Your Plan for the Zombie Apocalypse

So I was sitting in a Cracker Barrel restaurant a few weeks ago and instead of being involved in the conversation, I was lost in thought. Glancing at all the old and wickedly dangerous kitsch surrounding us on the walls, my musing turned into dreams of survival. I blurted out, “You know, this structure would be a pretty great place to make a last stand in the impending zombie apocalypse!” My dining companions were suddenly very confused.

“No really, you could totally use that scythe over there to decapitate.”

“We’re trying to eat here, Kate.”

“But, it would be awesome, think about it! That ax, that baseball bat, that plow, hockey sticks, kayak. It’s probably filled with industrial size cans of food. It’s got indoor facilities, clothes and tons of retro candy!”

“Really? We’re having this discuss…”

“Also, table checkers!”

—-

Yeah, I’m pretty sure I would meet my doom.

So you have to help me out here! What are your plans for the impending zombie hordes? I can’t be the only one who is anxious enough to plan while out with family. Right?

Right?

Hello?
Brrrraaaaiiiinnnnsssss…

68 thoughts on “Your Plan for the Zombie Apocalypse

  1. It’s not just you. I regularly asses my chances for survival in various places. Fortunately I have friends who think the same way so I don’t have to feel crazy.

  2. My brother and I always thought a well-stocked hardware store – a big one – would be a great place to make a stand. (This was before the zombie apocalypse was a foregone conclusion. We were expecting a Red Dawn scenario.) But having a well-stocked pantry would be a huge improvement.

  3. I live in a ground floor apartment with a door and a large window that leads directly outside, so I already know i’d be doomed if I stayed there. I’d have to find another place that’s better. now my old place, otoh, was very good for a zombie outbreak. they had magnetic locks on the main front door, but for when the power inevitably fails, all the stairwells were blocked by metal fire doors. I figured I could brace those doors with a length of 2×4 against the facing wall, or buy one of those magnetic hotel locks that brace against the floor.

  4. Out and about?

    An HK USP and three dozen rounds of .45ACP. That should get me to a suitable vehicle. Never hole up, unless you really have too.

    At home?

    Id start with the FAL and several hundred rounds of 155gr Hornady TAP ammo in pre-loaded magazines.

    If that starts to run low?

    Time to open a safe.

  5. I would certainly never plan for any sort of apocalypse (insert facetious-tone tag), but I listen when my husband does. His best idea to date is to take over a super-wal-mart. It has everything you need. A sturdy building, facilities, filled with food (which is why it has to be a super-wal-mart), plenty of weapons (they usually even have a gun department), all the household stuff you would need to be comfy, as well as tvs and books and things for entertainment in case the ravening hordes ever lose their appeal.

    ~Lia

  6. There’s a biotech building on campus that looks like a fortress — few windows, and solid brick construction. I haven’t been inside, but that might be good. Or it might be a death-trap.

  7. Improvised explosives, lots of .308 ammo, raid the local Costco. But no internet? No NFL football (can we train Zombies to play football?)?No Whatever? What would be the use?

  8. Wal-Mart is a bad idea. If you are going to hide it shouldn’t be in a place already packed with Zombie treats. Plus, there are too many entrances and exits made of sheet metal and glass for a Wal-Mart to ever be viable. A group of ten year olds could breech the place. Best to go somewhere where there are no people to attract the hungry hordes and can be defended. Think small windows, brick construction and a high roof. Also, think exit strategy because you have to be able to move at any time.

  9. I used to map out how I’d defend my university campus (the University of Sydney) against a zombie apocalypse… the worry was always that the old sandstone buildings where the humanities faculties are located were solid and defensible, but the engineering buildings and the armory of the Sydney University Regiment which would be key to fabricating the arms necessary to fight off the zombie hordes were more isolated and vulnerable to being overrun… ultimately I determined that if we could hold those outlying areas long enough to get barricades built and armament production underway we stood a good chance even if we were ultimately forced to pull back to the old fortress-like quadrangle, but it did require repeated running of scenarios during some fairly dull lectures before I was able to ascertain that for certain… :-)

  10. I live in a semi-rural area full with isolated houses out in the fields. Some of the older ones have their own wells inside the house (usually at the kitchen) and high brick/stone walls around the perimeter of the property (a lot of the owners even over-fortified their homes because of a recent wave of robberies with violence on the area, so you can expect iron bars on the windows and security doors too). Even so, being the south of europe, distances are small enough that a trip from one of these little fortresses to a near gas station or supermarket and back would not take more than a few hours on foot. In the firearms department, though owning handguns and military-esque stuff is highly illegal here, there’s a lot of hunting shotguns around that will be available in case of a zombie outbreak.
    And we have shovels, which I believe are underrated as emergency close-combat weapons :)

  11. I’d look for a place without windows. I work in a giant old printing plant with a basement, so that would be my first choice. I know where all the entrances are, I can find the two sekrit back doors, and it’s full of industrial hardware. Food would be a problem, but we could use a forklift to raid the cafeteria on the way down. Bonus: it has showers!

  12. No, you are most definitely not the only one. Me, my wife and our three daughters frequently have this conversation. Not just at home, but out at dinner too. And we usually run into the same reaction that you did.
    I used to lean heavily toward the “hole up in Costco” strategy but soon realized it would be us and about a million other people with the same idea. Now I’m partial to the keep on the move and head to remote, unpopulated area idea.
    I’m also in safety & health and have biosafety experience. I’m convinced we’d be dealing with a bloodborne infection. If you go smashing, slicing, blasting zombie goo all over the place without proper protection you’re going to end up joining the brain chomping horde. Think 28 Days later, I think they had it right.

  13. Head to family in Easter Washington. Hide out in the hills. There are people who already survive there with only the things they make them selves.

    Second choice? Ever see Amazon.com’s hq? It use to be a marine hospital and is built like a fortress…

  14. According to a recent article on cracked.com (didn’t include the link because I think it would have set off the spam blocker), you and I are in for a disappointment: the Zombies will not flourish. :-( What’s the point of knowing how to make a last stand against them if they’re all going to spontaneously explode in the sunlight?

  15. Check out http://www.survivalblog.com. I got a bit addicted to that while writing my latest novel (surviving an apocalypse… currently in final edit). The blog is a bit depressing, and after a few days of reading it during the height of the financial meltdown, I was ready to sell off my 401K, buy a bunch of gold and buy a retreat in Oregon complete with an underground bunker (they have a link to survival real estate on there too).

    But I hear Zombies like Oregon, so that plan is gone.

  16. I live in an 11th floor apartment that’s easily barricaded. If the power went out, the only way up or down is by stairs so gravity ought to be my friend during an outbreak. No zombie is going to climb eleven flights of stairs when more convenient food sources are available. I also keep extra canned goods and bottled water, a wind-up flashlight and radio, emergency supplies, a spare generator…

    Er, not that I think about this a lot, mind you.

  17. Your plans to hole up in ye olde big box store, or any place you need to break into for that matter, are doomed, Doomed, DOOMED because of all the other people with the same “brilliant” thought going to the same places leading all the zombies they’ve just narrowly escaped from shambling along behind them. If the gathering horde of flesh eaters don’t get you, the fighting to get inside will generate enough zombies to do the job.

    If they’re the kind of reanimated corpses stopped by chain link fences there are many more temporary safe zones than if the Zombies are all virally induced olympic class sprinting rage fuelled cannibals or gain physical abilities above & beyond they had while uninfected. If you’re up againt super powered mutants as well as run of the mill zombie hordes your chances decrease dramatically.

    If the zombies are created by any old death, bitten or not, any time someone gives up the ghost, every group of survivors carries the seeds of their own destruction with them at all times, just one heart attack away.

    The safest place to be at the start of it would be someplace rural (really BFE like West Texas or the Eastern Plains of Montana) or somewhere else geographically isolated. But if you need to ravel more than an hour to get to such a place, you won’t be able to make it past everyone else trying to get out of town too. Not to mention the local yokels setting up their own defenses against the city folk who’ve recently been brought around to the epicurean delights of live raw organs.

    I think a dockyard full of cargo containers would be a good place to defend. Chain link fences for the first line of defense, build kill zones and walls out of shipping containers for the second and third lines. Plenty of goods in those containers to use ability to get out by boat and resupply. Use trucks and forklifts to build cargo container redoubts and temporary forts while resupplying overland.

  18. Currently I’m studying Japanese swordsmanship so that when the zombie apoc happens I’ll be ready to slice and dice without worrying about ammo. As for where I’d hole up, I think a Costco or a Canadian superstore would be the place to go, depending on the building they’re in. If there’s a limited number of entrances, or if the few there are can be boarded up/reinforced without too much trouble, then you’ve got the perfect spot. Plenty of food, most of it canned/preserved, all the tools/hardware you’d need, even clothing (well, for most people anyways).

  19. My friends and I have a plan to meet at the local Menards, which is a big box hardware store in the midwest. We all used to work there and realized that it would be the perfect place. It’s got two levels and also sells groceries. Not to mention all the chainsaws and other sharp, pointy objects.

  20. Becca Stareyes@7: “There’s a biotech building on campus that looks like a fortress — few windows, and solid brick construction.”

    No doubt to keep the experiments contained. I think we just found the source of the infection.

  21. I thought we could just blast the zombies with country music — Mars Attack style — and they would disintegrate! So clearly a Best Buy would be my fortress of choice!

  22. I too keep an eye out for potential zombie defenses. One can never be too careful.
    My family and friends camp frequently so have quite a bit of gear that would be useful for getting away from population centers. We also have acreage and a hunting camp that would allow us to survive in comfort and safety with a little work.
    If I were away from all of that when that zombie bites, I would head for the nearest hardware store or sporting goods supply for weapons and supplies.

  23. I drive my wife nuts assessing the Zombieworthiness of structures all the time.

    We have a large, windowless food warehouse for a regional grocery store chain nearby. It is behind a huge earthen berm and fencing, complete with its own system of backup generators and diesel pumps for its fleet of semis. Yeah. There.

  24. Grandma Evans lived many decades in a holler in WV with a graveyard at its mouth. She had some advice for dealing with pesky folks who would not stay buried, such a keeping a big bag of salt mixed with herbs, notably ramp, near the door. Traditional, supernatural zombies can be stopped by feeding them salt and a handful thrown in the face should get some in their mouths. And the ramp is a cousin of garlic, but much stronger, so it should hav an effect on any vampiric zombie types. And if the character shambling at you is not a zombie but just an unwashed tramp a facefull of salt is still a strong deterrent.

    She also had a fearsome old walking stick made from American chesnut, a hard, dense wood. (She said that oak was good as was iron wood or, for traditionalist Cherokee, cedar.) Her point was that if you bust the knee caps anybody falls down. Break the collar bones and arm movement is restricted. And once they are down with limited use of their arms their neck and head are easy targets. She had an axe for getting chickens ready for dinner.

    Of course, she was talking about traditional zombies, not the modern disease-based ones. But then she lived in the middle of nowhere and the population was low so even the chances of a hoard of zombies was very low.

    Grandma Evans was a frightening old lady at times, even when she was not calling birds out of the air of stopping bleeding with the Blood Verse.

  25. The article ‘debunking’ the Zombie Apocalypse contains a lot of assumptions, as anyone really into zombies would know, so don’t count on that.

    Plus, there’s two main methods of zombie origin – biological and ‘magical’. If biological, sure, things can be predicted, but if it’s the ‘end of days’ scenario, and some diety has decided that’s it, then all bets are off.

  26. I too, have given this too much thought. For short term survival, I’d pick a high school. The ones near me (suburbs of Vancouver, B.C.) all have wire-mesh reinforced windows, steel shutters that roll down over all the lower-floor windows, and internal lockable doors, so even if the horde does get in, you can contain them.

    Plus, there are wood and metal working tools, kitchens, sports equipment, easy roof access, an emergency generator, first aid kits, and empty fields and/or parking lots on most sides so you could see the zombies coming.

    For long-term survival, I’d move to Winnipeg. It’s a good sized city with some fortress-like buildings (the Canadian Mint is located in Winnipeg) and the entire city freezes every winter. The zombies would be blocks of immobile ice, but us living mammals would be fine. Then in the spring, the Red River tends to flood – you might be able to build canals to surround big chunks of the city, presuming there were enough survivors for public works projects.

  27. I gotta ask, what were you eating/drinking for dinner?! :)

    It never occurred to me that Cracker Barrel could be a Refuge-from-Zombies. I’m currently in a 1700s era bookstore with big windows – and a
    windowed front door – so I’d be pretty much toast if they attacked me at Constellation Books. I guess I’d run for home as fast as the Wanda Yolanda the Honda could drive. 2nd floor condo, complete with food, facilities and Jack Russell Terrier and I’d be safe. I hope.

  28. -Handguns in rimfire and centerfire:
    check (lots! From target pistols good to 100 yards down to “get off me!” guns, I know which ones to take and which to leave)
    -Rifles in rimfire and centerfire:
    check (some, in common calibers and reliable sturdy low-maintenance designs)
    -Pistol-caliber carbine:
    check (Kel Tec sub2000, takes 9mm Glock mags and eats even the junkiest ammo)
    – All-Purpose Disaster kit:
    mostly check, there would be a few everyday things to be added last-minute and I still can’t figure out what to do about boots, an extra set takes up too much of any bag I’d be willing to carry)
    – Sturdy bite-resistant clothing and BBP protective equipment:
    check
    – Motorcycles for transport
    working on it, the Saturns aren’t exactly all-terrain or able to dodge/weave through pileups on the roads
    – Food
    check for the short term, we’re “famine and drought resistant” for the mid-term, and for the long term there’s always being a warlord, I think they eat OK
    – Water
    check, stored and ability to distill clean water for long-term
    – Medical
    check, enough glasses to last for years, no major medical conditions requiring ongoing care

    As to the plan, details don’t matter but we plan to defend the upper floor of this concrete and brick building until we know whether to bug out or to huddle down.
    If we bug out the ultimate destination would be commandeering a ship and turning pirate or maritime militia (depending on the amount of remaining civilization).
    For staying put, organize a militia for the short-term, and in the long-term (after the Zombocalypse is over) see how much is left and go from there.

  29. BFD@31: I recommend against motorcycles for anything except recon. There are too many things that can go wrong on a bike: you have limited use of your hands, you’re easily toppled, you don’t have the mass to punch through a locked gate, cargo capacity is small, and all but the largest bikes can go no more than a couple hundred miles before they need more fuel.

    A bike would be useful for smash and dash raids to pick up relatively small supplies like medicine or ammo, or for scouting zombie positions. Even then, remember that your only defense is speed.

    I’d recommend a large van or SUV for cross-country travel, with a bike strapped on the back for short missions. And for Heaven’s sake get a quiet bike that won’t draw attention. Harley-Davidson riders will be the first to get picked off.

  30. The ideal situation would be to be on a cruise liner or other large ship when the zombie apocalypse struck.

    Most of us wouldn’t be so lucky. The key is to stay mobile. Good sturdy vehicles that can go offroad and lots of guns and other weapons. Keep on the move and stay away from population centers—never allow yourself to become surrounded by hordes of the undead.

    Holing up is just slow death—zombies can outlast even the best stockpile of canned food and bottled water.

  31. watching Zombieland with kids the other night, began to obsess that only one had any proficiency with weapons (knives, martial arts) when the other two admitted they had been to the shooting range with friends more than once. Sigh… WHAT?!

  32. My Bible study group recently discussed whether we’d steal, murder, etc (I’m being G-rated here) when the apocalypse happened. We eventually decided who we’d eat first, and it was almost unanimously decided that our illustrious leader should be the one. Personally, I STILL vote for leg roulette.

    Louise Curtis

  33. Anyone else know where their nearest National Guard Armory is? A five ton truck will go a long ways, and lets face it, any tracked vehicle would be hours of enjoyment running over hapless Zombies. I almost hate to post this as my idea is to raid as many Armories I can, and then move on to any Military bases in the area. Lots of stuff designed for hard usage that will no doubt just be sitting there.

  34. Every house I’ve ever lived in, I assessed in terms of defending during some kind of end of the world scenario. Because it’s funny, I always express such thoughts in terms of a zombie apocalypse.

    No worries; you aren’t alone.

  35. I’m not sure what it says about us that we’d probably all be caught completely flat-footed in the event of, say, a chemical weapon or dirty bomb going off, but we all know what to do in the event of a zombie attack!

  36. I usually scope out playgrounds for their survival qualities when I’m there with the kids. But you know what? They’re no good, to many access points to have a good zombie survival station.

  37. My plan for zombie apocalypse survival is pretty elaborate. Now, let’s say that there was advanced warning that the zombie hordes were coming:

    1) The Fortress: commandeer a rural storage facility. One not too far from a town with supplies, but not smack dab in the middle of town either.

    2) Spring Cleaning: go through the entire facility. Make sure that the closed circuit security camera system and alarms were working, catalog all contents of storage units, and then discard all useless items (or use them to trade for needed supplies).

    3) Power and Comm: I’d install solar panels on the roof. Also, some long range communication antennas and satellite dishes would be useful too.

    4) Food/Supplies: stock up on food, medical supplies, cooking gear, furniture, and clothing for all seasons. This is why the storage facility fortress would need to be relatively close to a town. The more time making trips back and forth with supplies, the more you end up without once the Z’s arrive.

    5) Weapons: obviously it would make sense to have rifles and shotguns for both long range and close quarters head shots, but I’d be holding back if I didn’t admit a desire for two miniguns and four .50 Browning machine gun nests on the rooftop. The mini’s would be great for mowing down any really thick zombie hordes that happened to show up, while the Browning 50’s would be great for warding off any unwanted looters or those rascally organized human invaders (maybe feral packs too, that is if World War Z got it right).

    And it goes without saying that a decent supply of hand to hand weapons would be stocked as well in case ammo becomes scarce before the z-apoc ends.

    6) Transportation: trucks, both for transporting supplies to the fortress in the prep period as well as for going out and getting more supplies if need be later on. A few fast cars for recon missions might be nice too.

    A fortified mobile vehicle would be good for a last ditch evacuation in the case of a massive zombie breach of the fortress. I can’t argue too much with something like Dead Reckoning or those crazy buses from the Dawn of the Dead remake. Maybe an armored RV with an electric motor, solar collectors on the roof, and a remote minigun or .50 cal mounted up there as well.

    7) Defenses: the storage facility fortress would need some defenses as well. I’m thinking some mines like in 28 Days Later. Even if they blow up the approaching zombies, they’d at least serve as a warning for both sides of the conflict. A moat or deep ditch surrounding the perimeter of the fortress would be the best defense. The zombies would just fall in and have to wait for me and my survivor friends to come and finish them off. If any zombies made if past the ditch, then a fence would slow them down. Of course, all doors would need to be reinforced and locked at all times. If the facility had too many entrances, then some could be welded shut, leaving only two to three entrances with which to get in or out from the ground level.

  38. No, you’re not the only one.

    A few months ago the wife and I moved onto a farm that still has a working blacksmith shop and a sort of “fort” up on stilts back in the woods. If that’s not a setting for a B zombie movie, I don’t know what is. I can look out my office window and see tongs and files and other iron tools hanging on a peg wall above an anvil.

  39. I forgot to add something:

    8) Personnel: now, I’m thinking for all the guns and ammo, you’d want to get an arms dealer involved to supply all that.

    For medical treatment a couple doctors.

    A tech guy for communications stuff.

    A mechanic for keeping up the vehicles.

    A few ex-military troops to help defend the place.

    A gunsmith to repair weapons.

    And of course, last but not least, a decent chef. Somebody has to be able to make all that canned food taste better. Getting a chef and a stockpile of dried spices would probably go a long way.

  40. Yes, we have one too, in stages, even. And variations, depending on slow zombies vs. fast*, can they climb stairs or not (also useful for old style Daleks) and means of transmission. We and our friends have spent far too much of our screwing around time considering this…

    1) Our survival party gathers at our house. Everyone else we know has windows and cheapie doors at ground level, while we don’t. Our front door is five feet above ground and the stairs are not attached to the house ( wooden deck thing) so the deck can be dragged away from the house and the gap crossed with planks kept inside. Our windows are seven or eight feet above ground, and our doors are steel. (Just one of the many advantages of modular housing…) everybody brings the contents of the pantry and tool shed. We also have a water source (a mountain stream with only biological pollution manageable with iodine and filtration) approximately 200 yards away.

    2) Once the initial outbreak dies down or some other instance forces us to move on, we will take over a friend’s former workplace, a veterinary hospital. Drugs, well, no windows on the ground level except for one, heavily fenced and gated, plenty of land if we need to do some farming. Yes, animal meds can be used on humans; dose as for Great Dane.

    3) And when it’s time for the rebuilding of society, we head east to my family farm. Well, septic, methane from pig crap (given that the pigs survive; it’s possible or they’ll go feral.pigs are smart if you raise them the way we do), a wind generator, biodiesel setup on site, a slaughtering shop and a couple thousand acres, all easily defensible (plus being a town founder’s descendant and thus local “aristocracy” with a long line of favors to be called in doesn’t hurt.) I’m pretty sure that the old bootlegging still is still out in the barns, too…

    Any specific step can be skipped or recalled as needed; obviously, conditions will dictate, but we keep jump bags ready to go. And no, I’m not saying where any of these resources are. Get your own vet hospital.

    * If it’s fast zombies or airborne, we’re going Heaven’s Gate. Some things, you just can’t fight.

  41. Bizarrely, I had my own zombie apocalypse nightmare last night, in response to the Cracked article “7 scientific reasons why the zombie apocalypse would be short-lived.” If a) the zombies aren’t actually fully dead so they don’t decompose like the Cracked folks assume and mostly look pretty normal other than being a bit clumsy and shambling a bit, b) the attack vector is something other than biting (my subconscious decided on Heinlein’s “slugs” from The Puppet Masters, except mine can flatten themselves out and flap and fly a bit, albeit somewhat clumsily) and c) nobody believes they’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, the Cracked.com article falls to pieces. What use are guns if the guy coming towards you looks like your neighbor and isn’t obviously a zombie until suddenly he grabs you and inserts a slug up your nostril?

    As for me surviving a zombie apocalypse… SNORT! My duplex is anything but defensible — huge glass sliding doors, huge windows, all because it was built in 1961 before air conditioning and that’s how you kept cool in the summer. But then, surviving the zombie apocalypse is sort of low on my list of priorities when I’m looking for housing, given the reality that, well, zombies aren’t *real*, heh….

  42. http://xkcd.com/87/

    What use are guns if the guy coming towards you looks like your neighbor and isn’t obviously a zombie until suddenly he grabs you and inserts a slug up your nostril?

    A question too rarely asked, in my opinion.

  43. Well, I’d want to take a small group of skilled survivors and make supply stops a Cracker Barrel ’cause it’s yummy and there’s some good wall stuff and creature comfort items (I know I’m gonna want some hand cream and air freshener), but I’d also stop at a hardware store, a super Wal-mart, and perhaps a gun shop to pick up some “essentials.”

    Then we head for a prison (perhaps maximum security prison) where we release the prisoners (maybe we don’t tell them about the zombies) and once they’re out, rush in and shut the doors. All of them.

    I’d go for a prison with guard towers so we can keep lookout for the zombies and maybe a garden so we can get some much needed sunshine and grow food if we had to be there for a while. Hopefully we remembered to pick up seeds from the Wal-mart or hardware store. The gardening tools should also be fairly effective if the zombies breech our otherwise top-notch barriers. Yep.

  44. You are right – a Cracker Barrel would be a great place to stock up!

    However, I’m thinking more long term survival plans than last stand. On my walks to the university I work at, I often make plans on how to convert it to a small isolated settlement. It has a heavy agriculture angle, so we have a lot of farmland right along campus, plus tons of barricades and temporary fencing to keep those rotters out of the crops. Worst case, there are many greenhouses that could be secured for food productions.

    There are many tall dorms in close enough proximity to each other that we can rig up walkways if need be to seal off the ground floors and attack the hordes from above.

    Almost got power supply figured out, and then I’m on to the where to place the scout towers on the couple highways into town so that when The Humungus and his road warrior army shows up, we’ll have fair warning.

    I haven’t gone so far as to actually start writing any of this down and mapping it out, but sure, I’ve thought about it.

  45. I carry a backpack in the back of my car, not with road flares and blankets, but with a hatchet and machete in case of zombies. My wife once looked at me askance, and when I responded “when the zombie apocalypse comes, you’re gonna be damn happy I had that machete,” she just shook her head and wandered off to watch America’s Got Talent.

    I don’t think she’s gonna make it long when the zombies come knocking. Although the 12-gauge does live behind her bedside table…

  46. I live in Massachusetts, and I have two short-term ideas and one long-term idea.

    My first short-term choice would be the Army base in the center of town. Not only does it have supplies and weapons like any other army base, if absolutely necessary any survivors could paddle out to the center of the reservoir (destroying or taking with us any extra boats) with enough supplies to wait until the zombies wandered off in search of an easier meal. Alternately, we could reach the shore of the reservoir someplace far away from the zombies where we could try to escape before they could reach us. From the monster movies I’ve seen, zombies don’t exactly strike me as being strong swimmers.

    My second short-term choice would be the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency “bunker” in the next town over. It would be fairly easy to reach from either where I live or where I work, and I expect it would be heavily defended since it’s where the people in charge of dealing with disasters (and I think a zombie apocalypse qualifies) are supposed to manage their efforts.

    As for a long-term choice … if I could get to Boston quickly enough, I would make my way to the harbor and try to find a place on a yacht or fishing boat that was setting sail for a few miles off shore. That way we could fish for food and make quick stops along the shore for other necessary supplies.

  47. Two words: Mississippi River.

    Seriously, when was the last time you saw a zombie swim?

    Okay, so it falls apart when you realize you’d eventually run out of provisions on your boat and have to go back on land, but still, it would stave off brain-consumption for at least a while.

    (Until the zombies learn to pilot boats. Then you’re SCREWED.)

  48. Zombie apocalypse is my catch-all phrase for the time when civilization falls apart.

    As a result, what I keep in mind is more along the lines of what the survivalists think about:

    You need to identify a bug-out place. You need guns, especially long guns. Whether it be a Zomie attack or otherwise, you would rather not be close enough to your opponent to be able to use a handgun, an edged weapon or a blunt object. Remember what they say: a handgun is useful to fight your way to the rifle you shouldn’t have put down to begin with. And that’s true about melee weapons. Top priority: You do not want to get injured

    Food, medical supply and knowledge, the ability to live off the land. Etc. Mostly skills. Also good to have books about how stuff works.

    I always liked Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s book Lucifer’s Hammer. Not a Zombie book, but it works for Zombies too.

    And situational awareness is good to practice every day. Because random Zombies are about whether or not you are aware of it.

  49. My house is actually pretty well suited for defense, as all we’d have to do is board p the back sliding door and reinforce the front door. We could pretty much get away with just reinforcing the back fence, which would be easy enough once our neighbors flee/are consumed by the walking dead.

    The trick is in getting my sister in law from LA to Hillsboro, OR. She’s a wilderness guide and expert in survival. If we had her on premesis, we’d be pretty much set.

  50. Cracker Barrel has WAY too many windows. You would need tons of lumber and nails just to secure it and the zombies always make it through eventually.

    There is a great Self Storage place near my apartment that is surrounded by barbed wire fence. It has an indoor facility with no windows and only two major entrances. It is also relatively close to a local airport that deals in a lot of helicopter traffic.

    So step one: befriend and helicopter pilot.
    Step two: liberate a helicopter when the time comes and land on the roof of the storage facility. This would be the home base / fortress from which to plan our future. Raiding the storage rooms should provide many comforts of home and enough holiday decorations to make the place festive.
    Step three: Use the copter to locate low zombie zones and then raid for food and other essentials.

  51. I think knowing how to weld would be a pretty good skill for surviving a zombie apocalypse, and would be a pretty useful skill for post zombie apocalypse when the survivors of man kind take part in the greatest reenactment of Mad Max, but for real this time.

  52. My group of friends have been planning this for a while, and I think we came up with a pretty good one. My family owns a single level office building about 10 minutes from my home, which is connected to a warehouse via a series of locked gates. The building is always locked, and only has about thirty people who work inside, maximum. The office area is rather sparse, plenty of computers, some windows (thick glass though and not overly large), and a lot of offices that could easily be lived in. It has a kitchen, dining area, board room, and two separate bathrooms. Perfect living area. Also, for decoration, in the entrance are two life-size cattle statues which, with some effort, could be moved to block the entrance rather effectively.

    The warehouse though, is the best part. The office is for the local pizza restaurant chain, and the warehouse is storage for all of the various things that they decorate the restaurants with, along with various bits of equipment and family items that are put into storage. The ‘family items’ includes, and I’m not kidding, a dune buggy, a Model T, an 8-person bicycle, a dirt bike, and two Harley motorcycles.

    It also has private storage bins (essentially rather large closets), that house my dad and my uncle’s private gun collection. My dad collects modern firearms, various WWII and modern rifles, pistols, and shotguns, while my uncle collects recreated and original 19th century weapons. Revolvers, repeaters, etc. AND I know the combinations to both, so even if neither of them make it, we’ll be okay.

    The warehouse itself has windows about 30 feet off of the ground, in addition to a handful of skylights that could be reached with either a ladder or by climbing atop the shelves that reach almost to the ceiling. There is a small yard with a brick wall behind the building which rises about 10 feet, and the other side has one of the pizza stores about 30 feet across a small parking lot.

    Really, the only problem would be having enough food to last us any real length of time. We could get some food from the restaurant, but most of it requires it to be cooked. There is a burger joint next to that, but I imagine it’s the same problem. So the only thing we need to do is to start stocking food and water that’s non-perishable, then we’re set for Z-Day.

  53. Is there anyone who hasn’t thought about this?
    Short term? The nuke plant where my hubby works. Long term, middle of nowhere with, hopefully the skills needed to get my children and their children through. My one problem? The strength to do what would be necessary for them to survive. It wouldn’t just be about fighting zombies, sadly.

  54. Yup. Haven’t thought about it. Just finished rereading “Serpent and the Rainbow” by Wade Davis. You know, the book by the anthropologist who went to Haiti and got the recipes for zombie poisons?

    The annoying part about our current fixation with brain-suckers is that the real zombies are a heck of a lot more interesting. I mean, being turned into a non-person as a punishment for being a selfish asshole is actually a lot more interesting than the cheap Hollywood knockoffs. It almost makes me wish we did that sort of thing here.

  55. Assuming it’s a massive, overwhelming outbreak that pretty much swamps any possible coordinated response, I have two core plans. If Plan A is not viable due to the absence of the key components, I’d be able to immediately switch to Plan B one the spot.

    Plan A: To the Sea My Friends! Since I live very close to the major Navy port on the East Coast, plus a NAS, a Marine base, and I know where a local Armory is, I’d head for the port. Once there, I and any other survivors encountered, would secure an Aircraft Carrier. Next would be to find as many survivors, particularly people that could actually sail said Aircraft Carrier, and get them to the ship.

    Once loaded with the necessary people and supplies, plus survivors, I’d order that we get out into the bay to prevent Zombie boarders, and then all aircraft but 3 or 4 be dismantled for parts; any excess would be either dumped overboard or be ferried via copter to be dumped in a near-by location. The ship would then be sailed out to sea, hopefully with at least one escort vessel, preferably two or more.

    Once out into sea, we’d start to search for any ocean-going cargo ships and tankers. Hopefully they’ll not have been infected and had been wise enough to stay at sea. If not, we’d clear the zombies on board and take what supplies we could get, or just take the whole ship if it’s in decent shape. That would allow for a massive boost in both supplies and living space. Cargo containers with useless things would be emptied, and then used for refugee housing (heck, the ones refrigerated ones would actually be kinda comfortable with furniture taken from IKEA containers!).

    We’d also be using this time to search for survivors via helicopter and retrieving them. Once we’d felt we’d found all we were likely too, we’d head off to check to see if we could get through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific; if we couldn’t use that, we’d sail around either the tip of South America, or South Africa, whichever would be safest. Once in the Pacific, we’d look for defensible islands to settle the refugees on, then start the slow and painful process of rebuilding.

    Plan B is not as well thought out (yet!), but involves taking the shipping containers in port, hooking them up on suitable trucks, and building a convoy. With multiple military bases and armories, we should be able to get enough equipment to begin a rolling town. Steal some attack copters, UAVs from the Air Force base (too far away for Plan A), and we’d be able to make raids for food and ammo without directly involving the convoy.

    I personally prefer Plan A, but it’s probably the least likely due to relying on too many specialized survivors. Still, grabbing at least a loaded cargo ship would probably be do-able. Main point is get to sea with lots of supplies and find some islands to settle on.

    This was actually all worked out while bored and chatting with friends in an MMORPG. Response? ‘Well da*m! You need to get out more.’

  56. We’re goint to CostCo. Few windows, sturdy doors, several monthsworth of supplies, the potential to farm (they sell garden beds and dirt), and many items could be repurposed as weapons.

  57. The nearest pathology department. Anatomy textbooks. Scalpels. Formalin. Slides. No zombie that valued its afterlife would come near the place.

  58. Most of you have forgotten the simple fact that the electricity will go off shortly after the workers stop showing up at the various power plants around the country. Most authorities say within 24 hours all power will fail. Wal-Mart doesn’t have any windows or sky lights so it would be pitch black inside. Same for almost all building being constructed these days and dependent on large air conditioning and heating units on the roof. Food would spoil within a few days and the smell would get pretty unbearable within a week. Sure there would be lots of batteries and flashlights around but you’d be like a little camp circle inside a vast big dark smelly building… every noise would cause a panic. Before a couple of days passed you’d be clawing a path to the outside world no matter how bad it might be.

  59. im going to take 6 friends (3 guys and 3 girls) and go to alaska and make a house out of cement 3 ft. thick and sand bags all around it 8 ft high and dig a 20 ft. wide 20 ft. deep trench and have a chain fence 10 ft high rit b4 the trench so if they get over the fence they fall right into the trech and a cement wall 20 ft. high and 5 ft. thick about 10 yards in front of the fence and another trench 20 ft. wide and 20 ft. deep and a chain fence right b4 that trench to and all of it will be surronding the house and have a bunch of shotguns and handguns and snipers and rifeles with a whole lot of ammo

  60. First gather household supplies canned foods only then drive to a cabelas for ammo guns I.e shotguns pistols for sure a . 50 magnum and a high powered rifle then to a Walmart or Costco for more food. Now I need protection for sure a country side so that way I can see what’s coming, nothing lurking around corners. Weld or board up first floor windows,store food their. Then I need very few people I think 3 trained gunmen and 4 women (not for “repop”) maybe a couple crossbows you can get your shots back and it’s just as powerful a couple fast cars and 4 trucks we’re set. Hopefully enough space for a small farming area power wise get a generator or 2 then hide them. In the barn camp the place up get a gunner nest maybe a few dug holes 10 feet or so then cover it up with mesh and leaves conserve ammo as much as possible for longest survival rate. Maybe get on a different sleep schedual like up at 3am asleep at 7pm so that the z’s won’t see our lights on at night

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