SAN DIEGO — A zombie apocalypse is probably something people will only see in a horror movie, but it never hurts to be prepared, right? A recent report has examined all of the factors that would come into play if the undead started walking through American streets — finding that Florida is the place to be if you’re looking to survive the oncoming zombie invasion.
Inspired by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Zombie Preparedness guide from 2011 — yes, the CDC really made this! — researchers at Lawn Love analyzed 26 key factors that measure “zombie preparedness” across 200 U.S. cities.
When you consider aspects like the number of people in poor health in the community, the number of local supermarkets, the number of hunting supply stores, and the number of basements or bunkers under local homes, Orlando, Florida tops the list of the best cities to be in to survive a zombie apocalypse. Orlando finished number one in terms of supplies and protection. The city also ranked high in terms of vulnerability and mobility.
Moreover, Tampa (6th) and Miami (8th) finished in the top 10 — making the Sunshine State your best chance to avoid a gory, zombie-related demise! Rounding out the top five zombie-proof cities are Salt Lake City, Honolulu, Portland, and Colorado Springs.
Zombies on the way? Stay out of Nevada!
At the opposite end of the apocalyptic spectrum, the Lawn Love study found Nevada will be an all-you-can-eat buffet for the undead!
Although Las Vegas (19th) is a relatively safe place to be for zombie apocalypse survivors, four other cities in the Vegas metro area finished at the very bottom of the list. Sunrise Manor (200th – last), Paradise (199th), Enterprise (198th), and Spring Valley (197th) rank as the worst places to survive a zombie onslaught.
While the researchers say cities along the water generally rank better than landlocked areas, it turns out New Jersey is also a bad place to go if you’re trying to outrun the undead. Paterson (196th), Newark (192nd), and Jersey City (190th) all finished near the bottom of the survival rankings.
Don’t laugh at your neighbors, New York City — the Big Apple and its millions of potential zombie inhabitants finished 180th. New York and Los Angeles (181st) both ranked miserably in terms of vulnerability, hideouts, supplies, and protection. So, it might not be a good idea to take any survival tips from 2007’s “I Am Legend,” which took place in NYC.
What’s the likelihood of a zombie apocalypse actually happening?
“The likelihood is higher than most would think. With major advances in genetic sequencing, and overall medical technology, the possibility is real. As humans, we will forever push the boundaries and along the way, there will be unintended consequences,” says University of Hawaii associate professor Thomas Lee in a statement.
“Stay calm, always check the entire room before dropping your guard, and learn how to use a map,” Dr. Lee recommends.