I have been taking stock of the strategic situation of my home. There are four staircases leading up to the second floor apartments where I live, a straight and a spiral near my side, and two two-flight staircases on the other end. Three of these are wrought iron, and will be relatively easy to disable when the time comes, but the fourth one is mostly concrete, and that will prove more difficult. I do have a sledgehammer that can help in that regard, and I have tools for dismantling the other ones, but in a pinch it might be handy to have some thermite on hand for rushed situations. Luckily, directions for making thermite are found pretty easily online, and I should be able to get the components without too much difficulty. If I can lay in a sufficient amount of supplies, knocking out the staircases will allow me to hold off the zombies for as long as they hold out, since zombies can't climb. The buildings of the complex are relatively close together, so if I did need to get out, it would be a simple matter to hop on the roofs and make my way to the other end of the complex if I needed to.
The rest of the complex is woefully inadequate for defensive purposes. The gates are often in ill repair and even one person can push them open enough to enter, and a mob of zombies would make easy work of them. Even if the gates themselves were to hold, the wooden fences are rotten and full of broken sections. They have wire fences on the exterior, but I have no confidence in them. There is a bar across the street which looks reasonably fortifiable, with gated windows and such, along with a quickie mart, so that's always a halfway decent fallback position. My current location is still way too urban to make any kind of permanent base, however, so the plan will most likely involve heading north west, away from the city as far as possible. The wife and I are planning a road trip in a few months. We're going to take two weeks and travel as far as Vancouver if we can. We've been wanting to relocate to the Pacific Northwest anyway, so the trip will serve a dual function. The trip will have an added bonus of allowing me to plot a course away from population centers.
I've also been pricing equipment that I will need. I can get an M1 Garand online for around $500, and if I go to a gun show, or shop around locally, I can probably get one cheaper. We'll see. Someone mentioned that the stripper clips for the Garand are hard to find, but I found a website that sells them at a dollar a clip, so I'll probably stock up on those. I could easily drop $50 for that kind of deal, and that would put me holding 400 rounds of ammunition, ready to go. 12 gauge shotguns are easily gotten at Wal-Mart for a close quarter dispersal weapon, and those are usually under $200. Ideally, I'd like to acquire the Garand, a shotgun, and a 1911 Colt 45 for myself. I'll have to get Cat tested out on the guns too, if she can't handle the 12 gauge shotgun I'll get her a 20 gauge, probably along with a .22 rifle (light, easy, and perfect for scrambling zombie brains once you can shoot well enough to penetrate the skull), and some kind of pistol. If she can handle the .45, I'll get a matched set (I'll even have them engraved His and Hers, ;-D), but if not, we can get her a 9 mil. The pistols are a last ditch weapon in any case, ideally, we won't let any of the ghouls close enough to where they're necessary, but as the Scout Motto says, "Be Prepared." Various magazines and cartridges will also need to be purchased, of course, since you don't want to have sufficient ammo without a quick way of utilizing it in a tight spot. I figure a minimum of 500 rounds for each weapon should be our stockpile. Ammo belts and what not will be another necessity for when we're on the move.
I'll test out the bladed weapons we have, most of which, particularly the knives, I know will be useful. We will probably want to acquire some military grade machetes, just to be on the safe side, as well as good sturdy crowbars. The rest of the equipment will largely consist of good, durable (likely military surplus) gear, packs, cookout gear, compasses, etc. We'll probably want to stockpile batteries like we stockpile ammo. They will probably be worth their weight in gold when the shit comes down.
That's it for tonight. More as I think of it.
P.S. I don't know if it's just because I've been obsessing about zombie survival lately or what, but I've been finding weird rumors floating around lately. Apparently the alleged nuclear test recently conducted in North Korea has been having some strange after effects. I don't have any details, but I'm getting a weird feeling. Might be time to step up my preparations...