will be able to run faster than you and most have unlimited endurance.  They also have a significant amount of strength.  Unlike slow zombies, however, they show no signs of intelligence and can not be tamed.  Never stay in the same room as a fast zombie; they will always be trying to find ways to escape and kill you.

General Zombie Attack Survival Tips

The most important thing you need to know when trying to survive a zombie apocalypse is that you you need to avoid zombies.  Zombies tend to congregate in urban areas, so you'll want to stay out of those unless you absolutely need to go into them.  You should always have a buddy with you when you're traveling, but make sure you don't bring too many people.  Your group should consist of no more than 10 individuals, although 5 or 6 is a more desirable number.

The next most important thing is that head shots are the only way to kill zombies.  You can crush their body all you want, but the zombie will keep coming so long as their brain is still intact.  Many zombies will even survive being decapitated and the head will continue to try to bite if you come close.  The best way to destroy a zombie's brain is through blunt trauma.  If you are attacked by a zombie, strike it hard in the head with a blunt object.  If it doesn't die instantly, then keep hitting it until it stops moving.  Then hit it some more.

Guns are another way to kill zombies, although I prefer to avoid them if possible.  Guns are loud and not as reliable as a good axe, shovel, or tire iron.  Plus, you need to aim and take time to kill a zombie.  Guns are useful if you're killing zombies from a distance, but they're an easy way to die if you try to use them up close.  The only thing a gun is good for is offing yourself if the zombie horde surrounds you.

Tips for Slow Zombies

Slow zombies have become increasingly rare, but they do still exist.  If you happen to encounter one, you'll want to dispatch it as quickly as possible.  A few hard blows to the head should do the trick and will ensure that the zombie doesn't come back for more.  If there are multiple slow zombies, however, you'll want to get away from them.  I don't recommend running because you'll just wear yourself out.  Walk away from the slow zombies at a steady pace.  Only break into a run if they begin to surround you, in which case you'll want to get away as quickly as possible. 

Remember that slow zombies are usually easy to deal with and killing them should be considered a luxury.  Don't get used to hunting slow zombies, however, because the fast zombie is quickly taking their place.  You don't want to fall into a sense of safety and security when there are more dangerous foes waiting in the dark.

Tips for Fast Zombies

Fast zombies are what's "in" right now and should be avoided at all costs.  If you do, however, come into contact with these terrible beasts, then you'll want to isolate them and fight them one on one.  A single fast zombie is comparable to fighting a human, except they will only use their mouths to attack.  This is an advantage and you should be able to beat them fairly easily.  Multiple fast zombies, however, are much more dangerous.  The only sure way to escape a horde of fast zombies is to get into a car and drive off as fast as you can or to seek shelter somewhere.

In a fast zombie apocalypse, you'll want to find somewhere that has plenty of water and food - enough to hold out for several years.  You will not be able to escape a horde of these zombies on foot and attempting to is futile.  You'll have less than a 5% chance of success.

Zombie Survival Guides


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      one thing to remember...

      don't go to obviously perfect places to hide like..

      the store

      the sea

      the airport

      the military base

      a house

      anywhere were people are in the real world!!!

      there is only one place you can go during a zombie invasion.... and i al to greedy to tell you!!

      see you sucker!!!!!!

      o and forget about anybody you cared about during a zombie invasion if there bite they die kill them before they become a zombie!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      If you know how to use a gun then your fine and if you got a girlfriend (get one if not I got one) Set a perimeter gTo a fire arms store get claymores rifles snipers I would say that a combat shotgun a desert eagle and a Winchester is the best

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @outdoorsguy: if the prime objective is to repopulate, it is better to choose women who are actually capable of childbearing but also hot, i.e. MILF. hotness is no guarantee of fertility. and some hot chicks are so dumb that they become a liability. so, you'll want a MILF that can kick ass? tho she might want to bring her kids along. kids are always a liability in a zombie apocalypse.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      nice , rewrite with u and this outdoorsguy then it wud be epic.

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • outdoorsguy profile image


      8 years ago from Tenn

      you left out several key things..

      1. in the event of a zombie apocolypes. find at least three women you find hot so you can repopulate the earth after the zombies finally quit moving.

      2. secure a large vehicle and proceed to the nearest super walmart. make sure previously mentioned hot women are in vehicle with you. do not park at the wally world.. instead drive thru the doors and to each aisle. where you can toss stuff in side large vehicle. food first then hit the sporting goods aisle for Blunt objects for wacking zombies, then ammo for fire arms.

      if the store is stil relatively clear of zombies. gather batterys. a portable DVD player, DVDs and CDS.

      last but not least.. load up toilet paper. as much as you can fit.

      3. from this point you can find a fuel tanker, and round up as many stray living people as possible. then find a secure location. with the hot women and toilet paper you will become king of the roost. every one that lives will want to be your friend.

      if your really into maximum devestation. visit a military installation and secure a tac nuke. though you do run the risk of mutating the zombies.. the fireball and mushroom cloud are awesome to behold. assuming you get far enough away.

      beware the Demon in law zombies. these are usually the worst of the lot. feel free to wack the crap out of the Demon in law zombies. it takes a lot of killing and still keeps kicking. but you'll feel better when its done.

      right after the demon in law zombies are the Homicidal clown zombies. they can be dangerous due to the large numbers that can fit in small cars and closets. dispatch these with extreme prejuidice. I prefer blunt objects, then gasoline and a match. a plus is you can keep the red noses and wild don king wigs as trophys to keep count of how many you got.

      Good luck out there.. keep your blunt objects close.

    • Dalyinx profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from New York

      Radiation / chemical zombies.

    • Snake Eyes profile image

      Snake Eyes 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Cool hub. But what about ghouls like in Fallout 3 what would you consider those ?

    • profile image

      Daniel, rolf. 

      9 years ago

      Printed and pinned on my fridge, next to the doodle I made last week of the perfect family.


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