Zombie Apocalypse

How to Prepare for a Zombie Apocalypse

This past weekend, Asbury Park hosted the annual New Jersey Zombie Walk at the Convention Hall Boardwalk. Hordes of the undead roamed the town and left me wondering…What if? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s emergency preparedness and response website, “ the rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way.”

According to njzombiewalk.com, the Zombie Walk was started to provide a “full-scale horror fest featuring vendors, special guests, musical acts, performances, special presentations and much more.” But what if these were real zombies? What if these streets were really filled with infected members of our community who hunger for brains? What would you do if groups of them surrounded you with blood soaked mouths and gray rotting flesh?

“I’d shove my thumbs into someone’s eye sockets,” 24-year-old Michelle Worfield answered honestly. Her and five friends sat on the bench of Asbury Park’s boardwalk. She was dressed as a zombie soldier and her friends were zombies from other careers choices (two were doctors, the others were a janitor and a chef).

They all passed around a bottle of fake blood, which they drenched their mouths and clothes with. None of them had a plan for what they would do if they faced a zombie apocalypse. One of the zombie doctors, Corey S. from Pottstown, NJ said, “I’d just hide in my basement until everybody died.”

Many other zombies at the walk said they would run to a shooting range, or a gun shop and battle the hordes with blazing bullets.

Ryan Bernero, senior at the University, is considered a zombie enthusiast amongst his friends. He has a survival strategy for a potential outbreak. His tactics were developed from studying a variety of zombie movies, video games, and literature. The obsession with zombies began after he watched the original Night of the Living Dead (1968), directed by George A. Romero.

“I would first try to contact friends and loved ones. You would want to be with the most important people since it might be the end of your life,” Bernero said. He also mentioned that working in a group during the apocalypse would be necessary.

Next, he said the best place to take shelter during an attack would be a hardware store, like Home Depot. “It would give you access to many tools, protection and weapons. Preferably, I would try to find a hardware store close to a grocery store for food,” said Bernero.

As for choice of weapons, Bernero’s first obvious pick would be a gun. However, if no guns were available, his second selection would be a crowbar. “Guns are my first choice because you wouldn’t have to get close to a zombie during the attack. A crowbar is a good back-up option because you can swing it as well as stab,” said Bernero.

Once stocked up and ready, the next step is to board up the shelter from the outside world. Also, be sure to check the inside of the warehouse or other form of shelter for no stray zombies already inside it. “If the coast is clear, prepare to hold down the fort,” warned Bernero.

“If a zombie comes into your shelter, you must destroy its brain. Don’t hold back-you have to kill every zombie,” said Bernero. “Have no emotion for anyone that gets infected in your shelter. The needs of many outweigh the needs of a few.”

With this in mind, I looked around Asbury Park and realized how doomed our community would be. If the town were truly engulfed in a zombie plague, the majority of people would have no place to turn and no plan to escape. We would become the infected. We would become the living dead.

The Centers for Disease Control promises that if in fact a zombie outbreak occurred, “[they] would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC 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).” More information on the zombie infestation plan and a detailed emergency response system can be read at http://www.bt.cdc.gov/socialmedia/zombies_blog.asp.

However, from the look of the dressed up fans partaking in last weekend’s festivities, getting infected does not seem so bad.