Frightful thought: what if zombies were real?

Think you can survive the zombie apocalypse if you had to stick to the city limits?

It's time to reach for your best zombie attire.

They’re heeeeerrrreee.


Venture downtown Saturday night, and you won’t miss them. They’ll be the ones with blood splattered on their clothes, maybe some of it coming out of their mouths, ambling slowly down the streets, moaning deeply or letting out some semblance of speech that sound creepily like “braaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiins.”

Don’t worry. It’s all make believe.Those aren’t real zombies.

Fright Night, that night where we dress up for the annual zombie walk, watch a scary movie at the Embassy and maybe catch a ghost tour or two, is set to begin at 10 a.m. and goes close the witching hour, 11 p.m.

But let’s just suppose, for a minute or two, zombies were real.

What if it wasn’t make believe? What if you had to survive a zombie apocalypse?

And you had to do it right here in good old Fort Wayne? 

Now, to be fair, Fort Wayne itself doesn’t do well in a zombie apocalypse. It’s science. Literally. Some professors at Cornell University did a study on the real life affects of a zombie apocalypse and we’re…well, we’re zombie lunch.

That’s not to say survival is not doable, though. Not if you’re a little crafty, at least.

So the following are just a few suggestions about how to wait out a zombie outbreak if you can’t high-tail it to he mountains or the country immediately, and the places in the Summit City where you could make a go of it if you needed to avoid the living dead.

1. Home

In the beginning, there’d probably be a lot of confusion. Police response would likely be to treat the city like it was on a curfew, according to Capt. Steve Stone of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department. Patrols would be stepped up, officers would have to deal with anyone out too late and there would be heavy coordination with the health department.

There’d likely be efforts to somehow contain the zombies, Stone said, in either tractor trailers or something else — the law does allow the release of prisoners from jail so as to make room for the undead.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even has a website dedicated to zombie preparedness, which strongly suggests you stock your home with water, food, medications, tools, cleaning supplies, clothing and bedding and first aid supplies in case of an outbreak — or hurricane, tsunami or earthquake.

Be forewarned, the home may be just a temporary respite…just ask Ben and Barbara

2.  Transportation

Just in case you’ve got to be on the move, or make a quick getaway from the undead horde breaking down the walls of your home, you want something tough, something that can go off-road, hopefully something armored and something that can mow through throngs of your former neighbors who you once had over for a bite to eat but now want to bite you.

Both the Fort Wayne and Allen County police departments have just what you need. The Allen County police’s is dubbed “The Peacekeeper,” these heavy-duty vehicles are typically used in situations that require SWAT units — the FWPD calls it’s unit the Emergency Response and Crisis Response teams — and are nearly impenetrable.

“You’ll want to know the cop who has the keys,” Stone said.

Barring that, you’ll need to do anything you can to reinforce your personal vehicle…and woe is you if you’re trying to get away in that Beatle bug you’ve been driving for 20 years.

3. Get high

No, not what you’re thinking.


Get high up.

We’ve got several tall buildings with elevators. Think the Rousseau Centre downtown, where some floors are only accessible through electronic keycards by those who work there. Zombies are probably never going to be able to figure out an elevator, much less one that requires a keycard.

Or there’s the Three Rivers Luxury Apartments, which might offer something a little more homey over the offices or conference rooms of places like the Indiana Michigan Power Center, PNC Center or the Lincoln Bank Tower.

Plus, the height gives you a great view of the city — even if it has fallen into the throes of desolation a zombie apocalypse brings. But hey, at least you can see the hordes approaching. And who knows? Maybe you can truly make a new life in your stately tower.

4.  Have a lock-in — Old Fort-style

Hey, it was once the most sophisticated all-wooden fort ever built in these parts and held off Native American attacks, so why not take up refuge behind the walls of the Historic Old Fort?

Yes, it’s a model of the original fort built by American troops at the behest of Major John Whistler in the early 1800s. But there are walls, it’s designed to keep people out, there are spaces that could conceivably be turned into living areas and it provides some elevation that allows you to see just how bad a zombie attack coming at you actually is.

Plus, it’s close to the river. In a pinch, you can make a quick aquatic getaway as zombies don’t swim.

The con here is that, while you might keep zombies at bay, you might have a whole other supernatural problem on the inside which our modern weaponry so far cannot handle.

5. Go shopping

This has been done.


But Glenbrook Square Mall, if it can be cleared of any straggling zombies inside, is a place that can provide fortress like protection from the zombies outside. As long as you secure entrances — there are a lot of them — you can be at home and frolic among your favorite shops.

Plus, there are plenty of essentials. Food. Drink. Clothes. Coffee. And surely some weapons can be fashioned from the tools and sporting goods sold at Sears. There’s also a roof which you can lounge on or, as other places on this list, provides a good and wide vantage point of the looming problem surrounding you.

But as long as you’re inside, zombies shouldn’t be able to touch you.

And you’ll be able to shop til you drop…hopefully in the good way.

6.  Allen County Jail

It’s the place you never want to be.

Except, of course, when the dead rise from the grave and begin chomping on the living.

Now, there are some drawbacks. Just like the mall, there might be some straggling zombies here or there you’ll have to take care of. And if none of the inmates were released prior to the outbreak becoming an all out pandemic, you might have a very big problem on your hands if the infection got inside.

Barring that, if the jail is abandoned, it could be all good.

“Our facility would be great,” Stone, the captain in the sheriff’s department, said. “You’ve got all this food we use to feed people, you’ve got a pharmacy, you’ve got ways to get out if you need to go and get supplies, but it’s still very, very secure.”

You might say it’s perfect.

The problem is, as it sometimes is in the zombie apocalypse, is not necessarily the zombies.

“Zombies are easy enough to kill,” Stone says. “It’s when other people come in and try to attack that you have to worry about.”

7. Take to the rivers

This one may be a little far-fetched, but think about it.

Zombies don’t swim. Remember? Or most don’t. So why not take a boat out to the middle of our rivers and just chill while the world descends into chaos around you? There are plenty of places where you can dock the heavily armored vehicle you acquired before or at the onset of the outbreak, allowing you to bask in the sunshine while enjoying the nature the river provides.

When you need supplies or need to go to land, just get to your vehicle, get whatever you need and then head back to the boat. Plus, think of all the possible hangouts you can utilize if the outbreak comes after the Riverfront is completed.

Heck, think of how great it would be if you could keep The Deck at Don Hall’s stocked with your favorite beverages — there to enjoy whenever you needed a break from your new and lively river life.

Which brings us to one more…

8. When all else fails, drink!

For Shaun and Ed, it was the Winchester.

Their old hangout, the place where they went to share some laughs and drown their sorrows. Luckily for us, we are a town full of Winchesters. Pick your favorite one. Each one might have an advantage or two in holding off the apocalypse at your doorstep. If nothing else, they’ll have your favorite beer, vodka or bourbon — or since the end might the nigh, maybe it’s time to find a new favorite.

In any case, pour yourself whatever you like, sit back, relax, and maybe, just maybe, the whole thing will blow over.


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