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A Travel Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse: Locations 1 & 2

On your commute home from work, your favourite radio station interrupts the music for an emergency bulletin. Your worst fears have come to pass: you are in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. The military have lost control, whole cities, towns, and villages are aflame and burning to the ground.

Everyone you love is dead, well, undead, I should say.

You are alone, completely and utterly alone.

The dead are rising, looking for fresh human flesh to gorge on.

They will get you - or will they?

Well, not if you know where to go to hide. Not if you had some sort of guide. A guide that would save you the time and trouble of trying to figure out for yourself where the best and worst places are to seek refuge during a zombie apocalypse.

Are you prepared? Or will you simply end up as food for the undead?

A Travel Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is finally here. (Don't be fooled by imitations.)

Each location has a brain rating of 0-5. The more brains, the better your chances.

After all, it's not a question of IF the zombie apocalypse will happen, but WHEN.

Disclaimer: This isn't real folks. It's a work of fiction, and any and all information contained in this guide is for entertainment purposes only.

Location 1: Small, family-owned grocery store
( Any small town in America )


You've been watching the news for a couple of days now. It's the same everywhere: reports of loonies attacking, ripping apart and eating other humans. You have to think fast before it gets to your neck of the woods. You need supplies, but you live in a town with a population of 4,000. The only nearby grocery store is the small po-dunk family-owned shop that you never go to unless it's an emergency.

Well, this is an emergency, and the usefulness of this store for your survival becomes less and less the longer you wait.

Let's start with why this location was given 0-2 brains. The rating depends on when you get there. It's as simple as that.

The store gets a 0 rating when in either your denial, stupidity, or sheer loss of sanity you just do not realize/accept that something is wrong in the world. That means this: By the time you get down to the store to pick up supplies, all hell has broken loose. There are riots in the streets, looting, zombies attacking on the sidewalks and anywhere else they please, and the store is empty. Oh, and by the way: since you waited this long for whatever the reason du jour is, you have just become zombie food. Welcome to the ranks of the living dead!!

The store gets a 1 rating when: After a short stint pretending that everything is okay, then thinking - after seeing your neighbour up the road rip apart his wife and proceed to eat her guts: "Hey - maybe I had better go and at least stock up so I can lock myself in my house."

What that means is this: You arrive in town just as people begin to go into panic mode. The grocery store is packed. I hope your brought your credit card and a pickup truck. A weapon might be a good idea as well. You never know when panic buying will turn into a loot-fest. There is also the possibility that a few of the infected are in the store, and will turn at any moment. I bet you were wishing you watched more zombie movies. Just remember: "Aim for the head 'cuz anything else will get you dead..."

The store gets a 2 rating when one of the following things occur:

First, you see a weird report on the news. Something about some dead guy coming back to life and attacking someone. You've watched enough Romero to know exactly what is going on. Not wanting to travel too far, just in case, you ask your neighbour Doug if you can borrow his truck for a couple of hours. Being a good neighbour, he of course agrees. You tell your significant other to get in the other car, not to ask questions, and to follow you.

At this point it isn't going to matter whether or not you run up credit card bills, or become overdrawn in your bank account. The end of the world is here and the only thing on your mind is survival. After you hit all of the little local owned shops like the hardware store and the liquor store, you pull into your "Little Stop and Shop" grocery store. Amazingly, no one else seems to be aware of the trouble. That's good. That means you can buy up almost everything in the store.

Just remember: if anyone asks, as you know they will, you and your family are going up north on a much needed camping trip for the next several weeks with a few of your other family members from out of town. That's why you're buying so much. Now, if you happen to have friends and the like in town, you'll have to come up with something more creative, or - what the Hell, it's the end of the world - tell them to piss off.

Buy canned and boxed items, checking and buying those items with the furthest out expiration date. Fresh foods at this point won't do you any good. Load up on proteins, veggies and fruits, soups, stews and so on. Next make sure you have paper items like toilet tissue and paper towels. If you have animals, make sure you have enough dry food for them.
If you've spoiled your animals with soft food, they're going to have to get over it; or you might as well get rid of them now, because things are about to get ugly. Don't forget water. Above everything else,water is your most important purchase. Buy every ounce in the store you can find; ask what they have in the back and buy that as well.

The second scenario in which this store would rank a 2 is: The outbreak has happened so fast there was no-one left alive to loot. The only danger you face at this point is: "How many of the undead are lurking in and around the store?" You have to try and take them out as quietly as possible. ( this is where a crowbar or machete would come in handy) Most of these little stores only have one or two entrances in the back or on the side of the building where they bring in stock, so this is good. Try those doors first, and only use the front doors if you have no choice. Make a sweep of the place. If possible, try to get a very large truck so that you can take all of the stock from out back. If not, then refer to my directions for what to take in the first scenario.

I would not hold up here thinking: "Oh - look at all this food and water and stuff. I'll just barricade myself in here." How many other people who are trying to survive are going to be thinking the same thing? These types of stores are for either quick grabs, or a complete stock-up. They're not safe, and I would never stay there unless I had no other option.

If you find yourself with no means to purchase these items, get a weapon - a gun, preferably - bring a couple of your most trusted friends or family members in on it, and hold the place up. (Sorry, but we're in it for the species, boys and girls!) Then get out of Dodge and go far, far into the wilderness.

The point I'm trying to make here, people, is this: You will run out of options within the next 48-72 hours, and if you want to survive you better learn how to pull the trigger. (of course don't cover a baseball bat in barbed wire unless your life, or the life of your loved ones are on the line)

Location: Small city mall
( Any small city in America )


What happens when a small city's already bad economy is affected by an entire nation's recession?

The answer is this: The local mall that once only kind of sucked, now really sucks. "Town Square Mall" (the names have been changed to protect me from a lawsuit) once had a center court that was dedicated to the mall rat. Not only did it have a cinema, but also two - that's right, two - Chinese take-aways, two fast food chains, a pizza place, a sub shop, a pretzel chain in two locations, and a sit down
family restaurant.

Now, due to bad and greedy management, coupled with the bad economy, all you have left is the two Chinese take-aways, the pretzel places, the pizza joint, and the family style restaurant (which is always out of what you want to order). However, they have replaced all of the mall rats' faves with six - yes, I said six - jewelry stores. What are you suppose to kill zombies with - a diamond ring? Or maybe you can eat the gold neck chains.

I suppose it doesn't matter, because if you find yourself stuck in this mall for too long you'll be zombie chow anyway.

With that said, let us look at this location from a survival standpoint, and why I even rated it 1 brain.

First of all, there will be at least one department store with tools, chainsaws, and an automotive department. This means there are usable tools with which to make the things you need to survive and to help rebuild once the zombie apocalypse is over: chainsaws and torches to defend yourself with; an auto section with possible vehicles, petrol, used and new oil to make torches or for other flammable uses, parts to fix your current vehicle and tools which can be made into weapons; an electronics section for portable radios, phones, and - hey - pick up a camcorder to record the zombie apocalypse for posterity.

Secondly, there is a very large sporting goods store, which means that there are helmets, knee, arm, and chest pads, catchers masks, and other equipment to suitably make yourself some personal armour; bikes for a quiet getaway; bows and arrows, and, if you are mechanically inclined, paintball guns that I am sure can be rigged to use as proper guns; and last, but certainly not least, baseball bats.

There you go: two usable stores located in the mall for quick gear if you are stuck and desperate.

I wouldn't recommend staying for the long haul. Unlike zombie movies that make it seem like the mall is the perfect hideout, it is not. There are too many ways in and out.

My recommendation is this: Whether you are in a group or alone, this is a quick stop for some tools and supplies. IF - and this is a big "if," future zombie slayers - IF the place isn't swarming with zombies and you have a clear cut plan on how to get in and get out fast, it might even be safe enough to hang around for a couple of days, tops. If you are very desperate, look for an empty storefront. Most of these crappy, small malls have at the very least one empty storefront. Just remember, only use this location if you are sure you can get in and get out, for quick stock-ups, or really, really short stays.

Oh, one more thing: If you find that the zombie apocalypse begins when you are in one of these small crappy malls... RUN... RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN AND GET OUT. DO NOT PASS GO AND DO NOT COLLECT $200.