Believe it or not, the subject of securing a nation’s border against zombies has been brought up before. Earlier this year in the Canadian Parliament, this took place:
Hardy harr. We’ll see how much they laugh when it comes time to seriously consider locking down the border.
So could a nation lock down a border in a zombie pandemic? What if patient zero is in Mexico or Canada, could we keep the horde at bay? If so, how?
Could we build a fence? The short answer is no. In 2006 Congress passed the Secure Fence Act. It’s a nice way of saying “we’re going to build 700 miles of fence along the Mexico border because all those lazy, uneducated Mexicans are sneaking in and getting hired over brilliant, hard-working Americans (because that makes sense)”. According to the Congressional Research Service:
As of January 15, 2013, DHS had installed 352 miles of primary pedestrian fencing, 299 miles of vehicle fencing (total of 651 miles), and 36 miles of secondary fencing (see Figure 4). The Border Patrol reportedly had identified a total of 653 miles of the border as appropriate for fencing and barriers.
So it’s taken us 7 years to build 653 miles of fence. Considering that zombies aren’t likely to wait around twiddling their decomposing thumbs while we erect a wall, and considering that we have a total of 3,471 miles to cover between the Mexican and Canadian borders, you can kiss any thought of walling off our nation goodbye.
Could we secure our border with military force? This question can only be asked if we assume that zombies are nowhere in our country, otherwise our military forces would likely be otherwise occupied. But assuming the USA is clean, could we use our military to keep the zombie hordes out? This is actually a possibility.
As of 2011, the US Army and US Marine Corps had a total of about 4500 M1A1 and M1A2 tanks in service, with approximately the same number of M1 tanks in storage. That’s almost three tanks per mile. Now, some of the land on our borders cannot be traversed by human or zombie. Even better! That’s more effective tanks per mile. There are some places that can be traversed by foot, but which are inaccessible to tanks. Ok, so we put soldiers there and we get even more tanks per mile on the remaining border land!
We could also set up and mark air strike areas, where if large mobs are seen they will be bombed (zombie movies always seem to forget that we have an air force).
Of course, all of this assumes a fast reaction time and an ability for our armed forces to competently organize at a moment’s notice. This has not always been their strong suit. Organizing a detailed border lock down at the drop of a hat would be a nightmare to orchestrate, but at least we know that it could theoretically be done.
However, just because it could theoretically be done doesn’t mean it will. Don’t count on anybody saving your life but you. If the armed forces succeed, then lucky you. But if they don’t, then you’ll at least be ready.