How to survive the zombie apocalypse in the Capital Region

empire state plaza zombies

The ESP: wide open space to spot zombies -- but also few places to hide.

From everything we've been seeing, it's basically only a matter of time before the zombie apocalypse is upon us (it would explain a lot). And, if you're anything like us, you're totally unprepared.

But fear not, fair citizens. We have drawn on the wisdom of your fellow Capital Region residents to compile a quick primer on how to survive the zombie apocalypse here.

Ned Abbot - @ewabbott

browns brewing sign closeupLiving in an apartment building, with too many exits, is not an option, so I would take an idea from Shaun of the Dead...go to the bar. Which one though? Something where I know people and is less populated (plus, a lot of beer to get though the siege). I have a couple of ideas. Brown's in downtown Troy would work, if the front of the building could be sealed, and the back stairs could be easily removed (plus river access if you have to leave the first safety zone). Then there is Wolff's. This has the advantage of being a strong old firehouse, and only two main methods of egress, and German bier! And...the warehouse district is less populated meaning less chance of running into walkers.

However, if I were really serious about my long term survival, I would head east into the Berkshires. There is more game to hunt (and I would have to teach myself to hunt), and more farmland, it would be easier to provide for the long term prospects of surviving the zombie siege. Plus, a lot fewer people. It also tends to be a little cooler and the common understanding is that the ghouls move more slowly as the weather approaches freezing.

The first thing I would do, though, is wet myself.


Whenever I have zombies following me, I just break out into the Thriller dance. It's pretty incredible watching them fall right in line behind me with synchronized dance steps. Thank you Michael Jackson for teaching us all how to adequately deal with this public menace.

Siobhan Gallagher Kent - @SiobhanGK

As a Red Cross volunteer, I'm constantly asked how people can prepare for the disaster that is the Zombie Apocalypse. The answer is simple: Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Be Informed.

+ Get a Kit: Your kit should contain things like a torch (already lit, so you won't waste time looking for matches) and your favorite condiments, so that when you are inevitably turned into a zombie, you'll be able to flavor brains to your taste.
+ Make a Plan: Your plan should include elements including having an evacuation route for your house (NOT through the attic--if it doesn't work in movies, it ain't gonna work for you) and a meeting place for your loved ones (I recommend Uncommon Grounds--free wifi AND tasty coffee; if the employees have already been turned into zombies, maybe go somewhere else).
+ Stay Informed: To stay informed, listen carefully to the sounds around you. If you hear screams or the distinctive sound of brain-slurping, head in a different direction.

Tim Dawkins - @DecisiveReflex

Not only is Saratoga the summer place to be, but it's also the perfect location to fend off the zombie hordes! After all, as locals we're already trained in the art of avoiding the lumbering, glazed-over downstate tourist. How much different are zombies, really? Sure they like the taste of human flesh, but I'm pretty sure I've seen some equally as horrifying things on Saturday nights on Caroline Street.

Congress Park

Looking for a place to ride out the first few days of undead pandemonium? How about the inside of the Congress Park carousel? On the off chance that you are actually spotted by an approaching zombie among all of those brightly painted horses, blast some polka, flip the switch, and watch the surely balance impaired brain eater spin out of control!

Sébastien Barré - @sebastienbarre

Here are a few local places I would recommend going to survive the Zombie Apocalypse.

central warehouse

1) The Livingston Avenue Bridge. The good thing about bridges is that you only have to defend two ends. The great thing about this swing bridge is that the goddamn structure rotates! Just turn this puppy around for extra protection and get it back in place when it's time to hunt for supplies in town. The shack on top of it is a little small but you will certainly enjoy the view while repopulating. Make sure the bridge is in the proper position when power finally runs out. I see two possible escapes. One is to run for the Central Warehouse nearby and block both staircases. The last 8 floors or so have no windows for the zombies to get through and the place is basically a fridge, perfect to keep food or frozen teammates around. Camping on the roof is very trendy. My second plan requires good timing: jump on a boat passing by, that's a great survival option anyway if you stay away from islands. Bonus points if you end up on a Really Big Boat.

2) A Trader Joe's. I'm betting on the Zombie Apocalypse in 50 years, so that's only a few years after the first Trader Joe is built in the Capital District. First, TJ's almost has a cult following so that's a guarantee the people you will find there will defend it until the last bag of quinoa is gone. Second, the store features basics and gourmet products for you to munch on. Do not stay in the store, defend it from the roof. When it's time to get more food, do not volunteer either, just send Bruce Roter, President of "We Want Trader Joe's in the Capital District!" The guy is relentless and indestructible, as we all know.

Ed Lass - @EdLassX

You should leave population centers and seek high ground. An ideal place to establish a fortification would be Thacher Park. You'll want to be careful that you don't get backed onto the edge of the Escarpment, but if you can guard the entrance to the Indian Ladder Trail and watch your back, you'll be in a good position. If it was good enough for Mohawk warriors, then it will be good enough to survive the zombie apocalypse. Remember that you'll also need to re-establish civilization after its destruction by the zombies, so the Helderbergs would provide ample opportunities for game hunting and plant gathering. Your fortification will overlook arable land that can be used to begin agriculture again.

Kevin Marshall - @KevinMarshall

+ Wrap yourself head to toe in gauze. The zombies will leave you alone, because mummies and zombies are kissing cousins.

+ You might think the SUNY Albany campus or the Empire State Plaza would be good locations to set up a fortified base of operations, but you'd be wrong. The aggressive angles and stifling post-modern architecture will completely drain you of the will to live.

+ What could be the walking dead might just be a walking cry for attention known as a "zombie walk." To distinguish a "zombie walk" from the real thing, simply tell the crowd of zombies you want to take their picture for a website. When they all huddle together, destroy them anyway. Better safe than sorry!

And naturally, we will have a greeter stationed at each entrance. "Welcome to WalMart, zombie mother******!" BOOM!

Rob Madeo - @rmadeo

My one tip is get out of the city. People = zombies = trouble. I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I've got my eye on the WalMart in Glenmont. Food, tools, ammo... everything you need under one roof. Just in case, we're going to keep an escape vehicle in the auto center -- possibly one of those Albany Aqua Ducks if we can get out hands on it. Its height, amphibious capability, and giant zombie-crushing tires make it ideal. And naturally, we will have a greeter stationed at each entrance. "Welcome to WalMart, zombie mother******!" BOOM!

Katie Beltramo - @CapDistFun

Zombies, while brutal, tend to be rather dull-witted and shuffling, so if you're quick on your feet, a corn maze might just offer you an opportunity to elude them. Fortunately there are plenty of corn mazes around the capital region, including Ellms Family Farm, Engelke Farm, Schuyler Farms, and others. Of course, you'll need to stay alert and watch out for children with scythes, too.

Don't allow yourself to be fooled by zombie fakes or look-alikes. Those scary-looking kids at Shen are just putting on a show. And if you see a slow-moving, surly, and persistent crowd stacking up around a huge pile of meat, it's likely that you've just encountered the $1.88/lb. round roast display at the new Shop-Rite. Don't panic, people! Keep your wits about you.

Mary Briwa - @marybriwa

NYS Capitol from ESP

The Balcony of the Senate, in the Capitol. You've got a birdseye view of everything going on, and some of the politicians are definitely undead. If the zombies come charging up the Million Dollar Staircase, you can always open a window and use a crane to tarzan your way to safety.

We all know zombies can swim, therefor your only vehicle option is to hijack an Albany Aquaduck! Just be sure to swing by the Food Pantries before driving that floating fortress into the water.


I guess I'd just go to the most empty desolated spot I could find in the Capital Region, Latham Circle Mall; I mean, assuming there isn't a Sirsy show that particular day.

Akum Norder - @StickFigureMan

How to shop for the zombie apocalypse.

Preparedness, people. It's all about the supplies. And in that maybe Schenectady's got the edge on us all. Here's my plan:

Thumbnail image for army navy composite

1.) At the first sign of the undead head to the Mohawk Army-Navy store for helmets, tactical vests, MREs and survival gear. They've got quite a knife selection there, too, but I'm going to want something bigger, so I'm going to ...

2.) Timothy's World Market, where I can buy a machete. And maybe even a cricket bat for good measure. The thing about Timothy's is they also sell sheep's brains, which if I fling them at an approaching horde could buy me a few precious moments to escape.

If anyone has a zombie lure-and-trap plan, I've got to recommend using the Latham Circle Mall as the holding pen. It's already post-apocalyptic, so the zombies will feel right at home.


Thank you to everyone who contributed their ideas on how to address this pressing civic issue!

Earlier on AOA: Zombie Police of Schenectady


@rmadeo: Aquaduck = genius
@kevin: oh I see what you did here!

Forgot to mention that Planet Fitness would make for a good safe heaven too. Recent advances in Zombieapocalypseness at the Bosley Medical Institute have shown that the treadmill defense is a suitable survival option.

I LOVE that the Livingston Avenue Bridge is mentioned. It's yet another reason that when this bridge is rebuilt, it is done so right. Bike and pedestrian access should be restored so people can cross the river safely and easily for events like Alive at Five, Oktoberfest, PearlPalooza, and Z Day.

Poor Latham Circle Mall. Someone might want to warn the one tenant there that they're at Ground Zero.

Note to self: Get to Aqua Duck before Mary Briwa...


I can't wait til the zombie fad is over... My least favorite monster!

@CMTomaso - Ditto. I long for the day when zombies are usurped by Chupacabras and terrible writers put out novels about teenage girls who want to bang the Dover Demon.

I would head off to Thatcher Park so that I could escape from the masses and strategically position myself in a place where I could see the zombies approaching...

Hi there. Comments have been closed for this item. Still have something to say? Contact us.

The Scoop

For a decade All Over Albany was a place for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. It was kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who could help you find out what's up. AOA stopped publishing at the end of 2018.

Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine