Hydrogen gas couldn’t be used because it’s highly flammable and you mention several ways–firearms, waste burning, lamps–to ignite a flame. 400 people with the water and food to feed them would be incredibly heavy. Paragliding, while a hilarious escape method, wouldn’t be safe in bad weather conditions.
This would be cool with helium gas and groups of 15-20 people max.
I don’t think you realize how much lift is required for the mass of your example here, or how much food it takes to sustain a single person. Frankly, I’d rather take my chances on the ground with the zombies.
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