What if…and the “Anti-Zombie Fortress”

Today’s “What if” post is a classic internet meme: how would you design your ultimate anti-zombie fortress? Theories abound on what makes an ideal holdout, with some focusing on how to improve the security of their current residence, to others trying to design more fanciful fortresses. I’ll talk about both below. And just so we’re clear, I’m talking about the classic Romero zombie model: slow-moving, decaying, somewhat dumb, but driven zombies.

Most people begin with Max Brooks’s book, The Zombie Survival Guide. The book talks about how to secure your own home, the relative merits of houses versus apartment buildings, and various other real-life facilities. If you’ve read World War Z, (also by Brooks), you also pick up a few “tips.” Both are worth reading.

But today I’ll focus on some locations that have seen some popularity online. First, the Shime abandoned coal mine. What are the benefits? It’s big, so there are room for a team of people who can sleep/eat/defend in shifts. There are plenty of high windows for recon and shooting. Assuming the internal ladder is broken, it would be difficult, if not impossible for zombies to reach that team. It would also be very time consuming, at which point the crisis might be over, as all the zombies would have decayed. What are the cons? Well, it’s a famous site, and easily accessible by public transportation, so many will rush there, increasing your odds that an infected person will take residence inside. Also, you better have a HUGE amount of canned goods, because other than possibly growing food on the roof, there’s no place to grow food.

The challengers below present interesting twists on the pro/con balance sheet. The castle doesn’t have an exposed ladder, so it can probably last longer, assuming that lower door can be adequately reinforced. But again, easily reached (is the boat even necessary–could I wade out?) and you better like eating canned goods. The trailer is amusing for its creativity, and fewer people means less likelihood of an infected person entering. But no room for food, ammo, or supply storage, and boy does that thing look rickety.

Despite my terrible seasickness, I’m a big fan of the mobile zombie fortress/a>. There is room to live, to grow food, and to store goods. It’s not easily accessible, and it can “run away” from zombies. However, it would require a well-trained crew (better hope none are infected!), it might inspire humans to try to steal it, and as Brooks mentions, zombies can climb up your anchor chains (so watch out when you dock). Also, I’m not completely sold on zombie diesel, but points for creativity.

The last example I’ll mention is this zombie proof house. At first blush, it looks great. No obvious entry points, other than that roll-down gate (which is hopefully well secured). But the more I think about it, the more I don’t like it. First, it would be pitch black inside, so you better have lots of candles, batteries and flashlights, or a generator and plenty of fuel (and a plan for the generator’s exhaust and excess heat). Prolonged isolation like that is terrible–just ask anyone who’s spent time in solitary confinement. Second, other than the roof, there is no place to grow food (especially if it’s so dark inside).

So what if zombies attacked? What would your fortress look like? Would you rather stick around in your place (knock out stairs, build walls, reinforce windows) or go to another location? If another location, what features would you look for? Remote, but not too remote. If your lowest level is raised well above the ground, so much the better. How big would your team be? If large, how do you prevent infections? If small, how do create sleep/work shifts? Where would you get food, power, supplies?

What factors did I overlook? Where would you go when the zombie apocalypse begins? Are you already working on your cardio?