8 Reasons Why You Have No Chance Surviving A Zombie Apocalypse

L Zane Pinnock
Updated August 21, 2019

Picture if you will, the zombie apocalypse. Shambling, shuffling, dead things… coming to eat your face. The image of your sweet grandma and the flashbacks of her warm embrace are now superimposed on the lens of your imagination, as she mindlessly rips you open and devours your innards. A lot of us have wondered at least once how we would fare during a zombie apocalypse, but the answer is pretty simple - most of us probably wouldn't even last a week.

Pop culture’s fascination with reanimated human corpses gives us a glimpse of life after a zombie outbreak, and it ain’t pretty. Cannibalism, juvenile executions, and rogue baseball bat murders appear to be par for the course after the dead rise to walk the Earth. Here are 8 reasons you won’t survive a zombie apocalypse, all of which actually have nothing to do with zombies eating you. No matter how many times you've fantasized about being Daryl Dixon, it just wouldn't play out like you think it would.

Risk Of Infection

During the Flu Epidemic of 1918, 500 million people were infected, and more than 50 million died. In 2002, SARS emerged as another deadly pathogen, showing that previously unknown viruses can make themselves known at any moment. For someone who came into contact with infected people, waste or surfaces, the risk of infection for a virus potent enough to cause zombie infection could linger for a decidedly longer period than either SARS or H1N1 (swine flu). This could lead to infection even if one survived the initial outbreak.

In addition, communicability would likely cause the virus to overwhelm containment efforts, and high population centers, such as New York and Los Angeles, could conceivably fall in a day or less, with the rest of the country following suit in short order.

Scarcity Of Resources

Our technological ability to procure almost anything with a few mouse clicks or a short drive masks the fact that without certain essentials, most of us would die within a few weeks. We’ve all seen what happens to our supplies of bread, milk, and eggs anytime a halfway decent storm comes blowing in. If supply lines fail, resources vanish so quickly that people simply won't be able to get anything without paying through the nose - or even risking their lives.

Without a food reserve of at least three months, and a way to defend it, chances of survival for the average person attempting to hunker down in a populated area are slim to none.

Lack Of Medical Help And Sanitation

For people needing dialysis, insulin, or any number of similar treatments, help will be a very long time coming. Hospitals will be swamped in the event of a society-breaking catastrophe, and medical supplies will be scarce. Over 700,000 people have heart attacks in the US every year, and the odds of them getting the care necessary either during cardiac arrest or immediately after during a zombie apocalypse would be practically zero.

Breakdown Of Rule Of Law

Pandemic situations have sometimes resulted in civil unrest and lawlessness. Combined with a lack of resources and an abundance of zombies, police and emergency personnel may abandon their posts in the interest of protecting themselves and their own families, leaving most civilians to fend for themselves.

In addition, there would be widespread panic and chaos, and bodies would most likely pile up in the streets, leading to more infection and disease. Even if one is well-armed, well-supplied, and actively keeping a low profile, it will be nearly impossible to not be overwhelmed by the sheer number of dangers present.


Unless you are able to get somewhere where the population is low and do so quickly, the overwhelming numbers of people in full-on panic mode will make it difficult, if not impossible, to get to safety. Traveling would be impossible, as all major avenues of public transportation along with major highways would be clogged with hordes of people trying in vain to escape to higher ground. For those left, federally enforced isolation and quarantine are the most likely outcome; no one in, no one out.

Lack Of Survival Skills

Most people in today’s metropolitan society wouldn’t have the slightest clue how to survive without the amenities provided by a thriving civilization. Without knowledge of how to hunt, clean, and cultivate your own food; how to build fires to cook it; and how to make structures for shelter, most survivors of an initial event that disrupts modern societal convenience can expect a slow death by starvation - even if they do manage to make it out of populated areas.

Communications Failure

If avenues of communication fail during a zombie apocalypse, it will be impossible to remain in touch with family members, authorities, or disaster relief personnel. Many will be unable to receive important information regarding safe areas, no-go zones, shelters, and other assistance measures.

Communications failure led to substantial losses during disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which underscores the potential harm that could be caused by the inability to remain connected.

Economic Collapse

The US economy basically functions on confidence. The confidence that supply lines will continue to function, that supplies like food and fuel will continue to be available, that debt will be paid. In the midst of a crisis situation, that confidence could be shaken, prompting a run on banks and complete elimination of credit. It takes a lot to take down the US economic system, but it almost happened in September 2008, with the effects still being felt to this day.

The US economy is fairly resilient and is designed to prevent or reduce such occurrences; the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is one example. But in the event of a truly catastrophic breakdown of societal structure, expect your debit card and most likely the bank account to which it is attached to be functionally useless.

Cash would be useful early but limited over the long run. One simply cannot eat money. Goods will be most valuable; nonperishable food, water, and bullets will be absolutely essential. Without them, odds of survival dwindle quickly, making their use as currency a risky trade-off.