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Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide

Mike Gorman

Police say they still don't know why Rudy Eugene brutally attacked Ronald Poppo near the MacArthur Causeway last week — literally chewing off Poppo's face until an officer shot and killed him. But to anyone paying attention, the reason is all too obvious: a full-fledged zombie apocalypse is upon us.

How will you and your family survive? To prepare, we, um, picked the brain of a real-life zombie expert: Jonathan Maberry, author of the survival guide Zombie CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead.

Riptide: What would you say is the top rule of zombie survival?

Maberry: Don't be the dumb loudmouth in your group of survivors. These days, folks are likely to feed you to the zoms and make their escape during the chow-down.

What weapons or supplies should we procure to prepare ourselves?

The smartest object of defense isn't a gun or knife — it's body armor made from carpet. You can't really bite through it and there's carpet everywhere... I'd tear up the carpet, secure it with some duct tape (and we all have duct tape), and then stroll through the crowd of frustrated zombies.

Can zombies swim?

Zombies wouldn't be a threat in the water. The freshly killed ones would sink like a stone without air in their lungs for buoyancy. The rotting ones might float because of gasses released by putrefaction, but they would lack the coordination for the mechanics of swimming and couldn't strategize about how to overcome tides and currents. So a great way to survive the zombie apocalypse is to strap on that Speedo and take a dip.

Are there different varieties of zombie?

There are several classifications. The old-school zombies are the raised dead used as slaves by priests of the Haitian religion of vodou. Since the 1960s, we've come to hang the "zombie" nickname on flesh-eating ghouls of the [George] Romero kind, and these are slow-moving, mindless corpses. Then there are the fast zombies, as introduced first in the film Return of the Living Dead (1985)... Then you have the "rage virus-infected," who are mindless humans infected by a disease.

What's the most common misconception about zombies?

That the disease only spreads through bites. However, Romero established that everyone who dies... will rise as a zombie.


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