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Survival, Inc. #2: Sparta, IL and Dunedin, New Zealand

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Nikvoodoo: Mr. Revovler, despite some hiccups in terms of clarity, I'd say the first edition of Survival, Inc. was a resounding success.

TCM Revolver: Yea, we forgot that there are about 18 billion different types of zeds out there.

Well despite the miscommunications about the types of zombies, lets be clear now: We are talking a generic Zombie apocalypse where there are hordes of some kind of zombie attacking your location. We aren't calling them fast, slow blah blah. We are simply talking about your survivability in a horrible situation. And thus far, New York City is a sucky situation vs....uh...Podunk City? Is that where you live?

yea... To get to my town, drive until you hit B.F.E. then keep going 20 or 30 miles.

Well, you are a thriving metropolis compared to our next submission to Survival, Inc. That being the hometown of our very own Hardkor, who lives in Sparta, IL. And here is Hardkor's map!

We are going with the belief that approximately 5% of the population survives in the Z-day world here because...well it tends to create nice round numbers. Hardkor lives in an area that has only 4,500 people. Now I figured, oh well that obviously can't be true. After all, there has to be towns surrounding him right, Rev?

Ok well I panned out on Google Maps and I'd be shocked if in the immediate area could equal the 4,500 in Hardkor's area. 5% of his population gives a grand total of 225 other survivors. You got an A for your population, but we just got our first A+ grade for Survival, Inc. That is a very highly survivable number. Aside from the fact you still have to deal with 95% Zed Heads trying to eat you of course.

Hardkor has decided to make his home a former paper factory. And since his town is so small and out of the way (Again, see A+ rating for population) it actually isn't even on street view, so we can't see what the place looks like. So we have to go by Hardkor's description from his application e-mail:

As my "Tower" I have chosen an old printing plant that closed in the mid-90s. The building is basically a large concrete and steel monstrosity on the southeastern edge of town. The inside is mostly wide open and compartmentalized so parts of the building can be sealed off if not needed. There are three main entrance points: The main entrance to the office area, a side door used by workers, and a loading dock area with large "steel shutter" style doors. The office area can be sealed off with the side door used as a main entrance and the loading dock used for storage.
And also the description on the map that you can read yourself.

So basically, a big concrete warehouse that may or may not still have printing equipment still inside.

Ok ok ok…. First things first. That building is frickin HUGE!! It will be very hard to secure / keep secure. Wide open spaces of that magnitude are a recipe for disaster. There is no cover, nowhere to hide and a lot of room for zeds to get a running start. My next concern, it looks to be a single level. If you have a huge hoard of zeds, and they figure out they can get on top of this structure, you have access points that are weak, or that you had never even considered.

I have to agree with you, Rev. If his Tower were to be breached, it's absolutely lights out. Open internal spaces are the death of you because there's no where to hide, and nothing to have the waves of zombies break against. It's just a straight shot to your position.

But it's not all that bad. Concrete building is obviously better than someone who chooses a house to hold up in. In addition to the security of concrete, there aren't a lot of entrances (and unlike most places would have a lack of windows to secure), but my concern truly falls to the fact that he's not planning on shoring up all those entrances. I mentioned in my Survival, Inc. evaluation that loading bay doors are weak and require extra special attention. By not addressing this issue, it drops the grade of his Tower to a C+. Without explosives, the walls probably won't come crashing down around him, but not securing the flimsy loading area is a major setback. And like Revolver said, Large spaces are hard to keep secure, and he's not going to have a lot of help near him to assist...after all, there's only 225 other people in his town that survived.

Ok, so what about Resources, Rev? Stores and things of that nature? Does Hardkor improve in that regard?

uuummm….no. Small towns lack the availability that larger towns do. There is that strip mall of “gun stores” That has to be a plus. There is also a hospital, pharmacy and a walmart. 225 people will go thru a lot of food, and depending on injuries, medical supplies.

True...that series of gun shops really is the only saving grace to protect Resources as a failing grade...Man...this isn't looking good so far. We've got an A+, a C+, and a now proximity to resources score that is a C-.....please tell me we can save this man!!!

It's not looking so good....but there's potential because he doesn't live in a city

The biggest thing to find during any sort of End of Days Scenario is water, and once again the small "podunk" area comes through by being able to farm and toil the land, while also providing animals to hunt (that don't require a trip to the zoo and an elephant gun). And especially by virtue of that Water Tower right next to the Tower chosen, I'd say that will net Hardkor a solid A for Natural Resources.

So to wrap up Hardkor's plan and Sparta, IL:
Population: A+
Tower: C+
Proximity to Resources: C-
Proximity to Natural Resources: A

Bringing the final grade to a very good passing grade of B.

Moving away from Illinois now, we are going International for the first time! We're headed not exactly to a land down under….but we are going to its next door neighbor to visit CupcakeZombie (CCZ) and Dunedin, NZ.

Dunedin, NZ is a relatively small city, though it is larger than Revolver's Podunk-opolis. From what I find there is about 130,000 residents of Dunedin which would leave 6,500 survivors in addition to CCZ. We gave Revolver an A for 3,000 survivors, she's got double the "trouble" so we'll call it a B+. Sound about right, Rev?

I have always wanted to try Hell Pizza!

....I rarely know what you're talking about....

Anyway, I see she has a Tower marked. Let's take a look, shall we? One of the very first things I note is the fire escape up the entire side of the building. Meaning you have to do one of two things: You need to secure it so it can't be used against you (block every window it's connected to, secure the ladder that reaches to the ground so it's IMPOSSIBLE to reach from the ground without assistance) or you need to destroy the structure entirely and drop it off the building. But honestly, that issue is much smaller than the one I discovered when I took a streetview tour around the block. Cupcake's chosen Tower can be surrounded on both sides meaning you will have to defend yourself on two fronts. Two very vulnerable fronts.

It's a good concept, but all those windows... I know I had a lot of windows on my tower but damn dude!

Now, I know you don't like the amount of windows, Rev…but that's going to happen basically no matter what Tower you chose. Buildings have windows. Windows are a necessary evil and we know we have to block those out regardless. Windows can be blocked off, but this is going to have to happen on both sides of the Tower. To me, that's a huge drawback. That's a lot of work. And could result in a lack of materials around to actually make it happen. I think I'm counting like 10 windows connected to the fire escape plus 4 floors….on two sides….I think we have to go C.

Lets make this a little rosier since we've just torn down her Tower: She is in close proximity to a Chocolate factory and that's kinda awesome.

Chocolate Factory FTW baby!! But you can't drink chocolate (unless you want to end up dying of diabetes before the zeds get ya). There seems to be an abundance of water around her, but something just doesn't seem right...

Her Tower is really close to the water, but the huge draw back to that water is revealed when you zoom out. It's Salt Water. Now of course, we know salt water can be made potable once you've treated it, but that's an extra step and to do it on a large enough scale would become a large (albeit necessary) hassle. So that lowers the score, but then again, the brewery nearby has a fresh water spring below it, so that might cancel it out the salt water deduction.

Not to mention the HUGE supply of beer!!!

I am glad to know that even though the world is collapsing around you, your priorities are in order.

Now Rev and I had this argument when discussing the Spring at the Brewery: That spring is really deep and once the electricity goes away that pump isn't going to work to bring the water to the surface. But, take a page out of the Tower playbook and attach a generator to it and BAM! Water!

But in addition to all that, saltwater=fish so she has a sustainable protein source. Though being more of an urban setting could be a draw back in terms of growing things. CCZ has said that there is farmland about 10-12km out from her Tower, so that's serviceable, but you can't count on being able to go that far consistently. So since it seems like so many of her natural resources come with conditions and variables
I'm willing to go as high as C+. I'd love to go higher but there's just so many variables, especially when it comes to water.

I'm willing to agree. The harbor is one thing that a lot of other people don't have. With that ocean there and a fishing pole, you would essentially never run out of food. (but will probably get REALLY sick of seafood).

You obviously don't live near the coast. If the seafood is fresh you will never get tired of it. Of course, I don't eat fish literally for every meal but there are indigenous people in villages around the world survive solely on fish and they seem to do just fine.

Let's deal with something easier: Stores. Dunedin is a metropolitan area and as such has lots of good things to raid including those things we desire the most: Pharmacies and hospitals. Medical supplies can't be over looked. But in addition to those things, there are gas stations and even more stores than are labeled on the map which are beneficial to the cause. And like any good city: It has a gun shop for those who desire to take on the hoards of death knocking on your front door.

So since my neighborhood set the standard and I got an A (though it probably should have been an A+ to be honest),CCZ Scores an A-. There's just not quite as much stuff around as there is in NYC, though the stuff she does have near her is excellent!

So Here's the Score for Dunedin, NZ and Cupcakezombie's Plan:
Population: B+
Tower: C
Proximity to Resources: A-
Proximity to Natural Resources: C+

Which is going to bring Cupcakezombie's Survival Plan in just barely on the B- side, very very close to a B.

Now as we learned last time, Rev, this is the part where everyone on the forum starts to disagree with us and point out how we should consider factors X, Y and Z. What should those people do?

Time to nut up or shut up... make your own map, sent it to us >>><<< And put your plan where your mouth is!

If you don't know how to make the google map, we've already created a handy, dandy thread detailing how to make it and that thread is located here. We already have a submission for Survival, Inc. #3 so if you want your plan reviewed later this month, get hoppin' on those plans!

Congratulations to both Hardkor, and Cupcakezombie on their ability to survive the zombie apocalypse with solid passing grades. The bill for our services are already in the mail and on their way to you...We accept cash, checks, or money orders only. No credit.

...And CZ, I am still waiting on my crepes!
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Updated Aug 26th, 2011 at 05:56 PM by nikvoodoo

Survival Inc. , Survival Inc.


  1. TCM Revolver's Avatar
    What a helpful blog. Thank you both for helping me survive!!
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  2. nikvoodoo's Avatar're welcome....narcissist...?
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  3. HardKor's Avatar
    Well I for one thank you guys. I now feel fairly confident in my ability to survive and have some ideas about improving my plan. Plus it was entertaining and all.
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  4. Osiris's Avatar
    So you listen to a lot of 'You've Got Dead On You' huh?

    I do like where this is going though.
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  5. 7oddisdead's Avatar
    note to self: Dont go over to hardkors when all hell breaks loose....j/k
    nice work as always, gents
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  6. cupcakezombie's Avatar
    I'll take a B-, that seems reasonable odds to me. I chose the building to be able to share this at work, but there are a couple near I could try instead.
    It was good to get this feedback, I know what I need to work on to survive the ZA.
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  7. nikvoodoo's Avatar
    I don't know what the brewery looks like, but I think if it's possible to shore up defenses there, I'd do that. That spring is something that would need to be defended in the Zed Head era. Or at least you'd want to be closer to your supply of fresh water and pick a building near it. door to it.

    And Hardkor, that is why we are here! Educate and entertain!
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  8. cupcakezombie's Avatar
    Also, Hell Pizza rules!!!!
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  9. nikvoodoo's Avatar
    Seriously.....I never know what either one of you two guys are talking about.
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  10. TCM Revolver's Avatar
    Here ya go voodoo....follow the white rabbit

    White rabbit
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  11. nikvoodoo's Avatar
    If the acting is anything like Keanu's, I'll just take the blue pill...
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  12. Luna Guardian's Avatar
    I'll drop by CCZs hideout. Beer is a necessity during the zombie apocalypse, wouldn't want to go to Hell AND be sober!
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