Today is the first day of autumn.
Even if the thermometer is not registering cool fall temperatures, signs of the season are beginning to show up everywhere.
Visit any grocery store or coffee shop and you’re bound to see something pumpkin spiced. The flavor has become synonymous with fall and so popular that earlier this month Merriam-Webster added it to its dictionary.
Also popping up are pumpkins and their relative, the jack-o’-lantern. They seem to be a precursor to the coming invasion of ghosts, witches, mummies and other ghouls. Are you ready for them? How about zombies?
Not too long ago, an email popped into my inbox about the best cities for surviving a zombie apocalypse. Although I haven’t seen zombies roaming the streets of downtown Boulder City for a couple of years, they have been known to appear at night and I suppose it’s not a bad idea to be prepared in case they decide to show up again.
And that was the intent of the ranking, which sparked from a most unusual source: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2011 — shortly after the premiere of “The Walking Dead” series — the CDC posted an article on its website to help folks be prepared for any type of emergency, even a zombie apocalypse. The intent was that folks would be prepared just in case it happened and maybe those reading the article could learn something about being ready for a real emergency.
Fast-forward a decade and a company that specializes in lawn care dug into some data to rank large cities nationwide about the best places to survive a zombie apocalypse.
Surprisingly, Las Vegas was among the top 20 best places to survive; it ranked 19th overall. But the suburbs surrounding the city didn’t fare as well. They were among the bottom 10.
Fortunately for Boulderites, we have a resident zombie expert who happily shared some tips. Todd Cook, owner of Boulder Dam Brewing Company, hosted a zombie crawl for many years. I thought if he knew how to become a zombie for the event, he might also have an idea about how to survive should they show up in town. I was right.
Although he says “there are no good locations, … certainly some are better than others when dealing with the undead.” Unfortunately, like the suburbs surrounding Las Vegas, Boulder City doesn’t have the important things needed to survive a zombie apocalypse: food, water, shelter, supplies and defense/weapons, he said.
Food sources are limited and there isn’t much to forage in the surrounding hillsides. Even with Lake Mead in our backyard, we would have to fight the masses from Henderson and Las Vegas to have access to water.
Cook said “storm cellars, root cellars and basements are the best locations for zombie hide-and-don’t-seek, but Boulder City’s desert locale and lack of extreme weather events makes these subterranean dwellings rare.”
There are a few types of firearms and weapons that can be used to stop zombies in their tracks, but places to find them in town are about as common as cellars and basements. Cook, however, doesn’t rule out keeping “spears, swords, machetes, golf clubs, claw hammers and knives” nearby just in case.
About the only place the city excels at is its sense of community and support from fellow Boulderites. “… if you think you can survive on your own, you will be zombie food before you can finish the chorus to ‘Living Dead Girl,’” he said. “This community has a heart for others. Across this town, you find clubs, churches, groups and individuals helping their neighbors. Work together; share each other’s knowledge, skills and resources.”
While working together might be a good approach to fighting zombies, it also gives you an opportunity to size up your fellow citizens.
He said that while moving about and foraging for food, water and shelter, you can “up your odds and put the slowest guy up front.”
But seriously, let’s welcome fall and the plentiful activities it ushers in for the remainder of the year, starting with this weekend’s Würst Fest and Soggy Doggy. Just remember to be on the lookout for zombies.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.