How to survive a zombie invasion

Zombie look a like, be on your guard for real Zombies, a lot of them support West Ham. Image by Flickr user rodolpho.reis
Zombie look-a-like, be on your guard for real Zombies, a lot of them support West Ham. Image by Flickr user rodolpho.reis

To survive a zombie invasion, the very first tool in your arsenal will be to think quick, very quick. Do a rapid SWOT analysis. No, that’s not a police SWAT team, but a business tool used by the suits for years. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

Let’s take your typical zombie invasion situation. You came home with you’re best and only mate last night, slightly pissed from 8 or 9 pints, and you wake up on the sofa (couch for the yanks). Why you couldn’t have gone to bed and tided up the rubbish heap of a living room you have now become semi-conscious in who knows. We digress, your in your abode; you’re only wearing your underwear, a bad hangover, vindaloo breath, and those crappy little eye masks you get in economy on a transatlantic flight.

You hear pandemonium from the street outside. You pull back the curtain; it’s yellow and pointless. All you can see outside is death, murder, kill amongst random people, some of your neighbours, and the nutty bag lady that patrols the neighbourhood. Your neighbours who have all aged, rotted and dressed surprisingly smarter over night, all be it disheveled by pinking shears, dirt and channel 4, are all now closing in on you.

Now lets analysis this situation:

SWOT Strengths

  1. This is a new situation as you have not been invaded by zombies before, and it suits your ADHD need for continual new input from your environment.
  2. You’re not alone; that would be scary.
  3. Your in your own theatre of operations, it’s your turf and you know where everything is. Except the TV remote, that could be sinister, but as we are focusing on strengths that’s not a concern right now.
  4. Surprisingly, considering the amount you drink, your fit for a suburban coach potato, and your mate is really fat. Benefit here! He can take the flack if it gets sticky as you can run faster. Probably best not to mention this in the briefing your about to have when you find which non-bedroom utility room he has collapsed in.

SWOT Weaknesses

  1. Confrontation is not your thing, hence no girlfriend, or boyfriend for that matter. Zombie invasions involve a lot of confrontations; you’re going to need to man up and fast, or at least after you finish the stale onion bhaji.
  2. You have no weapons of mass destruction; they never existed except in Tony Blair’s mind, but who’s focusing on reality right now.
  3. You’re surrounded by Zombies, and the TV is stuck on Daytime. Harry Carry is not an option; your mother is coming for tea.
  4. Your boss will not except another, “There were leaves on the line, and no spaces left on the busses!” excuse for being late as you stupidly used them all up in the summer. Bad Timing!
Tony Blair speaking at the International Zombie Convention - Image adapted from Flickr user World Economic Forum under creative conman’s licence
Tony Blair speaking at the International Zombie Convention – Image adapted from Flickr user World Economic Forum under creative conman’s licence

SWOT Opportunities

  1. This could be the time to get a lot of people off you’re back. Just invite them round and use their bodies as cannon fodder for the zombies that are now trying to figure out how to get through your garden gate. This is because you have been standing in the window naked drawing a lot of attention whilst you thought about Strengths, Weaknesses and having a piss.
  2. There are no zombies in the back garden that leads to the garage and an alleyway. There’s a scooter with sidecar in the garage that’s been there since 1942 when your granddad brought the house that surprisingly your parents let you live in while they moved to Scotland. Shame you live in Carlisle, as that gives them an excuse to come around all the time, but we digress again.
  3. You have tickets to see the Grateful Dead at Wembley, surely the Zombies could be bribed with them. Slight downside, the tickets, were your parents, and the stub is missing, not to mention that Jerry Garcia is, well dead! Sill since these Zombies look a bit dim, they might fall for it.
  4. It’s a work day, and the end of the world. You can call your boss and tell him he is a complete and utter Wan@£$@$@ because he’ll probably be dead by dinnertime and there won’t be a job to go back to anyway. If you’re stuck on overcrowded public transport reading this on the way to work and there has not been a Zombie invasion, hard luck old boy, but keep your chin up, there might be a zombie invasion tomorrow and at least by reading this post you will be prepared. Well maybe prepared, but probably when you get home tonight and veg out you’l forget all about our little chat today and then it will be too late. Stick a note with bullet points on the fridge when you get home, that will help!


SWOT Threats

  1. Zombies, lots of bloody Zombies, and they haven’t brushed their teeth. The atmosphere smells like that time you woke up on top of a mirror and tried to snog yourself with kebab breath! No? Just me then.
  2. You’re naked, and all this Zombie related stuff has given you brewers droop. Your open for ridicule by Zombie, Not good! Also, you seem to have forgotten that your wearing underpants. Paranoid or what!
  3. Your best mate is incredibly clumsy and on a good day is a health hazard, the stress of all these zombies is going to make that worse, a lot worse.
  4. The usual routine of going to the off licence, if you still have one of those in your town, has been disrupted a bit and you may have to face the day without a hair of the dog.
  5. Your parents are coming round for tea, this is probably on par with the Zombie threat.

Time for a plan

OK, so SWOT done, time to either Plan or Panic. Personally I’m a big fan of panicking, you forget you have a hangover, it uses up a lot of calories, let’s face it you drink a lot. You must be practicing this panicking thing as you’re hallucinating there’s Zombies about and your standing naked in the window. Plus you have yellow curtains. Panicking is looking pretty good right now.

There is strength in numbers, go wake up the best mate!

Two is always better than 1, not just because it’s a bigger number, but because there are generally more things you can do with the number 2. Shit as he may be, he is your best mate, and as it turns out is a big fan of Zombie movies. Turns out you are also a big fan too, all be it by proxy. It’s just that your ADHD, vindaloo eating, beer drinking, and sofa potatoing has conditioned your brain to ignore your surroundings so that you forgot all the DVDs you have watched have turned you into an urban expert on the marauding creatures outside.

The Plan

  1. You need to get dressed – It’s cold outside, and we have already covered the embarrassing bit you were getting paranoid about a few minutes ago, yer, it takes a long time to reach self actualisation when you get up from the couch!
  2. You need to get from the living room to the garage, the Zombies are now laughing at your manhood. This has yielded a small bonus as they’re distracted from going through the front door, which as per usual after a night out you have left wide open.
  3. From the garage you need to ignore the old scooter and sidecar, as 1 you don’t know how to ride a scooter, your not a mod, and 2 your mate is too fat to get in the sidecar.
  4. You need to brainstorm all you know about how to kill zombies with your mate. Your mate is called Dave by the way. He was named after the TV channel. It’s like the whole Westward Ho! book thing. Google it!
  5. Using the brainstorming results you and Dave came up with, gather up as many utilitarian household items that you have identified as Zombie ending real world apps as possible and make your get away. P.S. you have a garage, it’s a safe bet there’s a bunch of uncharged power tools that only ever came out the box once lying about collecting dust. These may not help, but we are working on your manhood here. Anything will do, you’re not Bruce Willis yet!
  6. Stop off at Waitrose to stock up on food, yes Waitrose, with the middle classes all riding the latest Hoxtonian Zombie tribe thing to show they have meaning, the staff will be reducing all the really expensive items to next to nothing as they have no customers, and there high staff to punter ratio needs to be maintained for their jobs and yearly bonus. Yanks and Canucks take note, Waitrose is one of those supermarkets people with too much disposable income like to be seen in, but don’t like it when they bring out a basic’s range that means their cleaner also shops there. Obviously you Antipedeans don’t need an explanation as you’re all over here on working holidays anyways.

As you make your getaway, killing all your neighbours and avoiding the bag lady, she is good for the closing anecdote, make sure to note how luckily you are to be living in a world where you can keep your SAS survival handbook downloaded on your iPhone.


Our resident science writer, James, has a long history of posts on Interesting Everything. James lives with his wife and british bulldog George in Aberdeen, Scotland.