How to Survive a Zombie Invasion

Above: Not a good time

There are books and websites out there that claim to contain the best techniques for keeping your flesh intact during an outbreak, but I have something they don’t: experience… playing a lot of zombie games. With the recent influx of zombie themed games (Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil 5, and CoD: World at War’s zombie Nazi mode, to name a few) I’ve been able to rack up hundreds of hours of zombie invasion training.

Want to save your organs from being spread out across cold pavement like hors d'oeuvres? Soak up my tips with your eyeballs and remember them forever. In fact, I suggest you write everything here down on a series of note cards to keep with you at all times (always be prepared!). Remember: you and at least three other survivors can make it out of the infected area if you stay together, follow my advice, and don’t mind the occasional gut spray to your face.

Is it a zombie invasion?

Before you do anything, you need to determine whether or not a zombie invasion has occurred, and estimate the scope of the invasion. Is the entire civilized world in ruins, or just the mysterious little town you wandered into? Are there any safe routes away from the epicenter, or at least to the mall?

Above: Sometimes zombies look like this, but other times they don’t

If the power is on, turn on a TV. If the situation has been contained and quarantined by the military, it will probably be reported by out-of-town news as a “chemical spill,” “biological hazard,” or “cannibal terrorist attack.” You’ve probably seen reports like this before about towns near you. Now you know.

If you can’t receive any channels on cable, satellite, or broadcast TV, you may be dealing with a much larger outbreak. There’s a good chance that the employees of your local broadcast affiliates and cable offices are now zombies, reporting on zombie news and acting in their own zombie sitcoms, possibly with cute names like “Everybody Loves Raymond’s Brains” or “Marinated with Children.” Fact: zombies are very creative when left to their own devices, and enjoy dry humor.

Above: Why would I make this up?

Lacking any access to one or two-way communication (TV, phone, internet, smoke signals), there are other ways to determine if a zombie outbreak has occurred. Go outside and check for the following signs.

The 10 most common signs of a zombie outbreak

10. You live in the vicinity of a highly secretive biotech corporation, the offices of which are generating a suspicious moaning sound.
9. You responded to a static-ey distress call from a dark mining ship in deep space by landing on it.
8. You’re surrounded by a highly unusual amount of fog which seems to follow you (sometimes even indoors).
7. You woke up alone in a hospital.
6. You were just talking about zombie invasions the last night! Weird how things happen like that, isn’t it?
5. You’ve been encountering an improbable number of locked doors.
4. You’ve been in some way involved with a book called “The Necronomicon.”
3. You performed strange rituals in a graveyard the night before. (Why would you do this?)
2. There are a bunch of zombies walking around.
1. You are a zombie.

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer