Zombie Manifesto: Part 3

Manifesto Updates

The second attempt at gathering Intel has provided a lot of information about what weapons to use, possible home renovations, and noise is bad.

The Zombie Manifesto Part 3

First, the honorable mentions:

Zombiemutts and Jamal Morgue Luckett point out the most important thing to remember if you intend to survive the apocalypse, shut the hell up, or as they said more politely noise attracts them, so be quiet.

Calicade offered up a wide array of weapon choices, axes, crowbars, baseball bats, and shovels. Reminding us to stick to weapons that are easy to handle.

Andy Taylor made a great point about getting a real machete versus a knock off, also brings into play the katana and stealth. He logically points out that the chainsaw is heavy, and after a few moments your arms would turn to noodles, not to mention it is noisy and goes against the most important thing, noise=bad. He also talks of “The Devastator,” look for it on infomercials in the future.

Adrian Chamberlin gave us a lesson on bows, and how long range weapons would be best, perhaps the compound bow. Though you would need to be an excellent shot.

*My question here, as brought up by another, would the arrow be strong enough to penetrate the skull? More research by Chamberlin is needed.

William Todd Rose brought to our attention things we never would have thought of. Admit it, none of you were preparing to get metal kitchen gloves to protect your hands. And even more was his “Corridor of Gore.”

Zombie Manifest Part II – Redux

During the zombie apocalypse the things that will keep you alive are the ability to be quiet and stealth. Weapon wise, if guns are not an option you still have a chance. A good old fashioned mace, something you can make with a wooden bat and nails, a machete (real one, not a knock off), a katana, The Devastator. A compound bow, or crossbow if you are a great shot. Last, but not least, is the crow bar, easy to find, durable, but only to be used if there are a few undead after you, not to be used in horde situations.
*There is also the Corridor of Gore, which will be discussed further in this post.

Talking with William Todd Rose

While I go out and buy various bats, bows, track down authentic machetes, and look at online classes about making arrows I am going to ask William Todd Rose a few questions about creating a “Zombie Dream Home.” He has written several books about zombies, you can read more about that here www.williamtoddrose.com

Hi Todd, hope things are well. I’m going to ask a few questions for the third entry that revolve around home renovations, and the infamous “Corridor” you described. You have gained a few fans with this concept.

The Corridor of Gore

Q. Can you tell us the best place to set it up, any other additions we might make to it in order to improve it, and of course what we can do to prevent falling victim to one ourselves.

A. The best place to set it up would be at one end of an otherwise secured area. Perhaps somewhere surrounded on all sides by a wall. After all, you don’t want to be focusing all of your attention on the zombies in the corridor while Zed the Organ Fiend is shambling up behind you. The corridor should be the only way into this location but, of course, not the only way out. Any add ons or modifications you wish to incorporate are only limited by the depravity of your imagination. For example, you might elect to lower the slot that the decapitating blade runs through so that it’s at knee level instead of neck. Then the zombies would be forced to crawl over the spikes and eviscerate themselves before you finish them off with the fire.

Windows and entryways

Q. I know many people would want to block them all, but how do you escape if invaded? How do you know your escape door won’t be your undoing?

A. I agree that you’d want to block and reinforce them all, but the key is preparation. You don’t want to wait until the horde is doing the reanimate shuffle across your lawn to throw up shoddily cobbled barricades. Besides being in a situation where you were hard pressed for time and supplies, the pounding, banging, and unavoidable cursing as you struggled to strengthen your defenses would only serve to draw more zombies to your location. The best time to put your plan in effect is now. Bars on the outside might not be a bad idea, but why not go that extra step and install locking steel shutters on the inside as well? The undead aggressors may be able to break the panes; they may even be able to pull the bars out of the window frame; but a quarter inch of solid steel is sure to slow them down.

Since we’re preparing ahead of time (which is really the point of this manifesto, is it not?) you should have a minimum of three underground tunnels which you can use to flee your base of operations. The exits of these tunnels should be concealed from a direct view of the house and the exits should not only be well camouflaged but also locked from the inside. Also make sure the key to the lock is stored near the exit so you don’t have to worry about forgetting it in your haste. And for God’s sake, don’t wait until the zombies have defeated your defenses enough to see where you’re going when you bug out. The idea here is for the undead to “think” that you’re still inside the house when, in fact, you’re scampering away in the distance.

Rose family bedtime story

One upon a time, there were three little pigs: a hippie pig, a suburban pig, and a prepper pig. The hippie pig lived as one with nature in a yurt. The suburban pig had a nice Cape Cod made of wood, and the prepper pig built his house out of stone and brick. The Big Bad Zombie made short work of the hippie pig with no huffing and puffing at all. The suburban pig held out a little longer, but eventually (with the help of his friends) the Big Bad Zombie enjoyed some tasty bacon at that house as well. The prepper pig, however, lived in something that was almost like a fortress. He had the foresight to realize doors and windows were chinks in his armor and reinforced them accordingly; so the Big Bad Zombie was left to shred his fingernails and slough the flesh off his hands as he clawed at the rough brick and stone as the prepper pig took his time with well-placed headshots from an upstairs window. This bedtime story has been passed down through the Rose family for generations and there’s a moral to it.

Attics

Q. Are they really an option in your opinion?

A. In my opinion, the attic would be a death trap. To begin with, most attics have only one way in, which also means only one way out. If you’re hiding in the attic then that most likely means the zombies have already gained access to the house and they will find you. Even if there is an attic door, don’t fool yourself. Interior doors are almost always weaker and shabbier than exterior; so if the undead have already brought down the outside door, the one barring them from the attic would be no problem.
Now, some may argue that the door is not the only exit from an attic and cite windows. However, there are risks there. How sharp is the incline of the roof? Given a steep one, you’d have gravity working against your escape. Even if it’s relatively flat, then there’s still getting down to worry about. You could jump, but one wrong landing and your knee or ankle could be royally screwed. Especially if it’s been raining and the roof and grass below are slick. The last thing you want is to be writhing on the ground in pain while the undead slowly close in and put an end to your “escape”.

Practical modifications

Q. What else would you do to your home to prepare it for the zombie apocalypse?

A. I would have at least one room, windowless, where the walls, floors, ceiling, and doors were entirely covered in carpet. Sometimes musicians use this as makeshift baffling in home studios to help dampen sounds. It’s not entirely soundproof, of course, but would go a long way toward masking the sounds of day to day activities since the carpet would absorb sound waves. Another thing you could do is drill a hole in the roof near the bathroom. Through this hole, you’ll want to snake a long length of garden hose. Next go to the roof (keep in mind the aforementioned dangers; however, since you’re not under attack at this point you will be less panicked and can afford to move with caution). Once you’re to the point where the garden hose is sticking up through the hole, take a large kitchen funnel and insert the narrow end into the hose. A circular clamp like the ones that secure hoses in your car’s engine can be used to secure the garden hose to the funnel. At this point, wedge the funnel into the hole, return to the inside, and place the other end of the garden hose into the bathtub (making sure that it is properly stoppered). When it rains, the funnel will collect the water and gravity will feed it through the hose and into your homemade reservoir.

Bunkers

Q. Do you think it wold be better to get a bunch of people together and invest in an underground bunker like this?
http://www.missilebases.com/nike-indiana
I chose this one because it has a pool, but there are many options.

A. To begin with, my wife and I fell in love with this place! I would live there even if the undead apocalypse never came. The pool is nice. If you drained it, thoroughly cleaned the chemicals out of it, and then filled it with fresh water, you could then stock it with fish, frogs, and aquatic plants to create a self-sustaining eco-system. The fish eat the tadpoles and you can then eat the fish and/or frogs. If you drill a well close by equipped with a hand pump, you can also not only make sure your pond doesn’t evaporate all of its water but also have something to fill bottles and jugs with.

Hospitality when the Apocalypse Arrives

Q. Strangers, let them in or let them die?

A. This may sound harsh, but the apocalypse is not the time to make new friends. If you’ve got a fortified location, you’re better off keeping other people out. To begin with, the more people you have with you, the quicker your supplies will dwindle; the quicker your supplies dwindle, the more excursions you have to make to replace them. Which drastically increases the odds of infection. In addition to this, more people also increases your chances of drawing unwanted attention. And that’s best case scenario. Worst case scenario? You get one of those idiots who’ve been bitten but decides to hide it from the group. Now, instead of keeping the infection out, you’ve actually welcomed it in as a guest, making all of your preparations null and void. Another worst case scenario is that the newbies slit your throat in your sleep and claim your fortress and supplies as their own. Even if they’re not infected and even if they don’t kill you, the addition of new people changes the group dynamic. More personalities increase the potential for conflict within your own ranks. We humans have a hard enough time getting along with one another even in the best of situations; add the stress of life or death decisions into the equation and anything could happen. Yes, there’s a good chance those people will die if you don’t let them in, and that is sad. But let’s face it: you don’t have it within your power to save everyone in the world. If you did, then we wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with.

What did we forget?

Q. Now that we have gone over how to build your very own Zombie Dream Home, I ask you this. What have we forgotten? What would you do? Boiling vats of oil? Fire trenches? Barbed wire? Have we missed anything?

A. While it would be very cool to watch, I’m not sure that boiling oil would do the necessary brain damage to drop a rotter so I’d probably rule that out. I’d also nix any defenses to a home that have to do with fire, which is why I’d also suggest that the Corridor of Gore not be deployed near your home. After all, the last thing you want is a bunch of zombie-shaped torches struggling to gain entrance to a potentially flammable structure. Barbed wire wouldn’t be much help, either. The reason it works for animal control is because of the pain and discomfort the barbs cause, which would not be much of a deterrent to unfeeling zombies. The most it would do is trip them up and/or slow them down. Which, in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But if the battle gets up close and personal, dealing with a zombie is bad enough without having barbed wire tangled around it. Contrary to popular opinion, evolution doesn’t dictate that the strongest survive; it dictates that the organisms which best adapt to change will. In a zombie uprising, humans will be savagely thrust back into the food chain and power will be the least of our concerns. As a species, mankind has survived and flourished far longer without power than we have with it; yet, for some reason, we’ve come to think of it as being as much as a necessity as food, water, and shelter.

As far as protecting your home goes, I would employ techniques I’ve named after a famous Brazillian soccer player: PELE. Perimeter defense, Exterior defense, Living quarters defense, and Exit strategy. Each one of these are just as important as the others in boosting your chances of surviving an onslaught and should be utilized in tandem rather than separately.

I’ll give an example of perimeter defense since you don’t want to wait until the horde is at your door walls to begin countermeasures. In fact, the goal should be to drop the undead aggressors long before they ever pose a threat to the structural integrity of your holdout. Various methods can be employed to assist you in this. If your perimeter has the advantage of being surrounded by trees, then you can deploy the Wall of Jaws and bite back. To construct this “wall”, you’d simply need some sturdy chain and an abundance of animal traps (bear traps are preferable and you should stock up on them prior to the apocalypse … after all, this is about being prepared). Once your supplies are in hand, you’ll basically want to loop a length of chain over low hanging branches. This chain should then be connected to the short length coming out of the trap which, under normal circumstances is used to peg the snare to the ground. Once joined, the traps should be hoisted until they dangle at approximately head level from the trees. Make sure you have enough traps that you can hang a new one approximately half an arm’s length from the next. If there aren’t enough trees to completely surround your perimeter (or no trees at all), then you can also build a series of supports to act as tree surrogates. If this method is employed, make sure the posts are set in concrete to ensure maximum durability. When your base is attacked (and trust me, it will be) the undead will have to pass through this barrier first. When they trigger the traps, the jaws close in on their face and cannot be removed unless pried apart. Since a rotter doesn’t feel pain and lacks basic reasoning skills, this would never occur to them. As zombies continue their march toward mulch, their bones will eventually become brittle; in a best case scenario the teeth of the trap will pierce the skull and drive both metal and shattered shards of bone into the brain, thus doing the necessary damage. If it doesn’t outright kill the zombie one of two things will happen: A) The zombie becomes tethered to the tree and can’t progress any further than the chain will allow or B) The zombie will rip its own face off as it struggles to free itself from your trap. In the event of B, you will want to have secondary and tertiary lines of perimeter defenses at the ready.

Also, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of clever distraction. Let’s say you’ve got a shed or some kind of outbuilding on your property that has solar panels attached to the roof. The breaker to this shed should be located in the main structure and should be switched off until needed. Within the shed an old style boom box should be plugged into an outlet with the play button on the cassette deck already pressed and the volume turned up all the way. The tape within the deck should be of someone talking, such as an audio book. With the undead on your lawn, throw the switch on the breaker. The cassette will start playing, fooling the zombies into thinking that someone living is within the shed and drawing their attention away from your house. If you’ve surrounded the shed with clever traps, then they’ll basically be walking into their own doom. Once all the zombies are dispatched, turn the breaker off again and start charging up for the next time you need to use this distraction. If you’ve got a boom box with an “auto reverse” feature, then the tape will automatically flip to the other side once it reaches the end and keep you from having to periodically rewind it.
These however are just my initial thoughts and ideas. There are a plethora of ways to protect your base of operations and I, for one, cannot wait to read the ideas and suggestions this portion of the manifesto will generate.

You heard the man, what is your plan?

39 Comments

Ozmosis7

I recorded one the other night, “Earth 2100.” Sounded interesting. They’ve been airing a bunch of these sorts of shows. A wealth of ideas there.

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Suzanne

I have no seen that one. Will have to check int out. I did see a neat show called
Surviving Disaster.

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Ozmosis7

Turns out it is less about a zombie breakout and more about how the world will look by then. However, there are a lot of apocalypse and zombie ones showing up now days.

Hollie

As for arrows against zombies, they would work just fine if the archer was a good shot. Remember, an average person can puncture the human skull with a screwdriver if they are strong enough, and an arrow fired from a compound bow will have more force behind it.

I really love this series. Lots of good questions and lots of good information!

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William Todd Rose

Hmmm … this now has me thinking about a pneumatic powered device that would show screwdrivers at the undead. How cool would that be?? As an added bonus, it would give you the chance to utter cheesy action-film style catchphrases as the dead drop: “Screw you” “Your such a tool” “Phillip’s head? Yes, it used to be.” 😀

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Hollie

That would be cool! My only concern would be portability. After all, pneumatics require air compressors, and electricity. Heavy and in short supply — in that order. But I wonder if screwdrivers couldn’t be converted to fit into a crossbow, or if a crossbow couldn’t be converted to fire screwdrivers — whichever’s easier. But either way, the Zombie Apocolypse demands cheesy action-movie catch phrases. It wouldn’t be an apocolypse without them.

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Morgue

I used to dream of planning to have this massive fortress that could withstand wave after wave of the undead. Until I realized that the undead would eventually get in or I would need to get out to restock or resupply. Then there was the rouge element Humans other Survivors. As times got worse and people became desperate and lawless. Other humans who had the inteeligence the zombies lacked. Would either get in or breech my compound and allow the dead to do thier dirty work!

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Suzanne

That is a great point, we are so focused on the undead, we need to figure out ways to keep the rogue element out as well…GREAT POINT

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zombiemutts

That underground base in Indiana is awesome. Can you imagine living in a place like that? The metal must creak and moan constantly. The low moan of shifting metal…would sound like an old submarine.

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Suzanne

But it has a pool, how neat would that be? The world ends, but it’s okay because you can go take a dip. Apocalypse in style!

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zombiemutts

Oh I would love it. No doubt. I think I would have to explore every inch of it with a shot gun at first before I would get comfortable.

You know….checkin for zombehs

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Dale Eldon

In regards to the compound bow, although I would agree it makes a great weapon, a person would need to have strong fore arms to pull the cord back. From my understanding, the higher the pounds it takes to pull back, the harder it is to pull.

I dunno if I said this before, but for my zombie survivialist (though most don’t survive) in my novella, since they’re on a mountain during the outbreak, they are forced to use what they have. Which mostly is an ice ax and crampons (metal cleats on the boots for climbing on rock and ice).

Thing of it is, which I’m sure many zombie writers can apprciate, is that when an outbreak hits, some people will be prepared (just watch Doomsday Preppers on Discovery), there will be even more people who are not. Crazy survivors aside (panicked people, those off their meds), those who are normalish, and want to survive, will have to use what they can get their hands on. There is a bow shop about a 15 minute walk from my house, but not only have I only shot a bow once in my life, but I bet it will be raided before I get there. So, an outbreak and we are stuck with our brain (pun intended) and whatever weapon we can get our hands on. Think Zombieland, kill of the week. If nothing else an ink pen may mean the difference between living and being lunch.

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Ozmosis7

I’d take to the high ground, a treehouse maybe. Living underground provides ample opportunity for the zombies to fall or sneak down. In the movies they don’t climb well, and even if they try you can drop things on them, like an old TV. For weapons, nothing beats a good old ninja sword. Even if you suck at being a ninja, you can be effective at killing. Honestly though, I don’t think there is any preparing for such a thing. We don’t know what a zombie attack would look like. We can only speculate. For all we know they could be fast as hell and eat only vegetation. Then we would pay for cutting down all those trees to build houses. 😛

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Paul S. Huggins

I have my place pegged already. Its an old manor house here in suffolk, real old. Has a wall around the entire estate, the focal point being the house. Within the grounds are orchards, a small farm with livestock, vegetable gardens, and even a moat around the house full of coy carp. Perfect

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Ozmosis7

I love that idea. After watching The Walking Dead mud might be better LOL. In one of my stories I used a circle of explosives, so land mines come to mind. They would even alert you to an attack.

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D.M. Youngquist

Great tips on how to prep your home. I’ve honestly walked through my house, and thought “there’s no way to defend this place against a zombie swarm.” My house is an old, big, two story victorian home. It has four entry doors on the first floor, and an entrance through the basement. The second story has two staircases. I could fortify it according to the suggestions here, or I could scavange wood and sheetmetal from some of the nearby barns and seal it up tight.

Weapons. A compound bow will penetrate a skull when set at 60lbs draw weight. I have seen two deer skull shot this way. The arrow lodges in the skull, however, making the deer look like Steve Martin in the early years.

Keep in mind too, that black powder can be made with items found around the house/town pretty easily.

Edged weapons from maces to clubs are easy to create or come by. Simple is better. Less weight and moving parts are the way to go.

Great read. Loved it.

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William Todd Rose

I’m looking forward to hearing it. I was asked if I’d like to do this section on home fortification, but my personal plan would be to stay mobile.

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Calicade

My plan is rather simple, and might sprout of the hope that I can keep on the move. I’ve always looked at staying in one place, not only boring, but a very dangerous thing to do. Though I have thought of different ways to set up a stationary position that would last the test of onslaught. I still favor a constant motion to only stop when rest and resources are needed. I don’t plan on going alone the solo artist will only get themselves killed with out a back up or some one to lean on when they need it. I plan on having at least 3 to my own personal group ~ Hopefully. 4 is stretching the number thin, and 2 is making it seem a bit to risky. So 3 has become my most prominent number.
My selected few will hopefully be people that I have been able to develop a friendship, but I am not limited to those options. Making new friends in hell is still possible; to be a recluse that shuns the idea of new allies, has a death wish. I have already carefully thought of what kind of allies I would need, and the skills that would be rather useful. This has come down to rather basic things that aren’t overly demanding. Knows how to kill something in some form or way; be it simple weaponry, fire arms, traps or pure out melee (though personally unrecommended). Thinks with a level head, and doesn’t tend to find too much confidence with in themselves. A person that can take the orders with out going all bat shit crazy, and can also accept constructive criticism. As well doesn’t plan on doing any sort of thing to harm anyone else that hasn’t harmed them. I know there is a whole list of intelligence/skills/know how out there that could be shared, but it’s a fact that intelligence is just how you apply it; there are no labels to what intelligence really is.
Now since I have my rather simple list down on what could make some one an applicant. Let’s go on too equipment and focuses.
A jeep would be my main focus of transport, but not one of those tarp roofed jeeps. One of those that have a hard top fully, and a good spot in the back to store things such as food, water, and ammunition. Things such as gasoline cans, bicycles, and equipment rugged survival equipment (Ropes, pots & pans, a grill tray, etc) can be kept on top of the jeep or on it’s sides. I choose a jeep because it’s an all-terrain vehicle. That’s pretty much about why I choose it over so many other vehicles out there. I know there are things like keeping a steady fuel stream to think about, but I’m leaving a-lot of trust in the people that start to set up small societies. Which also covers where I might be able to obtain food, water, or any other sorts of supplies.
Now what do I mean about societies? Well I have a solid belief that small groups of survivors will start to make a system of individual societies with their own little economy. I will trade skills/knowledge for supplies. These skills could range from anything of a scout, clearing out an area (even if that is a rather dangerous task), making runs/deliveries, and so on; you know the old quest style of life. This might sound a bit ridiculous to some, but there has to be some one out there to do the mobile things for these small societies that will no doubt erect from the ground. As well.. What about the fuel? Well, even though it’s not recommended for your vehicle, ethanol will become possibly the only way to get something that makes any gas nomming machine to go.
There’s a-lot of things that a ‘village’ could grow to make itself part of a new post-apocalypse market. Potato’s for plenty of things like starches, to turn it into vodka after a period of rotting and creating a recipe of some sort, that vodka can be turned into molotovs which makes a sell-able tool. Corn will also be a crop to grow because it’s not only easy, but it’s what they make ethanol out of. There’s also wheat, but there are plenty of crops to grow that could make a village a part of a market.
As it is ~Capitalism is the only way to conquer anarchy.
My choice of weapon will be loose, because one cannot become to attached to their tools and stay sane through out this whole ordeal.

I would favor owning a SKS 7.62 rifle: It’s loaded with a stripper clip, and its an older more rugged weapon. Carrying clips is easier than the extra weight of a magazine, and offer quick re-fill ‘per-see’. Though it might not have the largest stripper fed magazine to run off of it is still quiet a powerful rifle, and accurate aiming and shooting should cancel out the worry about having to reload too often.

My choice in tools will have to be the Crow-bar. It’s a skeleton key in it’s own right, and a defensive weapon in its second right. Prying open doors, hatches, locked cases, and all that jazz will become a necessity when out scavenging (which is another skill I shall partake in).

If it has to come down a hand gun, then I’d have to say stick to revolvers. Revolvers don’t require a magazine and you can reload it on the spot. This comes in handy because mid fight – one doesn’t want to be attempting to shove a cartridge into a rebellious magazine.

I would love to use a crossbow because it’s quiet and it’s rather lethal, but I lack any formal training with it same goes with a bow.

Now as for my group? I will allow them to pick their own flavors (cept unless it’s completely stupid, then I’d have to slap some sense into them.) The over all rule though is that stealth is most important in any situation. Your situation, position, or venture is to be as unknown as possible, because it’s no one’s business and we don’t want the zombies coming and wrecking the party. Fire arms will be used in case of emergency, or when having to defend ourselves from other humans.

As for where I’m going to head? I don’t know that’s the fun of being mobile. Life remains a constant guessing game of adventurer that we haven’t had since the pioneer years.

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Hollie

If you are well-armed or with a small group you can trust, or both, take to the road. Otherwise, hunker down and hope the zombies and/or the rogue human element doesn’t find you

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Suzanne

I would worry about running into the rogue element on the road, and fuel issues, not to mention such a small group will have infighting, and food issues. I am not confident you could rely on other groups to barter with you, they would have the upper hand and be able to demand outrageous things in return.

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Suzanne

Very true, but I am an admitted weenie.
Also the next post tackles the on the move aspect, I think people will like the guest blogger for that one 🙂

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Jamal Morgue

Ah being on the move one of my least favorite topics. As a father and husband I say being on the move is for loners and those with nothing to lose.

I am neither! Let it ride Suzanne!

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