Last Halloween I reviewed the best cars to survive a zombie apocalypse which oddly enough has been one of my most popular posts to date. In fact, I’m still getting a lot of search traffic from search terms like best zombie vehicle, top zombie vehicles, and good car for a zombie.
So since I enjoy writing about zombies, and apparently a few of you like reading about them, today I’ll address a second concern during a zombie rampage. Where should you sleep?
Considerations when choosing accomodations during a zombie outbreak:
- Safety: Has the structure been thoroughly cleared of undead and is it locked down and fortified to prevent unwanted entry?
- Defensibility: Can you defend your new home from an undead assault or marauding band of looters?
- Detection: The best defense is not being found in the first place. Can the undead hear or smell you from outside? Does your home look enticing to marauders who may want to evict you?
- Escape Access: Do you have a secure second exit if your position becomes overrun?
- Sustainability: Is there an accessible source of food, water, or alternative power?
- Sanity: Is there room for more than just you? After a few weeks it can get awful lonely as “the last man on earth”. And if you are with a group, do you have a good supply of books or board games to entertain the troops?
Unfortunately, most people will not have the luxury of a military bunker or nuclear submarine, so I’ll list out my favorite places that may actually be accessible to the average post-apocalyptic survivor. Here’s where you’ll have the best chance of surviving the end of the world:
An Abandoned Prison
With safety and defense top priorities, a prison can serve as a fortress to protect you and your friends. And since prisons are scattered everywhere, hopefully you'll find one within a safe distance. If you’re lucky, it’s already been evacuated, the mess hall has some rations, and you can find a way into the armory.
Guard towers are a nice bonus for spotting bogeys and providing a long range position for snipers.
Major weaknesses: It may be just as hard to get out of a prison as it is to get in after an infestation. Also, you may not be the first survivor there and the prior inhabitants may not have the same “value system” as you.
Remote farmhouse or cabin in the Woods
Finding a remote area away from a city is your best bet for survival. Even without major fortifications, you can barricade doors and windows and set up an early warning system using wires and cans around the perimeter. You may get the occasional bogey, but they can be easily dealt with in small numbers if you’re prepared.
Major weaknesses: If a swarm happens upon your location you’re pretty much toast.
A suburban fall-out shelter
If you really worried about the end, why not invest in a subterranean shelter beneath your house? Or just cozy up to the paranoid retiree down the street that still thinks it's 1955 and the Russians are coming.
Major weaknesses: Boredom, loneliness, and little ability to determine when it’s safe to come out.
A high rise building
If you live in a densely populated area, you’re pretty much screwed. But since you have limited options, try to go up. In the cities, you’ll likely have a large group of survivors and that's good because you’ll need help to fortify the ground floor entrance. Barricade the doors and windows as a first layer of defense. Then lock-off all elevators and stairways until you’re sure the second floor is secure.
Major weaknesses: You're in a city. That means your time is limited. Try to find a way to enjoy your last few hours. Pick a building with something fun in it like a revolving rooftop restaurant or a Dave and Busters.
Small sail boats are great for a short period of time and don’t require fuel. But sooner or later you’ll need to dock to find food and water. If you can find an unpopulated island a few miles from land you’ll be in good shape while supplies last. Just make sure you are far enough from the mainland that no unwanted visitors get washed up on your shore.
Major weaknesses: No where you go will truly be safe, but a barrier of water is your best bet. Depending on the size of the island you may have a limited food supply, but it's not like you'll have a lot dining options anywhere else either.
In closing, once again I consulted ZAC for a professional opinion on selecting accommodations. He doesn’t agree with all my recommendations, but he’s got a little more subject matter expertise, so I’ll end with his advice.
According to ZAC:
As far as where to hole up, well, there are tons of options. For any one place you choose, there are 10 reasons why it’s good and 10 why it’s bad, you just have to do what’s right for you and your family if you have one left after z-day. Every place has advantages and disadvantages.
I'd say stay away from prisons if they are large. A rural county Sherriff's office would be ideal. Not many prisoner/zombies to clear out, and its virtually inaccessible, but you have to be able to get in first. Lots of jails have card readers, or remote terminals to open doors which if the power is out then key readers don’t work, and if there’s no one to open the door for you, you'll never get in unless you make a hole, but then zombies can get in too.
Islands are good, but they have to have fresh water, and enough arid land to grow food. Coconuts will give you the sh%ts if you eat/drink them nonstop, as will most fruit. Something to look into are civil defense fallout shelters. Lots of those around from the cold war days, and generally accessible to the public. Built to take a licking and keep on ticking with air and water filtration systems as well as backup generators and coms equipment. May be 40 yrs. old, but operates on civilian band and channel 9 is the most frequently used CB band for emergency use.
Where are you gonna hang your hat during the zombie apocalypse?