Friday, October 23, 2015

How To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse

national geographic
A zombie apocalypse is just a topic for horror novels or movies so it could never happen in real life... could it?  Well don't be too quick to write that scenario off.  Did you know that there actually are real life zombies in our world?  According to National Geographic there exist zombies in the rain forests of Brazil ...  just not the type you'd think of based off of Night of the Living Dead or The Walking Dead.  These zombies are ants whose minds have been taken over by a fungus.  The fungus ophiocordyceps unlateralis infects an ant, takes over its mind and then kills the insect once it has moved to a location ideal for the fungi to grow and spread its spores to other ants.  Could such a fungus ever evolve to infect the human population?  Well while very unlikely, if a zombie apocalypse were to occur it probably would be due to some sort of bacterial, fungal or viral outbreak.

With the popular television show The Walking Dead recently starting its sixth season, Halloween approaching, and zombie ants on A Geek Daddy's mind, we reached out to Rachel Buchholz, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Kids magazine/digital and author of How to Survive Anything with some questions about how to survive a zombie apocalypse:

Q: What is the best way to ward off zombies?

A:  I’m not sure there’s any way to ward off zombies, so I think it’s best to just avoid them, like venomous snakes. Stay on clear trails or roads, and avoid walking through tall grasses or stepping over fallen logs without looking. Try to wear thick clothing that they can’t bite through.

If you see one that hasn’t seen you yet, just stay calm and slowly start walking in the opposite direction. If it has seen you and is making it’s way in your direction, run.

Q: Is there anything zombies would rather eat than human brains?

A:   It’s a little known fact that zombies are pretty lazy. They’re like lions and gators, which are usually after the easiest meal. So if you put up a fight—if you throw rocks, swing sticks, even poke at their eyeballs, they’ll probably start looking for an easier snack.

As you know zombies are also pretty slow so if one gets too close it’s totally feasible to take off and run. They’re kind of like killer bees, which will chase you for maybe about 200 yards, until you’re far enough away from their hive. I think 200 yards sounds like a good distance to put between you and a zombie swarm.

Unless you really know what you’re doing I don’t ever advise attacking a zombie. They might be slow and lazy, but if you don’t have a lot of practice you can become quickly overwhelmed, especially if there’s more than one.

Q: If you can pick any item but only ONE item to have on you and use to survive during a zombie apocalypse what would it be?

A:  If I could only have one item on me, it’d be a pop-top from a soda can. You can use it as a fish hook, a signaling mirror, a scraper, a flint, a food knife, and even a weapon.

 If I could have one other thing it’d be a sock. You can slit holes in it and use it as sunglasses, but you can also take out some of the elastic from time to time to use as string, like for a fishing lure.

Q: What would be the best way to ensure a supply of safe drinking water and food?

A: If it’s the beginning of the apocalypse I’d start like you were expecting a power outage after a hurricane and fill up every bathtub and sink you can find, even use the clean water in the toilet.  That will last you for a while if you limit your intake to the equivalent of about two cans of soda a day.

But that’s not going to last you forever, so you’re gonna eventually have to go to the woods and survive there. Try to make camp near a fresh source of water. This way you can learn to catch fish but also scavenge around the banks for water plants and the critters that live in them. But don’t drink the water unless you can boil it. Fresh water is really like one big toilet for animals, and too many of those microorganisms can make you sick. If you can’t boil the water, you can collect rainwater or lick dew off of plants. And if you get desperate, suck the liquid out of a fish eye. 

To make sure that the family of at least one of our blog readers has the skills to survive a zombie apocalypse, we have Rachel's book How To Survive Anything to giveaway.  This 176 page softcover book published by National Geographic Kids is recommended for ages 10 to 14 years old though it has valuable information that even kids' parents can take away from it as well.  The book is a hilariously informative take on surviving everything from the trials of middle school life to being lost in the jungles of South America with those zombie ants.  How To Survive Anything combines the National Geographic Society's expertise on nature and adventure with the Nat Geo Kids style to provide tweens and teens with advice to conquer any obstacle whether it is a life threatening or social status damaging situation that is both authoritative and amusing. The book retails for $12.95 on the National Geographic online store.

For a chance to win How To Survive Anything you  must be a U.S. or Canadian resident over 18 years old and submit the following entry methods prior to 11:59 pm EST on Saturday October 31, 2015 to earn up to 2 entries.  All valid entries will be assigned a number in the order they are received and one number will be  selected to determine the winner using  E-mails will only be used to contact the winner and deleted following the selection of a winner.


E-mail thegeekdaddy [at] yahoo [dot] com your name and mailing address.   Email subject line should be ZOMBIES.


Follow @Geekdad248 on Twitter and tweet:

Save me from the zombies @Geekdad248 - please have #ageekdaddy blog send me the @NGKids book HOW TO SURVIVE ANYTHING #Halloween #ad

Also check out this graphic novel put together by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) that is meant to be a fun way to teach emergency preparedness using the theme of a zombie apocalypse:

Happy Halloween everyone!!! Have fun and don't let the zombies bite!!!

A Geek Daddy is a member of the National Geographic Kids Insider blogger program.  Insiders get a behind-the-scenes look at National Geographic’s resources, activities, content and projects for kids and families. They also review copies of books, magazines and toys, and are offered interviews with authors, explorers and editors. 

National Geographic is a global nonprofit membership organization driven by a passionate belief in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world. National Geographic Kids teaches kids about the world and how it works, empowering them to succeed and make it a better place. National Geographic Kids inspires young adventurers through award-winning magazines, books, apps, games, toys, videos, events and a website, and is the only kids brand with a world-class scientific organization at its core.

DISCLAIMER:  A Geek Daddy Blog will be responsible for selecting the winner of this contest, but National Geographic is responsible for fulfillment and delivery of the prize.  By participating in this contest you waive any liability towards A Geek Daddy Blog or its publisher that may arise from your involvement with this promotion.  If you win this prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification. No P.O. Boxes are allowed as mailing addresses. A Geek Daddy Blog did not receive any financial compensation but did receive a free featured product for the blog to review and the prize that is being awarded to provide  one of our readers for this contest.  A Geek Daddy Blog is hosting this contest as a benefit to our readers. Any opinions in this post are my own.  #NGKINSIDER


  1. I am not a fan of Zombie movies, but I have a couple of friends who love them!! I will have to share this with them.

  2. I love this...sounds like a fun read and anything that provides me with fodder to survive zombies makes me a happy man!

  3. A pop top! I would not have thought of that. Interesting interview.

  4. Ha! For some reason, I'm not buying this lady's answers. I'm a HUGE TWD fan and I have a strong feeling she'd be a half-pisoder. Ha! I mean, throwing rocks? Come on. Tyrese, T-Dawg, Bob, Andrea, Dale and company would beg to differ. ;)

    But this is a fun post! I'll read anything about zombies, and I totally didn't know the thing about the ants (gross) and I'm from Brazil!

  5. I think I need this book, because I would be in defiant trouble. I am not a fast runner, so I will need to be prepared.

  6. I love this so hard! Obviously we have a whole zombie apocalypse preparedness series on our blog, so this is a big topic in our house. We use it like the CDC does, as a fun way to talk about a serious topic. But my husband legit has a zombie preparedness plan him and his friends created many years ago after a few too many late nights.