Manolith Asks: What Do You Need to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?

You’ve seen this scenario play out countless times in film and television: The dead rise from their graves to devour human flesh, and not only does society break down, but the military completely craps the bed. Yet something about that doesn’t quite ring true. No, I’m not talking about the zombie part – that’s inevitable. I’m talking about the military being rendered ineffective. Realistically, would that happen? And what do you need to survive such an apocalypse? Thankfully, we’ve got our buddy the Architect on the case, whose knowledge acquired as an actively-serving U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret is just what the doctor ordered on such matters.

In every zombie show and flick it’s alleged that the military has been completely overrun and rendered ineffective (if not destroyed completely). How accurate would that be if a zombie apocalypse ever played out? Is our military destined for collapse once the dead rise? Assume that these are slow-moving zombies, the infection is spread via bite and headshots kill them.

This scenario is completely retarded, except perhaps with “28 Days Later”-type zombies who are for some reason super-fast and strong. The slow moving zombies would be easy prey for a large, mechanized unit. Tanks and armored personnel carriers could just cut a swath through zombie hordes without missing a beat, and then set up defensive perimeters with razor wire that would hang up the attacking zombies. If a bunch of civilians armed with only light weapons can use cars and chain link fences to effectively keep out hordes of zombies for months at a time- you don’t think they could clear and lock down military installations from attack? Come on.

What role – if any – would the Special Forces play in a zombie apocalypse?

Their role would be to organize, equip, train, and employ large numbers of armed civilians to take on the zombies. Special Forces is known as a “force multiplier” because of its ability to create  and lead guerrilla forces behind enemy lines- one could surmise that these tactics would be extremely useful in a zombie apocalypse.

How well can our military function if command and control is compromised at the highest levels? If Washington, D.C. becomes zombie central, does our military just turn into a bunch of lawless dudes with guns?

The military has a chain of command that would continue to function even if cut off from Washington. In fact, nowadays, the military would probably prefer to be cut off from Washington. They would continue to fight under the leadership of the highest level of command available until the government was re-established. Of course, if this lasted for an extended period of time, there is the possibility that some units would go rogue.

What survival advice would you give to our readers in case the dead rise from their graves and crave human flesh?

The same basic advice for any catastrophe: water. It’s your friend. In 48 hours you’re dead without it. It stops coming out of the tap once the power grid goes down. You need some kind of filtration unit that you can use to drink out of streams. Also, bullets – lots of them (and a rifle to go along with them). Food, fuel, other materials – all important, but you can use the bullets to get those. Training for putting those bullets where they need to go.

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