Go West Young Man, There’s Fewer Zombies There!


I think a lot about what’s going to happen during the apocalypse. It’s not just because I love apocalyptic fiction or that as a Pastor I see that a great portion of the Bible deals with past and future catastrophes and Revelation, the last book in the Bible, has often been called The Apocalypse of John. I also think about it a lot because I’ve dealt with that kind of experience or event most of my life. Most of my Federal and military service focused on responding to disasters. When big bad things natural or man-made happened, I was usually there treating victims, holding church services, or shooting looters. Back all of that up with the fact that I live in a coastal area with a full-blown hurricane season and you can see why preparedness is a common thought in most all that I do.

Because of my penchant for apocalyptic fiction, zombies are a frequent source of what I read about or watch in movies. They’ve recently become such a pop culture phenomenon again that everyone thinks about them. I use the zombie scourge as the subject of the disaster preparation class that I teach at universities and conferences.

A lot of people like zombies but don’t really believe in them. I’m just the opposite. I believe something large scale related to zombies will really happen someday. I’m not talking about the traditional rising from the dead, eating brains kind of zombie. I’m talking about the mix of a little bit of delirium or crazy with an infectious disease type of zombie. There are already drugs and diseases out there that produce crazy irrational people who have a desire to eat unnatural things. Consider something as simple as pica or something a little more serious like aerosolized rabies. Certain drugs in an overdose or asymptomatic state can also create the right conditions. Think about the new bath salts epidemic which has already produced very affected people eating other people. Remember Miami in May 2012?

During my recent trip out west I thought a lot about how defendable many of the cities are in the mountains. Where I live, the land is so wide open and flat you would have to set up massive fences and fortifications to protect yourself against a large group of crazies. Most of the land where I live resembles the locations seen in The Walking Dead. Out west though, many of the towns and even larger cities sit in canyons, gorges, or higher elevation locations that are very defendable and more easily protected. Aside from the access points on roads and highways it would be harder for people to approach the cities over the mountains and deserts. Hey, it worked for the Capitol district in The Hunger Games. Set up shop in the Rockies surrounded by a ring of mountains and you’re pretty much protected from attack by the other twelve districts. The people are also spread thinner out there which means the scarce resources in the desert or mountains would stretch further. It also means fewer zombies.

Here’s a shot of downtown Moab, Utah…

My Interwebz friend Char who writes the Apocalypse Mama blog lives up in Canada. I went through several of the Canadian provinces when I drove up to Alaska a while back. Aside from the big cities much of what I saw is pretty remote and resembles many parts of the American west. That raises many possibilities for avoiding a catastrophe as well. It is colder though, but we found out in World War Z that the cold may affect zombies in a way that makes it easier for you to survive. Just be sure to follow her blog before you go up that way asking for a few cans of food or refuge from the undead. That way she’ll know you’re safe and can contribute.

I guess what I’m saying is that if you want to go ahead and be fully prepared before something bad happens, move out west. Find an area that’s pretty free of most of the natural disasters, has plenty of resources, and is affordable and build your compound. You don’t have to be a crazy person to do this either. You can still have a lot of fun out west. But the thing is, you can have fun, live your life, and be more prepared for something bad.

Then all you have to worry about is whatever they’re working on over at Area 51 in Nevada.

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