Teaching Children To Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

My heart grows heavy when I see numerous articles and top ten lists identifying the skills children need to survive the zombie apocalypse. Many of these articles focus on survival skills (lighting fires, finding drinkable water, fortifying living spaces) and fighting skills (hand to hand combat, appropriate firearms, do it yourself zombie killing machines ). Few of these articles delve into the real skills necessary to survive.

At the Zombie Emergency Relief Organization, we see families every day whose lives have been touched by zombification. Our experience teaches that the most important zombie survival skills are the ability to recognize a zombie and the ability to evade zombies once identified. During the mini zombie apocalypse, many people became zombie food for the simple reason that they didn’t recognize the danger. Since the early victims were recognizable Hollywood stars, most people were inclined to stop, ask for an autograph and maybe a picture. This explains the almost total loss of  Hollywood paparazzi in the early days of the Infection. Instead of running screaming in the other direction when they saw an actor shuffling toward them, the paparazzi ran toward them, most likely anticipating a big payout from a tabloid for catching the star on film drunk or impaired by drugs. I have no way of knowing what went through the paparazzi’s minds, but when anyone comes straight at you, moaning and walking unsteadily, it’s a good idea to back up, not to engage. This is why teaching children to identify zombie behavior and appearance is an important step in keeping them safe.

An informal poll done of parents whose children have been attacked and zombified while playing outside reveals none of the parents had schooled the children in zombie identification. Available eyewitness accounts reported the children had not attempted to evade attack and, in some cases, had approached the zombies, ignorant of the danger they were putting themselves in.




Hanging out @ Melbourne Zombie Shuffle

Hanging out @ Melbourne Zombie Shuffle (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Note the leaning-in posture of the woman above. This is a definite no-no unless the zombie has been properly restrained/retrained. The zombie can easily grab her and pull her close for a bite. An unpleasant start to the day.





English: Zombie Walk

English: Zombie Walk (Photo credit: Wikipedia). A small child may only see the wide smile and ignore the blood smears. In the early stages of zombification, the zombie may appear to be dressed up for Halloween or as an extra in a movie.





Contemplative Chef Zombie

Contemplative Chef Zombie (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Shortly after this picture was taken, the photographer, lulled by the zombie’s stillness, inched too close and was bitten.




Stranger danger, which seems to have fallen out of favor, needs to be restructured to include zombies and people exhibiting zombie-like behavior. Until children can identify this possible threat to their lives, they shouldn’t be allowed outside unescorted.

Once a zombie is identified, children must learn evasion techniques. First and foremost, children must learn to keep their distance. Teach them not to go in for a closer look. If there is adequate space between them and the zombie, they should run for an adult or a secure hiding space. If there isn’t adequate room, children should run like a football player, bobbing and weaving and making multiple direction changes.


A Pioneer football player running the ball.

A Pioneer football player running the ball. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Teach children to run hunched over with arms tucked in tight, making themselves a small target.


This will result in the zombie tripping and falling to the ground as zombies can’t rapidly change direction. Once the zombie is on the ground, it’s time to run for an adult or a secure location.

Identifying secure locations, at home, school, work and play, is key. Performing drills, for example, pretending to be a zombie and asking the child to show their evasive maneuvers including an end run to a secure location, ensures children are able to instinctively make their way to safety in an emergency.




Zombie-Proof Home

Zombie-Proof Home (Photo credit: elisharene) Provide several secure locations within running distance of your home.

Teaching your youngster these simple steps will be more useful than knowing the difference between an AK-47 and a shotgun. The first step to avoiding danger is identifying it.




The Zombie Underground Railroad

Melbourne Zombie Shuffle

Melbourne Zombie Shuffle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


After Anderson Cooper’s explosive piece on the Zombie Underground Railroad, the ZERO organization expected a lot of publicity and questions. Unfortunately, due to the upcoming Presidential election, the story has been buried. Even so,  rumors and falsehoods  have been circulating on the internet concerning this matter. Because of this, I’ve contacted the leader of the East Coast Zombie Underground Railroad (ECZURR) who has agreed to go on the record for a tell-all, in-depth interview to clear up the misconceptions about this project.


Interviewer: Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Mr. X. First, could you tell us a little about the Zombie Underground Railroad.


Mr. X (ECZU Leader): The Zombie Underground Railroad was formed a year after the Infection first appeared with a single mission in mind: Relocate the zombie children to a place where they can safely exist. Night after night like-minded people watched in horror as the news coverage showed small zombie children being shot, dragged behind cars, even burnt alive. The vicious hatred and violence against these children who had done nothing wrong sickened us. We had to act.


Interviewer: How many zombie children do you transport annually?


Mr. X: By our estimates, over 50,000 zombie children have been relocated through our efforts.  Since the Infection has been controlled, our numbers have lessened, but we still find pockets of zombie children that need help.


Interviewer: And the railroad itself, how did you set it up?


Mr. X: We used dog rescue societies as our template. They’d already set up systems to transport dogs with routes that spanned from Texas up to Maine and Washington state. The majority of their transport was done by private drivers and financed by private donations. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we ripped off their design and made it our own.


Interviewer: How is your design the same and how is it different?


Mr. X (chuckles): Well, obviously our cages are much bigger so we have to use trucks and vans for transport. More in gas costs, but less dangerous to the drivers.  We also have limited areas we can let the zombie children out for convenience breaks. I mean, pulling off I-91 and letting four or five zombie children out to stretch their limbs would probably cause quite the commotion.


Interviewer: Yes, it would.


Mr. X: We’re the same in that we use volunteers and private donations.  Of course, we have to keep our routes secret, a problem the dog rescue people don’t have.


Interviewer: Why the secrecy?


Mr. X: It’s well-known that in the early stages of the Infection, gun laws were essentially abolished and Stand and Defend Laws sprung up in every state. Though this made sense when humanity was being attacked on a grand scale by the zombie hordes, as the infection died down and things changed, we expected  changes that haven’t materialized. It’s still the Wild West out there and the People for Ethical Treatment of Zombies has joined forced with ZERO to fight back in Congress. The Ethical Gun Law, which makes it a misdemeanor to kill a zombie under age 17 unless it is a life or limb threatening attack,  has left committee and is highly supported by congressmen in Vermont, California, and Connecticut. Still, until there is a reining in of the zombie vigilantes and anti-zombie militia, our volunteers, and the zombie children, are in danger.


Interviewer: Does the anti-zombie militia look at your organization as an easy target?


Mr. X: Maybe in the past, but we now require our volunteers to carry firearms for personal protection. As some militia members have found out recently, our Zombie Underground stations are  heavily guarded and fortified.  Take us lightly at your own risk.


Interviewer: What got you involved with the Zombie Underground.


Mr. X: Like many others, the Infection took a personal toll.  Two months into the Infection, my daughter turned. One minute she was a happy, free-spirited 8-year-old, the next minute she ate her grandmother.


Interviewer: Tragic.

Mr. X: Don’t feel sorry for me, feel for the zombie children who don’t know where they might rest their weary, decomposing heads tonight. The ones who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Remember, ZERO feeds the zombies so you won’t have to.

Interviewer:  And that concludes our interview with Mr. X, leader of the East Coast Zombie Underground Railroad. He has graciously agreed to answer any questions in the comments section.