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Once the Zombie Apocalypse hits, you’ll want to make sure that your apartment is as zombie-proof as possible. You likely won’t have access to modern luxuries like electricity, phone or other amenities. So, you’ll have to make do with a lot of DIY knowledge. Follow these tips to ensure safety from zombies in your home.


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Know Your Zombie

Not all zombies are created equal, so it’s important to be prepared for whatever version of the undead you may face. Here are a few classic types:

Basic walkers: These classic zombies are slow and steady in their quest for flesh. They’re relatively easy to neutralize but travel in growing packs, and once they start piling up against barriers, you better watch out.

Runners: Start training, because these zombies are fast. You will not outrun them, so you’ll want to fortify your apartment and wait it out.

Stalkers: These are the biggest threat to apartment dwellers. As quadrupeds, they can scale buildings, which means most apartments will become giant zombie vending machines.

Your Defense Starts at the Door

While in the midst of battling zombies, muscle and brawn will certainly be useful. But nerd skills are an essential part of preparing for the attack.

Defending your door is all about the materials, so let’s look at door strengths and the number of zombies that each type of door can withstand. After running the physics calculations based on door strengths, we’re able to determine how many and what type of zombies can be fought off with what type of door.

Let’s start the calculations by looking at zombie speeds:

  • Dawn of the Dead: 0.4 Steps Per Second (SPS)
  • World War Z: 0.7 SPS
  • Night of the Living Dead: 1 SPS
  • Human Walking: 3 SPS
  • 28 Days Later: 3.9 SPS
  • Dawn of the Dead (remake): 4.4 SPS
  • Human Running: 6 SPS
  • World War Z: 6.7 SPS

Now that we have speeds, we can use the weight of an average American male to determine the amounts of kinetic energy and momentum.

A door, before it buckles or bends, can withstand a certain amount of energy per unit volume. Different door materials change the amount of yield strength of the door. “Thus, by using a rough estimate for the volume of a door,” said the physicist who ran the zombie calculations, “we can calculate the amount of energy needed to cause failure.”

A fast-moving zombie like the ones in World War Z travel at 6.7 steps per second (sps), which is faster than a running human. One of these zombies could crash into a door just one time and break through a MDF door that was reinforced with one 2×4. It would take two of these zombies to get through an oak door, and it would take three zombies if that oak door was reinforced with two 2x4s. Eight of these zombies could crash through an aluminum security door, and if the door was made of steel, it would take 21 zombies to access your apartment.

But not all zombies have that much force capacity. The zombies from 28 Days Later and the remake of Dawn of the Dead both travel at speeds that are between a walking human and a running human. The speed of the Dawn of the Dead zombies is 4.4 sps, which means that it would take 48 zombies to break through the steel security door that could withstand only 21 WWZ zombies. The 28 Days Later zombies take even longer. Traveling at 3.9 sps, it would take 61 of these zombies before breaking through that steel security door. If you just had an oak door on your apartment, it would take just four zombies to access your home.

Yet some zombies travel slower than a walking human. Because they have less force, it will take longer for these zombies to break through your door, so you have a better chance for survival. The zombies from The Walking Dead travel at 1.9 sps. So it would take 15 zombies to break through an oak door, 92 zombies to get through an aluminum security door, and 254 zombies to get through a steel door.

With a traveling rate of 1 sps, Night of the Living Dead zombies could crash through a steel door if there were 917 of them. The slowest zombie is from Dawn of the Dead. At 0.4 sps, it would take four zombies to crash through an MDF door. But to get through a steel door, it would take 5,731 zombies.



Next Stop, the Windows

Your best bet for windows is finding an apartment with tempered glass, which is used in car windows, underwater equipment and for bulletproofing. It will also break into cubes rather than shatter into life-threatening shards if you need to escape. At minimum, it’s about four times stronger than standard window glass.

But since glass will never be strong enough to completely resist a zombie, the next step would be adding iron bars to keep the living dead at bay. It might buy you time against an extra four or five zombies versus an unprotected window.

Blackout curtains are a must HAVE, not because of zombies but for potential raiders who might identify you as a target and come after your supplies.

Safeguard Your Stockpile

Ensure your apartment shelves have the minimum needed to survive, then pace yourself:

With risk of losing weight:

  • 1,200 calories a day for women
  • 1,500 calories a day for men

To maintain your current weight:

  • 1,600 to 2,400 calories for women
  • 2,000 to 3,000 calories for men

If you’re facing the classic brain-eating zombie, it would consume an average of 2,065 calories per brain!

Here are some essentials that are best to have on hand — in bulk:

  • Peanut butter: high in protein and doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
  • Whole grain crackers: high in fiber and edible (though maybe not delicious) well after the expiration date.
  • Dried fruit: keeps for six months to a year and is loaded with nutrients.
  • Canned soups, chilis and vegetables: will last for years, so buy plenty and buy often.
  • Multivitamins: because eventually you just need the basics. They’re compact to store and come with a long shelf life.

Prepare for the Worst

Odds are good that if the zombie attack lasts long enough, you’ll start running out of the essentials. Here are a few things you can do to increase your supplies:

  • Got a balcony on your apartment? Secure it and start a zombie-proof garden!
  • Set up rainwater collection buckets to draw from when utilities like water finally go out.
  • Many apartments get fantastic sunlight, so consider solar panels as a renewable energy source.
  • It’s worth investing in a good sledgehammer or pickaxe … not only as the perfect tool for bashing in zombie heads, but also to break through walls into neighboring apartments without risking infested hallways!

Battle the Undead

There are plenty of things in your apartment that you can use to eliminate the zombie threat. Anything blunt, sharp or heavy will do the trick. Here are a few items everyone should have lying around:

  • Baseball bat: highly effective, simple to use and inexpensive
  • Kitchen knives: remember to keep them sharp … really sharp
  • Household tools like hammers and screwdrivers
  • Pots and pans
  • Fire extinguishers: All apartments have them; gather several to bash and distract unwanted zombie callers.
  • DIY polearm: Duct tape a kitchen knife onto a shower bar to defend yourself at a safe distance.
  • DIY mace: Lock a frying pan onto the end of a bicycle chain and swing it around like a mace for small groups of undesirable undead.
  • Safety first! To defend yourself against bites, use a cooking board, cookie sheet or even the lid of your toilet as a shield.
  • Remember to resist the urge to do things using fire or chemicals to fight the zombies, because you may harm yourself.

If you do go toe-to-toe with a zombie, heed your target’s vulnerabilities:

Head: 100% effective

Arms and legs (cutting them off): arms 40%, legs 75%

Plot Your Route to the Roof

If we know anything from movies, it’s that rooftop helicopter rescues are the way to close out a heroic and daring experience. Make sure you know exactly how to get to the roof of your building when the cavalry finally swoops in.

Ultimately, an apartment has pros and cons when it comes to surviving a zombie apocalypse. You have the benefit of a raised vantage point, but in the end, you could find yourself cut off by zombie-infested elevators and hallways. The best strategy is to buckle down and prepare for the worst.


About :

Amber is the Director of Content Marketing for ForRent.com and has been with the company since April 2007. In her role, Amber strategizes, executes and optimizes a content and social media plans across multiple channels and platforms. This includes blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time building relationships with consumers, social media influencers, and bloggers to generate awareness of the ForRent.com brands. In her free time, Amber loves running, #hashtags, and DIY projects.


  1. Evelin Branson says:
    Nice infographic and a good information. Thank you.
  2. i don’t believe in a zombie Apocalypse but if there is one i will know what to do.
  3. carsen watts says:
    I don’t BELIEVE IN ZOMBIES and if there was a invasion I would run over with my truck and for wheeler then would shoot them with my bow and shot gun and my 22 magnum oh yeah I could also use my brainssssssssssssssss. This is just common sense I THINK YOU HAVE BEEN PLAYING MUCH VIDEO GAMES.
    • Well Zombies believe in you Carsen, and in your brains… Also, I think your plan will work out just nicely as a backup.. incase you get locked out of your apartment. Be safe out there.

  4. Angel Hammell says:
    This is Amazing! Your information is spot on!
  5. shrekling pie says:
    you a dumb dumb zombies no real
  6. I like how you’ve used zombie humor to illustrate some actual good home defense strategies. Much appreciated. Extra tip: trade short screws in door latch plates and hinge plates for long ones (around 3 inches) that actually go into the wall beyond the superficial door frame. That alone makes it much harder to kick in a door. Add a wall mounted bar to that and ain’t nobody got time for that.
  7. David White says:
    Would it be possible to get a print version of this so that we can have it as reference next to our emergency exists?
    • David, for sure. That’s a great idea. I will task this out while our computer machines are still running. Stay tuned, I’ll get you your printable ASAP. Time is of the essence.

  8. Interesting in many regards. If you’re in apartment complex, however, space is often at a premium. Getting something like as a baseball bat (or even worse, the makeshift flail) up to speed to defend yourself in a hallway is simply not going to happen.

    As someone with experience in construction materials, an MDF (hollow core) door is very fragile and would likely only hold a single zombie off long enough for one to prepare an extermination method. Sound is another major method of attracting attention. Making sure windows and doors are properly sealed will help to reduce the distance from which zombies can hear your daily activities.

    • Hi Silas, thoughts on a bat wrapped in barbed wire, like Lucille on TWD? That would probably help expedite the process, no? And you could host it above your door frame, you know for easy access? Love the tip about sound proofing. Too often it’s overlooked, and it could save your life.

  9. Lesley Kervin says:
    Keep up the spectacular work !! Lovin’ it!|
  10. Anonymous User says:
    You took tons of effort to do this! Good Job!
  11. this ain’t real……….

    I’ll get proof later

    • Someone, thank you for your comment. We are very much looking forward to your proof that zombies aren’t real. I know that many of us will sleep much better at night, having reviewed your proof. Bon voyage.

  12. As there is no proof for both sides, I would consider asking actual scientists for help (help=Loony bin). As seeing that a grown adult as yourself would be expected to set an example and not try to influence kids to unreal things from TV shows and video games, so I Freshman Student M will stay strong in setting an example for the next generation.

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