Well, the fear of a zombie-Mayan apocalypse may have subsided since last December, but in case it ever does become a reality one should know how to sleep around them without becoming zombie lunch. A wide variety of zombie tales exist in pop culture, though one of the most popular in recent years is the television show The Walking Dead. While traits may vary depending on the author, there are some generally understood rules about zombies that could help you survive, whether you’re caught in the Walking Dead or Night of the Living Dead.
Detecting a Zombie
According to undead experts, zombies tend to make a very horrendous and annoying sound when they’re walking about. It sounds mostly like a moan or an agonizing cry. It’s easy to tell when they’re around and making this kind of noise. But, sometimes they can also be quiet and stealthy. This is usually when they’re lingering around in corners in almost an idle or shutdown state. It’s still unclear whether zombies do this because they need some form of rest or sleep, or because they actually are hunting.
The hunting idea is a little far-fetched even for this realm, seeing as how zombies lack the brain processes to think clearly enough to actually be quiet for a hunt. Nevertheless, they can do this, so lack of noise doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of zombies. When they are in this quiet state, they may be very hard to detect. Walk cautiously around corners taking them wide and slow, and be careful in dark alleys and uncleared rooms.
If keeping safe during waking hours is a challenge, how can you protect yourself while you’re sleeping when you can’t hear them? The only surefire way to do this would have to be by using the same techniques humans use when they’re trying to detect robbers, murderers, or any kind of other nighttime villains.
Clear the area out by sweeping the premises. Make sure you look in every crevice and zombie-sized hole to make sure that there’s no sign of activity in that location whatsoever (leftover limbs and bad odors=beware!). Afterward, search the grounds, using binoculars or other devices if possible, and make sure that there are no lingering zombies anywhere nearby. Then search the house again, in case any got in while you were searching the grounds. Remember, they can be very sneaky.
Shut off all the lights. Zombies can be attracted to light like moths. Where there is light, there is life, and where there’s the life they see food. If you have enough people, sleep in shifts so someone is always on the lookout, preferably with night vision goggles and a long-range weapon. Rifles, guns, flamethrowers, or bow and arrow could all do, just make you practice how to use it. If you don’t have any weapons check around town during the day. They will most likely be placed neatly by the register of an empty gas station, which is just waiting for you to ransack for goods. Don’t ask how they got there. They’re just there.
Next, you should set some booby traps that will at the very least alert you to the presence of Walkers. You will need the following items:
String up a tripwire around the perimeter of your location using a thin string-like fishing line tied to several sodas or tin cans. the line should be low and tight, with cans close enough to rattle and make noise when touched. Use the broken glass to place outside of doors on the floor and outside of ground-level windows. Should any zombies come traipsing by, they would step on the broken glass or other loud material and you will hear the crackling on the other side of the door. Place quiet motion sensor alarms in the most vulnerable areas where you can’t place the broken glass. This might be outside where soft dirt would prevent you from really hearing the glass, on windows, or in distant walkways. These motion sensor alarms are usually the small handheld ones that are used as toys for children, or as gate or door alarms in home security. The alarm will sound off quietly in your hand when the sensor feels someone walking by.
Alternatively, use regular alarms or guard dogs, anything that gives you an early warning advantage.
This trapping guide straight from the Indiana Government could also help you.
This next one is a given, nail and board up all windows. For some reason, zombies haven’t mastered the art of walking up the steps to the door, but they know how to intricately climb through a window. Use flashlights or candles for low lighting around the house while you’re sleeping, to not attract too much attention. You could also use it to blind the zombies temporarily should you be surprised by one, though this doesn’t seem to work for all of them.
To begin with, pick a smaller, secure location to sleep in, preferably with a tall and sturdy fence. Choosing a huge mansion in the middle of nowhere is a very bad idea due to isolation, but dense urban areas can be just as dangerous. A smaller house is preferable as a large house can be way too big to hear anyone coming in from any of the doors on the lower level. With that being said the house can be overrun and a matter of minutes, leaving you and your gang with no way out. You will also have to spend an excessive amount of time clearing the space, especially if your human group is small. An elevated dwelling like a treehouse, or even a secure apartment can be desirable as it could be difficult for zombies to climb trees or take several flights of stairs stealthily. Underground locations with secured entrances are ideal as well.
Noise also attracts zombies, so this means no TV, radio, or hammering at night.
Consider locating a quiet bed made of memory foam that will keep your sleep stealthy, and use headphones to listen to any emergency broadcasts or tunes. If you have time, reinforce locks, hinges, and weak spots on walls and doors. Also, keep all ladders locked down or indoors. Keeping a rope ladder inside could be helpful if you are a couple of stories up and need an escape plan. Finally, surround the area with dead animals or spoiled meat if available (gross, but apparently Walkers are not attracted to dead smells, only fresh flesh will do).
Have a car ready with supplies nearby, but keep it covered and camouflaged. Zombies tend to also be attracted to cars, It’s like they believe that wherever there are cars that are humans; what an iron-clad thought right? Not to mention, marauding humans may be interested in stealing a stocked vehicle. Keep keys on you at all times, plus an accessibly hidden spare nearby. Have your getaway vehicle stocked with basic supplies like first aid and human food.
Step Five: Panic Mode
If your attempts to avoid zombies fail and you can’t reach your getaway vehicle, prepare to defend your location. Fire is believed to incapacitate them, so your best bet is to ignite the zombie via a fire trap, blowtorch, or flame thrower. You can shoot the zombies but prepare for this not to be highly effective. Aim for the head for the strongest effect. As a last resort a baseball bat, 2×4, or very sharp, a long knife can be used, again focusing on their head. Once the zombie is incapacitated, try to set it on fire to prevent any regeneration.
In conclusion, it’s best to stay underground or high up and to be very, very quiet. Try to not use too much light or smell too pretty. The best way to get the upper hand is to think strategically – use traps, technology, and caution to avoid and eliminate zombies. The fire appears to be the best bet in terms of permanently defeating a Walker, so stock up on blowtorches, lighters, and matches. Also remember that in the future apocalyptic era, weapons can be found all over and fashioned out of almost anything. Just make sure vigilant for signs of impending zombie doom and practice in the meantime by watching Walking Dead and training on zombie video games. Don’t be like these guys from Chicago University.