Zombie mania, an epidemic foreshadowed by New York Times Best Seller The Zombie Survival Guide, reached critical mass forever ago. So deep is our love for the walking deceased that they’ve infected our memes and occupied valuable DVR space. We stagger through pubs in their likeness.
Another sign of brain muncher’s cultural ascent, a data reporter at a distinguished newspaper poured time and resources into an interactive map indicating where the safest places in the country are in case of a zombie apocalypse.
And it’s pretty great.
The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham — that guy we all hated for making Red Lake County look bad, but then he went there so we’re cool again — pulled data on every U.S. county to determine which give us the best chance of survival. Ingraham weighed a handful of factors:
Low population density — have you seen Fear the Walking Dead? This thing spreads quickly.
Access to guns — gotta kill ‘em somehow (free marketing idea, NRA). This measures firearm dealer licenses within each county.
Where the veterans at? — Do you want a bunch of spa-day ninnies in your crew?
Terrain — those sluggish biters probably wouldn’t do well in the mountains.
Access to bodies of water — as Ingraham notes, zombies can’t swim (except that one in Lucia Fulci’s Zombie) and people need water.
The bad news is the Twin Cities are totally screwed. Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Dakota counties — yeah, we’re all dead. Our greater metro counties are among those with the worst survivability odds. Even folks in Los Angeles County, home to 10 million savory bronzed humans, have a better shot at living than we do. Still, we’re not quite as doomed as residents of death clusters western Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.
But should you have the drop on the outbreak and have access to a cabin up north, you just might make it. Scoop up a couple of Betty’s Pies (if it’s not overrun) and ride it out in the North Shore’s Lake and Cook counties, which are among the best places in the country for survival. With tons of lake space and few humans, Lake of the Woods was the state’s only other county earning the highest survival grade.
As much as we love Minnesota, we’re raiding Costco and heading west when the dead walk. Sparse populations in gun-loving Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho make it a zombie apocalypse paradise of sorts.