Admit it, most (if not all) of you have thought about what you would do if faced with a horrific zombie apocalypse, and if you havent come up with a semi-decent contingency plan, youll be in the first wave of victims getting your brains munched out by the walking dead. Fortunately, there are options beyond taking your own life or hugging an infected loved one and feeling dumbfounded when he rips out your throat. Below Ive outlined 8 places of refuge in case of a zombie outbreak and have highlighted the pros and cons of each location. Study up and keep them in mind the next time you read about an infected monkey escaping from a biochemical lab.
1. A School
You all remember feeling like you were stuck in a prison when you were in school on a nice, sunny day, so why not follow Rodney Dangerfields lead and go back to school at the first sign of a zombie attack?
Pros: Most schools have metal gates that section off different hallways, which add extra security. You can close off most hallways and stay in the gymnasium/cafeteria areas, which should be easier to secure than all of the various classrooms and windows throughout the building. Theres also food (granted, its cafeteria food, but its better than nothing) and sports equipment and books for sources of entertainment.
Cons: It may take a while to secure the building, depending on how big the school is. Theres also a scarcity of weapons despite what paranoid parents, teachers, and the media thinks, kids arent smuggling Glocks and AK-47s into school nowadays. An inner city school in a high crime area may offer more options, but youd have to take on the added risk of venturing into a highly populated area when its probably better to leave the city.
2. A Prison
Speaking of prison, how about holing up in one? Prisons are designed to keep people in, so you could easily flip the notion of one and use it to keep ghouls out.
Pros: You have high fences and a lookout tower. Walls are made from high-quality, durable material, so the chances of a zombie Kool-aid Man-ing it through are slim. Few windows and jail cells add extra security, and there will be guns and other defensive weapons available.
Cons: There will be some form of sustenance available, but prison food aint exactly the best tasting stuff. Still, its better than nothing when youre fighting to survive. Also, there wont be much to pass the time aside from donated books in terrible condition or debating who looks best in prison clothes.
3. An Apartment Complex
If youre rolling like the Jeffersons and happen to live in a de-lux apartment in the sky, you could take refuge on a high floor (preferably with roof access) and try to wait for rescue.
Pros: Youd have access to other units and can forage off your neighbors food and supplies. Also, if you manage to disable/secure the few points of entry (the elevator and any stairwells), you should be fairly safe (think Brendan Gleeson and his daughter in 28 Days Later).
Cons: In order to secure the entire floor, youd have to do some recon and make sure none of your neighbors have been infected. This could turn dangerous really quickly if youre not experienced enough to do a sweep of the floor. Also, what comes up must come down, so unless you get helicoptered out of there or are close enough to adjacent buildings to move over, you might eventually need to make your way back to ground level, and that could be a suicide mission if there are zombies in the building.
Whats the complete opposite of a high-level apartment? Why, going underground, of course! This strategy has popped up in various zombie movies (Day of the Dead, Resident Evil 1 and 3). Most of the places of refuge are a military bunker or secret government hideout, but if you know of any old bomb shelters or underground spots beneath your city (like Seattles underground tour or Portlands Shanghai tunnels), it could be an option.
Pros: Once you secure the entrance/exit, itd be hard for anyone to get in. No windows means youre more secure, and if the entryways arent obvious, your location would stay relatively hidden from danger.
Cons: You could be so hidden that your chances of rescue are slim. Also, food would be an issue unless you brought provisions with you. Lastly, if your entryways get breached and zombies start to flood in, you could be trapped beneath the surface until you end up as an undead Happy Meal.
5. A Boat
The last surviving characters at the end of the Dawn of the Dead remake embarked on a boat and headed for an island, not thinking that duh, islands typically have people on them, and those people could be infected. However, the boat idea is pretty sound if you have a solid game plan. Putter that bad boy out to the middle of a lake or in open water and it should be relatively smooth sailing from there.
Pros: You can stay safe while being mobile, with the boat and water protecting you while you move to a secure destination. If you have good survival skills, you can also purify water and sustain off fish if you run out of food (depending on if youre boating through an area with plentiful wildlife, of course). Also, if a zombie happens to get near the boat (if they can somehow swim or end up walking around the bottom punching sharks, Zombie-style), they should be fairly easy to spot and dispose of if you keep a good lookout.
Cons: You can run out of gas and be stranded in the middle of nowhere (unless you have a sailboat). Plus, if youre not an experienced fisherman or lack good survival skills, you could starve or die of thirst before finding safety or getting rescued.
6. The Mountains
Not much of a water person? Why not head for the mountains! Sure, hermits are social outcasts under normal conditions, but theyll have the last laugh when theyre the last people left on Earth.
Pros: Mountains and trails are typically more remote than cities and neighborhoods, and less people means less zombie risk. Also, if its snowy or cold, the weather could slow down the undead even more.
Cons: More remote means more risk to you, too, especially if conditions are harsh. If youre not prepared and lack survival skills, you could freeze or starve to death.
7. The Mall
Perhaps the most infamous place of refuge as depicted in both the original Dawn of the Dead and its remake, the mall is an obvious choice if youre familiar with your zombie movies.
Pros: It has a ton of supplies. Food, clothing, some weapons, sources of entertainment you should be set up nicely for a while.
Cons: The mall has too many points of entry, so securing a perimeter would take a long time and be very dangerous. Plus, theres too many glass doors and windows. Unlike what the Dawn of the Dead remake may depict, tempered glass will eventually give way and break if enough zombies are banging against it.
If you prefer to shack up in a mall that has more of a wholesale vibe, Costco is the place for you. Its safety at a bargain! (So long as you take refuge in bulk, of course.)
Pros: The warehouse layout means there are no windows and only a couple of entry points that can easily be secured by pulling down the huge doors. Costco also has virtually everything you could need: food, medical supplies, weapons, entertainment. Hell, some even have coffins should you decide to put down a zombie but still give it a proper resting place.
Cons: Honestly, I cant think of many downsides to trekking to Costco. Just be sure you bring along a good crowd of people the last thing you want is some a-hole who breaches a secure door to chase after her cat.