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How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse - Part 2

Updated on January 21, 2014

Intro

Assuming you have already read part 1 of this guide you should by now have escaped the city with enough supplies to last you a few days and have made it to an area suitable for setting a permanent community of survivors. In this page we will discuss the practicalities of doing this, as well as scavenging for supplies and becomin self sufficient.

Putting Down Some Roots

Now you have reached an area of relative safety, its time to start setting up a more permanent residence and building a community of survivors in order to fight back at the zombies and ensure the survival of the human race. The first thing you need to do is find a suitable building to use as a first residence. You won't be staying here permanently but you will be for at least a couple of weeks, after which you will still want to use it as a safehouse and rallying point for other survivors who have escaped the cities so it is worth kitting it out properly. You want something fairly isolated but still big enough to house 20 or 30 people, and preferably something with good views of the surrounding countryside for defensive purposes. A large farmhouse would be ideal for this provided there is a driveway (preferably tarmac) that leads right up to the front door, something with a garage would be even better.

When you have identified something suitable you need to take it over and this has to be done very carefully. Drive up to the building as close as you can get and, with your doors locked, sound your vehicles horn a few times. The reason for this is in case the building is already occupied by survivors (possibly its owners), and to attract the attention of any nearby zombies. There is always the chance of finding one or two zombies roaming the countryside and sounding your horn will draw them out into the open, thus avoiding the danger of being crept up on. You can now despatch any zombies using the tools and weapons at your disposal, making sure to destroy the brain. If there are any residents in the building, it is likely they will make themselves know to you and let you in having just witnessed your heroic display of zombie killing and the fact that you have arrived in a suitable vehicle packed with supplies. You should enter with your weapon drawn but pointed down, you need to show you are friendly but also be ready in case they try to rob or attack you. Most of all you need to be in charge of the situation, avoid acting in a hostile or intimidating manner, but make them understand you are here to protect them, you are setting up a community to survive and fight back and wish to use their building as a safehouse. Chances are they will be frightened and running low on supplies and will join you - if so you are now responsible for keeping these people safe so look after them. If you can't talk them round, wish them well and leave them to it, and start scouting for another building.

If the building is unoccupied you are going to have to clear it the old fashioned way. Leave your vehicle unlocked with the engine off and approach the front door. If it is locked use your crowbar between the lock and the doorframe to prise it open, and open the door with your weapon raised. If there are zombies in the building it is likely they will have heard you sound your horn earlier and will have assembled in the entrance hall, so be ready to strike or fire but also be ready to run back to your vehicle and lock yourself in if there are too many of them. Once you are in you need to do a thorough sweep for zombies, one room at a time, all the while watching your escape route and leaving all doors between you and the exit open - you may need to get out of there in a hurry. Make sure you cover ever last inch of the building, check basements, lofts, store cupboards until your are 100% confident the building is clear.

Next you need to properly secure the building so nail all windowframes shut, break up some furniture to make boards to board windows up. You should double board windows inside and outside and putting long nails through both boards and the frame and bending the ends over to prevent them being ripped off by hungry zombies. Do this for all ground floor windows and any first or second floor windows above a flat roof. You will also need to secure the front door using set of hasps and padlocks, put hasps inside and out so you can secure the building while you are out and also lock yourself in at night.

Once you have done this, unload your tools and supplies (but leaving 2 days food and water ration in your vehicle), check any outbuildings for zombies or anything you think is useful, and get a good nights sleep.

Finding Other Survivors

Over the next few days there are a number of things you need to accomplish, all related to assembling and equipping an army of survivors. The first thing you need to do is start making signs to advertise your location to survivors fleeing the city, these need to be large enough to be seen from a passing vehicle with clear directions to your location. Place these on as many motorways and major roads as you can find within a 50 mile radius, and take a map with you to mark down the location of any places you see on your travels that could be good to scavenge later. You are also likely to need fuel while you are doing this as you will be covering a lot of miles. Look out for abandoned vehicles and use your siphoning equipment to fill up at the earliest opportunity. While you are out doing this you should also take the opportunity to fill your vehicle with tinned food, water, and medical supplies from any likely looking places you happen to pass. When people start arriving you want to be prepared to feed them and give first aid.

This is likely to take several days so you should be able to amass a good supply of food, water, and fuel at your safehouse, however there are other things you should also start collecting now you have somewhere permanent to store them. First of all you should get a couple of diesel generators, look for the kind on wheels which you can tow (you did take a vehicle with a tow bar didn't you?) as they are pretty powerful and easy to move. Search building sites, industrial units, hire shops etc for these. You should also start to stockpile weapons, although you may have a weapon already you can never have enough in a zombie situation. Also when a survivor arrives they are a refugee, put a gun in their hands and they become a soldier. Although you may find the occasional gun store on your travels, these are likely to be few and far between and won't stock anything with serious firepower. Look out for roadsigns edged in red on your travels as these are military sites and chances are they will be a treasure trove of firepower. You should try and accumulate a good variety of weaponry to suit all the types of people who will join you, while the standard army issue SA-80 is more than capable of putting down a zombie within three well aimed rounds, not all your survivors will have the physical strength to use it accurately. Try and collect a variety of rifles, shotguns, and handguns, not to mention heavier support machine guns if you can find them. The standard British army L7A2 fires 750 7.62mm rounds per minute at an effective range of 1800 metres, can be tripod mounted and will give you excellent protection from a sentry position on the roof of your safehouse. Other useful items you will find are radios, night vision scopes and body armour. You should also keep your eyes open for maps and info relating to other sites in the area, the nature of the military is to not advertise the location of its better sites but if you don't look for them you could miss out.

Be aware there is a better than average chance that military sites will still be occupied and if so will certainly have their own survival plan and established chain of command and be unlikely to join your group of survivors. They will probably allow you to join them provided you submit to their command and its up to you whether you do this or not. It is possible they are still in contact with (and loyal to) whats left of the government and by joining them you will be effectively becoming a footsoldier yourself. While this may seem an attractive proposition with hot food, warm beds and access to military hardware, bear in mind these soldiers are likely to be ordered to fight in dangerous situations as the government tries to reestablish control of the country as fast as possible, and your personal survival plus the survival of your group becomes secondary to preserving the old order. Remember the government has already failed and think carefully before putting yor faith in them - survivors fight when they have to, soldiers fight when they are told. A better strategy is to establish a relationship with them but remain independent, you could offer to trade food and water for weapons, or scavenge to order in exchange for reinforcements in the event of your community having to defend a major zombie attack.

Paint the Town Red (with Zombie Blood)

So lets assume you have followed this guide to the letter, have survived, established a base, and have a band of between 10-20 survivors who have found you and you have equipped with decent zombie killing weapons. These people now see you as an awesome God-like leader, their saviour in times of need and its now time to take things to the next stage.

In part 1 of this guide I suggested heading for the Brecon Beacons in Wales with good reason. The town of Brecon itself is in a good strategic position, it is surrounded on all sides by mountains in a natural bowl, there are only 4 roads in and out, and the town itself is bissected by a river making it easily defensible from zombies with only a few sentry positions. Also the town has two supermarkets, two petrol stations, and an army base giving you access to plenty of food, water, fuel, weapons and good vehicles. Additionally the town centre is compact and has various places to stock up with clothing, tools, and books (because you will certainly need to learn new skills). I'm going to assume the army base is unoccupied, for reasons I discussed earlier in this guide you should avoid joining with the military so if it is occupied move on and find another town.

Your next mission is to occupy the town of Brecon. You are going to systematically flush this town of its zombie population and use it to found a new civilisation. The best way to go about this is with assault weapons. If you've been lucky enough to find any military arms caches then this is the time to get the heavy machine guns out, however if you can get hold of jam jars, nuts and bolts, and the right proportions of certain household chemicals (which I shouldn't publish here) you can manufacture a batch of good thrown area of effect weapons capapble of taking down small crowds of zombies. Use your imagination, almost anything can be weaponised with a bit of ingenuity. Drive your vehicles to the outskirts of town and start making plenty of noise to draw out the zombies in the area. Once you have a decent crowd amassed then unleash hell. Direct all your fire at the crowd but remember to stay in your vehicles. If you position your vehicle passenger side on to the crowd you can fire from the front and rear passenger windows, if you keep it two to a vehicle you also leave spare seats for both survivors from the town you may come across and also avoid any of your team becoming stranded if their vehicle breaks down. Once you have either decimated the crowd or it looks like they are too much to deal with, make your escape. You should have a system in place where everyones cue to leave comes from following a lead vehicle sounding its horn. When you do leave, do not repeat DO NOT drive directly back to your base. If the zombies follow you may end up waking up the next day to thousands of zombies surrounding your safehouse. Remember they may be slow but they are relentless and will head in the direction they last see you flee. Study your map of the area and leave in a different direction to where you are actually headed.

Brecon has a population of around 8,000 so its fair to assume you will have to deal with around this number of zombies. Not only does this mean you will have to have cached enough weapons and ammunition, it means you will have to return to town many times and repeat the same guerilla tactics until you start thinning down the zombies numbers. Try assaulting the town from various directions always remembering to stay outside the town and leave your escape route clear. You can potentially use the river running through town as a choke point. If a large crowd can be persuaded towards a bridge or other crossing you can concentrate your fire on that small area and dispatch hundreds of zombies easily and with little risk to your troops. You should be careful to watch the river banks if using this tactic, as it is a well known fact zombies can walk underwater and you don't want to be taken by surprise.

After a few days you will notice the numbers of zombies coming out will start to thin out and eventually stop. Assuming you have kept a rough bodycount of how many you have dispatched so far you will be able to tell when its safe to start venturing further into town and possibly even establishing a forward base as you begin to clear the town house by house. Eventually you will be in a position to move into town permanently and you can begin establishing your settlement.

Deal with Zombie Bites Properly

The bitten individual should be granted any last wishes and immediately put out of their misery in such a way to prevent reanimation. It is the kindest and safest thing to do.

See Zombieland

This excellent film is excellent zombie survival training. I cannot emphasise #3 Cardio enough

Establishing your Settlement

Once you are reasonably certain you have eliminated as many zombies as can be drawn out, you can start to move in to town. Firstly establish a forward base so you have a secure place to keep supplies and a staging point for your incursions into the rest of town. This should be a large building on the outskirts of town, cleared and fortified in exactly the same way as your base out of town, and manned by at least 2 sentries at all times. It would be a huge advantage if your building has a flat roof and good roof access so your sentries can fire down at any part of the buildings perimeter. There should be a fuelled up vehicle kept here at all times, ideally in a compound, and a radio link should be established with your safehouse in the hills.

Your first priority is fortification, Brecon has a medium sized army base right in the middle of town and assuming it is unoccupied, this is an ideal choice since it was built specifically to be a strong secure building. Unfortunately being in the town centre it is surrounded on all sides by buildings so your first job is a recce of the area surrounding the base. You should proceed with caution and stay in your vehicles, although you have probably already dealt with most of the zombies in town there may be one or two lurking to catch you unawares, though in all probability the only zombies left in town are ones which are trapped in buildings. As you check the perimeter you are looking for any other open entrances to the building. It is likely there will be other service doors to the building but these will generally be locked. If you find any open you should preferably secure them or alternately leave a sentry vehicle guarding while you clear the building.

Once you are confident all other ways in to the building are covered you can begin your sweep and clear operation. Have a couple of sentry vehicles standing by the main entrance and as you work your way around the building room by room ensure you always have an escape route clear. If you are surprised at any point by a large group of zombies you can always fall back to the entrance where your sentries can provide fire support and cover.

After you have checked the whole site for zombies it is time to deal with any unsecure entrances. You can board up with wood, though welding plate steel if you can find it is better. Use barbed wire if you have it, this is now your new headquarters and you can now pull all your people out of the safehouse and advance base. You will also now be sitting on an impressive cache of weapons and supplies so take an inventory of what you have. You should also be sending regular vehicle patrols around the surrounding countryside especially covering your old safehouse to check for new arrivals, as well as picking off any stray zombies you may come across. Large signs should be posted so newcomers know to wait in their vehicles until a patrol arrives, as a courtesy you may also want to leave a small amount of food and water out for weary travellers.

At this point you need to clear the buildings in the rest of town, this should be done systematically, starting with the buildings closest to the headquarters. Each building should be assaulted in exactly the same way as the safehouse, room by room. Once it is clear of zombies it should be thoroughly searched for supplies which should be taken back to base, the building should then be sealed to prevent any other zombies taking residence. Care should be taken not to cause too much damage to the buildings as you will want to allocate these as living quarters to new arrivals in the fullness of time.

Once all the buildings in town have been checked and stripped of supplies, its time to establish a town perimeter, and this is where Brecons geography comes into play. The town is surrounded on all sides by open fields and farmland with a range of hills to the south, so it should be possible to set up sentry posts in strategic positions so no approach to town is possible without being seen. These sentries should be manned day and night on a shift system. If available, night time sentries should be equipped with starlight scopes for night vision and the entire perimeter should be rigged with tripwires attached to flares as an early warning system. In time you will want to build a permanent solid barricade with firing steps right the way around the town though this will be a lot of work and not really necessary until your population grows to the point where you need to house people in buildings outside the headquarters. In the meantime make use of barbed wire, razor wire, stakes in the ground, anything that will stop a person advancing will also stop a zombie. If you have access to earh moving equipment then dig ditches and fill them with something nasty.

Surviving

The long term survival of your settlement will depend on you having sustainable supplies of food and water, strong defensive capabilities, and a good mix of skills among the population of your town. This last point will involve a certain amount of luck as you can't choose who will make it this far, however what is on your side is the fact than anyone who has survived the zombie apocalypse and made it this far has shown a seriously high level of determination and resourcefulness and no matter what their work and education background they are likely to prove themselves useful rebuilding civilisation. Its your job as leader to allocate people to the tasks and responsibilities most suited to them.

Brecon has a river running through it however you shouldn't be too hasty to assume this water is safe to drink. With the level of death an destruction in the world there is every possibility the water is contaminated upstream with dead bodies, possibly even dead zombies. You can't take the risk of poisoning your townsfolk so all water from the river should be boiled until you have time to organise an expedition upstream. In the meantime, this part of Wales is cursed with exceptionally high rainfall so take advantage of this by contructing rain collectors.

Also, although you will now be sitting on a large supply of tinned and non perishable food, this won't last forever, in short you're going to have to start farming. The area around town has a lot of good usable farmland for growing and grazing so find some people with any growing experience to get some crops on the go. You will need to develop a method of crop rotation so you always have fresh food available all year round. There is of course the option to hunt and fish to provide your society with meat, this is assuming you have no livestock as existing stocks will have either died or escaped with no humans around to care for them.

One way of gaining the undying loyalty of your people is to get the power back on so people can start enjoying a few creature comforts. This can be done relatively easily with generators however you only have a finite amount of fuel which also needs to be used in vehicles, so generators should be used sparingly. It is unlikely you will be able to get your nearest power station back on line, and even if you could it would be impossible to secure the fuel to run it. Your only real option is to use renewables. Solar and wind power for the most part are the most viable, hopefully you will have one or two people in your town with the knowhow to get this running. Put them to work.

Finally I will discuss security. By now you should be well versed in the tactics of zombie fighting, patrolling areas by vehicle, clearing buildings, and securing the perimeter of your settlement. As time goes on you will want to start exploring nearby towns for survivors and supplies and it is inevitable that at some point you will meet other organised groups of survivors. Unfortunately when supplies are scarce, mankind tends to show its ignorance and go to war. This is absolutely the worrst thing you can put your people through, be diplomatic, lose face if need be, just don't resort to pointless conflict. Meet face to face with the leaders of other groups and try and work out how you can help each other, what skills and supplies you have to trade.

If you have made it this far then congratulations. You have survived the worst outbreak humanity has ever seen and successfully organsied your own community of survivors. You have graduated from surviving to rebuilding society, the decisions you make now will shape the future of humanity.

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