When coming across a settlement that is already intact, make sure you make your presence known as soon as possible. Announce how many people are in your group and if not commanded to leave by a gun toting guard, immediately ask to speak to someone in charge.
They may not be taking in a new people, if that’s the case, see if you can negotiate based on your skills or the skills of those in your group. They may just need someone with your shooting skills or with Ginger's medical knowledge.
A settlement may only have enough food and supplies for their existing people. So if you’re a master farmer or scavenger, let them know! Assuming that you convince them to let you in, don't be surprised if they keep you away from the supplies or security area for a while. Just as you’ll be checking the place out to see if you'd like to stay, they’ll likely be checking you out to make sure you aren't infiltrating their settlement to feed info back to a group of raiders. Remember that you are the newbie here, and it will take time before they trust you—but you should be equally cautious as well. You want to make sure that this is the kind of place where you want to stay.
In the event that they do not let you in or command you to leave as soon as they spot you, leave as directed. Remember, they are trying to protect the settlement and will use any means in defending it—as you would likely do if in the same spot. So, unless you want to escape a barrage of bullets like avoiding raindrops falling from the sky, you might want to move on and look for the next one. Good luck and stay human! Jeannie Rae out.
First things first, in the Zombie Apocalypse, you’re going to want to evacuate highly populated areas like large cities. Cities themselves will be a bigger nightmare than the undead. Between the sheer number of zombies and competitive scavengers you’ll be lucky to make it out of highly populated areas with your life.
A better option would be rural areas, try to make your way by vehicle or on foot to a smaller town nearby. The more out in the country it is—the better. Not only will you be far less likely to encounter zombies, but raiders/looters as well. During the zombie apocalypse, you’ll find the undead to be a formative danger, but an even bigger threat to your safety could be fellow survivors. If the area you chose to make camp is flattened out a bit, you’ll be able to see across the land and detect any zombies or outsiders approaching from a distance. This way, you can either send out a party to intercept/receive them or prepare for their arrival. An abandoned house in a grassy area or out in the sticks would be an ideal location. Or you can make camp and see about possibly using local resources to build your own shelter. (Not recommended, but it is a very exhausting option.)
Live near hills or mountains? Scout out that area. Not only are you relatively higher than the surrounding area, but rough terrain is a good thing. It will take on comers more time and energy to make it up to you. This could give you a window of time to prepare in the event of an attack.
If you come across an occupied residence, proceed with caution. You have no idea who or what may be lurking inside. There might be people terrified of outsiders that could try to turn you away. Negotiating skills will come in handy here. See if they may be willing to start a settlement and let them know what skills you and your crew bring to the table. If all else fails, ask if you can at least make camp for the night. If you find that they want nothing to do with you, it might be time to move on and keep looking.
Once you set up a base camp or secure a shelter, the next step is to secure the perimeter. Your best defense is a sky nest. Something that is relatively high with a 360 degree view. A rooftop or a tall, sturdy tree could serve as your sky nest, lending a view of approaching dangers. A perimeter fence is also something that should be on the forefront of your mind. While not impenetrable, it will offer your crew a sense of security and a small time cushion, should enemies make it all the way to the fence line. You can tie noisy things to the fence to serve as your alarm. Use whatever is handy, aluminum cans or plastic bottles, dried out tree limbs, or branches with dead leaves on them. The cans will clank, bottles will crumble, limbs will snap and the leaves will crunch when stepped on—and that could be your very-low tech alarm system.
In addition to your defensive needs, fresh water is key. Where ever you do decide to settle in, be sure that you are near a creek, stream or water well. (As long as it’s not contaminated)
Divide your camp into sections, sanitation, galley, weapons & security, common areas, and private areas. The people in your group can be assigned to areas or be on a rotation, depending on your numbers and skill levels. Try to make it feel as normal as possible. Once you find a base camp that you are planning on staying in, keep up the work on increasing security.
Remember that no base camp in entirely impenetrable from outsiders or zombies, so be sure to have an escape plan in place—just in case. Good luck, and stay human. Jeannie Rae out.
I am Jeannie Rae, not so plain & almost never simple. A person who is just as flawed as I am skilled. One who loves my family with all my heart in good times and in bad – through celebrations & times of tremendous grief, achievements and disagreements. A woman who knows how short