"Good Morning Waste Land!"
"Uh, boss, could you not do that you know how [beep] hard it is to get the old [beep] parts for this analog equipment. Also, could you not play with my [beep] buttons while I'm talking. Oh come on, that last word wasn't even obcene!"
"I know, I know, but we got to let our listeners know we're having fun! If we have any new ones here - I'm Thomas Hobbes, he is Diego de Zúñiga, and this is 104.3 WJMK, your source for wasteland interviews, survival tips, and night music. Today we have an audio essay about creating freeholds, a practical discussion of radiation - detection and what to do about it, instructions for a small hyroponics system, a two hour block of of 1980s dance mix... What? Don't look at me like that Diego, you're the one suggested we foster appreciation for classical music."
"Stravinsky, not The Scorpions"
"But you like "Winds of Change" more than "Rite of Spring," don't you?"
"Well, yes... Shall we just get on with the listener submissions already?
"Always the business like one. Well, our first portion of our settlement dialog is an essay titled "Fire"
Mankind gained dominance over the environment through the use of fire, and we shall do so once again. In this case though, its a useful acronym rather than rapid oxidation - Friends, Intelligence, Restraint, Environment. Keep these four things in mind whenever you're trying to make an outpost in the zones.
Friends seems self explanatory - always have others to watch your back and share the work load. But it also goes a bit deeper. Keeping sane, cohesion, and trust are really important out there. You're better off with a good buddy who has a genral clue of what is going on than trying to put up with the perfect expert who's a [beep]ole.
["You know the FCC probably isn't going to fine us for broadcasting asshole in a documentary feature."
"We've discussed this before, if we're going to convey to the people we're a serious station and not two guys that found an old transmitter, we need to follow the rules, no matter how archaic."
"I agree to the professionalism Mr. Hobbes. The morning announcer act... OK, but we need to give the banter a bit more work. But I do feel uncomfortable with the censorship."]
Intelligence. There is a lot more to building a fort that throwing up a palisade, cutting some firing ports, building a barracks. You have to think both out side with fields of fire, and inside for things like sewage disposal, or escape routes. Old steel plates are great against reanimates, but not so much for shrimp radiation guns - so have an escape plan or a source of shielding in case they show up.
Restraint seems to be the odd one out. Don't you want go-getters, pioneers, those who give one-hundred-ten percent? Unfortunately, most people over estimate what they're capable of, and when they injure themselves from over work or become disillusioned with the lack of perceived progress, everything begins to grind to a halt and tensions flare (especially if you ignore the first part). You have to drill into your psyche that the world is not going to be conquered in a few months.
Environment. Choice locations are not all that obvious. It seems like a good idea to take over an old microfactory, fortify the premise, and get it running again. But most of those are nowhere near water sources, or good farmland, and are often in the more heavily infested areas. Nor is there much point in trying to establish a trade route if you don't have goods. Try for a place that will support a group first, and allow resource exploitation second.