An often overlooked aspect in any good zombie shelter is the need for a reliable means of escape.  It’s not enough to be locked inside a secured bunker with only one exit.  Eventually your supplies will run out, and without a secondary escape route all it will take is a patient, lethal threat waiting outside your door to turn your impenetrable fortress into a deadly tomb.

Zombie EscapeZRS Research Toby Wheatley recently conducted a study of best practices for building a solid escape for you and your loved ones.  Because most people will not have the advantages of a specially created zombie structure, he focused on several variations of the average house.  Turns out, it all starts with the closet.

“Closets are excellent pass-throughs to secured rooms, or other levels entirely.  In a two story home with a basement, closets can be a safe connection between the second floor and the basement, bypassing the dangers of the ground floor altogether.”

For a single story house without a basement, Whealtey suggests using an internal closet to access the roof, and any crawl space below the sub floor.  You can then develop your escape strategy using these access points.

He concludes by recommending that these “domestic tunnels” be built with a specific purpose in mind, and not be asked to do too much.  A pass-through from the basement to the roof should be sealed at all other levels, blocking up closet doors for safety.  If access is required to the first floor, create another point in a different closet by punching out the ceiling there.

When the zombies come, the days of your home being judged on style and appearance are over.  Form and function will be the rules of the day.  I’ve already got my survival house all planned out, and it looks more like a  living game of shoots and ladders than anything.

What about yours?


  1. My house already has tunnels from the time it was built to other places inside the house and even a tunnel underground that leads to a hatch in the barn.

  2. finally somebody mentions raiders!! so many people think its just going to be humans versus zombies, bullshit.. as soon as prison gaurds and staff jump ship to find their families, BAM! all the prison are just going to flood out, maybe not every prison and maybe not immediately but it’ll happen. and as soon as it does, out’ll pour the insane, drug addicted, raping, sociopathic, shit stains into an already fucked up situation. so all you pro-melee people, think again. all you “lets find survivors”, BE CAUTIOUS! imagine an insane murderer whos just escaped and is “finally freeeee” only to find the world shot to shit.. what you thinks gonna be goin through his head. yep. he’s bout to kill some shit. zombie or not (you). hope i’ve given a little insight, like the poop guy 🙂

    -Situation awareness is the key to survival-

  3. I have developed a three tier emergency system in my house. The Alpha plan is to hunker down in home for at least 6 weeks. The entire house is too big to fortify, so I have the master bedroom as our final fortress to live in during that time. Besides the main doorway, there are two large windows (That will be covered with my king size bed and furniture behind it) that I can escape out of, as well as a higher bathroom window that is high enough off the ground to stop Zeds from getting in but easily drop down to the ground from the inside.

    There is also a walk-in closet that has a hidden back access to the laundry room, which exits to the backyard and the woods surrounding our home. The only problem there is only my kids could fit through it, but in an emergency, they could escape, leaving my wife and I to give them time to run.

    After six weeks, my wife and I plan to use our minivan to get quickly to a storage facility nearby, the Beta Site. The storage room holds lots of extra survival equipment that I could not load quickly. Seeds, soil, water, gasoline, weapons.. all the thing I will need for long term survival.

    If you are looking for a storage area, I recommend you find one with a security gate and fencing all the way around. Even better if it has indoor storage rooms, ones that can be accessed (and secured by) a metal entry door. This means when you arrive at the storage lockers, you will not only have access to your own locker, but all the other lockers that people use in that building. You can find some crazy stuff in storage lockers.

    The storage facility I use also has a large parking lot to keep buses, trucks, an ambulance, and boats. If you know how to hotwire a vehicle, you could use these as escape transportation with larger amounts of equipment than you arrived with.

    After 9 months to a year of living in the storage facility, it will have given all of my family and friends in the loop a chance to arrive if they are going to. After that time, if they haven’t made it, they are dead. Once the group is together, we will head out taking our remaining supplies with us to our Omega Site. This will be a larger facility, designed to be a fortress and a permanent site to start a community that can stand the onslaught of both Zombies and human raiders. We are looking at Prisons, as well as small islands in the Great Lakes as possibilities. We can not pre-support these sites for obvious reasons, so they will have to be reconned and possibly cleared and secured (Can you imagine a prison full of zombified convicts sitting in cells?).

    Good Luck, Stay Safe!

    • You’ve overlooked a key detail in your plan, my friend.. and many make the same oversight. Where are you going to poop? Most cities have electrically operated water pumps.. once the power is cut off, running water will stop. Piling it up inside your hideout is not an option for obvious sanitary reasons. Piling it up outside a window will alert potential thieves/scavengers to your location. If you can, fill your bathtub at the first sign of the outbreak, you will be able to use it as drinking water and to flush your toilet. Because even a few flushes could prolong the use of your hideout by a week or two.

  4. HappySlappyZombieKillerGuy

    Why has no one thought of this? Find a house boat or a cruise ship, sail out to open water and live there. You have weapons and lots an lots of food on a cruise ship, though maybe you woudn’t be able to undock without crew. keep friends alive!!!!! Also on a house boat, you need only yourself, but the food supply is much smaller. When you run out of stuff, send some friends and yourself, but not your whole party, back to land in a long boat, and have them stock up The only thing I see wrong with this is storms…

    • Daniel Pohaku Osorno

      I just thought of the same Idea! Eating fish, somehow turning salt-water into Purified-water with a converter of somewhat. Never thought about the storm situation as you noted!

    • Keep in mind, cruise ships don’t “sail”. They run on diesel fuel. The average cruise ship goes through 600 litres of diesel fuel PER HOUR. They also require a crew of several dozen just to operate, and that crew has to be familiar with the operations of the ship, not to mention how to run the engines, and make necessary repairs. And sitting out in open water would make you vulnerable to pirates. That’s IF you’re lucky enough to find an empty cruise ship.. or any ship. My prediction is that anyone with a boat is going to use it to escape the zombies.

  5. While awaiting a safe passage to my safe house…I’m in a single story home…On the fly…a pull down attic will work as a temp hidout. Your supplies can be there already. Just make sure it won’t pull down once you are up. You will probably want to cut a small hole to the outside or just cut a hole and escape. Zip line would rock!!! Or just cut a hole near your transportation. I live in the south…after katrina…don’t forget the hole if you are hiding in the attic…you will be just plain dead.

  6. I’ve posted before about living very close to a old deactivated military base. There are some concrete buildings in the middle of the woods. Some have under floor access, almost all have access to the roof. I can drive to most of them even though there are no roads. The area is also jam packed with barbed wire fences. Most of the tops now hold about two ft of soil, so you could even plant a small garden if you were so inclined. All of these things plus the extreme remoteness of the area make it a pretty good choice. The only forseeable probleme would be stocking up, but that’s a probleme with anything that isn’t already stocked up! You can probably look it up. Camp Claiborne, LA.

  7. Prebuilt structures is the best bet like schools or like a school we have down the road for juvinal offenders it is a juvinal hall and school that kids attend but most go home at the end of the day built rock soldid with heavy fences, walls and no windows you could survive months on the food inside alone…team work take it and control it as a bas of operations for what ever is going on and since it has a wood and metal shop and it own generators it power in emergencies same as alot of schools.

  8. Im already thinking of my house in the future. Me and my cousin are both making good money and are buying an arsenal of weapons for the zombie scenario, or in case of invasion. Anyway im planning on buying a single story house although with the money im going to build something similar to the movie Blast From The Past. Their underground home is perfect for circumstances of zombies. That plus weapons, plus time locks plus food lasting 30 years…yea survival isnt an issue.

  9. Michael Gendall

    Just have a stairway that gets very narrow at the end, and have several sentry turrets at the tiny entrance xD

  10. my house is too small to hold supplies or build secret exits. I was thinking of finding an apartment pre-epidemic with fireescapes for secret access to other floors and the street below (that is if my theory of non verticle climbing zombies is the case). And if worse comes to worse, I have been practising free running to get off the roof.

  11. I was thinking of a village of treehouses, with connecting rope bridges, maybe even linking several houses in a neighborhood together. Great vantage points, combined with multiple secure entrances and exits, lots of storage space, and can support a large team.

  12. all you need is a tight staircase and then if they break through u can be smashing heads all day no more than 1 through at a time!

  13. Its all about the pre built structures for me. as it stands now i live in a small gated apartment complex. if it were to happen tomorrow or even a week from now i think id be ok not having my house turned into some kind of kubrickian nightmare, besides i dont think my apartment mng would like holes and tunnels in the floors and walls. as it stands now most building are built with some kind of polly plastic or heavily tempured windows on the ground floors, unless zombies learn to drive cars or use real weapons i would think almost any multi story pre existing structure is your best bet. prisons,malls,high rise office buildings. they all have more than one exit and are built to last. the only problem is getting there. yes there are holes in my ideal like (Well once you get there how do you secure it) and stuff like that. well to tell you the i have no idea as it hasnt happend yet. rest assured if it does and there is some kind of comunication in place ill tell you how i did it…lol

    • my friends call me an expert at zombie survival because i always have a plan. if any of you have seen dawn of the dead. that is a great example of what to do. go to a mall with plenty of supplys. lock the main doors. and clean up. if you have a small crew a walmart like structure would be good. it has a decent amount of food, some entertainment, and plenty of things to use as weapons (power tools, ect.). thats all i have to say. instead of building you own. stand with a already standing building.

  14. I have this!!! Not for zombies originally… I just thought it would be handy to have a way up to the ground floor from the basement, so I punched a hole in the floor in my bedroom closet, and ran a ladder down to the basement… really cool!

  15. I’d love to have a zip-line escape from the top of the roof.

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