Tuesday, November 25, 2008
How To Make A Zombie Escape Route...Before It's Too Late
If there's one thing I've learned after playing Left 4 Dead for three days straight, it's that the zombie apocalypse is coming and anyone without a plan is going to get their brains eaten. Luckily, with Google Maps and a little forethought, you too can make your own Zombie Escape Route. Now that I've made one, I can finally sleep at night, without the gun.
ESCAPE ROUTE TIPS
We'll assume the worst case scenario; one morning you look out the window, and there are zombies on the streets. The news is saying the outbreak is centered in your town.
TIP #1: RUN, DON'T WAIT!
The authorities may be telling you to stay inside your home. But! If your town is already infected, the zombie population will increase exponentially, and I wouldn't trust any governing body to know how to control it. Those zombs will come breaking down your door soon enough, which is why we're making these escape routes in the first place.
TIP #2: RUN, DON'T DRIVE!
Unless you're in a rural area, your car isn't going to do much good. Traffic out of the city will be gridlocked, and bridges are likely to be shut down anyway. You'll have to assume a city-wide quarantine, and count on any public routes of transportation out of the city being closed.
TIP #3: LESS POPULATED = LESS ZOMBIES
In picking your destination, you'll want to go somewhere that's far away from your city and that has very low population. Remote areas are safest because even if the population has turned, they will have little incentive to stay put and will probably be moving on to nearest city. Thus, if you have any farmland or forest within traveling distance, that might be the place to go.
TIP #4: ZOMBIES CAN'T SWIM
In almost all zombie lore, zombies aren't coordinated enough to swim. This makes a boat or an uninfected island some of the safest places to be. If you're near a coast, try to get on the open ocean; it's likely you can sail far enough to escape the infection.
TIP #5: TRAVEL LIGHT!
As noted in tips #1 and #2, you are going to be doing a lot of RUNNING. You may be tempted to take tons of stuff from your house to fit every situation, but you're better off planning to pick up essentials from stores along your route. Use Google Maps to look up grocery stores close to your destination, and plan to get food and water when you need it and no sooner.
TIP #6: MAIN STREETS ARE MEAT MARKETS
Getting out of a major city will be hard no matter what route you take, but stay off main roads at all costs. Since people will be trying to drive on these streets, and looting will likely take place in commercial districts, main streets will become throbbing veins of zombification. You're better off making a run through side streets and alleys; as scary as it will be to see a lone zombie blocking your path in a dark alley, you've got a better shot getting around him than a massive horde in the town square.
TIP #7: HOSPITALS ARE ZOMBIE FACTORIES
Be sure your route doesn't take you near any hospitals. Zombie victims will head to hospitals, turn into zombies, bite the doctors and...well, you know how it goes. Give yourself a several block radius away from these hot spots.
TIP #8: WIDE OPEN SPACES ARE PREFERABLE PLACES
Zombies shouldn't be too hard to outrun as long as you don't get cornered; to this end, if you can ever take a route through a park, a vacant lot, even a construction site, do it. Maneuverability is key.
TIP #9: SPORTING GOOD STORES MIGHT JUST BE WORTH IT
Despite wanting to stay out of populated areas, sporting good stores might be worth the risk. If you want to avoid melee combat and are not a gun-owner, a sporting good store might be the only place to get a long range weapon such as a rifle or crossbow. You can also pick up a raft or canoe here, if you're planning on making a run for the water.
TIP #10: COORDINATE WITH LOCAL FRIENDS
Try to pick a relatively safe meeting place to join up with some local friends who you really, really trust. You can set a meeting time relative to the outbreak; for instance, you could plan to meet no later than three hours after the first presidential address on the crisis. If anyone is missing by the deadline, assume the worst and get moving!
You can get a look at these tips in action by taking a closer look at my route. And if you need some pointers on using google maps, here they are:
HOW TO USE GOOGLE MAPS
1. Go to the MyMaps tab in Google Maps (under the Google logo).
2. Click "Create new map"; title it Zombie Escape Route and click the "Public" tab so it can be easily accessed by those in your neighborhood.
3. Zoom in on your house, or where you expect to be when the invasion hits.
4. Click the "Placemark" icon to make your first landmark (your house). After you write the title and description, you can click the icon in the window to select a more visually descriptive icon, like the ones I used.
5. On the left side window, click the check mark next to "Places of Interest" under the Featured Content header. This will allow you to help plan your route and find places you might want to go (grocery stores, gas stations) as well as places to avoid (hospitals, graveyards).
Now it's time to figure out your route....find your first stop, make a new placemark, and use the "Draw a line" icon to connect the two. Continue thusly until you reach your destination.
Easy, right? Post a link to your map in the comments section, so we might all better prepare ourselves for the inevitable. Best of luck!