FortificationsThis is a featured page

FortressAfter the initial disaster is over, how do you plan to defend what is yours? This page is for details on what a good fortress or bunker should have.

Location is critical. Prior to settling in, you will most likely be on the move, and will stop wherever looks good. Pick a defensible location, somewhere there is only one or two entry points to, like a hilltop or a valley surrounded by rugged terrain. High ground is better for defense, and if there is a danger of flooding. A valley would generally be more fertile, with a stream or groundwater. A purpose built fortress would be best, or a castle (found generally in Europe, not so much in the US). Walls should surround your fortress, allowing ground area for growing food. The walls should at least have a walkway along the top for patrols. Construction should be of brick, stone, and concrete for fire protection. Another good idea is an underground shelter, tough to build, but has only one entrance that is easily defensible. However, not everyone is going to have access to or ability to create such a fortress. Obviously, having a castle would be the best defense, but in the U.S. we don't have them, so fortifications with only one or two entrances, the less the better, but always needing one. Holding down in a Walmart would be good, however Home Depot or Lowe's would be better for the fact you have a garden and supplies like wood, concrete, brick, steel, etc. Fortifying the garden with glass, fencing, and plywood would be a good idea from birds and bugs (it is already surrounded by a very tall steel fence). The only glass at Home depot or Lowe's is the front doors so I think it would be best to hold down there and leave only if you need food and water. With access to the roof, patrols, watchmen, and snipers could protect the base. The steel from the shelving inside could be used to construct anti-vehicle barriers in front of the building. There are docks in the rear to offload supply trucks.The large square footage would allow you to build an "indoor city" with mini apartments, rec centers, etc.

Barricade Materials - Zombie Survival & Defense Wiki2x4's: One of the basic barricade materials. 2x4's are quite strong, rather cheap, and most hardware stores and warehouses will have many available. They are very useful for temporary barricades, to give you enough time to build a stronger, more permanent barricade (or structure). They also have limited applications for some permanent situations, like barricading windows.

Barricade Materials - Zombie Survival & Defense WikiPlywood: Plywood has many of the benefits that 2x4's have, but trade off in strength for area. Some weaker sheets of plywood can be broken with a good kick, which would not be much of a help in building a barricade. However, this can be overcome by simply gluing sheets of plywood together, to make it thicker.


SandbagsSandbags: The value of sandbags has been proven time and time again by the world's militarise, and have shown their worth in disasters already, especially in floods and hurricanes. To sum it up, if they work for the army, they work for you. The value of sandbags is that they can be set up quite easily, and in a short amount of time. They are also widely available at many hardware stores.

Sandbags can also be used to increase the effectiveness of an existing wall. However, they can backfire if set up incorrectly, and simply topple over. To stop this, ensure that they are placed like bricks, so that they don't. They can also be sandwiched between fences.


Concrete Masonry UnitCinder Blocks: Same as above but these are for your more permanent home. Why barricade when you can make your very own wall? These things can be reinforced into the ground using cement and re-bar. These would make a decent standalone wall, but my dream wall would be a chain link fence topped with razor wire, in front of a sandbag wall, with a cinder block wall behind the sandbags. Even hostiles with sledgehammers would have a really hard time getting in! Not to mention the intimidation factor.


BricksClay Bricks: Kind of like brittle little sandbags that have to be grouted together. I'd put them in the realm of 2x4's.


Sheet Metal: Think plywood on steroids. It also can be used to reinforce cars, trucks, and even clothing if you don't mind looking like an idiot.


Concrete wallConcrete: Concrete is a cheap, very strong material. Most industrial areas have a cement plant, and if the situation is end-of-the-world-next-Tuesday, concrete is perhaps your best chance at survival, and the closest you can get to building a structure that will survive an NBC attack. Reinforced concrete is concrete with re-bar grids sunk into it while it is still wet. Re-bar makes it much more difficult to snap or fracture. At thicknesses of 1 metre or more, it can stop .50 calibre bullets, not to mention all small-arms ammo. At greater thicknesses (10 metres or so), it can survive a nuclear blast. Boats can also be built with concrete, however it is pretty much useless to protect vehicles, due to its weight.
(This picture is the only image I could find of a concrete wall, I don't think anyone's going to erect a big watchtower...)


Shipping Container:
A steel shipping container alone is made of thick metal and could take a huge beating. A clever person, however, could stack up sandbags on the inside and cut thin sindows in the walls as gun ports, producing a thoroughly bulletproof (and mildly bombproof) pillbox. The real beauty of a setup like this would be that it could be towed into battle by a semi truck and plunked down theoretically anywhere. Could eb converted into a garage, a barrack, an infirmary... Hell, you might be able to make a full-fledged, modular base of operations using shipping containers, if you had a reason to.

Fortifications - United Disaster Survival Alliance

Institutional Security Fence

Chain-link Fences:
While not a very good defense, a chain-link fence can be used to stop hostiles from taking apart your sandbags. Plus, it looks pretty intimidating with razor wire on top. Chain-link fences can be found around your neighborhood and used to reinforce your windows. Along with steel poles, you'll be able to fashion your home into a well hardened target! Plus, if you run an electrical wire through it, it can serve as an electric fence.

Barricade Materials - Zombie Survival & Defense Wiki

Abandoned Vehicles:
There are bound to be plenty of these around following disasters. Obviously these are for perimeter defense. The downside is you can't really stack them on top of one another, unless there is a junkyard nearby and you know how to operate the crane's electromagnet, or you have a forklift.

Barricade Materials - Zombie Survival & Defense Wiki
Pallets: These are made to withstand tremendous amounts of weight, and are great for windows or reinforcing fences. They also burn very well.

Barricade Materials - Zombie Survival & Defense WikiBarrels: Barrels make an excellent wall. Just stack them up and fill them with heavy stuff like rocks and sand.

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Barricade Materials - Zombie Survival & Defense WikiRhynoliner Spray-on Truck Bed Liner: (Picture: not really Rhynoliner, but close enough) Here is a spray-on liner that is supposed to protect the truck from a bomb blast so it is not completely destroyed. A Discovery Channel show called SmashLab used it to protect a cinder block wall from a couple pounds of dynamite. When sprayed on both sides, the wall was able to stand up to the bomb.

Stack them like bricks fill them and pack dirt into all the empty spaces. This makes a very very sturdy wall.
Fortifications - Disaster Survival and Defense Wiki
Hesco wall:
The quickest and easiest wall to assemble and you can fill it with anything. I suggest dirt, sand or gravel, or any mixture that includes gravel. I have seen hesco walls take beatings from mortars and R.P.G.'s, and they don't budge so nothing is going to get through a wall of hescoes. The best part is you can stack them up and make them double high and use scaffolding on the interior like a new spin on a medieval design.
hesco wall
big freaking wall
The Stone Wall:
Stone wallCommonly overlooked, the stone wall can be a strong and effective building material. Large stones can be held together with mortar or concrete if need be. This will make the wall strong from day one.
Strengths: Depending on where you are, rocks can be so plentiful that you can find enough material to build a fortress without even trying. Also, without mortar, the stone wall will settle into place and get even stronger over a long period of time. Mortar or concrete can be used to hold it together, making it an excellent substitute for brick.
Weaknesses: Stone walls are great in places with allot of rocks, but not everyone is so fortunate. Also, when the wall is first constructed, it is at it's weakest point. Prone to falling over almost constantly, it cannot handle much punishment. It is not the quickest to construct, but if you have time it is best you look into it.

Not strictly necessary, but a good series of traps can give your group the home advantage. Though they require creativity and ingenuity to use effectively, a good trap can mean the difference between life and death for your settlement.

Punji Pit

Punji pit
Used extensively by the Vietcong, a punji pit is cheap, relatively quick to construct, and can be devastatingly effective. They can range from smaller pits that damage enemy limbs to larger fortification that can trap an entire person. Ensure that you know exactly where you establish these emplacement to avoid tripping them yourself.

Trip Wires: Another simple trap that is only limited by the defender's imagination. A trip wire can be hooked up to anything from explosives to nets. Simplicity and camouflage is the key. Overly elaborate contraptions can be too obvious or take too much pressure to trigger.

Basically a fence made out of branches and small fallen trees over which black berries have grown. This can be made as large as needed. Trees and brush can be made to grow very tightly as to make a fence or wall. It will help block the wind and will keep livestock in. A hedgerow is very strong, it is said to have stopped tanks in Europe. Another benefit is it will attract wild life for the berries and shelter.


"Hedgehogs" or tank traps are fashioned out of I-beams. Good for stopping any vehicle, and I suppose that theoretically, barbed wire could be strung through the beams to stop infantry or fauna. Simple, but it works.

tank trap


The Invisible Barrier:
This refers to any defense that does not not physically exist, such as a wall, but rather discourages someone or something from proceding. An example might be how wolves urinate to mark their territory. Some shops have also installed "Mosquito Speakers," which produce a high-pitched whine only teenagers can hear, scaring them off and keeping them from loitering.

This concept could be applied in many ways, but is probably very specialized -- the above Mosquito won't ward off any wolves, and pee won't scare away teenagers -- so you would need to carefully consider the nature of such a barrier. However, it could greatly add to the might of your physical wall, or serve as a temporary barrier from specific threats.

Go ahead and post some ideas for this below.

Latest page update: made by steveo_justice , Jan 13 2009, 4:06 PM EST (about this update About This Update steveo_justice Added shipping container paragraph - steveo_justice

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Keyword tags: base bunker fortress survival
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billboardjoe Vehicle Fortification 10 Apr 11 2011, 12:28 PM EDT by GeorgePatton
Thread started: Sep 7 2009, 1:16 PM EDT  Watch
dose anyone have any ideas/thoughts on modifacations you can do to car/truck/suv for balistic improvement without paying out the yang such as diy, without it looking like you are a nutjob driveing down the road.
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bonk2328 keep moving 1 Oct 18 2009, 9:43 PM EDT by bonk2328
Thread started: Oct 18 2009, 9:31 PM EDT  Watch
get away from highly populated areas and just keep moving, the problem with having a fort is it may look safe to other people, and you may not want to share with them. for a little while at least your probably better off away from people. The less life and death situations you let yourself get into the greater the chance you have of being killed.
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FreedomRising The difference between Cover and Concealment 0 Aug 18 2009, 11:06 AM EDT by FreedomRising
Thread started: Aug 18 2009, 11:06 AM EDT  Watch
Any fortification, given proper time, personnel and equipment, can be overcome. One might theorize that it it a good idea to prepare by choosing to become mobile, concealed and have some light ballistic protection. I recommend vans, ambulances, Class B Commercial vehicles (not tractor trailers) and Dump Trucks. Heavy towing capacity, allowing one to weld in protection. Decent storage room, enough for one or two people (food, survival gear, protective gear, sleeping space and weapons). Can be convoyed to make a more lethal moving defense (the best defense is a swift and effective offense), and can be parked and dismounted from it's axles to create permanence when a safe zone has been found (especially in the case of Class B vehicles... Think School Bus or UPS truck).

I am quite hesitant to say that any fortification that can be seen will be safe. For armoring any fortification, however, basic physics principles can be applied. A bullet or projectile traveling towards a wall at a ninety degree angle will deliver the full impact (in PSI) onto that wall. Should you use a V principle, you can cut down on the thickness needed in that wall. Angle the top half of your wall so that it redirects the bullet up, and the bottom half so that it redirects the bullet down. For blast protection, disperse the blast away from your domicile using the same angle (45 degrees or better). In this case, try not to send the energy from the blast down. It will cause damage where your wall meets the ground.

Another principle used in the M1A1 Abrams tanks is the layer principle. They sheet layer metal with a honeycombed buffer. Imagine layering 1/4 inch metal, then 2x4 board, then 1/4 inch metal, then styrofoam, then 1/4 inch metal, then 2x4 board, then 1/4 inch metal. Therein you have encased styrofoam and board, which have the ability to compress between the metals. This will create a decrease in the delivered velocity of the projectile.
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