Portland is Considered the 11th Best City to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse, Here are the Best Places to Hide

How prepared are you in the event of a zombie apocalypse? If you’re the type who doesn’t believe a zombie apocalypse can legitimately occur or you just don’t watch zombie media, then the chances are that you’ll be eaten first. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

Some are naturally going to be more prepared than others. The avid hunter with a gun collection is more likely to survive than the accountant without a license to carry. However, what people don’t emphasize is just how much your surroundings will affect your chances of survival. The person in an apartment building in the middle of downtown New York City is going to have completely different odds of survival compared to someone living on a farm in rural Tennessee. It can be a make or break deal for you, and your chances of survival can be completely tanked just because you decided to live somewhere ill-prepared for a literal zombie apocalypse.

So what are your chances of surviving when judged by where you live? Well, if you live in Portland, Oregon, your chances are pretty stellar. At least, that’s the conclusion that the website Lawn Love came to when doing its analysis of multiple factors contributing to a city’s survivability.

So, what’s the ranking? And how do other cities compare? Is Oregon itself a safer place to be compared to all the other states, or is Portland just an anomaly? Not to mention, what even makes a “survivable” city? Where are some of the best places to hide should an apocalypse strike Portland? All this and more will be answered in this article, believe me you. So sit back and I’ll give you a rundown on how Portland is very likely to help you survive one of the most improbable (but still scary nonetheless) pandemics that could ever hit the world. And in case you were wondering, here’s a travel guide on what to do in Portland, a city considered to be one of the wildest party spots in the US!


The Ranking

Ranking of best cities to survive a zombie apocalypse

According to Lawn Love, of the top 200 major cities in the United States, Portland is the 11th most survivable. How so? Well there are several reasons behind it.

For one, Portland is fairly big when it comes to mobility. Not only is it close to water, but it’s also extremely bike-friendly and easy to get around on foot (as questionable a decision as that last one may be in a city of over 600,000 people). Some other reasons include being plentiful in both outdoor gear and hardware stores. It also has a decent amount of grocery stores as well, though, and the population is generally pretty healthy all things considered. Portland would be a pretty average city when it comes to surviving an apocalypse, but it’s the outdoorsy nature and easy mobility of the town that really boosts it up. Not to mention, any city that has a bunch of ports or marinas is going to get a giant boost in any survivability rating.

If you’re wondering, it’s Houston, Texas that came out on top. This is helped by its many grocery stores, hunting gear supply stores, and weapon/ammunition stores. Not to mention, they have a ton of airports, helipads, and ports/marinas due to its location on the Gulf Coast. Also, have you ever been to downtown Houston? They’re not afraid to throw hands at the most imperceivable slight against them. Chances are the zombies will all be mowed down within a week tops. H-Town has everyone beat, but that doesn’t mean that Portland’s beat.

So what about other Oregon cities? Is Portland really just the best the state has to offer, or are the other big cities trailing right behind it in survivability? Well, if you must know, Eugene was also in the top 200, ranking at 74th. Salem came in close behind at an abominable 98th. If there is another major Oregon city that you don’t see on the list, that’s because they were too poorly equipped to make the cut, and so the chances of death are pretty high in those places. To those living in Gresham, Bend, Hillsboro, or one of the other large Oregon cities: I’m sorry you had to find out this way. It’s never easy learning that your city would be total trash when it comes to facing a zombie apocalypse.


What Makes a Survivable City

What Makes a Survivable City

What exactly is this rating based off of, though? Surely it’s not just based on bias or the like. Well there is a method to the madness, and it comes in several factors that need to be accounted for when considering your city’s zombie-killing capabilities. These factors are vulnerability, hideouts, supplies, protection, and mobility.



When considering a city’s vulnerability, there are a few things you need to ask yourself. How densely populated is the city? Because if every block is packed with people in an extremely urban area, there’s going to be a lot more havoc when the apocalypse does eventually break out. There’s a great chance you’ll be overwhelmed before you even realize what’s happening. How about physical inactivity rate? How much of the population is considered physically active according to WHO’s recommended guidelines? Along with that, how much of the population is in bad health? We’re talking about chronic illnesses, age, obesity, and all that stuff. This is important because while regular people may be able to get winded easily, zombies most certainly do not. Get that cardio up, people.

Another question to consider is how many military bases are in the city? Having a military presence will bump survival up greatly, as that’ll help to decrease some of the zombie population. Portland has several, making it pretty reliably safe in that regard.

Any natural hazards? With Portland, that’s pretty reliably answered.

Hospitals and urgent clinics per square mile is also a great thing to consider. Even if they aren’t running when the apocalypse hits, they’re still amazing for medical supplies, so long as looters don’t get everything first.



Hideouts really put your city’s planning to the test and are fairly easy to understand. How many homes in Portland have basements (also known as “bunkers” in a zombie apocalypse). How many of these homes are complete with kitchen facilities? How many are complete with plumbing? Lastly, how off-grid is the lifestyle of the city? Despite being a city that holds over 600,000 people, Portland does a decent job of this, but is far from true “off-grid” lifestyle. That’s something you’ll only ever find in rural towns, really, but Portland can dream, can’t it?



You can’t get any simpler than this. These are the basics for any survivalist, because if you want to get through any sort of apocalypse, zombie or not, you need to take stock of the resources around you. How many supermarkets are in Portland? How about grocery stores? Convenience stores? Shopping centers as well as department stores? Pharmacies and drug stores? Last but not least, hardware stores. After all, you’re going to be needing to do quite a bit of DIY now that the apocalypse has set in and you don’t have any professionals on call to help you out with new renovations. Portland has quite a few hardware stores, believe it or not, giving it an edge in survivability.

Once you have taken stock of all this, now you have to ask yourself how you’re going to obtain those supplies. Looters will not be kind, that much is for sure, so keep your wits about you and have a weapon by your side.



If no one’s going to protect you, you should at least be able to protect yourself. How good is Portland with that? Well, it once again depends on the supply chains around the city.

This includes stores that sell hunting gear, gun shops that sell weapons and ammunition, stores that sell outdoor gear (something Portland excels at), shooting ranges, and firearm training facilities. Guns are loud and bring a lot of attention, but in a pinch, they really are your best friend. It’s best to get yourself familiarized with a gun in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, and with how many bullets can be found in a single gun store, you could eliminate the zombie population several times over should you conserve rationally.



Portland has everyone beat when it comes to this. After all, what good is a city if you’re practically chained to one hideout the rest of the apocalypse. If you’re unable to reach supply stores, you may not be long for this world.

When it comes to mobility, you have to ask yourself just how walkable it is. How bike-friendly is it? How about hiker-friendly?

Campsites are also a good one to keep track of. How many campsites are available within 50 miles? Is there access to ports and marinas? How about access to airports? And finally, how many helipads are you able to find? All of this and more is extremely vital to a city’s survivability rating in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

If you know anything about Portland, you’ll know why it excels so much in this area. Should a zombie apocalypse ever occur, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll at least be able to travel from place to place with relative ease, as well as live more off-grid if you really need to.


Best Places to Hide

Best Places to Hide

So as improbable as a zombie apocalypse might be, let’s talk about the specifics on where you can hide should the zombies hit this fair city. There are quite a few places, actually, so if you ever need to change locations, know that you have quite a few options. I’ll give you my idea of where you should go from least valuable to the best.

If you have a group of friends who can help you secure it, one of Portland’s bridges could be the way to go. The high ground will keep you safe from the zombie threat, for the most part. You’d have to be pretty desperate, though, as the only shelter from the elements would be old cars, and food will definitely be a problem.

Getting on a boat is also a good idea. Staying on the water will keep you safe from zombies, and if you ever need to get some supplies, you can just sail back in. Some problems will include cooking food (I assume you’ll be able to fish) and shelter from the elements, as well as the interference of other people.

Sauvie Island or Ross Island are viable options. Sometimes isolation is key and you just need to sail in and get your protection that way. In that case, you’ll need to make sure you have enough food and fresh water before you go back into the mainland. Concerns are, of course, shelter, as well as the possibility that there are people who had the same ideas you did and aren’t too keen on sharing. Just make sure to bring friends or a pet to keep you company.

If you have the supplies for it, you can head up to Mt. Hood itself, as the cold will absolutely work wonders by slowing down the zombies. Just make sure you’re absolutely prepared, because while zombies can be deadly, the elements can be deadlier.

If you have a functional car and tons of supplies, you might want to go up to Ape Cave at Mt. St. Helens. It’s the perfect place to hide out for several days, and if you know how to hunt and build a fire, then maybe even more. Not to mention, Ape Cave has multiple points of entry. Not only would it be easy to secure, but you will also have another way to get out should zombies find their way into one of the entrances.

My ultimate recommendation, though, would have to be the Shanghai Tunnels under Old Town. While it might be difficult to get in, it’s a very secure place to hide out in. There’s tons of space, it’s fairly discrete, and you can bring quite a bit of stuff with you. You’re also fairly safe from the elements, with the only exception being a potential flood. You can hide out there until the zombie threat is over and done with, occasionally poking your head out like a gopher to look for supplies.


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