Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cold Fronts

I am very serious about spreading the word between as many survivors as possible about this blog, about the fact that there are others out there. I want to build a network of communication and cooperation from here, and October is the month to do it for very good reason.

Around here, the weather is somewhat predictable. October will be relatively mild until the last week or so, and by halloween it will be in the forties for a high, just getting worse from there. It is my hope that by spreading the word and finding each other, we can build supply lines to help those survivors that may not be able to make it through the winter on what they have. We here at the compound can take in quite a few people ourselves. Just keep it in mind when it starts to get cold where live.

As for heating, Roger has been working on solutions that won't kill all of us with waste gases from burning wood, corn husks and the like. He's settled on an easy and basic design. It won't heat an entire house to perfect comfort, but it will keep most homes from getting deadly cold at night. It involves cutting holes in the walls to vent the gases through duct we will have to install. That's fine since most of us are spending some of our free time bolstering the insulation in our homes. We don't really need windows, so they are getting blocked off.

The little prototype stove Roger showed me is cool. He modified a design from something he found online for heating homes in the developing world. The cool thing is, you can make them from pretty much any closed steel container. I am planning to build ours from a charcoal grill. We have extras of those, since we pilfered every one we could find to cook on. All I need to do is cut a hole in the wall, run duct through it, insulate it, put some stone down so my floor doesn't catch on fire, and viola! HEAT!

At least, I hope it's that easy.

In other news, it's apparently pretty damn cold at Jack's compound in Michigan. The constant patrolling has taken its toll on Will. He's taking the day off from running around shooting zombies from the bed of a truck. I can't blame him. Most people healing from a broken leg would still be sitting down most of the time and rehabbing. He's making the best of the downtime, though, studying the landscape around Jack's place and coming up with additional defenses. Since it's pretty much a huge square , he wants them to put raised walkways at right angles to the walls right in the middle of each, poking outside the perimeter. That way when zombies get right up to the wall, the people on the walkways can pick them off and the people on the walls don't have to lean over and put themselves at risk firing straight down. If that sounds familiar, it should. He wanted to do something very similar here, and we have started work on it, of slowly.

I have talked to Courtney and Steve several times since they left, and I think that Courtney is getting to like Will a bit more. He's a likable guy, but Courtney still has reservations about where his loyalties will lie when and if the big group of soldiers from Richmond he came from come into conflict with us. But for my sanity and yours, I am going to stop beating that horse. It does get old worrying about a bunch of shit we can't affect, especially with so much we can affect going on right now.

At least the low temperatures at night have kept us relatively zombie free the last few days. The cold is persisting until nine or ten most days, so we haven't had to worry about any nighttime attacks, or even any early ones. Not that we aren't keeping a close eye out there, but just the ability to sleep a night all the way through without having to respond to an alarm is wonderful.

Work around here is coming along very quickly. This is exciting!


  1. be careful with that setup...most of those grills are a thinner steel. They can't take massively hot fires without melting. It's a problem sheetmetal stoves always have. I've had stoves warp on me trying to stay warm in houses with old sheet metal camp stoves when it's ten degrees outside.

    Also, be careful with what you choose to use for ducting...Make sure it's steel. Aluminum ducting? It'll melt at a lower temperature than most charcoal fires.

  2. We're planning on reinforcing them with some thicker sheet metal in the case of thinner models. Roger is actually working on some thick if basic stoves, and some methods of reshaping some of the abundant scrap metal we have around here.