Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

How far did you make it?

  • STAGE 3 (Survivor): You starved to death.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • STAGE 5 (Elite Survivor): You bled out.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • STAGE 6 (Zombie Hunter): You froze to death in the basement.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

As I've mentioned previously, I frequently incorporate game elements into teaching the Scouts various skills. When it came to developing evacuation plans in case of an emergency, I had the rare opportunity to combine two of my favorite things: Scouting and zombies.


The National Center for Reanimation Prevention & Control

When I wrote Blood & Brains: The Zombie Hunter's Guide for D20 Modern, I was surprised by the amount of traffic to my faux anti-zombie government web page. It was a copy of the U.S. government's Center for Disease Control (CDC), titled the National Center for Reanimation Prevention & Control (NCRPC). It featured a random zombie battle generator and some other tips about surviving the zombie apocalypse. I wrote that book just the when zombie craze was just beginning and long before shows like The Walking Dead would skyrocket in popularity.

The CDC figured out what we already knew -- that preppers (folks who prepare for emergencies, including the apocalypse) have significant overlap with zombie fans. So the CDC launched its own Zombie Preparedness page, using the pretense of a zombie apocalypse to teach people about how to prepare for any crisis. There are a significant number of resources on that site, including an educational plan to bring students through a zombie apocalypse. Using a combination of survival videos and material from the site, I decided to run our troop through the zombie simulation.

Prepping the Go-Bag

There's a lot of names for a kit that you can grab in an emergency when you have to evacuate your home. We call it a go-bag. We used our go-bag as an example of what should be included -- and to my surprise discovered the glow sticks, food, and even water were out of date. The Scouts watched several videos to see what they should include and, using my terrible go-bag as an example, wrote down what what should be packed in their go-bags. If you want some hints, you can see what the CDC recommends here.

Then it was time for a table simulation. This is the fun part, where we see if the Scouts were paying attention. I also had a very experienced Scoutmaster on hand who provided real life experience about how he survived multiple disasters, including hurricanes and blackouts. His feedback was invaluable in demonstrating that this simulation went beyond just pretend -- although I did emphasize repeatedly that zombies aren't real!

The Scenario

Got your list ready? Your job is to make it to the end by packing everything you need in your go-bag. If you make it to the end, you win. At each stage, click the blurred text next to the bolded text on the right to see the item you should have in your kit. If you reach a step in which you don't have the appropriate item in your go-bag, you're out of the game. Report on how far you got by listing which stage you reached so we can see how prepared EN World is for the zombie apocalypse. Let's go!
  1. The zombies are starting to shuffle. They have overrun the facilities management outpost and the city water has been compromised. What will you drink? It’s time to make use of your bottled water supply.
  2. After hearing that the zombies are coming in from the west, you want to check on your other friends and family. How will you contact them? Pull out your emergency contacts and your cell phone.
  3. The zombies have been attempting to tear down the power lines. The lights have flickered a few times before finally shutting down. Now you are without electricity. This means the refrigerator and microwave are out. What will you eat? Do you have non-perishable food on hand to make dinner?
  4. It’s starting to get dark and you stumble over furniture. How will you see? Do you have a flashlight?
  5. All of that stumbling caused you to cut yourself on a coffee table. How do you stop the bleeding? Pull out your first aid kit to bandage that.
  6. It’s dark out and you’ve camped out in the basement, the most secure part of the house, but it's cold down there. How will you sleep? Do you have a blanket or sleeping bag to keep you warm?
  7. While trying to sleep, you hear loud noises. What's going on out there? How will you find out? You try to turn on your radio for the latest updates.
  8. Why is the radio not working? That's right, it needs batteries! You can steal some from your flashlight but then you need candles and matches!
  9. According to the radio report, the mayor has ordered an evacuation. You quickly gather your supplies and make your way to the car. How will you make purchases in town? Don’t forget that the electricity is out and you need cash on hand to make any purchases -- no ATMS or credit cards for you!
  10. Wait, did the mayor say that Main Street is closed and to head east towards Franklin? Which road should you use? Pull out your map to navigate to safety.
How did you do? Did you make it to the end? Out of all my scouts, only one remembered to bring cash.

Vote in the poll to share how you did and Happy Halloween!
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Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca

Allow me to break the suspension of disbelief.

Impossible a contagious disease whose incubation period is less 24 hours. It would be like a mammal specie with only a week of gestation.

A zombie created by toxic products or radiation can't be "contagious" if there is no self-replicant/reproductive pathogen. The coffins from the cemeteries are hermetically sealed, and the reanimated corpses should too weak to surface, worse when most of them are old people. Supernatural force is impossible for zombies with scientific origin.

Zombies not only have a horrible smell and pale skin. Their senses and nervous system also would be degenerated. They would like as drunken, not even could walk, and too blind and deaf to detect you. After two days the body would be so dehydrated their bites without saliva couldn't infect. Virus and germs need living cells.

Zombies shouldn't "survive" after a year with cold winter, hot summer, without enough water nor food. They can't resist subzero temperatures because the ice breaks the cell walls.

Easy trap for zombies: a singing bird in a jail over a pitchfall, but warning if the pit if full. Better the jail hooked in a rope between two high building, with a gangplank toward the source of the sound... they you have hordes of zombies doing "balconing" with they try to be closer to the jail, a safer world but with a dirtier street pavement.

Von Ether

Allow me to break the suspension of disbelief.

Nope. Having too much fun scoring head shoots on the undead.

Next you'll be explaining the square cube law and why that means giant spiders can't stand and dragons can't fly. Or why dragons with arms separate from their wings are actually six-limbed creatures. An impossibility for an impossible creature.

Having a suspension of disbelief doesn't imply one lacks the facts.

I'll throw popcorn at you, good sir, and keep rolling dice.

aramis erak

There are fungi and bacteria which can hijack insects and force certain behaviors.

After all, a faster infecting and more virulent version of rabies would be pretty damned close to a zombie apocalypse.

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