It’s already been argued that a widespread zombie outbreak would be quickly followed by a complete breakdown of our modern way of life, but what happens after that?

Would communities band together, providing support for one another in their time of need? Would neighbor help neighbor when food is running low, and undead cannibals are roaming the streets? Would the spirit of cooperation rule the day? The answer is a resounding no.

In email exchanges with dozens of disaster response experts across globe, we got the same basic answer over and over again. Mass panic would lead to civil unrest on a global scale. Those few who had enough supplies would barricade themselves into their homes, only to be attacked by hostile humans desperate to save their own skin. Death would come knocking long before zombies ever did.

Jim Rush, Team Leader for the National Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program, had this to say:

“Cities would be extremely dangerous places, with widespread looting and violence. And the corresponding hospital systems that service those areas would be instantly overloaded and unable to cope.”

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that rampant mob mentality would quickly lead to the breakdown of law and order. National Guard troops would be sent into urban areas to quiet the population, but their efforts would only lead to more bloodshed. Front line personnel, like police and medical first responders, would risk constant ambush for their vehicles, weapons and supplies. In short, it would be a complete and total nightmare.

Keep in mind, the police officer being set on fire in the image above wasn’t taken on the set of an upcoming Hollywood movie. It’s from the riots happening right now on the streets of Greece.

So if you think that being eaten alive will be your biggest problem when the undead rise, you might want to think again.  What’s more likely is that your house will be set on fire with you and your family inside, just because someone thinks you might have something they want.



  1. Post Script: I have been reading a book by Derrick Jensen called Endgame Vol.1 – The Problem of Civilization. Anyone interested in an open, honest, sometimes scary assessment of where this could really go, should give it a read. It was published in 2006 and the author has written additional volumes since, but this one has quite an affect.

  2. That is a very interesting post and raises some pretty serious, strike that!, it raises some VERY SERIOUS questions about a society facing this type of catastrophe and our “human” nature taking over if this were ever to happen in any sort of capacity. Greece is a good example of what could happen (and what will happen if the good ole’ U.S. of A keeps going the way we are) during civil unrest and people feeling that they are getting a snow job from their government(s). We are at a place in history, so it seems to me, that the tipping point is a very real and unstable concept. There will be a time when that “last straw” scenario plays out due to the fact that people are extremely tired of being treated badly. The rich get richer, and the middle and lower class people find themselves having to fight for everything they have; we fight for our jobs, we fight for our mortgage payment (if indeed we still are fortunate enough to remain in our homes), we fight for the food that we put on our tables, and we fight to keep a little money in the bank just in case. Take all that stress and pent up frustration, add in a catastrophic event (like a zombie outbreak, a catastrophic natural disaster, terrorist attack, etc), and you will see an extremely large group of people snap, taking the “fighting for what you get” concept to an entirely new level. I hate to be preachy, but this is something that I contemplate often, and when you boil it down, it seems that a quote from Terminator 2 rings very true. Arnold, talking to Eddy Furlong says that “it is in your nature to destroy yourselves”. Its a huge suck-fest for sure, but, I tend to agree.

  3. Also see the riots in the UK last year. Not to mention this has been covered by zombie pop culture – the Dawn of the Dead biker gang for one.

    The only ‘upside’ would be the undead horde on the streets limiting how much of this sort of thing that could go on.

  4. Great website and great post!
    I am in agreement with “Tony Ray”… The countryside is definitely the place that I will be will as soon as I hear of anything going down. There is lots of it and easy to get out of the populated areas… And by easy, it is less than a hour at a slow walk in any direction from the center of the populous area where I am at.

  5. I knew I guy that I went to school with actually lived in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. He actually had to drive over to his buddy’s house to kick hell out of looters. It is for this reason that I will resort to living in the countryside. Sure it’s more dangerous zombie-wise, but at least they cause controlled chaos.

  6. This confirms my belief that I should start knocking off my neighbors before the first outbreak is reported.

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