Leave it to researchers at Cornell University to provide practical data for that most dire of (fictional) emergency scenarios: zombie apocalypse! And the results are bad news for residents of northeastern Pennsylvania.
To teach how to prepare for and respond to an emergency the Cornell team started with 7,000 randomly generated outbreak points (AKA, patient zero) around the United States. Because of the many large population centers within a few hundred miles, northeastern Pennsylvania stood out as the place most likely to be overrun within the first month.
On the other hand, there’s some good news — the long distance from metropolitan areas and low population densities make Montana and the deserts of Nevada ideal locations to set up shop when the undead start shuffling around.
To read more about the researchers’ findings, click here for their academic paper, “You Can Run, You Can Hide: The Epidemiology and Statistical Mechanics of Zombies.” And for more resources on teaching preparedness (both for zombies and for far more likely scenarios), check out the CDC’s zombie prep blog.