Zombies made me post this article.
By Beau Yarbrough, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
A new report says that Southern Californians are pretty much doomed in the event of a zombie uprising.
CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International have published the ZombieApocalypse/FinalRankings”> Zombie Apocalypse Index, ranking the United States’ 53 largest metropolitan areas on eight factors, including the region’s ability to defend itself against a virus that causes people to turn into zombies.
Other factors tallied were the ability to contain the virus, ability to find a cure, ability to outlast a zombie virus epidemic and food supply.
The Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim region would fall to the zombies almost immediately, according to the index, coming in 51st out of the 53 largest metropolitan areas. The region scored poorly for everything but the ability to find a cure, where it scored in the middle of the pack.
(This is not news to anyone who watched the Los Angeles-based “ Fear the Walking Dead” earlier this year.)
According to the ZAI, the Los Angeles region comes in 51st out of 53 metro areas on containment (a network of highways means keeping zombies in one place would be difficult at best), 25th out of 53 for finding a cure, 40th for defense and 39th for food.
The only metro areas that will fall faster, according to the index, are Tampa and — the worst place of all to be during the zombie apocalypse — New York City.
Angelenos might want to embrace the oncoming apocalypse, according to Logan Crow, the founder of the zombies-walk-this-weekend-at-rainbow-lagoon-park/article_e9fa6c60-7786-11e5-ba94-6740ee86ab72.html”>Long Beach Zombie Walk.
“Some may find Long Beach/L.A.’s third-to-last ranking a matter of great concern, but let me propose a re-frame of thought: given the compounding strains and pressures of everyday life, wouldn’t life as a zombie prove quite liberating?” Crow wrote in an email Wednesday.
Undeath is the ultimate vacation, according to Crow.
“Imagine a world free of the pressure of making sure your hair is styled right, that there’s enough money in your account to cover the auto-payment on your car, that your shirt stays tucked in during your Monday morning presentation. Imagine a world without Monday morning presentations,” he wrote. “Imagine a world free of party lines — no Left, no Right — just one common interest: landing the next meal.”
In his vision of things, the Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim area’s poor ability to contain the zombie outbreak is actually a net positive — you know, assuming you end up joining the zombie horde.
“And here’s what’s great about Long Beach — you’ve got the Port of Long Beach to keep pumping in human resources to satisfy the cravings of Long Beach’s undead,” he wrote. “What zombie wouldn’t want the world’s biggest port in their backyard? Plus, Long Beach is renowned for being a city that sets trends — why shouldn’t Long Beach be the epicenter for an eventual worldwide zombie apocalypse? History would suggest that one day zombies will develop a language, learn to educate themselves, and begin to share and preserve their history, and when that day happens, they will always say: It started in Long Beach.”
(Crow is kidding about all of this…. Probably.)
The Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario area would fair only slightly better, coming in one slot better than L.A. County on the ZAI. The region ranks 12th in food supply, likely owing in part to the region being home to multiple logistics centers and all the canned food awaiting shipment therein, along with Stater Bros. Markets 2.1 million-square-foot distribution center at the former Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino. Not to mention Redlands’ seemingly infinite supply of oranges. But it ranks more poorly for the ability to contain an outbreak (44/53), finding a cure (52/53) and defense (50/53).
High Desert author Amy Hernandez, who wrote “Jack and the Zombie Attack,” scoffs at San Bernardino County’s low ranking in the ZAI.
“No matter what movie, show, graphic novel, the first thing that people do when the zombies show up is get out of the major cities,” she said. “People forget that San Bernardino County has lots of rural areas and farmland.”
Apparently thinking along the same lines, the survivors in the first season of “Fear the Walking Dead” repeatedly tried to escape to Barstow.
Hernandez, who keeps an earthquake preparation kit stocked and ready, said that San Bernardino County has a lot of things to offer those escaping the undead.
“My first thought, if I were a survivalist, would be to go to a school,’ she said. “They have survival kits, kitchens, not to mention the fences.”
Despite being a desert, there are sources of fresh water accessible, if need be, to ordinary people in San Bernardino County, Hernandez said.
“I don’t know where in Boston you can go digging for fresh water, but I know where I can go digging for water” in the High Desert, she said.
And, of course, many residents of San Bernardino County, especially in rural areas, hunt and participate in outdoor sports and activities, giving them both the skills and equipment needed when the dead rise.
“Most households out here in the desert have that kind of protection within their home, within their grasp,” she said. “In a city, how many places can you go where someone has a bow and arrow or a crossbow?”
Not everyone in Southern California is dead meat in the event of a zombie apocalypse, however: The apocalypse index ranks San Diego as the metropolitan area seventh most prepared to handle a zombie uprising, with high scores in being able to defend against the virus and its shambling carriers as well as being able to research a cure.
The 10 metropolitan areas most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse, according to the ZAI, are Boston, Salt Lake City, Columbus, Baltimore, Virginia Beach, Seattle, San Diego, Kansas City, Denver and Indianapolis. Atlanta, the initial setting of “The Walking Dead,” is the 18th best metropolitan area to weather the zombie apocalypse, which may give an idea of how tough things will be for Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.
A final note: In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control published a blog post on how to prepare for the zombie apocalypse. (You’ll want water, food, medication and hygiene articles — the CDC says nothing about the practicality of chainsaws as replacement hands.) You can find it online at zombie-apocalypse/”>blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2011/05/preparedness-101- zombie-apocalypse.
JOBS HELD BY ZOMBIES
The CareerBuilder/EMSI Zombie Apocalypse Index looks, in part, at the job skills needed in the event of a zombie apocalypse, but it ignores the job skills of zombies themselves. Since very few zombies have come out of the coffin, we only have fictional depictions to go by, but here’s a short list of what job skills zombies might bring to the table:
The CW show, now in its second season, features Rose McIver playing Seattle medical examiner Liv Moore. The 2010 DC Comics series of the same name on which the show is somewhat loosely based featured the much less-punningly-named Gwen Dylan as a Eugene, Oregon, gravedigger.
In the Flesh
This two-season BBC Three series (aired in the United States on BBC America) centered on Kieren Walker , a former student turned manual laborer under a community “give back scheme” for zombies receiving drug treatment to curb their aggressive impulses.
In this 2007 film, a corporation captures and “tames” zombies, who are then sold as manual laborers and even pets in post-zombie apocalypse society.
Re: Your Brains
This 2006 Jonathan Coulton song, which can be listened to on a jukebox in the zombie-slaying videogame Left 4 Dead 2 as well as on innumerable YouTube music videos, is sung from the perspective of a zombie office worker who uses his white-collar skills to get human survivors to surrender to the zombie horde.
Return of the Living Dead III
In this 1993 film, the U.S. Army uses “2-4-5 Trioxin” gas in an attempt to turn corpses into zombie soldiers. (Spoiler: It doesn’t go well.)