What If Wednesday: Zombies Are Coming

What If Wednesday

In the What If Wednesday series, we transport to a hypothetical alternate-reality and watch life play out. And we do it on Wednesday, because alliteration.

Alright, you know the drill by now. Put on your imagination caps.

You’re eating lunch when you get an unexpected call from your brother. He works for the government for some agency you’ve never really heard of and you’ve never really had the patience to understand what he actually does. But it sounds important — and boring. Sensing the call might be important, you answer the call.

“Hey bro!”

“Listen to me VERY carefully. Within 24 hours, the world is going to find out that zombies are real. Within one month, a quarter of the world’s population will be zombies. I’m trying to secure a spot in a federal bunker for our family, but it might take some time. So prepare like you’re on your own. You have 24 hours. Love you.”


Don’t panic. Don’t panic. First you need to finish your Funyuns. Okay, now you can panic.

After a 15-minute freak out session, you collect yourself and drive to your bank. You calmly approach a teller and request a complete withdrawal of your account. The teller looks outside toward your car to make sure there’s not a masked figure in your car holding you against your will. A few moments later, you walk out with stacks of cash.

So how do you use your cash the day before the zombie apocalypse?

Our response

Believe it or not, I’ve actually answered this question before, sorta. I’m already well aware that I take my Walking Dead viewing too seriously. But hey, if Amazon has a Zombie Apocalypse Supplies section and the government has a quasi-real Zombie Preparedness Guide available, I’ll take it seriously. This quote on the CDC’s website really drives home my true interest in it al: “If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack.”

While I’d be happy to further elaborate with this specific scenario, I’m really more interested to hear from you on this one.

So let’s hear it. Gobs of cash, 24 hours, zombie apocalypse: what do you buy?

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  • Reply Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle May 29, 2013 at 7:14 am

    I received a zombie proof emergency kit for Christmas. A portable bag filled with tuna, energy bars, water and a really big knife (to open the tuna cans) so I am ready.

    If society starts to collapse because of zombies or because there is only 3 days until an earth crushing meteorite hits earth then cash will have very little value. Gold and food will be the trading commodities.

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      I love that you got that for Christmas. We bought our “go bag” a little more than a year ago and it’s actually given us a lot of peace of mind. We’ll be okay for a few days with that and we’ll just use our leftover worthless cash as fuel for fire.

  • Reply Brian May 29, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Car dealer,,, I’m buying a large truck/Humvee. Then I am going to weld some nice think sheet metal too it. If the timing is right, maybe there will be a gun show in town and I can stock up on some more firearms. If there isn’t a gun show, I guess I am purchasing a couple more shotguns and as many shells for my arsenal as I can carry. From there it is time to buy all the water and honey I can fit in a car (it never goes bad and is full of energy!). While I’m at the Wal-Mart I am buying all the fuel containers and gas I can. Finally I call up my pre-screened (yes I really do have this) list of friends and work out our plans for securing our bug out location.

    I would reveal more but then I would have to kill you. One of my friends jokingly said “what’s the hardest part of the zombie apocalypse… trying not to look too excited.”

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      Ooo. I like the Humvee idea. I would have never thought about equipping myself with a tank. Or the honey tidbit. Maybe I’ll just change my strategy to “go to Brian’s house.”

      Hahaha. That quotes awesome. And frighteningly true.

  • Reply Michelle May 29, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I would go buy a hummer and stock up on ammo!

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      My brain didn’t go to hummer/armored vehicle and I feel like an idiot now. Time to draw up new plans.

  • Reply debtperception May 29, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I was really hoping for a zombie apocalypse back in December…an apocalypse may be the only relief for student loans besides death or winning the lottery.
    A boat (assuming zombies can’t swim). Considering we don’t have a lot of money in the bank, I probably wouldn’t be able to buy a boat unless I could use a credit card. I’d buy lots of food, gas, ammo, guns, and a machete or a sword if I could find one.

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      I think your assumption is correct. They might be able to screech along the ocean floor, but that’s a long slow journey should you get to an uninhabited island.

      And in this situation, I would say use your credit cards to your heart’s content. Actually, knowing credit card companies, they would still manage to find a way to keep track of everyone’s credit through the zombie apocalypse.

  • Reply Tina @ My Shiny Pennies May 29, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I echo Brian and Michelle above. I’d buy a big ol’ car and all the ammunition I can get my hands on. But, other people are also thinking the same thing so stores are probably low or running out of stock. So… I’d buy crossbows, knives, and dry goods. I think I’d make a good Daryl Dixon.

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Daryl is the freaking man. I like the crossbow route because you can always make new arrows. I doubt they’re easy to make, but they’ve got to be easier than bullets.

  • Reply Chris @ Amplify May 29, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I have this mental checklist for such an occasion. I think there needs to be water, canned goods, first aid, games, ladders, batteries, paper products, and plenty of sharp things.

    If you don’t think zombie preparedness isn’t a business, someone designed an app around getting in shape for the zombie apocalypse – it’s actually pretty entertaining.

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      That’s a cool app. For a long time, I’ve had this idea to buy up a ton of land and let people attempt to survive a zombie apocalypse week long campout. I’d worry that my hired zombies would get hurt by the campers, but I know that I’d want to go to a place like that.

  • Reply Chadnudj May 29, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I’m buying a boat (preferably a sailboat with an engine that I could use if needed), fishing gear, camping gear, and plenty of water/food/supplies/batteries/fuel/a radio, along with some guns. Then I’m piling everything into the boat, and sailing for one of those small barrier islands that cannot be reached by swimming/a bridge. From there, I can watch the zombie apocalypse happen, secure in my knowledge that the zombies can’t/won’t swim, and with the ability to fish for food, and sail to other islands or shore for raids to get more food/water if needed.

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      This is what my zombie survival plan looks like. The only potential hole I’ve found is if the zombies or disease somehow get to the fish and sea life, cutting off my supply of food. Fingers crossed, the fish are immune.

  • Reply Chris May 29, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Beans, bullets, and band-aids. Since I prefer to live my life prepared as best I can, I already have a lot of stuff to survive for a SHTF scenario.

    Ammo is basically impossible to find right now so that would be out of the question just out of pure availability. I’d stock up on fresh water, water purification filters, any dry foods I could find, medical supplies, cold weather gear, and as many gas cans I can fill up. I have a truck that’ll hold all my stuff and a simple tarp on top with a bungee cord will hide it from prying eyes. Then get out of Dodge ASAP.

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      After reading your preparations, I realize I need a truck and a gun. I’ve been meaning to get one for a few years now, but I have a hard time justifying the expense. I’ll probably feel the urge to buy again come next season of The Walking Dead, and then I’ll splurge.

      Isn’t New Mexico sorta “dodge” anyway? 🙂 I kid. Sorta.

  • Reply Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies May 29, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Sailboat. It’s a dream of ours anyhow, may as well get some use out of it before the zombies come and eat our faces off!

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      I like the visual of you and the Mr. just calmly and serenely sailing around while pure flesh-eating mayhem takes place a few miles away on shore.

  • Reply Jordann @ My Alternate Life May 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Ha! Ok, I would steal my neighbour’s electric car, along with his solar panel, use my available cash to stock up on food, and weapons that don’t require ammunition (knives and cross bows) and make for my family’s secluded cabin in the woods. Wait it out on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with lots of game and firewood around.

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      Stealing! Nice! Now we’re really talking survival instincts. You’ve really got this zombie prep thing down. Hope you don’t mind if Joanna and I tail you on up the mountain.

  • Reply Emily May 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    What a fun what-if Wednesday!

    I would head for the hills! Literally, actually. My future in-laws live a ways out past the edge of town and are quite well-prepared for most disasters. They jokingly refer to their food stash as “zombie rations”.

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      My in-laws live sorta off the beaten path on a nice strip of land, but it’s not too high. I like your thinking with taking high ground. And we definitely need to do a better job of stashing up “zombie rations” so we don’t end up as zombie rations.

  • Reply Stefanie May 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Drive to Mexico and stock up on cheap medicine and ammunition. Supposedly, if society were to collapse, medicine would actually become most like currency.

    Also toilet paper. It would be a shame to lose your life because you had to run out for more TP!

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      I’d have never thought about medicine, outside of whatever we’ve got in our cabinent. But I’m sure you’re right that it would quickly become the gold of society. And luckily we get our TP at Costco, so we’ve always got 100 rolls laying around somewhere.

  • Reply EcoCatLady May 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    You guys totally crack me up! I’m not sure what I would do. I think I’d be torn between:

    Option A: Buying a shit load of cat food, packing up the fe-lions and making for the nearest cave.


    Option B: Just saying “phuckit,” and spending my last day of zombie-free existence by taking a nice long bike ride with CatMan!

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      Option A. A cave is genius. One way in, generally hard to get to/find. That might also be a downside should a horde of zombies find you and you don’t have a way out. Maybe that’s when you initiate Option B, albeit a shorter ride.

  • Reply Alanna May 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    1) Smart car to get around (because it’s still kind of protected vs. a motorcycle) and can get through the traffic when that’s all backed up like you always see in the Walking Dead
    2) RV, maybe reinforced RV?
    3) Extra gas and gas containers
    4) Generator
    5) Weapons (cross bow, slingshot, other weapons with renewable ammo besides bullets)
    6) Rice/beans/canned goods and tons of seeds to grow things
    7) Chickens for eggs, rooster for making more chicks

    I think my husband and I would take off for the remote/unpopulated coastal areas and set up camp to hunker down and wait it out. We’d also call our preselected friends (I think someone else said this and yes we have also discussed it!) to tell them where to meet up. 🙂

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:53 pm

      1. I like it.
      2. Yes. Reinforced.
      5. Like it.
      6. Smart thinking on seeds.

      Man, we totally need to get on the preselected friends list thing. I think most of our friends would probably stop being our friends if we posed the idea to them. 🙂 I love this idea.

  • Reply Michelle May 29, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Ok, first, cool outfit to make sure that people understood I was a Zombie Eliminator. Preferably all black. Cool sunglasses. Also, black. Big SUV with reinforced windows. Food. Water. Ammo. Solar IPOD recharger (does this exist?) so that I could play my favorite tunes as I fought my way to the safe zone. Gum.

    • Reply Roo // NEON FRESH May 29, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      I think this is my favorite response. If you need me, I’ll be in a bunker next to Michelle.

      • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:56 pm

        Joanna and I will follow the faint sound of dubstep to find you two.

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      Hahaha. This is awesome. I’ve definitely overlooked my zombie slaying wardrobe. And gum. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Reply Elvin @ Journey To Millions May 29, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I guess, I’ll just enjoy my final day spending on the things I love with the people I love.

    I’ll probably spend on food and activities I haven’t tried (Scuba Diving, Bungee Jumping, etc). After that, if I still have time, I’ll invite my friends over a couple of story session of how great life can be. We’ll have the greatest day of our lives.

    We’re all going to die anyway, so why bother?

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      You’re not even going to try and survive?! At least you’ll be going out on a high note!

  • Reply Diane May 29, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    For anyone who needs practice in Zombie-dodging… The Zombie Run will be held in New Orleans on June 23rd!

    I’m not sure I can outrun the Zombies… After reading the ideas above, I’m going with the plan presented by Chadnudj… I think the boat/island idea is the most reasonable.

    • Reply Johnny May 29, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      I’m with ya. After reading about these preselected lists of friends to contact in the event of an emergency, I’m going to put you and Chad on our list when it’s time to head to the boat.

  • Reply Top Personal Finance Blog Posts of the 2013 | The Shop My Closet Project December 6, 2013 at 8:02 am

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  • Reply Jen October 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    If I had unlimited funds, I would take my husband and our immediate family and commission a space ship. We would quite literally ditch Earth as we know it and go Star Trek style to find a brave new world.

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