Where Seattle ranks as a city for surviving a zombie apocalypse

Sep 4, 2023, 6:08 PM

Image: The skyline of Seattle has been seen at night with the Space Needle visible, on Dec. 12, 201...

The skyline of Seattle has been seen at night with the Space Needle visible, on Dec. 12, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Morgan Yang Photography via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

(Photo courtesy of Morgan Yang Photography via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Despite the many, many, many (and still-coming) stories detailing zombie outbreaks and humanity’s attempts to live and battle through them, we, in this world, probably won’t have to worry about one any time soon.

But some experts say it’s not impossible.

“The unfortunate reality is that a potential zombie pandemic is more likely to happen now or in the coming decades, than at any point in human history up until now,” Dr. Hana Akselrod of the GW Medical Faculty Associates said to LawnLove as part of a larger project.

Thomas Lee, who has a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and still teaches there, said to LawnLove “the likelihood (of a zombie apocalypse) is higher than most would think,” noting “major advances” in some areas and in “overall medical technology.”

So, the team at LawnLove has, yet again this year, has completed research into determining where in the U.S. people have the best chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse.

This year, the city of Seattle ranked 14th out of 200. That’s up from the 2022 report, when it ranked 24th.

Portland, Oregon, finished ahead of Seattle, coming in at No. 11.

How the survival rankings were determined

In the 2023 study, LawnLove, which bills itself as “a modern, tech-enabled marketplace for lawn care services,” compared the 200 biggest U.S. cities based on five zombie survival categories: vulnerability, hideouts, supplies, protection and mobility.

Factors included in the “vulnerability” metric include rankings for share of population in bad health and hospitals per square mile. The “hideouts” metric include factors such as share of homes with basements(/bunkers) and share of homes with complete plumbing facilities. The “supplies” metric examines the number of grocery, department and hardware stores and pharmacies.

When looking at the “protection” metric, LawnLove considers the number of hunting- and outdoor-gear stores and weapons stores. The “mobility” metric includes rankings for multiple areas, with walk score, hiker and cyclist friendliness and access to marinas on the list.

As the research notes, Seattle stacks up quite well in some key metrics, including cyclist friendliness (4th best overall) and number of outdoor-gear stores (6th). It also ranks high in the share of its population in bad health (11th) and number of grocery stores (21st). But Seattle ranks just 50th in the number of homes with basements(/bunkers).

From 2022: Seattle is no longer the No. 1 bike-friendly city in the nation

Portland ranked first in the overall “mobility” metric.

Other survival-related numbers

Four other cities in the state of Washington, Spokane (38th); Tacoma (49th); Vancouver (69th); and Bellevue (76th), are in the Top 100 overall. Interestingly, all four of those cities ranked in the Top 30 overall in the 2022 report.

LawnLove completed this study in 2021 as well and three Washington cities finished in the Top 10 (Bellevue, Vancouver and Seattle).

‘Zombie debt’: Homeowners face foreclosure on old mortgages

Houston finished as the No. 1 city for zombie survival in the 2023 ranking. Rounding out the Top 5 are New York City, San Antonio, Texas, Miami and Los Angeles. As LawnLove noted, Texas is a standout state for survival as it featured three cities in the Top 10 (Houston, San Antonio and Austin finished at No. 6).

Miramar, Florida, ranked the worst in the study, Detroit and Newark, New Jersey, are notable large U.S. cities that finished in the bottom 20 of the rankings. All three cities finished low in the 2022 rankings as well.

Local News

KCRHA partnership for zero...

L.B. Gilbert and Frank Sumrall

King County homeless organization lays off one-third of its staff as pilot project expires

Known as Partnership for Zero, the goal was to get nearly everyone who was homeless in downtown Seattle off of the streets within a year.

8 hours ago

Seattle clouds weather...

Bill Kaczaraba

Count out 80-degree days in Seattle as El Niño arrives

Remember those 80-degree days of summer you loved? Well, kiss those goodbye. But more nice days are coming.

10 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks run onto the field during team introductions before an NFL football game against t...

Feliks Banel

Memories of the magical 2013 Seahawks season refuse to fade

Sometimes, we can't help but look back at Seahawks history. It was a decade ago when the magical 2013 season unfolded and culminated in a Super Bowl title.

10 hours ago

tokitae killer whale...

Heather Bosch

Beloved killer whale Tokitae’s ashes to be laid to rest in Puget Sound

The Lummi Nation, which considers whales family, plans to welcome the killer whale Tokitae in a private, traditional ceremony.

12 hours ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

KIRO 7 News Staff

UW Medicine researcher explains new vaccine in the works to prevent opioid overdoses

The fentanyl crisis is reaching and accelerating in every community. People are dying and families are being ripped apart.

15 hours ago


Frank Sumrall

Coldplay brings Music of the Spheres tour to Seattle’s Lumen Field

Coldplay is set to take the stage following opening performances from two acts -- H.E.R. and 070 Shake.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Where Seattle ranks as a city for surviving a zombie apocalypse