Geekend: Best Cities For The Zombie Apocalypse

When the zombies come, where do you want to be? Happy Halloween from the Geekend.

David Wagner, Executive Editor, Community & IT Life

October 31, 2014

5 Min Read

Happy Halloween from the Geekend. As long time readers might know, it is a Geekend tradition to do a special zombie-themed Geekend on the Friday closest to Halloween. Last year we talked about how the animal kingdom would actually make the zombie apocalypse frightfully boring and quick. Two years ago, we reviewed the latest in zombie prepper gear. This year, I want to talk about the best city to be in during a zombie apocalypse.

Real estate site Trulia has put together some outstanding viral marketing. They used the basic search tools available on their site to put together a list of the 25 worst cities to be in during the zombie apocalypse. Their criteria including walkability (if you can walk around the city, so can the zombies), density of hospitals (more potential zombies and more weak prey), lack of hardware stores, and population density.

First, let’s give a great hat tip to the Trulia folks for such an organic marketing campaign. They took a function of their site that could be used to find the perfect house and showed another fun, creative use for it so people would remember it. Fantastic.

But now that we’ve tipped our hats, let’s check out that criteria. I think the Trulia folks purposely left some stuff off the list. They went for simple and fun. But if you really want to get away from the zombies, where would you go?

Trulia says the worst place is Honolulu. I find this fascinating because many Geekend readers have specifically said they plan on going to a beach or an island to avoid zombies. Those people would be dead.

What would be the best place? Just what is it you look for in a city to survive the zombie apocalypse?

Personally, I want a place with a high concentration of grocery stores so I can loot food early. In addition to hardware stores, I would need outdoor stores for supplies, because I’m leaving the city for some rural area.

Along with that, I’d want a city that has a fairly straight highway shot to wilderness. Those roads are going to get backed up with abandoned cars fast so I need to be able to use them before it is too late.

I also want something near a big government base so if it turns out the government stays together and gets things back under control, I can head that way for help.

I’d also want relatively warm weather so I don’t have to fight the elements as well as zombies.

At the same time, I want to be rather far from the best research facilities in the world. You have to figure, the apocalypse is going to come from a research center where something escapes. I don’t want to be too near old cities with lots of cemeteries either in case the dead rise from the graves.

To top it all off, I kind of want to be somewhere that might satisfy my cinematic sensibilities a little bit. Let’s face it, if you are one of the last humans on earth, it is going to feel like a movie. A horrific, hungry, sleep-deprived, and uncomfortable movie. But a movie nonetheless.

So what do I think would be the best city to ride out the zombie apocalypse in? Vegas, baby.

Because of all the tourists, Vegas has a very high concentration of restaurants and stores of food. Granted, it is all 99 cent buffet food, but that’s OK. Chipped beef travels. It has a healthy outdoors community, and it has tourist traps where people can shoot automatic weapons for fun. It has wide highways leaving the city in multiple directions and is surrounded by wilderness.

The military presence around Vegas is fairly significant, and with all due respect to UNLV, it isn’t near a major research center. It is a newish city so I won’t have to deal with centuries of old graveyards full of hands rising from the graves to get me like in New England. Though I have to say the idea of gangster zombies rising from the mafia tombs doesn’t sound like fun.

And what place could be more cinematic? A ruined, crumbling Vegas with tourist zombies shambling about through rows of dark slot machines makes a great backdrop for the end of days. Imagine showgirl zombies eating brains through the head dress of their kickline sisters. Picture the irony of seeing zombies shuffle through fake pyramids, roman ruins, Asian temples, and pirate ships. The only place it would make sense is Planet Hollywood.

So where would you ride out the zombie apocalypse? This guy is making a plea for Boston being a great place. That sounds terrible to me. Unless MIT or Harvard comes up with the cure, you are doomed to be eaten by the zombies of hundred pretentious future millionaires. Though, I’ll admit, zombies probably trip in the snow. Don’t forget Mars is an option. Think about it and tell us where you’d ride it out in the comments, and Happy Halloween.

What will you use for your big data platform? A high-scale relational database? NoSQL database? Hadoop? Event-processing technology? One size doesn't fit all. Here's how to decide. Get the new Pick Your Platform For Big Data issue of InformationWeek Tech Digest today. (Free registration required.)

About the Author(s)

David Wagner

Executive Editor, Community & IT Life

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, leadership, and innovation. He has also been a freelance writer for many top consulting firms and academics in the business and technology sectors. Born in Silver Spring, Md., he grew up doodling on the back of used punch cards from the data center his father ran for over 25 years. In his spare time, he loses golf balls (and occasionally puts one in a hole), posts too often on Facebook, and teaches his two kids to take the zombie apocalypse just a little too seriously. 

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights