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.Zombie-Friendly: San Jose’s Top of the List

music in the park san jose

If you’re worried about zombies this Halloween, or worst-case, if you are fearful of an actual zombie apocalypse, San Jose may not be the safest place to be.

While taxes, traffic gridlocks and housing costs–even earthquakes–are likely to be greater sources of anxiety in San Jose than the undead, even at Halloween, at least one travel-adviser website has assessed the “zombie survivability” of major U.S. cities, and given the Capital of Silicon Valley low marks.

While San Francisco tops the list of places to avoid during a zombie outbreak,’s supposedly objective analysis of top U.S. cities ranks San Jose No. 5, among “the worst cities to live in for a zombie outbreak. Four other California cities–Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego–are in the bus-train travel search platform’s top 10.

A Wanderu spokesman said the company “set out to rank America’s 50 biggest cities based on their ‘zombie survivability,’ because zombies are especially top-of-mind this time of year.”

“San Jose, nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, might seem like a tech-savvy sanctuary, but when it comes to surviving a zombie outbreak, it could turn into a digital disaster,” according to Wanderu. “There are only a few ways out and a limited number of bus and train carriers, so you might find yourself trapped in the zombie hordes with nowhere to run.”

VTA planners, get right on that.

Architecture is also important. “Being a high-tech hub doesn’t mean San Jose has an advantage during a zombie apocalypse,” the website advises. “All those minimalist, modern buildings don’t have much in the way of fortifications.”

If you’re spending next week’s ghastly, ghostly holiday in town, “keep your wits about you, and remember that Silicon Valley zombies may have some high-tech tricks up their decaying sleeves,” says Wanderu.

“If you are stuck in the city, you can hide out in the Winchester Mystery House,” counsels the travel website. “Just be careful not to get lost in the winding corridors and stairs to nowhere.”

“With alien visits now confirmed and bed bugs infesting Paris, we can only assume the next crisis on 2023 bingo cards is a zombie apocalypse,” says Wanderu.

To determine which cities are safer or more dangerous in the event of a zombie apocalypse, Wanderu’s decidedly unscientific study evaluated seven factors such as transportation infrastructure, population density, access to agricultural land (for food) and hunting stores (for protection against zombies).

San Jose ranked as one of the more dangerous spots because it has very few ways out of the city to escape zombie hordes (five bus carriers and four train routes), and “relatively few hunting stores per capita.” 

The city’s population density (over 5,000 people per square mile) also makes it a more dangerous place in the event of a zombie outbreak, says Wanderu.

Cities with more interstates (read: ways out of the city), fewer medical research organizations (less chance of a lab leak), and lower population densities ranked as safer spots to face down the zombie hordes. The safest cities, per this new ranking, are: Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Jacksonville, Tulsa and Fort Worth.

barry holtzclaw, managing editor sanjoseinside
Barry Holtzclaw
Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with Weeklys Publishing since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.


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