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Zombie Warfare Preparation: Picking and Setting Up a Fortification

Updated on March 14, 2012
Where to stay during the zombie apocalypse
Where to stay during the zombie apocalypse

Zombies, zombies everywhere and not a place to sleep.

As I mentioned in my last article, this is one of the few times human beings have faced total warfare. We are up against an enemy is relentless. He doesn’t need to eat. He doesn’t need to drink. He doesn’t sleep. He doesn’t breath. Cut off an arm or blow off one of his legs and he’ll just keep coming. And remember, he doesn’t even need a bathroom break. We are in battle against a pseudo-life automation that wants nothing more than to feast on your still living flesh… and the flesh of your loved ones.

The one thing we know is that eating, drinking, sleeping, breathing, and even going to the bathroom are things we need. So with all that in mind, we need to set up or find a place that will allow us to do all of those things in relative safety.

Being vulnerable and staying outside is not really an option.

So, where do you go? And more importantly, where do you avoid going?

Where you don’t want to be

The basic rule is to stay away from largely populated areas. Cities, prisons, and stadiums are all bad ideas. Also, it’s best to not be in temperate zone that has consistent warm moist weather. A zombie siege could last years in that comfortable climate zone as flesh will have less of a chance of deterioration and the lack of a winter season will keep you isolated within your structure.

In order, these are the worst places to hole up.

  1. Hospitals – I’d think this would be common sense. While hospitals offer plenty of beds, a ready food and water supply, and plenty of medical supplies and equipment, it’s also where they keep the sick, dying, and dead people. Those of you who watch The Walking Dead know that the protagonist, Rick, woke up from his coma in a hospital surrounded by zombies. In an epidemic where the sick have contracted the zombie virus, the dying are most likely dying from it, and the dead are most likely going to rise soon, a hospital is the worst place to stay. First of all, they’re already inside. Secondly, even with the large fortified doors outside the building, there are very few inside that will keep a zombie within the perimeter from attacking you.
  2. Apartment Buildings – Very much like hospitals, if you live in an apartment building, you are in a structure where several other people live as well. Many of the zombies were people who caught the virus and either went to the hospital for treatment or went to their home to get some sleep. The chances of there being a zombie in at least one of the apartments are very likely. The advantage to staying in an apartment building is that there are plenty of people to help you defend the fortification. The disadvantage is that unless you plan on going outside and take your chances to get to an abandoned supermarket, you’ll need to raid what you think are seemingly empty apartments. As zombies don’t have the intelligence to work a doorknob, they will be waiting for you once you open the door (by most likely breaking it down). Once inside you may be facing up to five zombies who now have access to the inside of your fortification.
  3. Shopping Malls – Unless you are absolutely sure that it is empty (unlikely), a shopping mall is a terrible place to set up a fortification. While there are gates to every store front, the doors to the mall are not easy to defend. The front doors, usually made of glass, are a poor obstacle against a zombie horde. Should they detect your presence, they will not stop until they get to you. The advantages to basing in a mall are access to the food court and plenty of access to any sporting goods store than can make improvisational weapons. Even the food court’s oil and propane supplies can supply the ingredients to make an efficient bomb. However, we must remember, an explosive device has very little, if any, effect against the living dead.

Where you want to be

Ideally, you want to be where the climate is cold and there is a season where temperatures fall below freezing. While a frozen zombie will reanimate with the spring thaw, it won’t move once it’s frozen. Should you find a frozen zombie, they can be quickly disposed of with the help of a standard tree axe, a spray can to mark where the body is, and gasoline to cremate the head. A frozen climate zone offers the luxury of raiding the adjoining areas for food and other life sustaining supplies while the zombies are frozen.

  1. Farms – Farms have the advantage open space with clear vantage points as well as a renewable food source. A lookout tower can be made where a sniper’s nest can have the vantage point of long range shots with a single shot high powered rifle with scope. Many old farms have access to gasoline powered generators as well as potbellied stoves and fireplaces. The main attractions are its remoteness from highly populated areas and its self-sufficiency.
  2. Military Bases – You want ammo? You got it. Military bases were built to withstand sieges from both the living and the undead. Should your party be lucky enough to either find an abandoned military base or be let into one, you can be guaranteed hot water, food, and a ready source of trained lookouts ready to defend the base. The disadvantage is that if you should be taken into a military base, you won’t be calling the shots. The base commander is the word of law and chain of command will be obeyed. While nowhere is truly safe, a military base will have access to weapons, medical supplies, trained personnel, and plenty of beds for you and your party.
  3. Old Castles – While there is very little chance of a castle being available in the US, there is not an impossible probability of finding one in Europe. European castles were built to not only withstand a siege but also provide good lookout points to defend the castle. It is quite unlikely that a zombie will be able to scale a brick wall or form a plan to cross a moat. While you’re in that castle, for all intents and purposes you’re safe while the food supply holds out.

Lessons learned

Ideally, you want to be in a place that offers the most amount of safety while providing you and your party with supplies, comfort, and invisibility to the undead. You also will need to restock resources and being in a place that will supply a near inexhaustible amount of food will keep everyone happy and create less friction to everyone concerned. If you have to resupply, it’s best to be in an area where zombies have a definite disadvantage. Prime choices are the Arctic and desert areas. While a zombie will certainly freeze in an arctic zone, they will almost certainly dry up and fall prey to muscle dehydration in a desert climate.

Be sure to keep a high amount of ammunition and should the situation call for it learn to manufacture your own projectiles.

No place is perfect in the middle of a contagion. However, under the right circumstances with proper vigilance a peace can be made until a workable battle strategy can be made to fight the undead.


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