Zombie Apocalypse Survival Odds Are on Shaky Ground

Is it possible that doomsday 2012 hails the beginning of the zombie apocalypse? There is a lot of talk about zombie preparedness -- even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have dedicated valuable bandwidth to the topic -- but a 2009 research publication puts it all in question.

Zombie Apocalypse

What does the CDC say about Zombies?

The CDC views the zombie apocalypse as a modern-day tool for old-fashioned emergency preparedness training. "If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack," director Dr. Ali Khan notes. The CDC advises to maintain an emergency kit with food, water, medications, tools, hygiene products, clothing, bedding, important documents, and first aid supplies. Next, you should plan your emergency escape route that will put quite a bit of distance between you and the onslaught of zombies. It is interesting to note that CDC management of a zombie outbreak would consist of "technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine)."

How do non-official Zombie Survivalists plan to react?

Guns & Ammo suggests zombie proofing your existing home. In an effort to minimize your "movement, light, shine, noise and outline" as well as smell, you are urged to fortify the home's exterior locks and doors. Perimeter security and possible motion detectors come in handy. Blackout curtains are next; moreover, those surviving the slow-roaming dead must do whatever is necessary not to attract the attention of zombies with the noise of generators. Location may also factor into your ability to survive the zombie apocalypse. The Zombie Research Society has evaluated a number of countries with respect to climate, population density, and military capability. From one to 10, the likeliest place to survive a zombie pandemic is in Australia. Citing low population density and ocean borders, this country is the safest. The United States comes in third place; in this case, it is "heavily armed citizenship" that makes survival likely.

Why Zombie Survival is mathematically questionable

The University of Ottawa has crunched the numbers and declared that survival of a zombie apocalypse, using the methods championed by the CDC, is highly unlikely. "While aggressive quarantine may eradicate the infection, this is unlikely to happen in practice," researchers concluded. Backed up by mathematical probabilities, the experts found that any attempts at fighting a pandemic -- zombie apocalypse or other -- relying on this mechanism is doomed to fail. The problem arises when surviving humans and zombies coexist, which fails to break the cycle of infection. Only complete eradication of the zombies betters the odds of human survival and prevents the otherwise almost guaranteed collapse of civilization.