Photo courtesy Hemera/Thinkstock
Outfit your pole barn so you are ready for the zombie apocalypse.
If your Halloween is all about cute jack-o’-lanterns and buckets of candy, chances are you’re not prepared when things that go bump in the night emerge from hiding—or from their graves. It only takes a flip of the TV channel or a visit to a news or media website to hear the warnings loud and clear: A zombie apocalypse is imminent. Your off-the-grid, sustainable lifestyle has awarded you victories in independence, but you likely haven’t built your barn and farmhouse with a monster attack in mind. Don’t lose hope. These tips for retrofitting and stocking your pole barn just might be your key to survival against a zombie attack.
A Zombie-ready Pole Barn
To ensure a sound barn foundation that will protect you from an onslaught of zombies, make sure your pole barn frame is constructed of strong wood or steel. Posts should be approximately 4 to 5 feet wide with thick concrete footing and gravel backfill. Zombies use their strong, dead hands to grip, grasp and tear their way into buildings, so seamless steel sheeting for the walls is recommended. We know you like to use refurbished wood whenever possible for building projects, but put your ecological concerns aside for now. Wood would be simple for a zombie to tear through, plus steel is easy to hose down to clean away zombie guts.
Typically, pole barns are one of the most inexpensive barns to build because they don’t require a concrete foundation. Once zombies begin to take over, your money will be useless, so go ahead and pay the extra cash for a solid concrete floor. Zombies are burrowers, much like those animal pests that have tormented your garden and chicken coop all these years. You don’t want to wake up to a trio of zombies tunneling under your walls in the middle of the night.
Second Level (optional)
Next make sure your windows are all on the second level of your barn, preferably more than 15 feet off the ground. Many homes will be destroyed and their inhabitants eaten because of low, unfortified windows—don’t let this happen to your barn, too. Steel bars on the windows are also a good option. You might want to go ahead and add a second level to your barn, but if you’re strapped for time, simply build sniper platforms under the windows so you can be on zombie lookout.
Of course, you’ll need transportation to get to the back 40 and cultivate crops for food. A quick, heavy-duty ATV or UTV fitted with a snowplow attachment will not only help you transport your fare, it will be useful for plowing down zombies. Make sure the pole barn doors are big enough to drive the vehicle through. However, the doors will be the barn’s most vulnerable point so secure them with steel hinges, and consider adding bars, locks and barricades to make it as secure as possible.
Outfit your pole barn with a storage room for food and supplies—think a root cellar times 10. You’re no stranger to planning ahead, but stocking up is crucial to surviving a zombie apocalypse and the amount of time you’re stuck inside while zombies traverse your farmland cannot not be anticipated. Have plenty of home-canned fruits and vegetables on hand, as well as fresh foods that keep well in a root cellar.
Secure Food Sources
In the onset of a zombie apocalypse, all grocery stores and online retailers will be shut down, and you will be on your own for food. Because you are already skilled in agriculture, this shouldn’t be as difficult for you as the general population, but there are some things you will want to keep in mind.
If you want to keep your farm garden going, do so, but don’t rely on this as your only source of food. Zombies may prefer human flesh to your heirloom Cherokee Purple tomatoes, but they will easily troll through your vegetable garden in a way that will put your local deer to shame. To prevent the zombies from tearing up your rows of lettuce and beans, install a sturdy fence (go ahead, make it steel) that is tall enough to prevent zombies from climbing over. You might even consider adding a caged roof over the garden, so that just in case a zombie does make it over a wall, it won’t land in your raised beds.
In the event that zombies obliterate your garden or a zombie attack prevents you from leaving your barn, take a cue from your urban-farming counterparts and erect a rooftop garden on your barn. Incorporate a flat roof into your pole-barn blueprint to accommodate for this.
Attach a rain barrel to your barn’s rain gutters so you’ll always have a drinking water source. (Caution: It is not safe to drink water from rain barrels if you have a clean-water system in place, but when water lines are cut, this will be your best option to prevent dehydration. Consider stocking up on iodine tablets to kill any bacteria that might be growing in the water.)
Zombie Emergency Plan
All good farmers have emergency plans set up on their farms in case of a disaster, whether it’s a hurricane, fire, tornado or drought. You will also need a specific plan in place for what your family should do in the case of a zombie attack. First, equip your barn with an emergency generator, and set up a solar panel grid atop your compound to ensure you keep some power in case your generator runs out. If you have time, dig a tunnel underground that will lead you and any livestock or pets you choose to keep inside the barn, out far from your pole barn. (Chances are that despite the steel walls, zombies will smell your live flesh inside the barn and have it surrounded.) If you have wooded acreage on your property, direct the tunnel to that area and stash survival supplies in a safe place.
Here are other staples and supplies to keep in your barn storage:
- cured and smoked meats
- home-canned goods and nonperishable foodstuffs
- home-canning equipment
- seeds (These will keep two to three years until you are able to save your own seeds.)
- a generator
- plenty of gas
- lanterns, flashlights and batteries
- a CB radio (to connect with other survivors)
- blankets, extra clothes and shoes
- first-aid kits for animals and humans
- small grill or fire pit and charcoal
- cots or mattresses
- tool box with plenty of extra nails and screws
- hunting knives
- fishing line
- spare tire for your ATV or UTV
—Adapted from article courtesy CB Structures, Inc.