December 1st, 2010

Houston: A Refuge from the Zombie Apocalypse?

If you’re not watching The Walking Dead, then you should be. It is easily one of the best zombie thrillers that has come out and missing it a disservice, especially if you are a fan of zombie themed shows. The show takes place in and around Atlanta and is told with a perspective of hope for the future. It is not a typical doom and gloom zombie flick with guns constantly blazing, instead it has a real human emotion element. Survival is important, but so is the toll on the psyche and that really comes out in the show.


The fact that it was filmed on location got me thinking about the possibilities of a zombie apocalypse. My mind has been racing like it used to when I was younger and would daydream about some far away land or another galaxy. For a bunch of different reasons I’ve come to the conclusion that Houston would actually be a pretty sweet place to ride out the zombie onslaught.

Let’s just start out with downtown. Access to downtown is simple with a bunch of freeways, at grade streets, and even a viaduct. You have a bunch of parking garages, some of which are barricaded using heavy metal doors, perfect for keeping out the flesh eaters. Basically you could clear out a few of the buildings, secure them, and make them home base. You’d want roof access so you could get a clear view of the surrounding area and, if you have a radio, get better reception. There aren’t a lot of food supplies downtown so you’d have to wander out of center of town in search of sustenance.


Using a little organization and planning a person could move out, away from downtown in set grids to clear out businesses and search for survivors. I would move west first, clearing out the Washington corridor, and maybe securing a few buildings for emergency use (one never knows when they’ll need a safe house). Keeping a map handy would be a good idea of course, so you know what you’ve cleared and know what’s ahead of you.

The Med Center could come in handy as well. Sure, it might be teeming with potential killers but as long as it hasn’t been completely destroyed by the chaos, the medicines contained inside are priceless. Even something as simple as aspirin or bismuth subsalicylate could be a huge help in keeping you healthy. The last thing you need is a headache screwing up your focus.

One area where I can’t get any real agreement on is whether or not zombies can swim. My wife and I had this discussion because I think it’d be a great idea to have a few shallow-bottom boats stored on Buffalo Bayou for access to the Gulf and an endless food supply. My wife seems to think that zombies can swim (in her words, “they’d do anything for flesh“) and that a boat would offer me no more protection. What do you think? The bayou seems like a great option and makes staying in and around downtown even more important.


The next part of town that could prove valuable is the east side staying close to the ship channel. I’d make as much use as possible of the 18-wheelers that fill the area. Lots of power and near impossible to stop, an 18-wheeler makes hood ornaments out of zombies. On that side of town you’d also have the ability to cut yourself off on the ground completely. The turning basin where Braes Bayou meets up with the ship channel holds a nice sized island accessible only by a single bridge. If I’m right that zombies can’t swim, the island could be an invaluable last stand if all else fails or if you don’t feel safe in a downtown building.

Feel like getting away from it all? There’s always the outskirts of town, though they may be just as infested as anywhere else. A good place to hole up would be an old farm house north of Mont Belvieu. Close enough to town to drive, but far enough out that you may be able to avoid the attention of any zombies wandering the area.

In my post zombie apocalypse daydream, Houston makes a lot of sense. Our area has a lot of resources that could be put to good use and offers a number of different locales to, as Judge Emmett would say, “hunker down” in. I think zombie survivors would fare well here. That’s about as deep as we can dive into my zombie geekdom. What are your thoughts? What are your plans when an outbreak happens and you need to make do? Tell us how you’d use Houston to your advantage in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

— Stephan


Cheryl — Thursday, December 2, 2010 11:32 am

The City of Houston and greater region receive grant funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to prepare for the most catastrophic of scenarios. Unfortunately, the Zombie Apocalypse is not one of the National Planning Scenarios. You might want to talk to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and suggest that an additional scenario be added.


Stephan — Thursday, December 2, 2010 4:02 pm

Only if it comes with a bonus TSA pat-down. ;-)

ramy_v — Monday, December 6, 2010 8:01 am

What would keep zombies from just walking underwater? Of course, consisting of dead flesh would make them susceptible to crab attack, which brings me to this question…

At what point does a zombie stop being a zombie and become just a walking skeleton?

Josh cameron — Thursday, January 6, 2011 11:24 pm

I live in houston and keep thinking of zombies from tv. Considering the millions of people that could potentially turn a scary thought.most dont have weapons and would surely be eatin. Good luck if this comes true

Todd — Friday, January 14, 2011 7:24 pm

Love the post! I think the Greater Houston Area would be a great place to survive. However, I would choose to stay out a little further than just the outskirts of town.

I’m thinking out in the country somewhere – with trips into the city (suburbs) to retrieve what I would need. I would want to get away from the horde…. a single zombie walking down the highway is more manageable than 200 hungry undead.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens to zombies when they run out of people to eat…. You would think they would just starve to death…but then they’re undead! ;-)

Oh, and Zombies don’t swim…they splash and float (body mass vs water).

rezn305 — Friday, July 8, 2011 3:43 pm

…until the body becomes water logged and sinks to the bottom to roam aimlessly untill the flesh and muscle fall apart (no skeleton after the bones stop being held together, ramy_v.)

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