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How to Survive When Zombies Attack: A Guide for Dummies

Updated on January 10, 2015

What is a Zombie?

A zombie is a person or zoological creature that has died and been reanimated without speech or free will. Typically, a zombie is revived one of three ways; through an Afro-Caribbean spiritual system known as Voodoo, supernaturally by possession of spirits or demonic powers, or organically through some form of infections biological compound.

Be warned, if a person is following you around and displays no signs of free will, always has an expressionless look on his or her face, and can not communicate with you verbally, then you may be encountered with a zombie.

Have you ever seen a real live zombie?

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Know Your Enemy


Knowing your enemy is the most crucial first step if you want to survive a zombie attack.  Zombies have a distinct appearance as opposed to other undead entities.  Most zombies resemble the living but it really depends on how long it’s been before they were reanimated.  The longer the wait, the more the flesh has rotted. 

I know this may sound like profiling, but other indications of a zombie, besides the decaying flesh, are emotionless faces, “bug” eyes, emaciated bodies, and a terrible stench.  They have no recognizable speech patterns either.  Zombies mostly just moan and make guttural sounds.  And this may be a little frivolous, but the clothing they wear is normally a few seasons outdated.

For another description of what a zombie is watch the 24 second video below:

Evasion Strategies

Most zombies are very slow in their movements so your first strategy should be to RUN! The years of muscle decay and atrophy gives the living a distinct advantage over their enemy. However, there have been recent reports of zombies that have increased speed and agility. Reports have said that these new zombies have great strength too. The biggest reason for wanting to run is because all zombies have only one desire and that is to EAT YOU! So RUN!

When you have run as far and fast as you could go, it’s time for the second strategy, HIDE! Hiding may seem simple enough but you can’t just hide anywhere, say like behind a tree or under a car. Those are not good hiding places. Find some sort of shelter where you can barricade yourself in. Even though doors and windows are difficult for zombies to manipulate, when there are dozens or even hundreds of zombies trying to get to you, the extreme pressure may cause those doors and window to break leaving you defenseless. Houses are okay places and maybe even a church. But these can only be temporary shelters because eventually you will run out of food and water. The best places to go are hospitals, schools, and shopping malls, and Wal Mart Supercenters. Sure there is the potential of encountering masses of the undead, but these locations can usually provide you with ample supplies of food and drink and multiple interior hiding places.

Prepare yourself by getting into shape. There are several great programs on the market that can help you achieve these goals. Tony Horton, creator of BeachBody and the P90X system, can get you in top shape. Also, Jillian Michaels, of The Biggest Loser fame, has an incredible workout DVD collection. Being in your top physical condition will sharply increase your chances of surviving a zombie attack so put some effort in researching Tony Horton and Jillian Michaels.

Zombie Survival Video: A must see!

How to kill a zombie

Eventually, the zombie is going to penetrate your barricade and you are going to have to physically defend yourself against the eminent attack. It is imperative that you learn self defense techniques. First and foremost, watch out for bites. A bite from a zombie will transfer the condition to you. Sometimes it’s immediate and other times it will come on slowly. There is no cure for a bite attack. I’m sure you have seen salesman out there trying to sell you a “zombie bite kit, “ but trust me when I say it’s just snake oil. There has never been a single case of a person surviving a zombie bite. Kill the zombie before it kills you!

I know it sounds a little redundant but how do you kill something that is already dead. Let me just say that it’s just a matter of semantics. You goal is to make these reanimated creatures inanimate again. As the above video demonstrated, hitting the zombie in the extremities may slow them down a bit but mostly it’s just going to make them more aggressive. Your best bet is to go for the head. A blunt object to the head of any zombie should permanently disable it. For best results, the removal of the head is ideal. Invest in a machete and a pump shotgun with plenty of ammunition!

Long Term Survival Goals


Do not put any faith in being rescued by the government or the military.  The likelihood is that the infection will touch every cornerstone of society.  All institutions will be closed.  No police or fire protection, doctors or pharmacists either.  The power grids will be turned off for the protection of any potential survivors.  We can not afford a nuclear meltdown on top of everything else.   Expect total chaos and anarchy.

You must learn wilderness survival skills.  Learning how to hunt and fish, how to identify non poisonous plants and foods, how to make a fire, and how to distill fresh drinking water are essential to survival.  As well as learning first aid and leadership skills.  There will be no convenient stores to go to, no cell phones to text or call for help.  No internet to learn these skills so you have to learn them now while there is still time.

This you need!
This you need!
This is snake oil... stay away!
This is snake oil... stay away!

Don't become a Zombie

In conclusion, the key to surviving a zombie attack is to be prepared. Have a plan and a survival “kit.” Prepare yourself first then work with your family and friends. Scout out your town or city for the best places to barricade yourself. Above everything, trust nobody! Good Luck!

Are you ready for the Zombies?

Submit a Comment
  • livewithrichard profile imageAUTHOR

    Richard Bivins 

    9 years ago from Charleston, SC

    Thanks mythbuster. I agree on the Bob Hope clip. I laugh my butt off every time I watch it.

  • mythbuster profile image


    9 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

    I had to come back and re-read this. I love the Bob Hope clip! Great guide - nice gag with the movie clip. :)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie Marie 

    9 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    This is some really serious advice. It is good to know because sometimes I look around and believe half the people I deal with on a day to day basis are zombies.

  • floresmoses profile image


    10 years ago from Fort Collins, Colorado

    I think zombies are misunderstood. Literally. You can't understand a single word they say! Check out Zombieland, Dawn of the Dead, Shawn of the Dead, and The Walking Dead for other useful tips on how to survive living with zombies.

  • michelle-ds-fan profile image


    10 years ago

    Great Hub. I'll remember all of your tips. :-)

  • donkeyz1 profile image


    10 years ago

    Too funny! Good hub.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    Cool videos and tips

  • Jim Bryan profile image

    Jim Bryan 

    10 years ago from Austin, TX

    Very clever, rated Up and Funny.

    Outdated clothing, profiling, etc--Thanks for the smiles and chuckles.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    listen when a zombie pandemic hits YOU MUST I REPEAT YOU MUST START TEH FOLLOWING, looting, pillaging,screaming, joining mobs,rioting,etc.

  • livewithrichard profile imageAUTHOR

    Richard Bivins 

    11 years ago from Charleston, SC

    If you're going to go out, go out with a fight. Do you stay solo or start recruiting other non-zombie entities?

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    i say grab semi auto weapons in groups of as many as u can get steal big 4x4 suvs an kick ass

  • livewithrichard profile imageAUTHOR

    Richard Bivins 

    11 years ago from Charleston, SC

    I agree, Zombies are cool. Just seen that new Zombieland last week and was pleased. The malls and stores are just temporrary hideouts to get supplies, then off to the most remote location you can think of. Don't get trapped on an island thinking zombies can't swim, they dont have to, they dont breath so they can just walk to the island. Always have an exscape Thanks for visiting.

  • kirstenblog profile image


    11 years ago from London UK

    I LOVE zombies! In movies lately zombies have been able to move rather quickly, as fast as I can run at least! I reckon that an island with a low population would be ideal really, at least so long as the zombies don't learn to swim! The problem with super malls and such is that you get trapped and have access to junk food only, I can't think of a mall I have been to with a supermarket in it.

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    i believe zombies are possible cuz all u have to do is remove the emotional and basic communications sections of the brains of cannibals. Then add steroids. Ding! Fresh zombies without the consequences of a worldwide catastrophe.

  • profile image


    11 years ago


  • livewithrichard profile imageAUTHOR

    Richard Bivins 

    11 years ago from Charleston, SC

    LoL Sabreblade you are probably right but those stops are just to gather supplies as you need to get as far away from civilization as possible.

  • sabrebIade profile image


    11 years ago from Pennsylvania

    "The best places to go are hospitals, schools, and shopping malls, and Wal Mart Supercenters."

    Ever try walking through a Wal-Mart Supercenter?

    I think the Zombies are already here!

  • livewithrichard profile imageAUTHOR

    Richard Bivins 

    11 years ago from Charleston, SC

    Thank you! I think the zombie mindset is an overlooked commentary on the direction society is heading. Are we following just to follow, or do we have a purpose? Do we want society to be filled with mindless drones reacting to whatever stimulus the elitists dish out? Surviving the zombie attack is another way to say seperate yourself from thoughtless reactions, don't become one of the pack.

  • mythbuster profile image


    11 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

    Thank you for this important survival guide. Much needed and appreciated! :)

  • livewithrichard profile imageAUTHOR

    Richard Bivins 

    11 years ago from Charleston, SC

    lol very kind.. thank you.

  • Beth100 profile image


    11 years ago from Canada

    Now I can answer my son's questions about zombies! Hmm...the description fits a lot of people I work with...... lol (By the way, check out word #3 in your title.... I think our late nights of writing is catching up to both of us! :) )

  • livewithrichard profile imageAUTHOR

    Richard Bivins 

    11 years ago from Charleston, SC

    I'm sure we all have days like that... As long as you are sure you weren't

  • kephrira profile image


    11 years ago from Birmingham

    I though I was a zombie once, but then I had a cup of coffee and I was ok.

  • Lgali profile image


    11 years ago

    thanks for this interesting hub


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