We at the man times often wonder what will happen when the undead rise from the grave and set their sights on consuming the flesh and brains of the living. What’s your strategy, do you go it alone your much harder to catch when you’re on your own and mobile or do you form a community, make a stand together, you’ll be easier to catch but it’s much easier to fight off a shambling hoard when there’s more than one of you?
We’ve given it a lot of thought, and I mean a lot and I’m pleased to say that if the hoards to rise then we at The Man Times have numerous plans to help you survive as long as possible before you are cast aside by your tribe in old age as too old to be of any use, a burden to everyone. (The future is brutal!). Every good zombie survival strategy needs to fulfil 5 main areas.
- Weapons & Ammunition
Food and water go without saying, there’s a pretty reasonable chance that both of these are going to become pretty scarce pretty quickly, as long as the mains water remains turned on, you should be OK for a while, but very soon you’ll find food stocks low as local stores have been looted and each morsel of food becomes a battle, the further you have to travel to find precious resources the more risk you take so stocking up is essential, ways of becoming self-sufficient could be important in the long run, so while someone is out raiding the local Tesco be sure to send a member of your party to the local garden centre to stock up plants and some Fothergills seeds! Grab water butts, fish tank filters, all sorts when you’re their too, anything that could help you keep a store of your own safe drinking water supplies is crucial.
Shelter isn’t just to keep the rain off, it needs to be flexible enough to allow you or your group to come and go but most importantly keep the zombies out. Space is crucial, you will need somewhere to store potentially vast amounts of supplies so the more room you have the better. Your 2 up 2 down isn’t going to cover this there isn’t going to be enough room to fit all the supplies you need along with a load of people. Factor all these things in when your deciding where to set up, you’re going to be in it for the long haul so it needs to be spacious enough and defensible.
You will need to keep your rag-tag group of survivors alive for as long as possible until the army can get their stuff together or until you are the last humans alive, repopulating the human race may fall to you so be prepared to get busy when this is all over.
There’s a general process to establishing a workable settlement in the event of an undead uprising, get your hands on some weapons and establish a perimeter then when you’re secured establish food and water supplies. Once you’ve done this you can go about securing fuel, more supplies and getting down to the day to day activities involved with surviving Armageddon.
There are several elements we’ve discounted on your behalf, for example any military sites or significant military hardware. Largely because the military will be using them, so you can discount the aircraft carrier you were going to steal. Oil Rigs, bad news for that idea, they were commandeered by the military to fuel their aircraft carriers. Basically anything short of a Battlestar Galactica style fleet wandering the seas trying to find somewhere to call home is not going to work and even then, without protection that fleet will slowly be picked apart to maintain military fleets and you know, they’ve got bigger guns than you. Water is a no go, sailing into the middle of the Atlantic before sinking pretty much means game over straight away so let’s stick to good old terra firma.
We’ve created a few workable scenarios, short of retreating to an uninhabited island for people so in the event of a zombie apocalypse get yourself into one of these situations and you should find yourself in good stead to survive for the long run.
Scenario 1 – The Tower block
If you’re a city dweller, then you could do yourself no harm by looking at taking over a tower block, internal space is going to be no problem for you here, you can house plenty of people and supplies for a long time. In an ideal world you will want to get your mits on a block with roof access, here you can grow things out of the way of prying eyes, as well as collect rainwater for when the inevitable failure of the mains occurs.
Tower blocks offer a few extra bonuses, not only do they have limited points of entry for their large interior space, the points are often highly defensible steel fire doors, the main entrance can be protected and barricaded correctly, if you have a lift in the building then even better, you can keep move large volumes of cargo and supplies around quickly, this will help you to establish your colony faster, get people settled in and ready. You’ve also got large numbers of interior doors, which mean there are national defensive positions littered throughout the building.
Ground floor windows will need to be barricaded, both internally and externally to ensure there are no weak points at ground level but windows higher up the tower offer impressive vantage points of your surroundings, the further you can see the more warning you have of an impending attack. Long range weapons will come into their own here, guns are great but loud so should be used sparingly. If you somehow manage to stumble across a silenced sniper rifle and 15000 rounds of ammunition, then fill your boots. Bows, and Crossbows are ideal in this situation, they are quiet and have reclaimable ammunition which reduces the chances of you running low, nothing beats pulling a barbed arrow from the soft fleshy skull of a zombie. Similarly, be sure to keep close quarters and hand to hand weapons nearby, swords ideally, knives don’t offer the range and blade speed to keep zombies at arm’s length.
There are downsides, your outside space is limited to the roof, so sustainable food supplies will have to be supplemented with raids on other groups, with no interior space to store a vehicle getting around will have to be on foot for the most part, if your tower block has a car park you will be able to keep plenty of vehicles around but you run the risk of attracting attention and having them stolen. Storing fuel for them is a risk, it will either need to be kept indoors or outdoors where it is at risk of being looted. Store fuel indoors and you’ve got a major fire risk, the last thing you want is to die in a towering inferno.
Heat is going to be a bit a pain as well here, once the electricity and gas dies you’re going to struggle to keep warm, can’t light a fire indoors in case you set fire to you fuel cache and set the whole block ablaze so gathering around oil drums on the roof is going to be your best bet, but its crowded enough up there with your limited crops and water storage.
Scenario 2- The Farm
This is my personal preference, Farm houses are ideally placed to form a defensible position for the long term, the further back from a main road the better. Farms offer loads of open spaces and excellent sight lines, with hedges and ditches there are numerous natural barriers that mark out the territory which will help to keep the zombies out. This is the hardest position by far to set up but you are rewarded for your hard work with acres of space in which to flourish.
Your first task on acquiring your farm house is to kill a lot of the animals. You don’t need these where you’re going. Cows for example are too large and too noisy, the last thing you want is visiting raiders to run in amongst your cattle dodging bullets trying to steal your stuff. Cows, sheep and pigs are all going to attract unwanted attention. Chickens, they’re cool, small enough and not too noisy a few of them won’t be missed whenever you need protein. Keep the pelts and hides of whatever it is you kill and store as much meat as possible for the future you never know what you’re going to need.
Ditches. Dig out all the ditches, you need them a lot deeper, in all of recorded history Zombies have never jumped, you just need to dig your ditches out to about 15 feet deep to establish a perimeter, You’ll likely have some digging equipment knocking about, after all it’s a farm. Make sure they’re nice and wide too you want to catch any stray zombies in there. Destroy the access roads to your area and create some sort of retractable bridge for access, carry your ditches on through them ensure that only you have control over access to the site.
If your farm is huge you might want to consider digging in a smaller area, this makes it easier to control. Once you have established your farm and you’ve gone through the painful setup process, you’ve got a large area with great sightlines in which to grow crops, collect water, store vehicles and fuel, in fact most farmers have large diesel tanks already so fill it up and go for it! When it comes to growing crops there’s one simple rule. No tall crops! No Corn, No Barley nothing that grows more than a foot off the floor, there’s no point in creating great sightlines if you’re going to grow corn to obscure the view, its lettuce, cabbages and potatoes for you my friend!
Weapons here will all need to be long range, it’s a farm so there will likely be weapons and ammo knocking about, the more ammo you can get your hands on the better noise isn’t so much of an issue for you, your essentially zombie proof with those big ole ditches and fences so you only need to shoot to pop off anything that gets too close for comfort. You’re in the middle of nowhere, not exactly great feeding grounds against the shambling hoard, there are richer pastures out there than yours so encounters should hopefully be few and far between.
There’s a major downside to this, your swimming in food, fuel, vehicles, space and weapons so you are going to become a target for rival groups you’ll have a lot of desirable stuff and human beings are a lot more dynamic than zombies so you’re going to be killing a lot of people to defend your patch. That’s Ok though because morality is a thing of the past, consider as a last resort feasting on the flesh of those who try and intrude during the barren winter months.
Scenario 3 – The Church
Given that the zombies have risen from the grave and set out to destroy all mankind setting up shop in the Graveyard itself is a pretty risky manoeuvre but one that has its merits. Churches have multiple qualities that appeal to the survival expert, clock towers make for excellent watch towers, bells fantastic for long range communications, they have large heavy doors and given that a lot of them are centuries old they tend to be built from pretty impressive stuff, so the building is hardy, there’s large volumes of interior space and as the floors are stone it should be safe to light fires in doors.
Church grounds also tend to come with certain levels of protection, gates, railings, walls and such like which offer you a great start to your defensive position, to do this you’ll need plenty of barbed wire to improve the security of the railings, probably some welding gear to improve and repair worn areas, once you have established your perimeter provided you picked the right church you’ve got a safe space with some internal green space with which to grow food. Given that most of the dead will have set about exhuming themselves prior to your arrival, handy tombstones will give you readymade barricade material to sure up those weak spots.
Chances are you’ll have an organ and a load of pipes associated with it to dismantle, these pipes can form a rudimentary irrigation system for your crops, seeing as the undead have handily vacated the graveyard for you, Pews make great fire wood, but their thick mahogany makes them better used by securing some of the larger windows, stained glass, last time I checked isn’t particularly strong though the lead lattice work between the individual panes of glass will be slow going for any intruder, zombie or human.
If the entrance gates are wide enough there might be room to fit some vehicles around, keeping a water store should be straight forward too with all the space in the church yard too maximise collection. In terms of weapons, close combat is the order of the day, long blades, hatchets and spears, things to keep zombie’s beyond arm’s length. If you can get your hands on firearms that’s great but churches tend to be built in the towns they’re supposed to serve so shots will need to be fired sparingly to avoid attracting attention, rifles could be useful in the church tower, shotguns more useful at ground level.
Your location in the scenario isn’t ideal, you’re going to be getting a lot of attention from zombies and rival groups so maintaining a healthy supply line is vital to your long term survival. You won’t have many secrets given the nature of your protection but a cast iron railing is a pretty decent way of keeping out zombies, particularly with the aforementioned enhancements.