Logo Zombie survival guide Chapter 3 on the defense
The undead
Weapons and combat techniques
On the Defense
On the run

On the AttackLiving in an undead worldBuy the book on amazon


Preparation part 1 : the Home , Preparation par 2 : Supplies , Surviving an Attack , Immediate Defense , General Rules


Before the dead rise, before the chaos and carnage begin, certain homeowners will find that they are safer than their neighbors. Although no house was ever constructed for the purpose of zombie defense, several designs have proved remarkably secure. If your house itself is not structurally ready for a zombie attack, various measures can be employed to fortify it.

Modifications to Houses: Securing a house against the undead is similar to securing it from the living. Security bars on doors and windows will stop a group of zombies for a limited amount of time. Experience has shown that as few as three walking dead can tear them down in less than twenty four hours. A good ten-foot chain-link fence can hold dozens of zombies for weeks, even months, provided their numbers remain at Class 1. A ten foot cinder-block wall, reinforced with steel rods and filled with concrete, is the safest barrier in both Class 1 and Class 2 outbreaks. Zoning laws may prohibit a wall this high, but don't dismiss it. A gate should be steel or wrought-iron, solid if possible. It should slide to one side, not swing in or out. Reinforcement is as simple as parking your car up against it. In a Class 3 outbreak, enough zombies can, and will, climb on top of each other until they form an undead ramp right over your wall.

Apartments: First-floor apartments present the highest risk simply because of their accessibility. Tenants living above the ground floor are almost always safer than those in any type of house. Destroying the staircase effectively isolates the rest of the building. With the elevator turned off and the fire escape too high for a zombie to reach (strict limits are imposed by law), any apartment house can become an instant haven from the walking dead. Another advantage of the apartment complex is its large population. Whereas a private homeowner may be forced to hold the residence by himself, an apartment building can be defended by all of its tenants. This also increases the chances of having multiple skilled experts such as carpenters, electricians, paramedics, and Army reservists (not always the case, but still a possibility). Of course, with additional people comes the challenge of additional social conflicts. This potential problem, however, should never be a deterrent when choosing between a house and an apartment. Given the choice, always pick the latter.

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Once the private residence is secure, stockpiling for a siege must be undertaken. There is no telling how long it will take for help to arrive. There is no telling if help ever will. Always be prepared for a long siege. Never assume a quick rescue.

A. Weapons: Each home arsenal should include:

  • Rifle, 500 rounds
  • Shotgun, twelve-gauge, 250 shells
  • Pistol, .45 caliber, 250 rounds
  • Silencer (rifle)
  • Silencer (pistol)
  • Heavy crossbow (in lieu of silencers), 150 bolts
  • Telescopic sight (rifle)
  • Night-vision scope (rifle)
  • Laser sight (rifle)
  • Laser sight (pistol)
  • Katana sword Wakizashi or other short-bladed sword
  • Two knives with smooth, six- to eight-inch blades
  • Hand hatchet

(NOTE: This list applies to a single individual. Numbers should be adjusted depending on the number of people in the group.)

B. Equipment: Now that all weapons have been chosen, consider what equipment is necessary for your maintenance and perhaps even survival. In the short run, standard disaster-survival kits will suffice. Any longer, and the material below will be necessary. Common household items such as clothing, toilet paper, etc., are assumed to be kept on hand in reasonable quantities

  • Water, three quarts per day, for cooking and washing
  • Hand-pumped water filter
  • Four replacement filters Cistern for collecting rainwater
  • Iodine and/or purification tablets
  • Canned food, three cans per day (preferable to dried goods in that they contain some water)
  • Two portable electric stoves
  • Advanced medical kit (must include field-surgery implements and antibiotics)
  • Bicyclepowered electric generator
  • Gasoline generator (to be used only in emergencies)
  • Twenty gallons of gasoline
  • Rechargeable, battery-powered shortwave radio
  • Two battery-powered flashlights
  • Two rechargeable, battery-powered electric lamps
  • Two rechargeable, battery-powered and/or solar-powered radios
  • Appropriate reinforcement materials, including lumber, bricks, . mortar, etc.
  • Extensive tool kit, including sledgehammer, ax, handsaw, etc.
  • Lime and/or bleaching powder in sufficient supply to maintain latrine
  • One high-powered telescope (80X-100X), with spare lenses and cleaning equipment
  • Fifteen emergency flares .
  • Thirty-five chemical light sticks
  • Five fire extinguishers
  • Two sets of earplugs
  • Spare parts for all fore mentioned machinery and user's manuals .
  • Extensive library of manuals, including a general disaster manual

(NOTE: As with weapons, personal items such as food, water, and medicine must be multiplied for the number of people in your group.)

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The siege has commenced. Zombies swarm around your home, incessantly attacking but unable to enter. At this point, your worries are far from over. Waiting out a siege does not mean sitting idle. Many tasks will have to be accomplished and repeated for survival in a confined space.

HouseA. Designate one comer of your backyard to serve as a latrine. Most survival manuals will explain the finer points of construction and disposal.

B. If soil and rain permits, dig a vegetable garden. This ready source of food should be consumed first, saving the canned food for an emergency. Keep it as far away from the latrines as possible, to avoid infection not by waste but by the residual effects that lime or bleach will have on the soil.

C. For electricity, always resort to the manual (bicycle-powered) generator. Not only is the gasoline model loud and potentially dangerous- its fuel is finite. Use it only in extreme circumstances, such as a night attack, when manual power is unfeasible or impossible to generate.

D. Patrol the wall constantly. If you're in a group, run patrols on a twenty-four-hour basis. Always be vigilant for an unlikely but possible infiltration. If you are alone, limit your patrols to daylight hours. At night, make sure all doors are secure (windows should already be barred). Sleep with a flashlight and weapon nearby. Sleep lightly.

E. Maintain a low profile. If you have a basement, do your cooking there, along with power generation and any equipment maintenance. When you monitor the radio, something that should be done every day, use headphones. Keep blackout curtains on all windows, especially at night.

F. Dispose of all bodies. Be it zombie or human, a corpse is still a corpse. The bacteria in rotting flesh can be a serious health hazard. All bodies within your perimeter should be burned or buried. All bodies outside of your wall should be burned. To do this, simply stand on a ladder on your side of the wall, pour gasoline on the freshly slain ghoul, light a match and let it fall. Although this may attract more undead to your dwelling, it is a necessary risk to remove an already-present hazard.

G. Exercise daily. Use of the stationary bicycle, along with basic calisthenics and dynamic tension, will keep your body fit and strong enough for any combat situation. Again, make sure your regimen is quiet. If a basement is not available, use a room in the center of the house. Basic soundproofing such as mattresses and blankets against the walls will help to muffle any sounds.

H. Remain entertained. Despite the need for vigilance, recreation is a must. Make sure a large cache of books, games, and other forms of amusement are available (electronic games are too noisy and energy-inefficient to be considered). In a long and seemingly interminable siege, boredom can lead to paranoia, delusion, and hopelessness. It is as important to keep your mind in good shape as it is your body.

I. Keep your earplugs handy, and use them often. The constant, collective moan of the undead, a sound that will persist at all hours for as long as the siege continues, can be a deadly form of psychological warfare. People with well-protected, well-supplied homes have been known to either kill one another or go insane simply from the incessant moan.

J. Make sure your escape route is planned and your gear ready to go. In the uncertainty of battle, it may be necessary to abandon your home. Perhaps the wall has been breached, perhaps a fire has started, perhaps rescue has amved hut is not close enough. For whatever reason, it's time to go. Keep your survival pack and weapon in a readily accessible area, packed, loaded, and ready for action.

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The dead have risen. You smell the smoke, hear the sirens. Screams and shots fill the air. You have been unable or unwilling to properly prepare your home-what now? Although the situation looks grim, it by no means signals your demise. If you take the right actions at the right time, you can save yourself and your family from joining the ranks of the undead.

A. Strategies for Two-Story Homes

1. Lock all your doors and windows. Although a pane of glass may not stop a zombie, the sound ' of its shattering will be the best warning you can get.

2. Run upstairs and turn on the bathtub. Although this sounds foolish, there is no way of knowing when the water will be cut. After a few days, thirst will become your greatest enemy.

3. Find the best weapons possible. (See previous chapter.) They should be light and, if possible, attachable to your body so you will have the full use of your hands. Those will be busy for the next hour.

4. Begin stockpiling the second story. Most households have at least 50 percent of the items listed. Do a quick inventory to see what you have. Don't take everything, just the bare essentials: one or two weapons, some food (you already have a bathtub full of water), a flashlight, and a batterypowered radio. And since most families keep their medical chests upstairs, yon won't need anything more. Remember: Time could be short, so don't spend it all gathering supplies when the most important job is still ahead.

5. Demolish the staircase! As zombies are unable to climb, this method guarantees your safety. Many have argued that an easier solution would be to board up all the windows and doors. This method is self-defeating because it would take only a few zombies to break through any homemade barricade. No doubt destroying your staircase will take time and energy, but it must be done. Your life depends on it. Do not, under any circumstances, try to burn your stairs away with the hope of controlling the fire. Several people have attempted to save time in this way; their efforts have ended in either death by fitr or the total destruction of their home.

6. If you have a ladder, use it to continue to stock your upstairs refuge. If not, catalog what you do have, fill all sinks and other receptacles with water, and prepare for a long wait.

7. Stay out of sight. If you listen to the radio, do it at a minimum volume. When the skies darken, do not turn on the lights. Do not go near the windows. Try to make it seem as if the house has been abandoned. This may not stop a random zombie intrusion, but it will help to discourage a mass congregation from descending upon your home.

8. Do not use the phone. As in all disasters, the lines will probably be tied up. One more call only contributes to clogging the system. Keep the ringer on the lowest setting. If a call does come through, by all means answer it, but do so quietly.

9. Plan an alternate escape. You may be safe from zombies hut not from fire. If a gas line bursts, or some fool down the street goes crazy with a Molotov, yon may have to abandon your home. Find a hag or other means of carrying essentials.

B. Strategies for Single-Story Homes

If you do not live in a two-story house, the attic will he a less comfortable hut equally secure substitute. Most can he secured by simply raising the retractable staircase or removing the temporary ladder. Zombies lack the cognitive ability to build a ladder of their own. If you stay quiet, they will not even know that an attic exists. Never use a basement as a shelter.

If you find yourself in a one-story home with no attic, grab whatever supplies you can, take hold of a weapon, and climb onto the roof. If the ladder is kicked away, and there is no direct access (a window or trapdoor), the undead will not be able to reach you. Keep still and keep silent to avoid attracting the undead. Zombies in the area will break into the house below you, search it for prey, then wander off. Remain on the roof for as long as you can, until supplies are exhausted or a rescue patrol arrives. It may not be comfortable, but it is your best chance for survival. Eventually, it will become inevitable to abandon this refuge. See Chapter 4, "On the Run".)


As with private homes, safety can be found in public or nonresidential buildings. In some cases, their size and layout may afford more protection than the most secure domiciles. In other cases, the exact opposite is true. Because arming and equipping these structures should be done in the same manner as in private homes, albeit on a grander scale, this section focuses on the best and worst public sanctuaries.

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Buildings in poorer, inner-city neighborhoods tend to be more secure than others. Their reliance on high fences, razor wire, barred windows, and other anti-crime features make them readily defensible. Buildings in middle- or high-income areas tend to emphasize aesthetics. What rich city council wants an eyesore in its neighborhood? Instead of ugly, even tacky, safety features, these affluent people rely more heavily on law enforcement and private security (forces of proven umeliability). For these reasons, and if the situation permits, head away from the suhurhs and toward the inner city. Avoid "accidents waiting to happen." Many industrial structures of the sort commonly found in inner-city or "downtown" areas house explosive or flammable materials. They also may contain complicated machinery such as power generators and environmental regulators, mechanisms that require constant supervision. Put those two together, and disaster is. gu aranteed. The Khotan nuclear power plant is only one extreme example. More numerous if less dramatic incidents usually occur with all Class 2 and 3 outbreaks. Do not seek refuge in or near industrial sites, fuel-storage facilities, airports, or any other place identified as high-risk. When choosing a refuge, consider these questions carefully:

1. Is there a wall, fence, or other physical perimeter?

2. How many potential entrances and exits are there?

3. Can the people in your party simultaneously defend each fence and exit?

4. Is there a secondary defensive position, multiple floors, or an attic?

5. Can the building be secured?

6. Is there a potential escape route?

7. What is the supply situation?

8. Is there a water line?

9. If needed, are weapons or tools available?

10. Are materials available to reinforce the entrances?

11. What about means of communication: phone, radio, Internet, etc.?

12. Given all these factors, how long could you or your group survive an extended siege?

Make sure to consider all these questions when choosing where to make your stand. Resist the urge to dash into the nearest building. Remember; no matter how desperate the situation seems, time spent thinking clearly is never time wasted.

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