Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

A man with a baseball bat faces off zombies in a burning city.

You know how to escape the clutches of a category 5 storm, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake, or even a contagious virus…but you’re clueless when it comes to a zombie attack? Come on! Just like a natural disaster, an undead invasion can strike at any time. All those zombie movies, apocalyptic films and books just make it look easy to survive. Add this guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse to your bug-out bag to give you the best shot at long term survival.



Even the CDC Has a Plan

CDC illuminated map showing an outbreak across continents in black and red.

It’s highly recommended that you start coming up with an emergency plan now before it’s too late. But do not panic. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) advises to “never fear.” They’ll be doing their part in the advent of this very possible scenario.

According to their website, they would first conduct an investigation if zombies were to suddenly appear on your doorstep, eager to feast on your brains.

“CDC would conduct an investigation much like they do for any other disease outbreak. They would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation.

This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine),” their website says.

If the CDC’s got a plan, what’s your excuse?


Your Guide to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse

A horde of zombies with red eyes approaching through smoke on a desolate apocalyptic landscape.

Do not rely too much on the CDC, however, as their action plan is city-scope. You and your family should be prepared to take care of yourself.

After all, it might be awhile before the CDC guys get to you—and you need to be alive to tell the tale.
Besides…what’s to keep the living dead from taking over the CDC, too?


Invest in Weapons

Blurred and eerie woman with dark hair in a white dress behind in-focus barbed wire.

It’s important to get some armaments as soon as possible.

But choose wisely, as not every weapon is effective against fending off a zombie, especially the crawlers (ankle-biters) that suddenly jump on you.

And no, a hammer is not enough: it leaves plenty of room for a zombie to get to your arms, or even your back.

  • Home tools. Multitools, such as crowbars, are your best bet. They’re light (even your kid can swing one) and can be used as a lock to create a barrier between you and a crowd of walking-deads. A screwdriver is also handy.


  • Machete. Cheap, lightweight, and ultra-sharp, this is perfect for a one-on-one combat with a persistent zombie. It can also decapitate with startling precision.


  • Grenade. Use this only against a swarm of zombies, since grenades are hard to come by. Throwing a grenade in a sea of flesh-eaters is spectacularly destructible, and will cause zombie heads to explode. Some will definitely survive, so that’s when you get your machete or crowbar ready.


Young woman in zombie makeup, black and white.

  • Shotgun. This is effective in close-range combat, especially if a group of the undead were to invade your home. Its projectile is heavier, making close-range shots powerful. That translates into zombie brains, blown off into smithereens.


  • Chainsaw. This is another effective way to make those zombie heads roll. Just make sure to do a neat decapitation, since semi-attached heads will send them into full-blown rage.


  • Bat with barbed-wire. You can DIY your weapon, especially if you are currently strapped for cash. Knock off heads and tear into the flesh of your rotting enemy.


Make Your Own Survival Kit

Worn and dirty first aid kit in army green and white.

  • Fire starters. Throw in some petroleum jelly, lip balm, and a bottle of hairspray, and you can get a serious flame going. Tampons are great alternatives, too. Simply unwrap, unfurl, smear with petroleum jelly, and light the string.


  • Plastic bottles. You need to be constantly hydrated, and a plastic bottle is very handy. You can easily clean this using “solar disinfection,” or leaving it out in the sun for a day. Keeping two bottles is wise, as you’ll likely need one while disinfecting the other.


  • GPS device. Power grids will definitely go down during a zombie apocalypse. When that happens, your smartphone signal will be nada. Go for a GPS device, or an old-fashioned physical map.


  • Canned goods. Food that won’t spoil for years on end will tide you over between risky supermarket raids or foraging trips. Remember to pack a can opener, too.


  • Medicine. Stock up on maintenance meds, like asthma inhalers or insulin. You’ll also need painkillers (if you have access to morphine, that’s best), bandages, and disinfectant.


Indian man in black dress pants and white shirt holds a copper flask of alcohol.

  • Alcohol. Not to be used for liquid courage. Douse yourself with alcohol when a zombie is nearby and you have no place to hide. These walking corpses are repelled by the scent.


  • Flashlight. A reliable light source is crucial to your survival. You need to see zombies coming at you in the dark, navigate rough terrain, and explore abandoned buildings or sprawling woods. Also, be sure to buy the water-resistant type: you don’t want your flashlight to die in the rain.


  • Bandage protector. Injuries are inevitable after zombie evasions. Prevent further infection or exposure by adding a layer of protection to your bandages.


For the Love of God, Leave the City

People running in a panic through city streets.

Naturally, civil society will collapse during the zombie apocalypse. These monsters will spread like the plague and take over military, government, and health institutions.

Without basic needs and technology, the city will no longer be habitable. Head for the wilderness (the more hostile, the better), as zombies don’t head into unfriendly zones. They like congregating where populations are high.


Act Early

Experts say that once a zombie outbreak happens in your area, you have less than two weeks to survive. As soon as a zombie outbreak has been confirmed, you need to act fast to survive.

  • Distribution centers. This is where you can grab as many canned foods as you can. Abandoned supermarkets are okay, too.


  • Abandoned roadworks. You’ll most likely find a mobile generator somewhere there. Get it.


  • Renewable energy. Your diesel will surely run out. Before you head into the deep wilderness, scavenge for solar panels. If you can’t find any, wind turbines will do.


Acquire New Skills

Hands weaving a basket from straw.

It’s better to have a mindset that you will survive the zombie apocalypse. You and a few other survivors will surely start building a community in a hidden forest or wilderness.

Weapons handling, first aid, hunting, trapping, knitting or weaving, mechanics, and other homesteading practices will keep you useful (a.k.a., indispensable) in your new society.



It is crucial to add a guide to surviving a zombie apocalypse to your collection of how-to-survive manuals. When it comes to a widespread zombie pandemic, ignorance and unpreparedness will get you killed. Fast.

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