Happy Halloween and happy 6th birthday to my little zombie!
Welcome to Zombie Blog Crawl 2016!!!
This is the third year Band of Dystopian has put together a Zombie Blog Crawl for Halloween, and the third year I’ve participated. You can see my post from 2015 HERE and my post from 2016 HERE (when I went visited the set of The Walking Dead). After you look through this post, be sure to scroll down and check out the links to all the other blogs participating in the Zombie Crawl, AND enter the giveaways! (Be sure to check out my giveaway at the end of this post.)
I keep telling my husband that being a zombie author will help me when the zombie apocalypse happens, but he thinks I’m insane. Still, I maintain that fans of the zombie genre in general would have a decided advantage. Having written thirteen zombie themed books, I’ve reached the point where I’ve taken my characters through countless scenarios—and not always successfully — and I think at this point, I have a good idea of what to do and what to avoid. On top of that, when I’m out exploring the world, I constantly myself envisioning how a person would fare in a certain area. If it would be easy to fortify. If there are supplies around. If water would be an issue. And I’ve come across some places that would be perfect for zombie apocalypse survival, as well as some not so great places. So, for this year’s zombie crawl, I’ve compiled a list of…
The 50 Best Place to Go to Survive the
(In Alphabetical Order)
Alabama – Fort Morgan
On a peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico, this 19th century military fort would be a great place to hunker down. While it’s not in great shape, it’s well fortified and secluded, and would provide enough shelter to get you through the early weeks at least.
Alaska–Alyeska Ski Resort
Alaska in general is a good place to go during the apocalypse, assuming you can survive the cold weather. The town of Alyeska is approximately 27 miles from the town of Anchorage, but let me tell you, in the winter in Alaksa, 27 miles feels a lot further. In December of 2012 I took a trip out there to visit my best friend and we went to Alyeska for the night. The resort itself it very secluded, surrounded by mountains and forests, and even though it’s the largest ski area in the state, as few as 2,000 people live in the valley year round. It was off-season when I visited, and we saw very few people. With over 300 guest rooms, there’s plenty of space for you and your fellow survivors to start over.
Arizona–Titan Missile Museum
While not the most comfortable place to live out the apocalypse, the underground bunker sure would be safe. Steel reinforced, tunnels, and blast doors are all features in this Cold War era bunker.
Arkansas–War Eagle Cave (or any of the other dozens of caves)
I’ve only been to Arkansas once, and it was more than *cough* twenty *cough* years ago, but apparently there are a lot of caves. I chose War Eagle Cave because it doesn’t have any really tight passages or stairs, a plus when trying to survive underground and not lose your mind.
California– A secluded Winery in Napa or Sonoma
This is just a personal opinion, but I think it would work. Wine country is secluded, the wineries are often far from the road and have fences around the property, plus some even have an inn or restaurant. Even better: lots of wine. Let’s face it, it’s the end of civilization, you’re going to need to curl up with a good bottle of wine at the end of the day. If it doesn’t work, at least you’ve gone out in style.
Colorado– Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park
Ancient civilizations lived here, so why couldn’t you? Let’s face it, life is going to be rough after the zombies take over, and the most important thing to find is safety. A national park will be secluded and these homes are built into the side of a mountain! You know no one is going to sneak up on you, and you’ll have the perfect vantage point if anyone tries to get at you—alive or dead.
Connecticut – Mystic Seaport
Apparently if you’re in Connecticut, the best thing you can do is grab a slice of pizza (showing my age with that joke) and head on down to the port. Being on a boat is never a bad thing, and you’ll definitely be safe from zombies. You can collect rainwater to drink and fish so you don’t starve. Just be sure to bring a lot of vitamin C so you avoid scurvy.
Delaware – Fort Delaware
Just look at this thing! A moat, solid brick walls, and plenty of room, it’s like the people who built it were thinking about zombies. Assuming you have enough food and supplies, this just might be the best place to end up. It’s better than an underground bunker because you could actually escape (not so easy when you’re underground), and it’s less limiting than an island somewhere. It actually makes me want to set a zombie novel in Delaware so I can have my survivors end up here…
Florida – Little Torch Key Hotel
I found out about this place while researching locations for books, and it blew my mind. An exclusive Florida Keys resort, Little Torch Key Hotel is so remote that it is literally only accessible by sea-plane or boat! I’m talking about living the good life during the zombie apocalypse. Private beach bungalows and beautiful landscape, all on an island that the zombies won’t be able to touch! If you’re in Florida when the apocalypse hits, throw your fishing gear in your car and head down to this resort. Heck, even if you aren’t in Florida you may want to think about heading down there. I might!
Georgia– Senoia and The Walking Dead Set
This is no brainer. If you’re in Georgia when the zombie apocalypse happens, head to Senoia and take shelter in the Walking Dead set. If you saw my page last year during the Zombie Crawl, you know that I visited Senoia personally. Real walls surround the set and the houses inside are real as well. Yes, the set is situated literally in the middle of the town of Senoia, but it’s not a huge town and it’s far enough away from Atlanta that the population isn’t that large. What better way to survive the zombie apocalypse than a town that was actually designed to survive it?
Hawaii – Dali Hale beach rental on Kauai
Brutal honesty: Hawaii is about the last place you want to be when the apocalypse hits. It’s secluded and you’re likely to run out of supplies fast. The state itself is split up into several islands, so you’re even more cut off than you would be an Island off the mainland, and Honolulu itself has been rated the worst place to be when the zombies take over. But if you do happen to find yourself there, I’d look for a luxurious beach house like the Dali Hale on Kauai. This one in particular is gated and secluded, and has plenty of space. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it might be your best bet.
Idaho – Boise Fallout Shelter
In 1961, due to the growing fear of nuclear attack, a community fallout shelter was built in Boise . It was designed to shelter about 1,000 people for several years and stock in the shelter was sold off at about $100 a share, giving wealthy members of the community a chance to save their family. Of course, those people never needed those reassurances, and the fear of nuclear attack eventually faded, leading to the sale of the shelter. It’s still standing today, but is now privately owned and has been renovated so it’s less of a living space and more of an office area, but it would be a great place to set up camp in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
Illinois – Joliet Correctional Center
We all know that a prison is a great place to set up camp when the zombies come, assuming you can clean it out. The good thing about this one? It’s already abandoned and there’s even a watch tower in the middle that allows you to see all around the prison. Not too shabby!
Indiana – Vivos Indiana
Somewhere in Indiana a cold war shelter has been renovated so 80 people can live out the apocalypse in luxury. The company, Vivos, spared no expense when they created these shelters, as you can see here, but if you want a spot in this luxury shelter it’s going to cost you. How much is hard to say since it’s not laid out on the website, but we’re most likely looking at millions of dollars here. Or you can find out the location of the shelter, pray most of the people who bought into it die early on, and hope that someone inside has enough sympathy to let you in. It’s a long shot, but if you’re stuck in Indiana, it might be worth a try.
Iowa – Independence Mental Health Institute
Sure it’s rumored to be haunted, but the building is secure and has plenty of space. While it’s hard to say what condition the majority of the hospital is in, a section of it is currently open for tours, and that part at least has been maintained. Since the hospital itself hasn’t been in use in years, the building is also empty. Meaning you won’t have to worry about clearing out the walking dead when you get there. That right there is a big plus when you’re talking about survival.
Kansas – Luxury Survival Condo
If you’re familiar with my zombie series, Broken World, you’ve heard about the Atlas missile silos being converted into luxury condos. They are real, and if you live in Kansas, there’s a good chance you aren’t far from one. While the location is secret, it might not be that hard to get an idea of where one could be. You can search for all the Atlas missile silos in existence here and see which ones are privately owned. It shouldn’t be that hard to figure out if you really want to, and it just might save you when the zombies show up! (PS…Yes, this is where I got the idea for my own underground luxury shelters.)
Kentucky – Mammoth Cave
This past summer my family took a tour through Mammoth Cave. It was late June and over 90 degrees that day, but the second we set foot in the cave we cooled off, and throughout the two hour tour, I couldn’t stop thinking about what a great place it would be to set a dystopian or post-apocalyptic book. Everywhere I looked I could imagine an underground civilization springing up slowly over decades, eventually becoming a metropolis. It was awesome, and it’s also the perfect place to set up camp when the zombies come if you’re in Kentucky.
Louisiana – Louisiana Castle
This beautiful wedding venue and inn is situated on ten acres of secluded land and has plenty of room for a large group (the site says it can accommodate 350 guests). While it may not be easy to fortify the perimeter, the castle-like structure sure would be secure!
Maine – Fort Gorges
You’re going to have to build your own shelters inside this Civil War-era monument, but it will be worth it. Accessible only by water and fortified by thick, stone walls, Fort Gorges will keep you safe from men and monsters during the end of the world.
Maryland – Fort Frederick
With walls that are more than 17 feet high and three feet thick, this is your best bet in Maryland. Leftover from the French and Indian War, the fort is now part of a state park, meaning it’s being maintained and kept in pristine condition. There are a two barracks inside the walls that will do for shelter, and plenty of space to expand as your population grows.
Massachusetts – Fort Warren
While I personally wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a city, I saw Boston listed over and over again as a good place to head. Apparently, Boston has been identified as the city most likely to survive the zombie apocalypse (followed by Salt Lake City, UT and Columbus, OH). But being in a city goes against everything I believe about surviving the zombie apocalypse, so instead I’m going to send you to Fort Warren, a 28 acre island at the entrance of the Boston Harbor. That way you’re secluded, but also close to the city that is apparently going to break all the rules and be a good place to end up.
Michigan – Belle Isle, Detroit
This 982-acre island park in the Detroit River is ideal. While there’s a lot to do on the island (aquarium, zoo, golf) no one actually lives on it since it’s a state park, and as far as I can tell, there’s only one way on or off. There’s wildlife, water, plenty of open space to grow your own food, and lots of buildings. You could literally start a new city on this island.
Minnesota – Fort Snelling
Built in the 1820s, the fort was used as recently as WWII as a language center, teaching military personnel Japanese. During that time, barracks were built to house soldiers, meaning not only is this place fortified by high walls and equipped with a watchtower, but it has places for you sleep.
Mississippi – The American Queen Steamboat
Keep a safe distance from zombies on the American Queen Steamboat! The largest steamboat to ever be built, she actually works on steam (although has a secondary diesel engine as well) and has 222 staterooms. You can coast up and down the Mississippi River, picking up supplies and passengers (if you feel inclined) as you go, or simply dock somewhere and stay a safe distance from the walking dead. Whatever floats your boat. Literally in this case.
Missouri – Bonne Terre Mine
The world’s largest man made cavern, it remains 62 degrees year round and has plenty of room for you during the zombie apocalypse. Consisting of five levels, the lower three form a seventeen mile long underground lake while the upper two levels have old mule trails that will easily guide your through the caverns. Since this is currently a tourist attraction, it’s outfitted with boats and scuba gear, as well as lighted throughout. That may not help once the electricity goes out, but where there’s a will there’s a way, and if you decide to make this your post-apocalyptic home, I’d say you have a strong will to survive!
Montana – Church of Universal Triumph Bomb Shelter
This is a rather obscure one. Apparently there is a cult called the Church of Universal Triumph and they have a bomb shelter (under their church?) in Emigrant, Montana. Not only is it stocked with supplies, it can house up to 150 people in 40 staterooms. Due to the nature of this group, there isn’t a lot of information about the bunker available, but it’s there for anyone who is interested.
Nebraska – Fort Atkinson
Built on a rocky bluff and large enough to house about 1,000 people, this fort has a pretty solid fortification. Even though it was built in 1819, it was reconstructed in the 1990s, so the walls are pretty new. While I couldn’t find any information about exactly how high the walls are, there are walls around the perimeter.
Nevada – 3970 Spencer St. in Las Vegas
Ever see the 1999 movie Blast From the Past? Well the idea for that movie was based on a real house in Las Vegas, that has a 15,000 square foot bunker built underneath it, complete with a putting green, swimming pool, hot tubs, a sauna, dance floor, and more! The original owners died in 1980s and was purchased in 2014 by a mysterious group called the Society for the Preservation of Near Extinct Species for the low price of $1.5 million. (Is that species mankind?) Get the whole scoop on what this property has here.
New Hampshire – The Fort At Number Four
Yes, another fort. Seriously, these are a gold mine and something I never even considered for the setting of a book until I started making this list. They are literally all over the country, and like this one, most are fortified and ready for a group of survivors to move in! Enclosed in a stockade and complete with a lookout tower, this fort is doubly secure with a square of interconnected houses in the center. Meaning you’ll be safe and you’ll have a roof over your head.
New Jersey – Abandoned Bunker, Cape May
Sitting on the beach in Cape May, NJ is an old WWII bunker. It’s abandoned and up for grabs when the apocalypse hits. Sure it will be a bit uncomfortable—and dirty—but it will be safe. And let’s face it, we know from watching The Walking Dead that people will get very desperate very fast when the end comes. This might look like paradise to you compared to what else is out there.
New Mexico – Gila Cliff Dwelling
New Mexico has cities literally in the side of mountains. They’d be safe, secluded, and high, and would provide a good lookout for anyone or anything headed your way. You’ll need to bring a lot of supplies in, but people have lived here for real, so it’s doable and might just be your best bet when the zombies come.
New York – Adirondack State Park Missile Silo
Located near Lake Placid, this silo home has been all over the news. Created out of one of the old missile silos from the Cold War-era, it’s a normal house above ground, but a luxury bunker underneath complete with nine levels and 12k square feet of space. It also sits on 10 acres of secluded land. You never know, if the owners are still alive when the zombies come knocking, they might be feeling generous and let you in. If they’re gone, the shelter just might be up for grabs.
North Carolina – Abandoned Underground Mall in Raleigh
Beneath the streets of Cameron Village in Raleigh sits an entire abandoned mall. While the main entrance has been sealed off, apparently other entrances into the mall can be found in the back rooms of various businesses in the area. Not only would this be a really cool place to explore, but it would provide survivors with shelter and security during the zombie apocalypse. You can get all kinds of great info about this abandoned mall and where the entrances might be hidden here.
North Dakota – Fort Union Trading Post
It has a wall, it has a house, it’s ready for you to move in. This fort was instrumental in developing the fur trade during the 1800’s and is now a historic site. While it’s only partially reconstructed and it might take a little elbow grease to make it the perfect apocalyptic town, it still looks pretty secure.
Ohio – North Bass Island
My home state and where I’m moving to in just a few short weeks, I wasn’t thrilled with the list of options available for zombie survival, but the small islands in the northern part of the state, on Lake Erie, seem to be the best bet. North Bass Island in particular since it’s the least developed of the options. Used mostly as a vineyard, there are only about a dozen inhabitants on the island itself, meaning your chance of running into the dead is minimal. And there will be some houses up for grabs.
Oklahoma – Quartz Mountain Resort
This is practically right down the road from me, and when my family and I were out there hiking a few weeks ago, I couldn’t stop from marveling at what an ideal location this would be during the zombie apocalypse. Surrounded by the Quartz Mountains and the 6,400-acre Lake Altus-Lugert, the Quartz Mountain Resort is perfectly secluded. There’s one road in, which makes it easy to fortify, and it has 118 guestrooms just waiting to be filled with apocalypse survivors. If my family and I happened to still be in the area when zombies showed up, this is where we’d go.
Oregon – Terwilliger Hot Spring
If you’ve read my zombie series, you know that I’ve used this setting before, and while the Terwilliger Hot Spring wasn’t the inspiration for my setting, it isn’t a bad option. Located in Willamette National Forest, the springs are secluded, and assuming you can fortify the area, it would be nice to have hot water when the world ends.
Pennsylvania – The Alvira Bunkers
Near Allenwood, PA sit the remains of the small town of Alvira and the Susquehanna Ordnance Depot, where the federal government made and stored war munitions during WWII. Among those remains sit 149 bunkers, just waiting for the end of the world and someone to claim them. While they’re dirty and some may not have usable doors, you should be able to find a few that would serve the purpose of keeping you safe from zombie attacks. You can more info about the bunkers here.
Rhode Island – Prudence Island
Only five and a half square miles and fewer than a hundred inhabitants, this Island would be your best bet in Rhode Island. It’s secluded, accessible by ferry only, and has homes on it already. You’d be able to make a real stand on an island like this, with less area to keep track of and the sea ready and waiting for you to fish in.
South Carolina – The Castle
Near Pickens, SC is a castle bunker built by prepper Brent Bruns and his five children. The whole thing was the subject of an eight episode show on the National Geographic Channel back in 2013, and you get all the details about the shelter and the family here. I haven’t seen the show, and there is little information online about what’s actually in the shelter (no details on size, how many people it hold, or what it’s stocked with) but it’s there! It’s up to you whether or not you want to knock on the door and ask them to let you in.
South Dakota – Vivos
Apparently, this is one of the worst states to be in when the zombie apocalypse hits. I’m not sure why given it’s much lower populated than a lot of other states that fared better, but I’d guess it has to do with the wide open spaces and the few hiding spots. The good news is that Vivos has struck again, and they’ve built 575 private bunkers on 9,000 miles of land that they are currently selling off. In the Black Hills area of SD, south of Edgemont, this former Army munitions depot has been transformed into a survival community that would make any preppers dreams come true. And you can buy your very own bunker for just $25k. Now even middle class Americans can survive the apocalypse! Of course, these bunkers come literally bare and you have to put even more money into renovating them into a workable shelter, so maybe not so much. But we all know not all of those bunkers are going to be occupied when the end comes, so if you find yourself in South Dakota, you might want to head there. Although, I’m not sure what you’d do for supplies given that the bunkers are literally in the middle of nowhere. For more details, you can read the article in Forbes or visit the Vivos website.
Tennessee – The Lost Sea
America’s longest underground lake and an extensive cave system, The Lost Sea is located in Sweetwater, TN and is the perfect place for you and your fellow survivors to set up camp. Not only is it gorgeous, but it’s hidden away and safe from zombies, with plenty of room to spread out.
Texas – Longhorn Cavern State Park
With a year round temperature of about 68 degrees, this is the perfect place to escape the heat in post-apocalyptic Texas. I couldn’t find anything that said how long the caverns are, but they sit on over 600 acres of state land, so that makes them pretty secluded. From the looks of the pictures, the ceilings aren’t low and you aren’t going to run into many tight areas.
Utah – Timpanogos Cave
The trail leading up to this cave, which is on Mount Timpanogos in the Wasatch Mountains in American Fork Canyon, is 1.5 miles long and steep, but paved and fairly wide. So, even though you’ll have to hike your way up, so will anyone who wants to get at you. There are actually three caves, Hansen Cave, Middle Cave, and Timpanogos Cave, all connected by manmade tunnels. Just be sure you have plenty of supplies because you could get snowed in once winter hits.
Vermont – Burton Island
250 acres of isolated and uninhabited land is just waiting for you on Burton Island. Accessible only by ferry or boat, the island has a dock and three cabins up for grabs, as well as numerous campsites and restrooms.
Virginia –Tangier Island
Only accessible by air or sea, with less than a thousand inhabitants and no cars at all, Tangier Island is the perfect spot to escape to. It’s nestled in the Chesapeake Bay only 12 miles from the mainland, close enough that you can go ashore for supplies if you need to, and far enough away that people passing by wouldn’t even know you’re there.
Washington – San Juan Island
There are four main islands in the San Juan Island system, none of which are accessible by anything but water or air. They’re lush with wildlife and get ample rain, but due to their location, they get less rain than the Seattle area so you wouldn’t be soaked all the time.
West Virginia – Prickett’s Fort
Built when European settlers first came to the new world, the fort is a reconstruction of what it would have been. It has walls surrounding it with a meetinghouse and fourteen small cabins inside, as well as two story blockhouses at each corner for easy lookout. It will be a tight fit, but it will keep you safe.
Wisconsin – Apostle Islands
More islands. Who knew?
The Apostle Islands are a group of 22 islands in Lake Superior that are home to lush plant life and brimming with animal life. Several of the islands have lighthouses and ranger stations, most have docks, and many are popular camping areas.
Wyoming – Carissa Mine
With some of the buildings and tracks reconstructed in recent years, and daily guided tours happening at the mine, the area is a good place to take shelter. We know that it’s secure enough to go in if the state is taking people through it, and with options both above ground and below, you won’t get as claustrophobic as some of the other options on this list.
And that’s fifty!
Before you go, I do feel like I need to point out a few places that I think you should avoid during the zombie apocalypse.
I saw a few sites list this as a good place to go, but most people who enjoy apocalyptic fiction will tell you this is not true. Especially when you’re dealing with a zombie outbreak. Where do people go when they get sick? The hospital. Now, imagine that every person who sets foot in the hospital dies and comes back as a zombie. Would you want to be there? Nope. If you’re looking for medical equipment, there are alternatives. Urgent Cares, Pharmacies, medical supply stores, and vet clinics. Don’t forget that many of the medicines used for animals are the same ones used for people. Plus, they’d have gauze, syringes, medical tape, and suture kits. That’s the first place I’m heading when I need medial treatment during the apocalypse.
I found military bases on more than a few lists, and as an Air Force spouse and someone who has spent more than a little time on and around military bases, I have to disagree. On the surface it may sound good. There are weapons and commissaries (grocery stores), and the property is fenced in. BUT the sheer size of most bases would make them impossible to fortify. Military bases are literally small towns, encompassing miles of land. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio is nearly twelve square miles. How easy do you think it would be to keep track of that many miles of fence on a daily basis? Not easy. Plus, thousands of people live and work on bases, meaning they would die on the base and be stuck inside the fences. It just doesn’t seem worth the risk or hassle if there are other places around to set up camp.
Like a hospital, churches would be overrun during the apocalypse—unless you have a preacher who locks his congregation out. When the end of the world seems to be looming, many people turn to faith, which means heading to church. Don’t be surprised to find your local church crawling with zombies!
Want an idea of where everything is in your town?
***In most cases, I tried to get photos from Wikipedia.org so they were copyright free and I have credited my sources, but a special thank you to AerialGraphics.com for giving me permission to use their picture of Bass Island, Jonathan Smith of SmithCreate.com for allowing me to use his photo of the Alvira Bunkers, and CandidSlice.com for giving me permission to use her picture of the Raleigh underground mall.
***Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! Not only can you win a DVD of Zombieland, but you’ll also get book one in my Amazon best-selling zombie series, Broken World. (Signed by me, of course.) In addition to that, you get: a Broken World keychain and pen, zombie bits candy, and a Walking Dead necklace.***
I know what you’re thinking: How do I enter!?
You can like my Facebook author page, or follow me on Twitter and Instagram, but that isn’t necessary to enter or win the prize. This giveaway is open to residents of the US & Canada, and all you have to do is click on THIS link and fill out the form. I’ll choose the winner on November 2nd and shoot you an email (I’ll also announce it here and on my FB page).
Before you leave, be sure to check out all the other posts included in the Zombie Crawl and enter all the other great giveaways!
Zombie Crawl 3
a blog party from Band of Dystopian Authors & Fans
October 24 – 31, 2016
How it works: Each day, the scheduled authors and bloggers will post awesome zombie-tastic content for your enjoyment along with a giveaway on their site/blog/page. You can hop around to all of the participating sites and enter as many giveaways as you like! The easiest way to make sure you don’t miss a post is to join our Facebook event page, where we’ll post links each time an author or blogger participates on their scheduled day. We’ll also have several flash giveaways on the event page as well as a grand prize giveaway on BandofDystopian.com. And of course, you can use the schedule below to click through to each site. Make sure to leave comments and interact with the participating sites. Have fun, and thanks for joining the party!
OCTOBER 24 – Monday
Jeffrey Clare (publisher, group host)
Christina L. Rozelle (author)
OCTOBER 25 – Tuesday
Digital Dirty Girl Book Blog (blog)
Rissa Blakeley (author)
OCTOBER 26 – Wednesday
R.L. Blalock (author)
Bryan Way (author)
Post-Apocalyptic Playground (blog)
OCTOBER 27 – Thursday
Claire C. Riley (author)
M. Lauryl Lewis (author)
OCTOBER 28 – Friday
The Voluptuous Book Diva (18+ blog)
YA Book Divas (blog)
OCTOBER 29 – Saturday
Kate L. Mary (author)
Brea Behn (author)
OCTOBER 30 – Sunday
Cameo Renae (author)
J.W. Vohs (author)
OCTOBER 31 – Monday
Kelsey D. Garmendia (author)
Lindsey Winsemius (author)
Casey Hays (author)
Lee Ryder (author)
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