Halloween edition: How Atlanta ranks in a zombie apocalypse

As Halloween nears, it’s probably a good time to assess our preparedness.

No, we don’t mean the crates filled with Mars bars, Skittles or candy corn near the door. We don’t mean the carved pumpkins or the recorded screaming that will play whenever the little beggars come up the walk. And we definitely do not mean the cardboard skeletons and TP in the trees.

That is, of course, for children.

What the big kids need to know is the serious business: How are we fixed to survive the Zombie apocalypse?

Fortunately, the normally serious folks at CareerBuilder have taken a break from their usual research on stuff like getting a job and managing HR to help us. The Chicago-based firm has gone deep into the analytics to get at the gore-filled, ghoulish truth about how well major American cities are positioned to handle a real-life version of the Zombie Apocalypse.

With vampirish tongue firmly in cheek, CareerBuilder asserts that it used a weighted index, ranking the 53 largest metros. They assumed "a standard, flesh-eating virus transmitted via biting or contact with infected blood." They ranked the metros on four categories: ability to defend against the virus, ability to contain the virus, ability to find a cure and ability to outlast the epidemic with an ample food supply.

So, what about Atlanta? Home of the CDC and Georgia Tech – not to mention the original site for the culture-shifting Walking Dead television show? We oughta do fine, right?

Well, first the good news. We rank second-best in Zombie Defense, according to CareerBuilder and its analysis arm, Economic Modeling Specialists International. That is based on factors like the percentage of the population in the military or law enforcement, the availability of small arms and so on.

Number one for defense?

“The results suggest that Virginia Beach-Norfolk is best prepared to defend itself from a mass zombie attack, thanks to a major naval presence,” says CareerBuilder.

Okay, maybe we shoulda planned better, seaport-wise.

What about finding a cure? Turns out, Boston with all its biotech companies and research facilities and really smart MIT nerds ranks number one. Atlanta ranks surprisingly low: 49th, according to CareerBuilder.

Well, that can't be right. What about the CDC? Come on, people. But when all the grim, demonish, undead data is collected and the apocalyptic numbers are crunched, Atlanta comes in 18th. That's closer to the top than the bottom, but not necessarily the first destination if World War Z breaks out.

Make your own choices accordingly.