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Surviving KC after the world ends

Illustration by Neil Nakahodo, Special to Ink

Illustration by Neil Nakahodo, Special to Ink

Illustration by Neil Nakahodo, Special to Ink

Illustration by Neil Nakahodo, Special to Ink

Illustration by Neil Nakahodo, Special to Ink


So you’ve probably heard by now that the world’s about to end.

Sorry, but it’s pretty much a done deal. The Mayans figured it all out. On Dec. 21 — we’re not sure exactly what time — the world will blow up or lose power and become stricken by simultaneous natural disasters and zombies will roam the Earth and it will generally be a pretty big bummer of a day.

On the bright side, however, there are a lot worse places to ride out the apocalypse than right here. To prove it, we’ve put together a guide to help you navigate a post-apocalyptic Kansas City. From where to go to what to bring to how to get around, we break down the best ways to ensure your survival.

Where to go

Boulevard Brewing Co.: The brewery’s balcony, with its sweeping views of downtown, would be the perfect place to watch shit go down. Plus, there’s beer.

Parkville’s caves: In a nuke attack, the limestone mines up north are your safest bet. Bonus: There’s a paintball arena down there, in case you get bored.

Nebraska Furniture Mart: Lock the doors, stake out a leather sectional and a 70-inch flatscreen, and veg like there’s no tomorrow. Because there isn’t.

Google’s first Fiberhood: If anyone can reset the local infrastructure and return power to Kansas City, it’s the scrappy computer nerds who have recently been setting up shop in the city’s only “Fiberhood.”

Cabela’s: Stock up on all the bare essentials at this outdoor store. You know, tents, canteens, flashlights, batteries, insulated boots, hatchets, fishing poles and a comfy tube for your nice, long float trip down the Missouri River.

Top of the Liberty Memorial: If the rivers start flooding, this high-rise monument is a good place to be.

Power & Light District: Every night in the ol’ P&L District is essentially a small version of the apocalypse, so the venue is obviously built to handle it.

Lifetime Fitness: If you’re out of shape, cram in some serious cardio before zombies make you run for your life. Thanks for the advice, “Zombieland.”

Costco: Stockpile mondo cans of SpaghettiOs and fruit cocktail (and try a few free samples), then build your own fort out of car tires.

What to take

Baldwin camo pants: If you want to last in a post-apocalyptic America, you’re going to need to dress for survival. Kansas City-based Baldwin Denim puts out a snazzy pair of camo pants — so snazzy, in fact, that Jay-Z has been known to wear them. Grab a pair before it’s too late.

Original Juan salsa: Because bark is pretty bland on its own.

Chain mail from the KC Renaissance Festival: Suddenly, that dumb impulse buy looks like the smartest purchase you ever made. Bring your mace, too.

Garmin GPS: Assuming America’s satellites are still up and running — and let’s be honest, that’s a BIG assumption — you’re going to want to have some sort of navigational system from Garmin on hand to direct you from Point A to Point B.

The Roasterie’s Dizzy Three Vodka: Because without caffeine and alcohol, things do not seem to go as well.

How to get around

Ford F-150: These heavy-duty trucks, which are assembled in Claycomo, will come in handy when it comes to hauling supplies or mowing down zombies.

Harley Davidson: Because Daryl, the most kick-ass character on “The Walking Dead,” rides a motorcycle. Bonus points if you can score a crossbow.

Kansas City B-Cycle bikes: Once gas becomes scarce, these rentable bikes will be one of the fastest ways to navigate downtown.

Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport: Who’s got the time or energy to hitchhike to KCI? If you’re hoping to catch a flight out of town before shit gets real, your best bet is the airport off U.S. 169.

Riverboat casino: Are they actually riverboats? Does it matter? Pretty much everyone and their mother knows zombies can’t swim, so if you’re going to have any chance whatsoever of making it, you’d be wise to find yourself a sufficient watercraft and take it to the squids. Heading downstream on a riverboat seems a viable option.

Who to bring

Bill Self: Who else would you rather have leading your survivors group through the post-apocalyptic world? The University of Kansas men’s basketball coach has proven time and again that he can pull the best out of iffy teams.

Matt Cassel: Perhaps no Kansas Citian is more adept at handling adversity than the Chiefs quarterback, a nice guy whose lackluster play this season has resulted in virtually every sports fan in Kansas City calling for his job. Considering he’s remained remarkably poised throughout this whole ordeal, he seems like the kind of guy who could shrug off the world’s end like it was a minor head cold.

Debbie Gold: With a James Beard award-winning chef on your team, you’ll be eatin’ good in the neighborhood — even when the only available ingredients are acorns, squirrels, roly-polies and fruit pies.

Peggy Noland: No animal or human is going to mess with you if you’re swathed in this fashionista’s aggressively colorful designs.

A Kansas City Roller Warrior: Roller derby girls are tougher than burnt leather, and if you hope to make it through a zombie attack or two, you’d be wise to have one of them skating alongside you with a menacing forearm at the ready.

Brooke Salvaggio: This tested urban farmer can coax a potato (or egg) out of the stingiest soil (or chicken).

Alex Pope: You’ve survived — probably as a result of this guide, if we’re being honest — and after hunting down and killing your first live animal for food, you realize that you have no idea how to butcher or cook the thing. But you know who does? Local Pig owner Alex Pope, that’s who.

Gillian Flynn: Someone’s going to have to write about what happens after the world ends — and sorry, it’s not going to be us. We nominate Gillian Flynn, the New York Times best-selling author of “Gone Girl.” If you thought that thriller was dark and twisted, wait until Flynn’s account of the apocalypse.

Tech N9ne: This notorious horror fan and ghost hunter is clearly unafraid to mix it up with the undead. Just the kind of guy you want on your side when the zombies start getting a little frisky.


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