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survival locations

Whether you are a well-prepared zombie survivalist, with a robust 90-day plan to get you through the zombie apocalypse or someone who plans to ‘take it as it comes’ when the dead arrive, you will need to consider the best locations to hold out in. For many, their own home or apartment will be the logical choice whereas the unprepared may find themselves caught in the office as the dead come a munching. Working with a group of seasoned zombie survival experts, the Ministry of Zombies has produced the following analysis of typical survivor locations. Each profile includes a brief overview, followed by a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages in terms of zombie defence. Remember, this is general advice. The sites will vary greatly according to factors ranging from proximity to the epicentre of the zombie outbreak and population density to country and climate. Many of the home fortification guidelines outlined above will serve the survivor equally well for these sites.

Other Key Factors

Another key factor to consider is access to your chosen survival location. If you live close to the wilderness or a National Park then an isolated survival location might be within scope for you and your family. After all, with the warnings from your monitoring system, you’ll be able to pack up and leave before the stories of people being eaten even hit our television screens. However, if you are in a city centre then the chaos will spread quicker once the word gets out and you don’t want to be caught in queues of jammed traffic, in a car packed with supplies. You may as well put a neon sign on the car saying ‘Please come and loot my supplies’.

Think carefully about access to any long-term survival locations. Many zombie survivalists plan to spend the first few months of the crisis in their own fortified homes before moving out to their longer term site once the initial chaos has died down. Remember, for this to work you’ll need multiple routes and a well-researched travel plan as you and your group of survivors will be moving through the zombie-infested territory. Review the options on the next few pages and make your own notes. Decide whether you need a long-term location – consider factors such as water supply, food sources and the overall sustainability of your primary location. Any travel will be dangerous, particularly if you have family or survivors with limited mobility.

Residential Site
poking around other people’s homes

The easiest option when looking for a site to escape the zombies, particularly if you are caught out in the open, will be residential sites, but will the residents still be there? And, will they be human? An apartment block could be a perfect survival location with multiple flats to loot for supplies.

  • These sites are most common and with thousands fleeing the chaos, there will be no shortage of empty homes for you to explore.
  • You can select a good defensive location, with a decent perimeter wall and other key zombie defence features such as double-glazing and a strong front door.
  • It’s a chance to live in the neighbourhood you’ve always wanted to.
  • If you seal the ground floor and entrance of an apartment block, you can work your way methodically through the flats, securing supplies as you go. You may also be able to link up with other survivors and work on a plan to defend the block as a community.
  • The original occupants may not be overwhelmed to see you busting through their window and threatening to take their supplies.
  • The original occupants may be more interested in feasting on your flesh. Be prepared for terrible odours if you break into a ‘dead house’.
  • Many homes will be poorly set up in terms of zombie defence – if it had been on the owner’s list of priorities then they probably wouldn’t have fled.
Police Station
Dial 999 or 911 to survive the zombies?

With dozens of officers, many of them armed, a fortified location at the centre of any anti-zombie actions and a dedicated force of men and women ready to serve and protect – the humble city police station sounds like the ideal location to hold out against the dead.

  • Likely to be the focus on any fight back against the dead in the first days of a zombie crisis.
  • A good stock of firearms, ammunition and riot gear.
  • Typically these sites are well-fortified, with barred lower windows and secure cells.
  • A disciplined group of trained officers will make up an ideal early survivor group.
  • A police station is the ideal place to start fighting the dead. It is likely that a cadre of officers will already be planning to start.
  • Most stations will be on the frontline of the fight so expect infected individuals to be ‘brought in for questioning’ in the confusion before the word ‘zombie’ is used.
  • Stations may be abandoned as officers flee to protect their own families and will become key sites for gangs and other aggressive looters looking for guns and other booty.
  • These sites don’t stock much in the way of food. Survivors cannot live on doughnuts alone.
The office
end of the world and you’re at work

Picture it. It’s a typical day at work. You are battling through a mountain of emails, only to be told that the dead are now feasting on the living outside. There is too much chaos to attempt the commute home and you are only armed with a half-full stapler and a degree in Business Studies.

  • Strong main doors should be easy enough to fortify. Don’t forget to blockade the fire exits.
  • Some buildings have their own emergency generators.
  • Most office buildings now have a plethora of security features including shatter proof glass and CCTV
  • An open office layout may encourage creative solutions to battling the dead. You will also have a good supply of flipcharts and stationary so you can ‘brainstorm’ your way out of trouble.
  • Most offices are built as shells and use weak plasterboard partitions to create internal rooms. These walls will not hold back the hungry hordes.
  • Panicking work colleagues may not be the ideal material for your survivor group.
  • Food will be limited to the mouldy remnants in the office fridge. Where there is a canteen, there may be more supplies.
  • Do you really want to be trapped at work when the end of the world finally comes?
Shopping Mall
The classic zombie survival location

The latest fashions, acres of shop space and more coffee shops than a small city, a modern shopping mall offers some enticing options to a zombie survivalist. It’s a legendary location to defend, made famous in movies/training films such as Dawn of the Dead.

  • Clothing, supplies and even firearms will be plentiful with multiple food outlets providing useful sources of food.
  • Most modern shopping centres are flooded with natural light which will be useful if the electricity shuts down. Many also have their own electricity-generating capacity.
  • There may be green space for you to start growing your own food.
  • There is always plenty of parking and this will only get better during a zombie apocalypse.
  • It would take a small army to secure the literally hundreds of doors and fire escapes. Maybe they were all locked when you arrived but you can’t take that chance.
  • These locations typically attract thousands of visitors and employ hundreds of people on site. If they’re still there as zombies, a shopping mall will be a dangerous place to clear.
  • A shopping mall is the number one location on every looter and bandit’s list. It is not a question of if you have to defend the site against human raiders, it’s a question of when.
Industrial site
a long shift will make these sites safe

It’s 0810hrs and you have just punched in 10 minutes late for your shift. But, good news. Your supervisor has been savaged by the dead on her way to work and half the staff are currently being mauled in the car park. Surviving the zombies in a factory or warehouse will present both challenges and opportunities.

  • Most sites will have a robust external security fence which can be sealed to create a secure perimeter.
  • Any office areas are great locations to set up your ‘home base’ and canteen areas will provide good sources of supplies.
  • Any roof tanks could provide a useful supply of water but always boil it before drinking.
  • Many factories are well stocked with tools and other raw materials so there’ll be no shortage of hand weapons such as hammers.
  • A complex and confusing layout with multiple exits is not the easiest location to defend.
  • The sheer size of these sites can make securing them a challenge.
  • If horror movies have taught us anything, it is that most factories abound with hanging chains with a tendency to rust easily and move around in a spooky way, clinking as if something has just passed. No one wants that.
  • These sites typically have large delivery doors which, if breached, could allow the dead to flood in.
Locked up may be the best place to be

Well-fortified and secure, purpose-built modern prisons present some interesting opportunities and challenges to zombie survivalists. Ensure that you have scouted a prison before the zombies arrive if you intend to use it as a settlement location, preferably as a visitor rather than a permanent resident!

  • A robust external perimeter fence designed to keep people out as well as in. Add in guard towers and the ability to seal off areas and the modern prison complex is an easily defensible site.
  • The location will include an armoury of weapons used by guards such as riot gear and firearms.
  • Prisons have extensive catering, food and other facilities such as laundry etc. You will not be short of supplies in one of these locations.
  • An interesting choice of either hundreds of dangerous criminals still locked in their cells after the guards have fled or legions of the infected hidden in endless corridors and dead ends.
  • These sites will be first choice locations for any ‘ex-cons’ looking to start as a Robber Baron in the new world. Expect hordes of villains as well as the dead.
  • Sprawling sites with hundreds of doors and locks may prove too much for smaller survivor groups.
secret bunker – What could be better?

Whether you are buried deep in an underground shelter or defended by two-metre thick reinforced concrete, one thing is sure: neither zombies nor looters will be able to break into a sealed bunker easily. Once inside, you’ll be safe and trapped in with the other survivors, or even alone. Remember to take a book.

  • They don’t come much more secure than this. Once you seal that steel blast door, you are safe from virtually all attackers. Safe and sound, trapped in your bunker. That’s good isn’t it?
  • A well-stocked bunker will be capable of supplying you with food, water and energy for years to come. You could hide there and wait for the whole thing to blow over.
  • With a hidden entrance, no one is going to find you.
  • Studies have shown that humans struggle with being ‘trapped’ underground for long periods of time. The lack of natural sunlight, fresh air and the development of ‘cabin fever’ are all potential risks.
  • If you are sealed in a bunker or any location with the wrong people, it could be like being stuck in a never-ending episode of the Kardashians – with insanity and madness slowly developing
  • Simply hiding from the zombies won’t make them go away. You could emerge after a year only to find millions of zombies in a land of the dead waiting to feast on you.
A life on the waves away from danger

The option of living aboard a boat during a zombie outbreak has its attractions as you’d be away from the clawing hands of the dead and the violence and chaos as society crumbles. Zombies cannot swim but they do drift and bodies can float so you’ll be safer apart from the risk of a ghoul clambering aboard.

  • Zombies have trouble with water. Apart from the danger of the odd floating dead, you’ll be safe from the hordes off shore.
  • Using a dinghy, you can make foraging trips ashore for supplies.
  • Choose the right vessel and you could be set up for months. For example, a commercial whaler will cost around £300,000, has room for 15–20 survivors and can cover over 20,000 nautical miles on a single tank of fuel.
  • At some point, you will need a land base for repairs, refuelling and supplies. Any serious damage to the boat could leave you and your survivor group in serious trouble.
  • Many zombie survivalists favouring an escape by boat carefully make their plans and stock their craft only to ignore the fact that they will need to reach the vessels when the dead rise. Moreover, the chances are that the first panicky survivor who spots it in the marina will try to make off with it.
  • It is estimated that piracy will increase exponentially during any zombie crisis.
Military Base
firepower to defeat the walking dead?

Under the right leadership, military bases will become powerful bastions of humanity as the living battle the hordes of the dead. Could joining the army as they fight to survive be the best move, particularly if you live close to one of their bases? Bases could also become the focus of any human resistance against the zombies.

  • Well-armed and trained soldiers. Stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. The mouth-watering prospect of tanks and other armoured vehicles – with this kind of power, you can really take the war to the zombies.
  • Most military sites have substantial stocks of tasteless c-rations or tinned ‘combat meals’.
  • These locations tend to be fortified with steel fences as an exterior barrier together with watch towers and controlled access points.
  • Thousands of desperate civilians will make for these sites. Expect long queues as people are checked and massive traffic jams as the unprepared flock for the protection of the military.
  • Some zombie survival experts predict that the military will disintegrate as the dead overrun the country, leaving only dangerous armed groups guarding these locations.
  • There is a high likelihood that some rogue General will declare ‘martial law’ as the crisis develops and the discipline may become worse than a North Korean Summer Camp.
the wilderness
Away from the hustle and bustle

If you have access to a wilderness location, then getting away from urban concentrations will certainly help you dodge the hordes of dead that will be ravaging the streets. Key to this location will be access – have a good plan so that you get away before the rush to avoid that whole ‘traffic jam bloodbath’ scene.

  • Once well away from any main towns, cities or roads – you will be relatively safe from both zombies and any human attackers.
  • Plenty of ‘alone time’ and the benefits of plenty of fresh air.
  • You will have a chance to use all of that expensive camping and hiking gear you bought a few years ago.
  • Growing a long beard can help you create a cool ‘mountain man’ look – providing you are male and have a chequered shirt.
  • Surviving without hot showers may start to wear thin as winter sets in.
  • Food can be scarce unless you have the hunting, fishing or foraging skills to provide for yourself and your group.
  • You will need an excellent level of fitness and survival training to stay alive in winter or in hostile climates such as the jungle or desert.
  • You will need to be able to cope with any medical emergency yourself or within the group. Fancy having a tooth out with only a handful of lingenberries as an anaesthetic?
desert island
a tropical paradise free of zombies

Cutting yourself off from the world can be appealing at the best of times. Add to that several million flesh-eating corpses and a tropical island starts to look like a very attractive proposition. You’ll be away from those cold winters and you may even decide to build a house on the beach, complete with monkey waiters.

  • Complete zombie-free living in a tropical paradise location.
  • Miles of golden sand and warm weather all year round, creating a holiday-like atmosphere for you and your survivor group.
  • If you have a small boat, you can raid the mainland or nearby islands for those extra essentials.
  • An endless supply of coconuts if it’s a tropical island.
  • An endless supply of coconuts and seafood. This is bad news if you don’t like coconuts or seafood.
  • There is a small risk that a stray corpse will wash up on your golden sands as you lay sunbathing.
  • How in the world are you going to get there? Direct flights will be hard to come by after the zombie apocalypse.
  • If you make it, being cut off from the world has its downsides. Your social life will certainly tail off.
  • If you think your island is a paradise, so will others. Soon, your monkey waiters could be serving drinks to some cruel pirate as you are working in the fields to grow your new masters more food.

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