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April 9, 2018 | by  | in Features |
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How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

It has to happen at some point. Half a decade of terrible special effect films and horror literature can’t be wrong. It’s written in the stars and on our paperbacks. One day, a virus will spread and turn half the population of Earth into man-eating killer zombies. Rip out this handy instructional article and keep it on you at all times, just to be safe.

First you’re going to need some means of self defence. Zombies are strong and almost indestructible. Apparently the best way to kill a zombie according to Google (and based on many extensive, reputable, and first-hand scientific studies, I’m sure) is to injure its brain — so after a lot of thought and weighing the options, I would recommend injuring its brain. Ideally we would all own shotguns to blow off zombie-heads, but this isn’t America. One source suggests rifles are preferable to handguns, but I don’t think we can be picky, do you? If you own a sword, firstly, take a look at yourself and ask yourself why you own a sword. Then, flail that sword to the best of your ability, you glorious weirdo. You’ll probably outlive us all. The rest of us should stock up on bats, saucepans, spears, and other heavy things, and stash them around the house in case you need to bash in someone’s brain at short notice.

A gun is, of course, preferable to a knife or a club, because it doesn’t require you to get close to this animated assortment of decomposing limbs in order to kill it. However, a gun without a silencer (and who owns a silencer, that’s fucking suspicious?) obviously makes a ton of noise. This will alert more zombies to your presence and bring a plague of them to your doorstep. Try not to shoot everything that moves, as this will also waste ammo, but fuck it, if it’s coming at your face, pull the trigger. Hopefully you’ll have enough bullets left to just shoot the rest when they get here.

Frustratingly, multiple sources promote the idea of barricading yourself in your home and waiting it out. While this is a seemingly obvious solution, you might want to rethink it. Barricading zombies out means trapping yourself in for the foreseeable future. This means you’re going to need a fridge the size of a small lecture theatre to sustain you, and not even Chaffers New World is up to providing all the people in Wellington with enough food for more than a week. Barricading yourself in also means limiting your own exits. One website helpfully suggests we “barricade all entrances and stay put at all costs,” and then in the next bullet point warns, “Don’t get surrounded or backed into a corner or other enclosed space”. Good luck figuring out that paradox. My flatmate suggested barricading your house from the outside, and we all just looked at him for a minute until he realised that was perhaps that’s the worst solution since Jack gave Rose the whole damn door.

If your flat is more of a shit crib than a phat flat, you’ll need a better place of refuge. Consider joining forces with a neighbour or nearby yo-pro flat — that’s sure to be a winner, did you hear they sometimes get paid more than minimum wage? Cover the windows. Lock and barricade the doors. Stay in rooms with multiple exits. Keep your groups small, and more importantly, don’t let your feelings get in the way of your survival. If a mate starts foaming at the mouth, kill them. I don’t care if she shouted you a drink at Estab that one time, or you’ve known him since year 4, whatever. They’re done for, and you’re just endangering yourself and the rest of your group by being compassionate. You can force them out of the house, or gently help them find the light. I’m not going to give you ideas on how to kill your flatmates, because I’m sure you’ve already considered them.

Water is going to be a hot commodity (literally, you’re going to boil it). If the virus turning everyone crazy is airborne, you’re pretty screwed anyway, so let’s assume it’s spread through direct contact. This puts your water supply at risk of contamination. Zombie dies in reservoir, water comes from reservoir, you drink water, you ingest molecules of zombie, you become zombie. Don’t do that. Boil your water. As soon as the outbreak occurs, fill every vessel in your house — including your bath — with clean, sacred tap water (or filter, if you’re a little bit fancy). You might even need to sacrifice that week old Pinot Gris in the fridge and use the bottle for storing water. Don’t worry, the time for wine will come again.

Start an exercise regimen. Whether you’re on the move or barricaded in your house, staying fit to fight or run is essential. This also keeps you busy and not thinking about your likely death by zombie consumption. Cut the yoga crap — when designing a fitness schedule, factor in punching things, burpees, crunches, and shuttle runs. Use the hallway to its maximum potential and really piss off your flatmates!


There’s only so long you can stay a sitting duck before you run out of food, or a band of zombies knocks down your front door. You know those hamster toys where there’s a bunch of food inside a ball, and the hamster has to work to get it out? I don’t think I need to explain this comparison. Flats in Wellington barely keep out the wind, let alone a zombie, and therefore I recommend you only barricade yourselves in as a short term solution until you can suss suitable transport (NOT the bus, idiot) to get as far away from the city as possible.

Zombies will stay where the people are, so when you grow bored of doing push ups and drinking water that tastes of Pinot Gris, pack the car with the essentials, and get the hell outta dodge. It’s likely most of you don’t have a car, or a bike, or a even skateboard to escape on. I’m not sure about you, but the image of someone gliding away from a group of zombies on a longboard is the slickest thing I can imagine, but perhaps not entirely practical. In this case, try to repossess a car or bike left behind in the panic. Any car you “borrow” should ideally be a big four wheel drive, so you can pack lots of food and run things over and drive really fast through locked gates like they do in the movies.

Pack containers of petrol and supplies of clean water (and if you mix these up, we can chalk it up to natural selection and move on). Roads may be blocked, so prepare for off-roading, and avoid tunnels and dark, enclosed areas. Above everything, stay. In. The. Car.

Take a radio. Staying in touch with the outside world is crucial. Like Harry, Ron, and Hermione tuning into Potterwatch on the ol’ wireless, this will keep you in touch with what’s left of humanity. If you’re lucky, a station might even have an unlimited queue of 80s music set up!

Take a torch. Pretty fucking obvious. Your iPhone is gonna last all of three minutes and guess what’s more frightening than realising you didn’t press submit on Turnitin? That’s right, zombie in the dark.

Take a pet. The right dog will be a useful guardian and can alert you to intruders. The wrong dog will at least be a nice companion, as long as you don’t mind sharing your food. This is usually the point where someone makes a joke about eating the dog when times get tough. Personally, I would first eat the person who made that joke.

So you’ve made it through the first few weeks alive. Wanna keep keeping alive? ‘Course ya do, you’ve got a student loan to repay! Once you’ve made it out of the city, you can build your own little house on the prairie and live a reclusive, silent life. Nice! Head north to the country. Get lost in a forest where you’d have to trip over yourself for days to find the road again. Build a shelter. Find water. Start a veggie patch. Zombies aren’t likely to trouble you off the beaten track for a good long while, and by then, the virus might be under control and humanity can rise again, just as dumb and naive as before.

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