Is the WSU Vancouver campus ready for a zombie attack?

No board game ever killed more people than “Hungry Hungry Hippos.” Game players are led to believe that hippos are adorable, harmless creatures that live off white marbles. This could not be further from the truth. Hippos are remorseless killing machines, but, thanks to this game, they have been given the greatest gift any assassin could hope for: the element of surprise. There are likely countless deaths attributed to the game’s softening of the hippo image.

Society created one killer, and now it is working on another.

Zombies dominate today’s movies, television, books and video games. It seems they cannot be stopped. Much like the hippo of yesteryear, zombies are now dressed up and gift wrapped to seem soft and cuddly.

Perhaps that is taking it a little too far. After all, mindless, flesh-eating zombies will never be as cute as fake plastic hippos, but the impact on the living is somewhat similar. In every iteration of zombie myth, earth is overrun by mindless cannibals, the undead or both. Somehow, a ragtag group of survivors always beats the odds — and barely avoids death by zombie.

Fortune favors the prepared. So, how can we, the students of WSU Vancouver be ready for an invasion?

The VanCougar recently published an article about disaster preparedness authored by one of its finest reporters whose initials are “Z.P.” Regretably, the article neglected to cover what to do in case of invasion by slow-moving, mindless cannibals. To remedy the situation, the following countdown on tips for survival should help in any sort of invasion, whether by true zombies or bath salt-influenced cannibals.

Tip 10: Early alerts save lives.
As with any sort of invasion, the best defense is evacuation. At WSU Vancouver, students are in a unique position to see herds of the undead approaching from quite a distance. We should act accordingly. Listen carefully for activation of the campus-wide emergency alert system — unless they get to Lieutenant Stephenson first.

Tip 9: We can make it if we run.
When a hoard of people, either living or dead, meanders toward campus, what should you do? Run. There are front and back exits on campus. The hoard will most likely come from the nearest established center of civilization. Therefore, the safest route is probably the 50th Avenue exit. Pay attention and do not panic. Organization will save lives. Don’t honk and don’t shout. Everyone wants to avoid being eaten as much as you do. So, get your car in line, lock your doors and sit tight. If the 50th Avenue exit is backed up, fasten your seatbelt and take the Salmon Creek Avenue exit. Just do not stop!

Tip 8: Take passengers, not prisoners.
When leaving campus, the number one priority is, of course, to leave campus. If you want to drive on the grass, drive on the grass. For all we know at this point, society has decayed, so live it up. This is also a good opportunity to experiment with carpooling. If you see someone who needs a ride, don’t be shy. Your ride-sharing instincts will definitely help save the environment, and you will probably save your passenger from a mob of flesh-eating maniacs. You might even make a new friend.

Tip 7: Hunker down.
What if you cannot find a ride off campus? The potentially undead are trudging uphill, and now you are stuck. This is a critical moment. It is time to batten down the hatches and choose the building in which you might spend the rest of your life. Think about it carefully. Avoid buildings with windows, open spaces and large doors. Most hoards will move on if unable to see the possibility of food (you). The science and engineering building is ideal, with narrow hallways, small entrances that can be easily blocked off and several locking doors.

Tip 6: Plan your defense.
Once you choose a building, it is paramount to consider your strategy. Do everything possible to avoid combat with the undead. Block the doors and cover the windows. It may be necessary for the greater good to vote someone off the proverbial island and lock the door behind them. After all, a small hoard of cannibals may be satisfied with just one body.

Tip #5: Relinquish control to the engineers.
This might be a good time to befriend an engineering student or professor, ideally one with the combination to the door locks. Really, who knows what they have in there? Could be lazers. Might be zombie repellant. Perhaps they even have a techno-device to end the world (in this case, proceed to Tip 1). There is really no way of knowing until you get in.

Tip 4: Consider your surroundings.
In the event the hoard breaks through your barricade, you may have to fight off a zombie, cannibal or bath salt abuser. Look around. You will need a weapon that does not require ammunition and that can be used from a safe distance. Fire extinguishers are a safe bet.

Tip 3: Be thorough.
Combatting the undead can be difficult, so here are a few things to keep in mind:
a) Aim for the head. Judging from movies, a swift blow to the head will knock out a member of any hoard, be it zombies or cannibals.
b) Repeat. The only thing more effective than a blow to the head is repeated blows to the head.

Tip 2: Re-consider your strategy.
Perhaps the engineering building is not your style. The library is another solid option. It has relatively few windows, and is literally filled with objects that could deliver a substantial blow to the head. I recommend “War and Peace” for irony’s sake. If you cannot find that, “Infinite Jest” is thick enough to deliver a crushing blow and is an excellent read after the whole invasion blows over.
Now you are ready for any scenario. Except for…

Tip 1: Fast zombies.
It is highly unlikely that campus will be overrun by fast zombies straight out of video games, but it is still possible. In this case feel free to run, fortify, plan and hide, but realize you are only delaying the inevitable. Fast zombies have no equal in nature and have yet to be defeated. The best course of action in a fast zombie invasion is to make peace with your preferred deity, call your family, tell them you love them and wait. That is unless you have made friends with the engineering student who is working on the doomsday device.

Hey, anything’s possible.

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