S is for Safe-House
So you’ve survived the apocalyptic event, gathered up your family and friends and stocked up the wagon. What’s the safest location you can hole up, regroup and possibly stay long term? I touched on this topic briefly in my post-apocalyptic post, but let’s look a little more closely at safe-houses.
There have been some unique ideas over the years – and some stock-standard, tried-and-true ones like isolated farm houses, islands (often mulled over, rarely realized) and old forts or ranger stations in the middle of a wilderness reserve. Some of the more unique ideas are jails, oil rigs or abandoned air-fields (though these tend to be more stop-offs as they are obvious choices for raiders).
Isolated farm house
Pros: preferably hidden from view of a main road, only the lucky or the very observant will ever realize you are there. Arable land surrounding the farm makes ideal farming conditions and if you’re lucky there may still be a few livestock wandering around.
Cons: unless you’re perfectly perched on top of a hill, it’s going to be possible for the baddies to sneak up and steal your women and chickens. Also restricted by size – one day you’re going to run out of room for your growing community.
Pros: Once you’ve cleared out any remaining threats and moved your people onto the island you’re pretty much set for an unmolested life.
Cons: Cleaning out the threats could take a while, depending on the size of the island, and if it’s zombies you’ll be keeping an eye out for stragglers for quite some time. Supply runs will be dependent on boats, and if you encounter some bad weather, you could be stranded with no way of gathering supplies
Pros: Like remote farm houses, if your hidden from view and remove all incriminating road signs you’ll be tricky to find for those pesky raiders. The forest will provide excellent opportunities for hunting and if you’ve got a few workers in your midst, you can easily clear some space for gardens. Water supplies also tend to plentiful.
Cons: If you are found out, defense whilst surrounded by thick forest won’t be easy. Again you may be limited to size.
Pros: Once you’ve evicted the locals, security will be top notch. Although designed primarily for keeping people in, jails are also designed to have minimum points of entry, making it much more easily defendable. Jails also tend to have prison gardens already set aside; if not you can just plow up an exercise yard or two. In a big jail, space shouldn’t be a problem for quite some time. In addition, jails tend to be in locations set far away from towns and cities.
Cons: Cleaning out a jail isn’t going to be a pleasant or safe experience. Although kind-hearted / guilt-ridden guards may have let most of the prisoners out, there’s still going to be some locked up in cells, lurking in offices or supply cupboards – all waiting for their next meal. There’s also pretty limited wood for fires.