Map of the Dead: Make Your Zombie Survival Map Before It’s Too Late

Zombie Survival Maps – Florida, New Jersey – Icons represent locations that would offer shelter or supplies that could make the difference between life and death.  Generated with the Google-Maps-Powered website, Map of the Dead.

Is the zombie apocalypse starting?  Either way, why not get prepared by generating and printing a zombie survival map for each stop along your planned escape route?  And if you don’t have a planned escape route, it’s time to use Map of the Dead to research your best routes for survival.  It’s as simple as typing your location into the search box!

Map of the Dead uses a customized version of Google Maps to pinpoint locations in your area that are critical for survival.  We searched three different locations–Hackensack, NJ; South Beach and Titusville, FL.  The first two locations are due to recent events, and Titusville–well, that’s our home town, just a few hours north of Miami.  We had the best results with Map of the Dead using Firefox.  They recommend using both Firefox and Chrome.

This map above is for Hackensack, NJ.  The blue icons are warehouses, military installations (Hackensack has three on this map) and Police stations.  The lime green ones are either churches, cemeteries, or campgounds.  The red ones are locations for doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and dentists.  Also critical to note is the brown airport and the orange gun store.

The map above is for Titusville, Florida.  Note that both the Titusville map and the Hackensack map are almost all in red.  Red zones are danger zones.  Populated enough to be a major issue in the event of an outbreak.  The teal squares are grocery stores, convenience stores, liquor stores, shopping malls, hardware stores, and pawn shops (Titusville here shows only the liquor store.  Well played, Titusville, well played.)

And finally, South Beach and part of Miami.  The only icon class left to mention is the darker green one, which is for outdoors/sporting goods stores.  To its credit, this area has more of the food-and-beverage teal class of markers, but it’s still a red zone, so don’t expect the stuff to be accessible or available for long.

Map of the Dead is a great way to get prepared and stay that way.  Use it before you’re sure you need it!!

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Zombie Party Games Part 1: Zombie Autopsy Guessing Game

In this fun (and gross!) party game, foods are used as fake zombie body parts, hidden in covered dishes. Guests try to guess which food was used to mimic"zombie fingers" and other parts.

This is a fun twist on a Halloween game you may have played before.  In this version, aspiring zombie apocalypse survivors are taught to identify “body parts” from a zombie autopsy!!   The “body parts” are actually different foods, but each one is labeled with a body part name, and it is covered by a box with a fist-sized hole in it.  Reach in and feel the “eyeballs!”  Then guess what food was used to create them.  The guest who guesses the most foods correctly wins the game.  Guaranteed to make everybody scream, flinch, laugh and have a good time!

Setup

To set this game up, you will need to choose foods from the list below, and put each of your chosen foods into a separate bowl.  To conceal what is actually in each bowl, flip a cardboard box over and use it to cover one or more of the dishes.  You can use a large box to cover multiple bowls or one box per bowl.  Make a fist-size hole in the top or the front of the box for each bowl that is concealed underneath.

Set the covered bowls out on a table.  Label each hole with the body part that the concealed food represents.  Or you can print, cut and fold the Body Part Cards here and use those.

Here are the foods and “body parts” we recommend:

Food Zombie Body Part It Can Represent
peeled grapes eyeballs
jello heart
spaghetti brains
Vienna sausages fingers
beef jerky skin
dried apricots ears
popcorn kernels teeth
sliced melon tongue
gummy worms intestines
end of a pickle nose

To make the setup look fun, you can decorate the boxes or drape a plastic tablecloth over them and cut holes in the plastic to match the holes in the boxes.  If you cut the tablecloth, just tape the plastic to the boxes so that the holes stay lined up.

Playing

Tell the guests that as Zombie Hunters they will sometimes encounter zombie guts, and they may even need to work with zombie guts if they are ever drafted into zombie research.  Tell them that as part of their training, food has been used to simulate zombie remains.

Use this printable guessing game list for your guests. Check out the Body Part Cards, too!

Each guest who wants to play needs to read the name of the body part on the card outside the box, reach in, feel the “remains,” and try to guess what is really in the bowl.  Provide wet wipes or paper towels so they can wipe off their hands at each station, and write down their guess.  You can print copies of the Zombie Autopsy Guess List where guests can record their guesses.  Each page has two copies of the list on it, so just print and cut in half.

Winning

At the end of the game, reveal each bowl.  You can add a little drama to the ceremony by reading the little rhyme on each of the Body Part CardsThe winner is the guest who correctly identified the highest number of foods used in the game.

See the table on the next page to get our suggestions for the types of food that can represent different body parts.

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Best Zombie Party Invitations on Zazzle

Image of Zombie Bear Invitation by n1kishop

Here's one of our favorites. See below for others!

If you want any zombies to find their way to your zombie party, you’re going to need to tell them about it ahead of time.  Custom invitations are fun because you can put your personal spin on the wording; plus they come ready to mail, versus the ones you fill out by hand or run through your printer at home.  The custom zombie party invitations we looked at are a bit pricey compared to other printed invitation options. But if you are having a smaller party or you have the budget to order them for a larger group, custom invites will get your guests excited well in advance of your apocalyptic celebration.

A great place to go for custom invites is Zazzle, but finding good stuff there can definitely be like searching for a brain cell in a heap of zombies.  So to save you some time, we went through the hundreds of invites that might work for a zombie party, and these are our favorites.  These invites range from about $0.90 each to about $3.00 each but discounts start to kick in the more you order.

You can also make your own custom invite with Zazzle from the ground up.  It costs about the same.

The most important advice we can give you about zombie parties is to make sure you throw one.  And try not to get eaten by your guests!

Royal Zombie invitation
Royal Zombie by orsobear

Zombie Jamboree Invitation invitation
Zombie Jamboree Invitation by pickledradish

N1ki's Zombie Bear Halloween Invitation Card invitation
N1ki’s Zombie Bear Halloween Invitation Card by n1kishop

Ghouls Just Wanna Have FUN! invitation
Ghouls Just Wanna Have FUN! by GhoulieScouts

Zombie Kerry Invitation Card invitation
Zombie Kerry Invitation Card by mandy_norman

Zombie Movies Invite with cute Teen Zombie Girl invitation
Zombie Movies Invite with cute Teen Zombie Girl by CountryCorner

Zombies Halloween Party Invitation postcard
Zombies Halloween Party Invitation by lifetimes

Zombie Party Invitation Postcard postcard
Zombie Party Invitation Postcard by VeryScaryCarnival

Vintage Halloween party Invitation invitation
Vintage Halloween party Invitation by deidamia

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The Walking Dead at Comic-Con

Elevator wrapped in a graphic from AMC's The Walking Dead

A couple of the Marriott elevator doors at Comic-Con welcomed us with this graphic from AMC's The Walking Dead. It was creepy-awesome.

Picture 125,000 zombies lumbering through the streets of San Diego.  Overrunning the bayfront Convention Center, they choke all of the exit points that aren’t barricaded, clogging the sidewalks for about a quarter mile in every direction.  Now make the zombies normal people (well, sort of) and you’ve got San Diego Comic-Con.  Siphon off about 6,000 of them, dress some of them in colorful spandex and organize them into a line that runs out the door, under tents, down the steps, across the parking lot, and around the park by the bay, and you’ve got the line we waited in for the Comic-Con panel about AMC’s The Walking Dead.  We got in, and it was worth the wait.

The cast of the show was there, along with executive producer Robert Kirkman, creator/writer of The Walking Dead comic book series, which predates the television show by about seven years.  Also present were Season 1 executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and Frank Darabont, along with  consulting producer and makeup artist Greg Nicotero, who talked a bit about the unbelievable zombie makeup that he and nine or ten other people apply to all the zombie extras in each episode of the show.

Things you won’t hear about in the highlight reel:

  • -The fake blood is mostly corn syrup, so it tastes good.  But the zombies on The Walking Dead have blackened gums and tongues from a mouthwash that is disgusting.  Greg Nicotero said there are little black puddles of the stuff all over the ground wherever they shoot.
  • -The show has a few people who go around Georgia to scout the locations they use in each episode.
  • -The Walking Dead holds zombie school for all the extras who are cast as zombies (the casting agency is Extra Casting Atlanta).
  • -Norman Reedus (Darryl Dixon on the show) was asked which job was weirder-being on The Walking Dead or working with Lady Gaga, and he said that working for the show is the weirdest job, though he loves Gaga.

Season 2 premieres on October 16th at 9pm/8 Central on AMC.   We saw the scare-the-__-out-of-you trailer for Season 2, and now you can see it too, along with highlights from the panel.

Watch the Comic-Con Season 2 Trailer for AMC’s The Walking Dead

Watch highlights from The Walking Dead: Comic-Con Panel 2011

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CDC Breaks Silence on Zombie Apocalypse

Get A Kit,    Make A Plan, Be Prepared. emergency.cdc.gov

This is one of the graphics from the CDC's campaign about building emergency kits, particularly for the zombie apocalypse.

The zombie threat is finally getting some open attention from a heavy-hitting arm of the U.S. government’s Health and Human Services department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Zombie preparedness experts may chide the CDC for breaking its silence in such a lighthearted way:

“The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen…The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder, ‘How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?’  Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for real emergencies too!”

After all, the most popular survival guides smack of high-level CDC expertise, and at least one Washington insider hints that the public health organization has made an internal decision to utilize pop culture as the primary vehicle for educating American citizens about the threat.  Policy strategists point out that this approach carries compelling advantages, such as keeping the masses calm, allowing the production of survival supplies to keep up with growing demand, and “just making things fun.”

So there’s no doubt that the situation could be treated more seriously, particularly by the CDC, but I’ll get in their corner and say that the CDC zombie blog is an important step in disaster preparedness.  As Dr. Ali S. Khan, Rear Admiral to the Surgeon General points out, the zombie apocalypse would have a lot in common with disasters we are familiar with, such as hurricanes, floods and tornadoes.   This means that some of the initial steps in preparing your family for the zombie apocalypse look just like the preparatory steps for any emergency.

The CDC zombie blog entry deals with short term survival measures designed to keep you alive for the first few days.  Apocalypse experts will jump to point out that you’ll die without the right skills and basic plans for the long term, but I submit that the first few days are critical, too.  You may know how to weaponize anything made by IKEA, how to make night lights out of pickles before you eat them, and what to borrow from Radio Shack to make your own solar-powered hydroelectric generator.  Those are great skills to have.  But none of that is going to matter if your family gets eaten on day one due to a poorly-chosen rendezvous point.  Which is far less likely to happen if you follow the CDC’s advice and plan your evacuation route ahead of time.

So keep working on those hard core survival skills, but do yourself a favor and take care of the easy stuff, too.  Click on the picture above and use the CDC zombie blog to get your disaster kit ready.  It might be the last time they can help you…

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Outbreak! Zombies Android App

Last Sunday I found Outbreak! Zombies BETA, an app that uses the Google Maps interface with your Android phone to let you and other users in your geographic range run zombie attacks or infect survivors.  Previously I’ve been paranoid about my phone locating me; using a service like FourSquare to voluntarily broadcast my exact location in real time seems like a big-brother-creepy, boring-for-most-of-my-friends-to-read, stalker-inviting thing to do.  But putting myself on a zombie/survivor map with a bunch of people I don’t know?  Cool.

 

I sign up.  “Congratulations on taking your first step towards survival.  At Apocalypse Survival Industries your survival is paramount…”  They want me to live.  That is why I now have access to their GeoLocation Apocalypse Survival Tool, or G.L.A.S.T.  Cool.

Thumb Scan Screenshot from Outbreak! Zombies BETA

Outbreak! Zombies scans your thumb to check you in on the map and give you numbers of Zombies and Survivors playing the game.

Next I have to scan my thumb to see if I’m “clean” or “infected,” Survivor or Zombie.   GOOD NEWS!  I’M CLEAN.  I’m a Survivor.  Time to attack some zombies and level up.  Zombies look like evil red claw-hands on the map, and survivors have green icons.  An attack is launched by tapping the opponent’s icon on the screen, but only if the two people are close enough to one another geographically.

Now I load up my Map, a Google map showing me as a dot in my apartment complex.  Oh!  There is ANOTHER Survivor right in my complex, actually right in my building.

 

I’m excited.  I yell to my husband, “BB, there’s another Survivor right in our building!”

BB: “I know.  I just downloaded the app.”

 

Darn.

 

So then where are the zombies and the other survivors?  I have to zoom out and then, BOOM!  In a few of the towns around me, evil red claw hands and green-lit Survivor silhouette flags pop up.  The closest one is a Zombie by the name of hotpepper, about 2 miles from us–out of range for me to tap their icon on my phone.

 

Me to BB: “Honey!  The closest Zombie is 2 miles away!  He’s out of range!”

BB: “So let’s go get him.”

 

So then we’re on the path in the woods that goes to two towns over where we are going to attempt to take down the Zombie.  I will be the spotter and update my location as we approach (we still do not completely understand how much it “knows” about where we are when we don’t have the app up on the phone).  When we are in range, BB will check in and take hotpepper the Zombie down.

Zombie Totem On the Trail

Took this photo during our journey. A sure sign that zombies are ahead.

 

Finally one of my location updates hits: “Warning!  Infected users detected in your area.”

Me to BB:  “We’re in range!!  Go, go, go!!”

BB checks in.  “It doesn’t say I’m here.  It says I’m about a mile back.  You’re going to have to take him down yourself!  Do it!”

 

Tap.

 

“I got him!  He’s out for 15 minutes!  Let’s get out of this infected zone!”

 

High fives.  Triumphant, we head back to base in the rain.

 

Me: “See?  It’s a good thing there were two of us.”

BB:  “Yeah.  My gun jammed.”

 

The moral of the story?  Download Outbreak! Zombies BETA on your Android phone, and play with us.  If you’re on our map we won’t get any closer to you than we have to…

 

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