How To Survive the Walking Dead (or Anything)

The debate regarding what should be included in a zombie survival kit rages on. Tell us what you would include, and be entered for a chance to win your own emergency car kit.

This week’s sweeps has ended. Comment on the most recent zombie blog post to be entered in the ongoing sweepstakes.

With Season 4 of the hit AMC series The Walking Dead rapidly approaching (it premiers October 13), no fewer than 60 percent of Americans (not real stats) have one thing on their minds: the inevitability of a zombie apocalypse.

The internet is newly abuzz with tips for surviving a zombie attack, discussions on whether guns or melee weapons are more effective as a zombie defense, and much theorizing on whether or not a zombie apocalypse is nigh.

With zombie survival groups springing up all over the country, the oft-heated debate regarding what should be included in a survival kit rages on. And while literally everyone (not literally) has weighed in on the matter of survival kits, very few agree completely.

How to survive a zombie apocalypse

Most self-proclaimed zombie experts do agree that water, non-perishable foodstuffs, and some type of brain-bashing object are all essential to surviving the zombie apocalypse. Beyond these key ingredients, however, the suggestions become more varied and unpredictable.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (yes, they weighed in) include prescription and non-prescription meds on the list. Seems smart. Wired recommends having a “strong grasp of neuroscience.” Also smart. And the Huffington Post rather thought-provokingly suggests that your survival kit should also include an object of affection (presumably giving as much consideration to your romantic survival as to your physical well-being).

But the point is this: whether you’re preparing for a zombie apocalypse or hurricane season, it’s essential to have an emergency kit of some kind. And, not surprisingly, the things you’d need to survive zombies are many of the same things you’d need to survive any other kind of major disaster.

Many Americans don’t have an emergency kit

Surprisingly, in spite of a growing preoccupation with zombies, most Americans don’t keep survival supplies in their cars or homes. According to an online survey conducted for CarMax, the nation`s largest retailer of used vehicles, 65 percent of respondents did not have a winter emergency kit in their car.

It seems we’re all more likely to debate what should be in an emergency kit than actually put one together. So, this month at Esurance, we’re encouraging both. Tell us what you think should be included in an emergency car kit for a chance to win one!  (Plus be entered for a shot at the grand prize: zombie survival training in Portland, Oregon.)

The Zombie Sweepstakes*

To help ensure that more Americans are well-prepared for anything — from a simple roadside breakdown to, sure, the zombie apocalypse — Esurance is giving away 100 emergency car kits. To win one, just leave a comment below letting us know what you think is the most important thing to have in case of a disaster (aside from food, water, and some type of weapon … for the zombies).

That’s it. Your answer will help us end the debate on what is and isn’t important when it comes to the end of the world, and it’ll also enter you for a chance to win a premium, all-inclusive emergency kit for your car. We’ll be giving away 25 kits each week during September, so be sure to come back to the blog each Monday and comment on any of our 4 zombie-themed posts.

Plus, by commenting, you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for 2 to zombie survival training in Portland, Oregon, with a 2-night hotel stay, and $2,000 travel money.

Comment to enter the sweeps

Are you ready to be ready? Just leave your comment below. (And don’t forget to come back next Monday to try again.)

Sorry, New Yorkers! You aren’t eligible to win due to regulations in your state. But we encourage you to create your own emergency car kits to be prepared for anything.

Stuff our legal team makes us say:

*No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. The “Sweepstakes Period” begins 9/3/13 at 12:00 p.m. PT and ends 9/30/13 at 12:00 p.m. PT. This Sweepstakes consists of four (4) independent weekly sweepstakes (each a “Weekly Sweepstakes”) beginning 9/3, 9/9, 9/16, and 9/23 and ending at the start of the next Weekly Sweepstakes. Subject to full Official Rules. Open to all of the U.S. (excluding New York) 18+. Limited to one (1) entry per person, per email address per Weekly Sweepstakes. Void where prohibited. Sponsored by Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. 650 Davis Street, San Francisco, CA 94111. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received.


190 Responses to “How To Survive the Walking Dead (or Anything)”

  1. jodeen wolff
    September 6, 2013 #

    I would pack some bug spray.

  2. Ricardo Aker
    September 7, 2013 #

    A police flashlight for when you have to investigate a dark room and need a heavy brain bashing tool.

  3. lance angel e dahonog
    September 7, 2013 #

    I would like some map of my place to get around easily and to know where to hide and pillage food, telescope or any other stuff to help scout an area of zombie (it pays to know your enemy number,base also useful for spying a newly seen human), tools like hammer,pliers,wire,iron nail and wood planks for barricading buildings, compass to avoid getting lost in unmapped place forest for example, First aid medication for scratches,bruise,injury,flu to avoid getting weak, calendar for keeping up to date (bithday alarm) and to schedule activities for exampls
    monday=exercise (to stay in shape, avoid getting slow, maintain endurance and flexibility)

    tuesday and wednesday=food,item,weapon scavenging

    thursday and friday=scouting of current base,hiding place,neighborhood for zombie hordes and survivors

    saturday=repairing of broken barricades,weapons,tools,upgrading of tools,weapons,barricades and crafting more items

    sunday=group meeting (if you have a group socializing with each other helps improve teamwork and increase morality

    also dont hate fear as fear is part of human mind it makes us rational and aware

    always follow instinct but not too much find balance between following instinct and wit

    store batteries,chargers and jewelries if possible you might hit the jackpot (charger for an ipad you found, found an outpost that is trading supplies for jewelries or batteries

    books for entertainment,increasing knowledge,children

    be completely neutral to humans unless provoked,attacked etc

    keep animals found that arent infected like dogs it will help improve morality

    always wear armor like bycicle helmet, shoulder and knee pads

    wear rubbershoes at all times change if damaged or unusable (trust me it hurts to run using bare foot or other footwear)

    fuel for vehicle

    basic medicine and sanitation product for cleaning wounds

    il post more if i can think some more

  4. Michelle Perry
    September 7, 2013 #

    Toilet paper. You don't appreciate our till you don't have it!

  5. Lonnie Morris
    September 7, 2013 #

    A Tourniquet.

  6. Sergei
    September 7, 2013 #

    Air freshener

  7. Steven Goard
    September 7, 2013 #

    In light of eveything stated in the comments above no one sated the most vital survival tool ever. Duct tape. Seriously, you can do anything with duct tape. ANYTHING!!!. Just pointing it out. you need duct tape.

  8. Karissa
    September 7, 2013 #

    I thought long and hard about this. I have to say a Swiss Army Knife because of everything that it can do.

  9. Malissa Paries
    September 7, 2013 #

    With a bunch of the undead running around, there will not be many people working to keep the lights, so entertainment would be gone. Think a good book or two help keep busy.

  10. Denise Upton
    September 7, 2013 #

    duct tape

  11. Ryan
    September 8, 2013 #

    As many AA batteries as you can carry, some AAA and D may come in handy as well, but universally AA are the most versatile, as such a game requiring AA batteries would be ideal to help stem boredom, also a deck of cards and some dice are always handy for keeping you entertained at no loss of power, use dice when noise is no factor only. A book of crossword puzzles/ brain teasers to keep the mind sharp wouldn't hurt either.

  12. Matt
    September 8, 2013 #

    Hatchet. Just a simple, regular, hatchet. Wrapped in some paracord of course.

  13. Holly Oswald
    September 8, 2013 #

    You need to shoot a zombie in the head to kill it so need a zombie gun, and neon green zombie Knife besides the everyday survival items of a first aid kit, water, blankets, fire starter, energy bars, nuts, dried fruit, flat tire kit, jumper cables, go bag filled with change of clothes and toiletry items, bucket, plastic bags, solar charger for phone.

  14. Denise Liddell
    September 8, 2013 #

    My plan to survive the Zombie Apocalypse is to go ahead and get bit and become a Zombie. You all are dinner

  15. Susan Hansen
    September 8, 2013 #

    a container for water

  16. Dwayne Hardin
    September 8, 2013 #

    Have a great exit strategy for most situations.

  17. Greg Lang
    September 8, 2013 #

    Military style combat boots that lace up to the calf would be a must. If there's one thing you'll be doing a lot of when the zombies rise up, it's running. You need something that can hold up to all of those miles and uneven terrain. Steel-toes would be a helpful addition too. If you ever find yourself in a bind, they can be used as a quick weapon to create some space between you and a hungry zombie. Also, plenty of cigarettes to trade for useful supplies.

  18. Josue Rosales
    September 8, 2013 #

    The most important thing would be an object that keeps you and keeps you human. Be it a photo or a teddy bear, as long as it keeps you human, it'll do.

  19. Mark Liston
    September 8, 2013 #

    A calm head on your shoulders with survival skills to keep it there!

  20. Lee
    September 8, 2013 #

    I would want a hard shell HUMMVW (HUMVEE) pulling a fuel trailer, that was stocked w/ dehydrated food and several water cans (5 gallon type) on the outside. I'd drive up into the mountains where the terrain would hinder Zombie migration, also the winter snow would slow them down. Along w/ food and water I'd want medical and road clearing tools that could also be used to build w/. Plus some other folks to help me out, oh and plenty of whiskey :o)

  21. Regionald Withers
    September 8, 2013 #

    Crank handle radio to listen to emergency radio and has a USB slot to charge electronics.

  22. Pierre W.
    September 8, 2013 #

    Be nice and run really fast !

  23. Bex Ciantelli
    September 8, 2013 #

    Some reading material, at least 1 manual for all of your basic power/survival needs (i.e. electrical systems for dummies), and skateboard/roller blades. You never know when walking will be just too monotonous.

  24. Rob "Ragin" Azain
    September 8, 2013 #

    Flares, Car Jack with tire iron (Tire iron sure can double as a bangin' weapon), Flashlight, some kind of water proof/Warm clothing (Poncho as example), few bottle of water, and a few protein bars, a blanket, and maybe a change of Clothes. I personally keep a change in my car incase I spill something on my shirt or decide to go out some where but i'm still my work clothes. The emergency kit doubles for a breakdown in badweather or zombie apoc!

  25. Justin
    September 8, 2013 #

    Id want a tarp. always have some shelter and can use it to help purify water!

  26. Insourcelife
    September 9, 2013 #

    Hatchet and a lighter

  27. robin nashwick
    September 9, 2013 #

    take honey because it never spoils

  28. Dan Saia
    September 9, 2013 #

    Alcohol, any kind will do and the higher the proof the better because it will be used as an anti-septic for cuts/wounds. Bandages as well. Also duck-tape. Lots of it.

  29. robert nashwick
    September 9, 2013 #

    my sanity

  30. Jamie
    September 9, 2013 #

    I honestly think having someone there with you is really important. Having to be by yourself and fend of the zombies, would make any one person go crazy. If someone is there with you they can help you keep your sanity and show that there is still a reason to live.

  31. paul cohen
    September 9, 2013 #

    well…I would love a 'portal' cuz the horde cannot reach me if they run and fall into a hole into another dimension(that would kinda solve the whole problem, no?) but in lieu of that I would just want my family/kids to be safe so a great evac plan and gear would be phenomenal!!! Hope we all never have to experience this.

  32. Jason Siler
    September 9, 2013 #


  33. Conner McLelland
    September 9, 2013 #

    Keys to the/a cabin house far from the city!

  34. Bob Stead
    September 9, 2013 #

    The most important item to keep in any emergency kit is Duct Tape, I have a roll in every first aid and emergency kit I own.

  35. Ray Garza
    September 9, 2013 #

    A paracord bracelet. Always have 9 feet of rope along with multiple strands of thinner rope that in some cases can be used for stitching.

  36. Daniel
    September 9, 2013 #

    cout me in

  37. Jonathan Pate
    September 10, 2013 #

    A giant thing of super glue or maybe a hot batch tar and also feathers. How about a boom-box playing Thiller….maybe the undead would just dance.

  38. melvin monroe
    September 10, 2013 #

    i would take Chuck Norris he would just round kick the zombies back to were they came from no one is any better than Chuck Norris.

  39. chris
    September 10, 2013 #

    Nothing beats the old trusty metal bat!

  40. Thomas A Kutrieb
    September 10, 2013 #

    A seaworthy sailboat. Home, transportation, and zombies can't swim.

  41. Steve Dadolf
    September 10, 2013 #

    I would want a fully ruggedized cell phone for communications, which if necessary can also be used as a weapon by hitting a Zombie on the head.

  42. Pierre W
    September 10, 2013 #

    I would pack common sense, and a sling shot.

  43. Arty
    September 10, 2013 #

    baby wipes, good fixed blade knife, first aid kit, comfy bag, tarp, sleeping pad/bag, water purification pills, water ballder and MREs..

  44. Mark
    September 10, 2013 #

    I think a survival knife would be a great multi-purpose tool.

  45. Your Science Teacher
    September 11, 2013 #

    Salt. Bags of it. After an apocalypse you need a source of "income"; something to trade for goods. Salt keeps forever. Everyone loves bacon. Salt + Dead Zombies = Bacon. :-)

    Am I joking? Well; sort of. We are talking about Zombies here so how serious do I need to be. To those of you who are horrified by the implied cannibalism, I have two responses:
    1, (The funny one.) No, they're not people, they're Zombies; and they were trying to eat YOU!
    2. (The serious one.) You're right. And now you're thinking about the most terrifying reality of any apocalypse. Sadly, most likely people will end up eating people. No Zombiesrequired.

    Class dismissed.

  46. scott salow
    September 11, 2013 #

    I would say a flashlight. I have two heavy ones. A good book. I have swords for head chopping

  47. Bobbi
    September 11, 2013 #

    There are far to many to choose just one…
    Entertainment (cards, kids toys, crayons, paper, books, etc…)
    Ring Sling to carry my baby
    Diapers and wipes
    Alcohol and cigarettes (great for bartering)
    Hard candy (also good for bartering and a special treat for the kiddos)
    Toilet paper
    Extra clothes and shoes
    doTerra Oils
    I could keep going but I'm guessing you get the idea.

  48. Shanley Horton
    September 11, 2013 #

    Bring one of those multi tools withe the seatbelt cutter and the glass breaker o. It

  49. Auntie RC
    September 12, 2013 #

    Lots of people with multiple talents to band together and work towards a goal…. If alone, water, a good hiding place and faith in God! :)

  50. Catherine Maier
    September 12, 2013 #

    Definately fly traps could not find 1 in Biloxi after Hurricane Katrina