Surviving Zombie Nation in State College

Well, this is bad. 2011 may be the year the world descends into a zombie apocalypse. In May, the Center for Disease Control, a bureau of the federal government, released survival strategies for a zombie takeover. Last month, the CDC unveiled posters and a comic book to inform the public once again about the impending threat. And last week, one of the animals that escaped an Ohio zoo was a virus-ridden monkey. An infected monkey? Where did I hear that before? Oh, right, the opening to 28 Days Later. Let’s face it. We are on the brink of a zombie apocalypse. As my civic duty, here are some tips how you can survive a zombified Penn State.


If you have a car, get out of town now! Stop reading and go while the roads are clear. bn a few weeks, when the outbreak reaches State College, the community will panic and many residents will try to flee. Fear and the volume of cars on the roads will lead to gridlock. A traffic jam is one of the worst places to be caught during a zombie apocalypse because it concentrates the zombies’ prey. Once zombies reach Penn State, stay put and keep calm.


In the first days of a zombie outbreak, there is a chance that military helicopters will rescue you. Therefore, you need to find a roof that a) will allow you to be noticed by the Air National Guard, and b) will allow you to notice Zack lurching on the ground. Make sure that your roof does not have a door that the undead can break their way through. Onward State photographer Shawn Inglima has done a fantastic job capturing the View from Above on several campus rooftops. She recommends that you learn how to pick locks in order to reach these perches.


This is every man’s fantasy during a zombie apocalypse. The only law still in effect is the Second Amendment. However, Penn State and downtown realtors forbid students from bringing firearms into their dorms and apartments. So where can one find some artillery? The ROTC and Rifle Club keep .22 smallbore rifles in the Wagner Building and White Building basement. These can take out a zombie from 40 yards away. For close range combat, you could raid the police department for some close-range firearms, or collect tools from OPP to build a lobotomizer from World War Z.

Don’t be a hero. Only use weapons when zombies are chasing you, or when the creatures are obstacles. A small band of survivors cannot eradicate zombies all together. Don’t waste your ammo. As scientists (people who spend years trying to gain respect by explaining how the universe works) from Ottawa noted, the only way to defeat a zombie apocalypse is through “sufficiently frequent attacks, with increasing force.” Unless you are part of a military expedition, you will not succeed exterminating zombies once and for all.


You can find canned food by looting abandoned stores and apartments. Ration your food, but you’re a college student, so you should be used to that by now. Furthermore, thanks to previous generations of Penn State students, our squirrel and rabbit population has, for the most part, become domesticated. As a result, you can catch one of these critters and roast him for supper. On the other hand, you can start a farm from these mammals. (Note: Some zombie literature mentions that the zombie disease can spread from humans to animals. Please use caution and do not get bitten by the fauna or eat zombified meat, even when it is cooked.)


If you need to travel around campus, bicycles are the way to go during a zombie apocalypse. As mentioned before, the roads are impassable due to abandoned cars. Therefore, your automobile serves no meaningful purpose. Bicycles allow you travel narrow passages and do not require fuel.

Illicit Activities

I hate to be “that guy”, but there are several activities that you must forgo during the zombie apocalypse. Avoid the consumption of alcohol. You might try to drink your worries away, but one night of drinking can lead to the destruction of your security system. You should also avoid anything that gives off a scent. Zombies have an excellent sense of smell, and they’ll investigate chemical imbalances in the air. They can detect the cigarette smoke, perfume and pheromones.

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About the Author

Doug Dooling, Jr.

I am a staff writer for Onward State. I graduated as a Nittany Lion with Honors in 2013. Now, I am back in Happy Valley to earn a degree at the Penn State Law. Outside of politics and government, my interests include college football, soccer, Irish history, and astronomy.

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