At a “Walking Dead” fan event in Rio, the danger may all fun and games, but could you survive a real zombie apocalypse? (Source: Davi Campana/R2 Foto)

To many people February marks that time of the year when you do special things with your special someone. But for me, this February will mark the most exciting time of the year, the return of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

Each season I see character after character get munched on by the undead for the dumbest reasons and I say to myself, “If they had only looked left, if they had only climbed that wall, if they had only, etc.”

This got me wondering if it was really that easy. Would I really survive a zombie apocalypse? So here are five reasons why love bites — literally —this February and how to avoid it.

1. Be in shape

I can almost guarantee that every zombie hoard will have its fair share of muffin tops and cankles. You want to survive, but you can’t even keep up a moderate walking pace for most the day, you are unable to climb walls or trees and you need a constant break to catch your breath.

The fact is unless you get used to being able to move among any terrain at a brisk pace, you’ve probably got less than a month. If you want to be prepared, start hiking on the weekends, go to the pool and swim laps, or just go for walks in the morning. If you’re not in shape and don’t care … good luck.

2. Put the chainsaw down

How nice of you to rev up the dinner bell for your shuffling friends. Seriously, ignore the false doctrines of Hollywood. Heavy equipment and tools that require fuel are not only inconvenient but also ineffective. What would take five seconds with a knife or screwdriver will take a full minute with a chainsaw, and afterward you’ve signaled to every zombie in the area where you are.

Keep it simple: Use piercing tools and objects to get through a zombie’s skull, for instance. Also keep in mind to have tools for every occasion. A crowbar could, for instance, break a zombie’s head just as easily as you could use it to pry open a locked door when you’re looking for an escape from the moaning masses headed your way.

3. Think smarter, not harder

The nearest stronghold is not your best bet, trust me. Military compounds will be overrun and supplies will go fast. Prisons will be filled with people who could be more dangerous than the dead. Bomb shelters are not built to be permanent residences.

Think about your enemies’ weaknesses. They’re slow and they can’t climb. Why not start a camp on a steep mountainside? They can’t swim. Why not go to an island on a lake or off shore? They’re not smart. Why not set up traps and pitfalls they won’t avoid? Remember, smart people who think outside the box live, and those who don’t end up eating other people who didn’t.

4. Give a hand … but not literally

There is going to be a time when you see someone in need and you’ll want to help them. There is a time to be a hero and a time to not throw your life away. When you feel the need to let your remaining humanity shine, just ask these two questions: Will I survive if I do? And will this person stab me in the back afterward?

5. See the glass as half full

You’re dirty, you’re starving and you haven’t slept in two days, but you have a smile on your face. Without hope, what’s the point of living? Looking forward to a time when you and your group can finally rest, always looking for safety, always trying to live, these are crucial skills. Those who give up have a 100-percent chance at finding nothing, but those who rally on may eventually find what they are looking for.

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