We'd all like to think we're badasses who would totally kick butt and survive a zombie apocalypse. Truth be told though, most of us simply don't know what it takes to survive a week without the internet, let alone a zombie holocaust. Sure, some of us may be comfortable with weapons - either through practical experience or, more usually, thanks to video games - but the chances are good that most of us don't have entire arsenals just laying around.
And let's be honest – when your neighbors turn into undead monsters who are out for your flesh, most people are more likely to freak out and hide under a bed then grab an assault rifle. Still, that doesn't stop most of us fantasising about the approach we'd take to survive a zombie apocalypse. How would we best exploit our environment to save ourselves in the worst case scenario?
Where you live, in particular, might help or hinder you in your quest for surviving the undead hordes. Certain places are more prone to chaos during a disaster simply because of how crowded and congested they can get during times of crisis, while some are remote enough to be particularly safe. But there's more to it than that.
The folks over at Trulia had some time on their hands and researched this topic in depth, coming up with a definitive ranking of American cities that would be the worst possible places to live during a zombie apocalypse. They looked at a number of different attributes such as how crowded the cities are, how walkable they are (meaning how easily zombies can get from place to place) how many hardware stores there are (for picking up weapons and supplies) as well as how many hospitals are nearby (because sick people make for easy targets). Sure, some of the cities Trulia lists aren't very surprising at all – mainly because we all know they can be chaotic in the best of times. But others, especially the city checking in at number one, aren't places that would instantly come to mind.Survivalists beware, you might think about relocating after reading the following damning assessments of your city's zombie-safety.
15 Las Vegas, NV
The Las Vegas Strip is full of tourists and local revellers enjoying everything Sin City has to offer. While it may be great fun during a vacation, during a zombie apocalypse it would be anything but fun.
The crowds and walkability of the city would instantly turn it into a buffet larger than any the city has ever seen before - and considering the sizes of the buffets in Vegas, that says a lot. Instead of steak and lobster though, the courses would consist of brains, brains and yes, even more alcohol- and casino-addled brains.
14 Middlesex County, MA
As you'll see from this list, the east coast would be a zombie paradise given the congestion and the ease of travel between the cities. And Middlesex County in Massachusetts is no exception. Sure, it's not nearly as congested as some of those ranked higher on the list, but because of the location and other factors including the number of hospitals per capita it more than earns its place on the list.
Considering that the county is known for having a large number of millionaires, you'd probably think all of these wealthy people could afford to wall themselves off in their mansions and ride out the apocalyptic storm but according to this study, their fate would likely be sealed regardless.
13 Portland, OR
Ahhh, Portland, the hipster paradise. Portland is a place where the 90s shall live on forever. There are many reasons people love this city, and one of those reasons is how easy it is to get around. You don't need a car in Portland, you can pretty much walk or bike anywhere you need to go. It sounds like an idyllic place to live.
Idyllic that is, until the zombie apocalypse erupts like Krakatoa. You see, zombies can't drive cars, so they'll thrive in locations where they can get around easily without one. And considering how many people brag about not having a car in the greater Portland area, it's unlikely that the Rose City hipsters will be able to make a quick escape from Dodge without public transport.
12 Denver, CO
Most of the cities on this list are on the coasts – which makes sense, since many of those areas are crowded and congested, making it hard for people to leave. But Denver is one of few non-coastal cities to make the list.
While not nearly as congested as, say, Manhattan or LA, if you managed to get out of Denver in one piece you'd still be in a whole world of hurt. Colorado isn't exactly filled with the best terrain in which to keep yourself alive – unless you're a survivalist. And this city is another that boasts excellent walkability, giving zombies ample opportunity and freedom to roam and munch on brains until they're undead hearts' content. After all, zombies won't die from frostbite. Not even in the dead of a Colorado winter.
11 Chicago, IL
Another non-coastal city, but one that's less surprising simply because of its density. If you've ever visited Chicago, you know exactly how crowded it is. Skyscrapers fill the skyline, one right on top of the next one, and the city is filled with cars that jam pack the streets.
If the apocalypse did hit, people in downtown would have a hell of a time getting out. Even on an ordinary day, it's nearly impossible to move around – can you imagine if people were all trying to get out of the Windy City at the same time? Chaos. Pure and utter chaos. It would be a zombie's dream come true.
10 Seattle, WA
Assuming that zombies don't mind the rain (and that's probably a safe assumption to make), Seattle would make for a veritable smorgasbord for the undead. Walkable? Check. Zombies could easily get around without a car just like many of the Emerald City's residents do now.
Crowded? Yep. Streets that make driving terrifying at times? Yep. Sure, that last one might not matter to the zombies, but it sure makes rushing out of the city in the dead of night scary. That is, if you can even get out of the city in the piles of cars that are sure to litter every single road out of town.
9 Los Angeles, CA
I don't think anyone is surprised by L.A's inclusion on this list. If anything, most people should be surprised the City of Angels isn't higher on the list. After all, even on a normal workday – or hell, even at 2 am on a Tuesday night – it's nearly impossible to drive anywhere in Los Angeles without being stuck in traffic for hours on end. It's a living hell even without the threat of imminent demise hovering over the city - a mere quarter of an inch of rain can threaten to shut down the entire city. So, of course, the threat of a horde of undead cannibals would make the city virtually impossible to escape from.
The one saving grace for L.A is that this city is by no means walkable. Zombies will have to struggle a bit to get around, as it's wildly unwalkable and public transit is well below par – not that they'd be taking the train, but you never know.
Then again, once they find their way to the freeway, they're in for a very tasty surprise. All a zombie would have to do is walk the freeway, picking people who are stuck in endless gridlock out of their cars and enjoy more fresh brains than they could pretty much anywhere else on the planet.
8 Orange County, CA
Perhaps a zombie wants to taste a wealthier, higher class of citizen than what's available in Los Angeles proper. If that's the case, they merely have to go down south 30 miles or so, to get to Orange County where the richest of the rich live – tucked away inside of their gated communities, of course. But gates can't possibly save them once the zombie apocalypse explodes. Heck, some would argue that they wouldn't save them before the world began circling the drain. After all, anyone could simply hop right over those fences, but that's neither here nor there. Orange County has a similar problem to L.A though – traffic can be horrendous even during the best of times. Heck, I'd venture to say that's the case for almost anywhere in California. Let's just face it – in the event of a zombie apocalypse, the whole state would be doomed. Orange County included.
7 Miami, FL
Florida has already seen a case of a man eating someone's face off – though in that case, it was proven to be drugs and not a case of him actually being a zombie. But then again, not many people would be surprised if zombies did somehow come out of Florida. That state just has all sorts of freaky things going on. Miami included. Though it may be considered paradise right now, in an end-of-the-world scenario, it would be more like a prison. A prison with zombies, and gators and oh my! It almost makes you wonder if zombie alligators could be a thing? And if so, why hasn't SyFy made a movie out of it yet?
6 San Francisco, CA
There's only one city in the state of California that could possibly compete with Los Angeles in terms of an absolute crush of humanity and utter social chaos and that's San Francisco. It's crowded – so crowded that people pay thousands of dollars for an apartment that's a scant few inches larger than a closet. Parking costs hundreds of dollars on top of the thousands being paid out for an apartment, meaning many folks simply live without a car (which makes you wonder why traffic is still horrible there, but that's beside the point).
San Francisco is walkable, making it easy to get around whether you're alive or undead. And those who've decided to live a car-free lifestyle are in for a very unpleasant surprise when they find the BART is not operational and they're stuck in the city with an army of undead monsters looking to eat their brains. How does that car-free lifestyle work for you now?
5 Washington, D.C
Sure, sometimes it feels like D.C is already filled with brain dead zombies – especially when Congress is in session. But as far as we know, none of them have a penchant for consuming human flesh...
If the real deal came about, though, the politicians probably wouldn't find themselves in much trouble. Most likely the fat cats on the Hill would be safe, as there is undoubtedly a fleet of helicopters ready to whisk them away to safety at a moment's notice. But for the rest of us ordinary folks, well, we'd just be screwed since D.C is such a great environment for zombies.
4 Boston, MA
Boston is a beautiful city, albeit a crowded and congested one - and there is no doubt that zombies would appreciate the overpopulation much more than anyone else. The one problem with the east coast is how close many of these cities are to one another, making it easier for zombies to traverse from one large city to the next, obliterating large amounts of people one city at a time. Flyover country never looked so appealing, did it?
3 Newark, NJ
We are getting to the big cities now, and Newark faces many of the same problems its east coast brethren - it's in close proximity to other major cities, it's easy to get around, and it's incredibly congested.
If you're unlucky enough to live here during the zombie apocalypse, you're going to find that it's next to impossible to escape to safety. The proximity to New York City and other major cities used to look like a major plus, but not quite so much when you think of it in terms of the zombie apocalypse...
2 New York City, NY
Is anyone honestly surprised by New York City showing up on the list? After all, if L.A and Chicago are in trouble, you know NYC will have it even worse. Being the largest and most densely populated city in the United States, it's congested and crowded beyond its limits.
Just like in L.A, all the zombies would have to do is walk the streets, picking people out of their cars as they try to escape the chaos. And yes, you better bet a city like NYC would devolve into sheer chaos if something like this were to happen. Having so many people in close proximity to one another when a serious disaster like an undead apocalypse explodes is just asking for the worst. But if you think New York City would be bad, and it would be, just wait – there's still one more place that will be even worse than that when the zombies strike...
1 Honolulu, HI
Honolulu couldn't possibly be worse than New York City, right? Oh, but it most certainly can be. Bear with us on this one.
While it may not be as congested as New York City, Honolulu is still very crowded, and there's one more downfall here that no other city on our list faces – it's an island. There's truly no easy way to escape should an undead horde overrun the island. You're trapped. You can't drive to middle America or head for the northern border to get away from the undead masses. If all modes of public transportation go down, you're stuck. On an island. With a lot of people who are prime zombie-making targets.
And guess what? There aren't that many hardware stores - indeed, there aren't many stores at all - in which you can possibly get weapons. So, Hawaii? When the zombie apocalypse kicks off, you're in deep water.