Originally Published: Oct 11, 2015
Originally Published: Oct 11, 2015 Last Updated: Feb 21, 2016 3 min read
Walkers in “The Walking Dead” Season 6, Episode 1
Gene Page—AMC

AMC's The Walking Dead returns this Sunday for its sixth season, and if you're anything like the show's 15.8 million viewers, you're, um, dying, to see it. But if a zombie apocalypse broke out today, would you be ready? And just what essential items do you need to survive an outbreak of the living dead anyway?

In an effort to promote awareness around disaster preparedness (natural and otherwise), the Centers for Disease Control put together a zombie apocalypse preparation kit that details everything you would need to have on hand in the event the living dead showed up at your front door. The practical suggestions are not much different from what the agency recommends in the event of a flood, earthquake, or other natural disaster. We took the CDC's recommendations and a few others from 'zombie expert' Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide, to price out a fairly simple emergency kit that would have you covered for almost any crisis situation.

The purpose of an emergency kit is to hold you over until help arrives or you can get to a shelter. So assuming that government organizations don't fall to the zombies, we figured that unless you live in a densely populated city like New York or Chicago, two weeks' worth of supplies should be more than enough to get you through the worst. (To see how your city might fare, check out this zombie apocalypse simulator created by Cornell University researchers.)

To determine the cost of such a survival kit, Money priced out two weeks worth of essentials at Walmart.com (note: we chose the retailer for its ubiquity and make no claims for these products' effectiveness in a zombie infestation). The CDC's recommended survival kit would cost roughly $450.66. That seems expensive, but since this kit could be used for virtually any natural disaster, we consider it money well spent. And if The Walking Dead has taught us anything, it’s that you need to be prepared for every single situation—even one as outlandish as consuming tainted meat.

Read next: 5 Ways to Disaster-Proof Your Finances