When you are out Scavenging you will have to go into houses or other buildings in order to search it for loot. The possibility of encountering a Zombie during this procedure is large enough to take appropriate precautions. Another reason for clearing out a building is for using it as a base, rescuing a fellow survivor or just clearing out one building at a time. Fighting indoors puts you in a disadvantage, because ranged fighting gets reduced drastically. In this post I will describe tactics derived from official military tactics.
Taking a large assault rifle into a small apartment is not a very smart thing to do. Neither is a shotgun, since the spread of the buck shot could penetrate walls and hit allies or combustible materials. In my opinion you should take on the melee weapons and maybe a handgun to get out of a nasty situation. The point is to be safe so firing a gun will lure a lot of Zombies to your location at once. So try to stay silent a kill the Zombies one by one.
Taking a flashlight is a must. Electricity will most likely have failed so no lights are available. Protective clothes around the head, neck, shoulders and arms. Make sure you are able to move your head freely and you have a clear field of view. You do not want be obstructed in this way. A crowbar is also highly recommended. You want to be able to enter rooms and houses quickly and can also serve as a melee weapon. A fireaxe would also do very good as would a sledgehammer, but it is heavier and slower.
You will scavenging the houses as a team, so knowing your role in that team is an essential aspect for this to work safely. There is one squad leader, this is the main decision maker of the group. Second is a point man. This person is always the first person to go inside a room or building. The squad leader can never be the point man, he needs to see the bigger picture of the mission, and the safety of the squad. The point man’s focus is to decide in a split second whether to fire on an possible threat or to kill it with with a swift chop to the head. The squad leader is the more like the coach, and the point man is a team captain.
A third member of the team is door buster. He will get the team through doors safely using brute force and then instantly making room for the point man to go in. The door is mainly opened using a crowbar, fireaxe or sledgehammer. Explosives are rarely used, because this is an ‘expensive’ way to open door and a waste of valuable resources.
All other member are divided into duos or trios. They should stick together at all times, watching each others back. They should never lose the other out of the line of sight and they are responsible for the safety of their buddy at all times. One duo should take responsibility for the point man.
Before entering the house, the perimeter around the house should be secured. The house should be checked for potential entry or escape routes. If you can peek through the windows you can check how many Zombies are inside. Also see if there are surrounding buildings and how many Zombies are in there that could be attracted in case of making too much noise.
Ringing the door bell
The best and safest way to clear a building is by eliminating as many Zombies as possible before entering the house. You can do this by simple ringing the door bell, or if it is broken, knocking on doors and windows or shouting. This will lure most zombies out of the house. If you do things right they should walk out of the front door one by one and can be taken out easily. You could also try a combination if you have two entrances. On one entrance make sounds so the Zombies are lured in that direction and on the other entrance go in and start clearing the building.
The sweep always starts with a signal from the squad leader. The door buster opens the door and stands back for the point man to enter followed by the rest of the team eliminating any immediate threats. The point man should stay low so other members behind him will be able to shoot without friendly fire. The point man moves to a safe corner and signals the rest of the team to move in. All duos or trios move in together and start spreading out as commanded by the squad leader.
The whole structure will be cleared in much the same way as this, but shorter and with smaller groups. In large buildings clear rooms should be marked in some way for example spray paint or with a cross marked into the door with a knife. If a friendly survivor were to be hurt in the process he should be ignored until the entire building is clear or as commanded by the squad leader.
Communication should be reduced to preferably hand signals. This will greatly reduce the amount of noise your team will make when entering and clearing the building of Zombies. This will for obvious reasons reduce the amount of Zombies lured to your team and give you the ability to hear possible Zombies stumbling or moaning.
If you are surviving with a small group of survivors, this tactic will be harder to perform, but is not impossible. Two or three people will be able to perform a successful sweep of a building. They just need to be extra careful and silent. They should take in as much information as possible to determine threats fast and dispose of them aggressively, swiftly and silently. This is to prevent the Zombie to moan and attract other Zombies and overwhelm the small team.
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