May 29th, 2009 5:33 pm | by News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Schools

Apocalypse No! Zombie “Safe Zone” established outside PDX


The recent PDX Zombie Prom was a true eye opener for a problem many Portlanders will face if the dead truly rise, hungry for warm flesh and predisposed to kill.

Sure, it was cute. It was fun. Zombies danced and made out, they smiled and mugged for cameras. But outside the Bossanova Ballroom, where the ghouls smoked butts and mingled, there were no shouts of terror. In the neighborhoods, as zombies shambled toward the party, not one citizen—not a single, solitary fucking soul—took it upon himself to defend humanity from the invading hordes. No gunfire was reported. No crowbar attacks.

People seem to think that the undead are adorable. They're trendy. They're (shudder) hip.

But seriously, folks, what are you gonna do when the recently dead try to chomp your asses? Are you gonna take out your camera and photos for your Facebook? (a lot of good Facebook will do you when your face is chewed off.) Are you going to write an emo song about how your girlfriend has been zombified? Go ahead—listeners will likely commit suicide, making more soldiers for the army of the dead.

No, friends, the best way to go is into the wilds, fortify, lay low, and work on re-populating the world. But even then, you have to trek back to the city and brave the enemy stronghold for food, ammo, other survivors for mating and clean water.

Lucky for us, the Zombie Research Society, a nonprofit currently applying for a 501(c)3 and committed to raising the level of zombie scholarship in the Arts and Sciences, is currently at work establishing a network of safe zones throughout the nation—and Portland has stepped up as the first such zone.

James Gunn (no relation to the Slither director), who runs NW Tactical Adventures —a military teamwork company specializing in corporate outings—has volunteered 165 acres a mere 15 miles southwest of Portland near Newberg. The isolated facility has wild game, water, natural boundaries and campsites established for ZRS members in the event of an outbreak.

“It's well positioned to serve as a safe zone,” says ZRS founding member Matt Mogk. “If you're out in the middle of nowhere, and there are no people around, there are no zombies.”

Safe Zones are poised to pop up throughout the country, interconnected with radio contact. (Michigan and Alabama, with their ample supplies of shotguns, are next.) ZRS members and their families are welcome to the safe zones when hell spills over and ghouls take to the streets for a human buffet.

But, if George A. Romero taught us anything, it's that after the outbreak, zombies are a secondary threat. Human infighting tends to tear even ironclad compounds apart, and marauders on motorcycles and hillbillies seeking clean water and food can be an equal menace. Luckily, the Portland Regional Safe Zone is fortified against the living and the dead in equal measures.

“The team that runs the Portland regional ZRS safe zone are all ex military. They're specifically well positioned to handle this,” says Mogk. “All they do is protect their land and teach people how to protect themselves and their land. The Portland Regional Safe Zone is the least likely to have that type of problem.”

Isolation, Mogk says, is the key. Zombification is transmitted person to person. Which means friends, neighbors, doctors, teachers, lawyers, priests, cops, firemen—they're all a bite away from chewing your ass to oblivion, and isolation with other survivalists is the key to making it through another day.

“When you do the math, a rural farmhouse is probably one of the safest places you can be because of such low population density,” says Mogk. “If you're out in the middle of nowhere, and there are no people around, there are no zombies.”

Make no mistake, the undead scourge could one day be upon us, and unless you're ready to go all Bear Grylls out in the Gorge, survivors MUST band together. When your cute little daughter gets a psychotic glint in her eye and starts chomping at your jugular, you only have one choice. Smash her head in with a crowbar. She will chew on your heart and have your intestines for dessert. Smash her skull, head toward Newberg, and await instructions.

But if you're not a member of the ZRS, you'd be best to sign up before it's too late. When there's no more room in hell, your local coffee shop will likely not have WiFi.

To sign up, visit
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