What Is The Best Place To Live In The United States To Prepare For The Coming Economic Collapse?

by | May 3, 2011 | Emergency Preparedness | 68 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    The following article has been recommended by The Daily Crux and republished with permission from The Economic Collapse Blog.

    Some additional SHTF Planning thoughts and considerations appear as a supplement to this article in Considerations for SHTF Living & Bug Out Locations.

    What Is The Best Place To Live In The United States To Prepare For The Coming Economic

    What is the best place to live in the United States?  I get asked that question all the time.  My answer can be summed up in two words: it depends.  The truth is that the answer is going to be different for each person.  All of us have different goals and different needs.  If you have a very strong network of family and friends where you live right now, you might want to think twice before moving hundreds or thousands of miles away.  If you have a great job where you live right now, you might want to hold on to it.  You should not just assume that you are going to be able to pick up and move to another part of the country and be able to get a similar job right away.  The United States is in the midst of a very serious economic decline right now, and wherever you live you are going to have to provide for your family.  Just because you move somewhere new does not mean that you are going to leave your problems behind.  In fact, you might find that they moved right along with you.  With all that being said, the reality is that there are some places in the U.S. that are going to be much more desirable than others when the economy totally falls apart.  For example, during a total economic collapse it will not be good to be living in a large city or in a densely populated area.  Just think about what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  If the entire nation is going through something like that, you don’t want to have hundreds of thousands of close neighbors at that point.  So when thinking about where you want to be when everything falls apart, population density should be a major factor.  But there are other factors as well and no area of the United States is perfect.

    If you live in or near a major city right now, that is okay.  Most Americans do.  Even if you have limited financial resources at the moment, you can start developing a plan that will get you where you eventually want to go.  If you want to move to another part of the country you can start applying for jobs out there.  You can also be working hard to develop a business that would enable you to move.  Perhaps you have friends or family in more isolated areas that would allow you to stay with them during an economic collapse.

    Those that possess more financial resources could start thinking about getting a second home in a location that is more rural.

    The key is to come up with a plan and to be working towards accomplishing that plan.

    If you don’t have a plan yet, hopefully the following information will give you something to think about.  Not all areas of the United States are equal, and all of them do have problems.

    The following are some thoughts about the best place to live in the United States….

    The Northeast

    A major problem with the Northeast is that it is just so darn crowded.  Yes, there are some rural areas, but the overall population density of the region is so high that it would be really hard to go unnoticed for long in the event of a major economic collapse.

    Another thing that is not great about the Northeast is that so much of the population lives near the coast.  As we saw in Japan recently, living near a coastline is not necessarily a good thing.  While it is likely safer to live along the east coast then the west coast, the truth is that there is an inherent level of insecurity when it comes to living in coastal areas.  You never know when the next hurricane, oil spill or tsunami is going to strike.

    Also, the Northeast is really quite cold.  So staying warm and growing your own food would be more difficult than in some other areas of the country.

    The Mid-Atlantic

    The Mid-Atlantic is one of the most beautiful areas of the nation.  Unfortunately, it suffers from many of the same problems that the Northeast does.

    The Mid-Atlantic has a very high population density.  For example, the area around Washington D.C. is pretty much all suburbs for 50 miles in all directions.

    The weather is nicer than in the Northeast and there are some less dense areas once you get south of Washington D.C.

    If you think that the Mid-Atlantic might be for you, you might want to check out North Carolina or South Carolina.  The people tend to get friendlier the further south you go and there are definitely some areas that could potentially work.


    Florida is generally not going to be a place that you want to be during an economic collapse.  The housing market has absolutely collapsed down there and the crime rate is already very high.  It is also very densely populated.

    The weather is very nice down in Florida, but one big thing that you need to consider when it comes to Florida is the fact that it is very flat and most of Florida is just barely above sea level.  In fact, quite a bit of Florida is actuallybelow sea level.

    In addition, hurricanes are always a major threat in Florida.  It is a beautiful state, but there is a lot of risk to living down there.

    The Southeast

    The Southeast has really taken a pounding over the last few years.  First it was Hurricane Katrina, and then it was the BP oil spill and then it was the tornadoes of 2011.

    There is a lot of poverty in that area of the country.  There is also a lot of crime.

    There are a lot of great people who live down in the Southeast, but if you do not know your way around it can be a very difficult place to move to.

    The Mid-South

    One of my favorite places east of the Mississippi River are the mountains along the Tennessee/North Carolina border.  If you must be in the eastern half of the United States, that is not a bad choice.

    Where you do not want to be is anywhere near the New Madrid fault zone.  The New Madrid fault zone covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.  The biggest earthquakes in the history of the United States were caused by the New Madrid fault. Many are convinced that we are going to see an absolutely catastrophic earthquake along the New Madrid fault at some point.

    So if you want to live in the Mid-South, it is highly recommended that you stay far away from the New Madrid fault zone.

    The Upper Midwest

    The Upper Midwest was once one of the great manufacturing regions of the world, but now much of it is known as the “rust belt”.

    Formerly great manufacturing cities such as Detroit are now absolute hellholes.  Tens of thousands of our factories and millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas.

    There are some really great people (including some good friends of this column) that live up there, but the truth is that the region is really cold and unemployment is rampant.

    The Upper Midwest is an area that people want to get out of.  It is probably not a great place to move to.

    However, if you do need a job, one place to look is a little bit west of there.  Thanks to an abundance of natural resources, unemployment in North Dakota and South Dakota is very low.  If you really need a job you might want to look into those two states.

    The Southwest

    In the Southwest there are a whole lot of freedom-loving Americans, the weather is very warm and there is a lot of space to get lost.

    However, the Southwest is also very dry and in many areas there is not a lot of water.  Drought and wildfires are quite common.

    In addition, illegal immigration is rampant and is a constant security threat.

    If you are familiar with that area of the country it is not a bad choice, but if you do not know what you are doing it could end up being disastrous for you.

    The Great Plains

    As long as you are far enough away from the New Madrid fault, the Great Plains is not a bad choice.

    It is very, very flat out there, and it can be quite windy, but the good news is that you should be able to grow your own food.

    In addition, the population density is generally very low in most areas.

    One big negative, as we have seen recently, is tornadoes.  The United States experiences more tornadoes that anywhere else in the world, and “tornado alley” generally gets the worst of it.

    The West Coast

    During an economic collapse, the West Coast is not a place that you will really want to be.  Just take a look at the state of California already.  It is an economic nightmare.

    Millions of people have left California over the past couple of decades.  The millions of people that have left have been replaced mostly with illegal aliens.

    Oregon is better, although they have very high taxes and they are experiencing huge economic problems right now as well.

    The best area along the West Coast is the Seattle area, but you won’t want to be anywhere near a major population center when things totally fall apart.

    Also, the West Coast lies along the “Ring of Fire“.  Considering what just happened in Japan and what has been happening in other areas along the Ring of Fire lately, the West Coast is not an area that a lot of people are recommending.

    The Northwest

    Large numbers of freedom-loving Americans have been moving to the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.  You can also throw eastern Washington and eastern Oregon into this category as well.

    It gets cold up in the Northwest, but not as cold as the Upper Midwest.  There are lots of rivers, streams and lakes and in certain areas there is plenty of rain.

    The population density is very low in most areas and there is an abundance of wildlife.  Housing prices are reasonable and in many areas you can grow your own food.

    The Northwest is one of the favorite areas of the United States for preppers.  It is far from perfect, but it does have a lot of advantages.

    Alaska And Hawaii

    Neither Alaska or Hawaii is recommended.  Alaska lies along the “Ring of Fire” and it is very, very cold.  Also, almost everything has to be either shipped or flown into Alaska.  In the event of a real economic collapse, supplies to Alaska could be cut off and shortages could develop very quickly.

    Hawaii has a huge population and it does not have a lot of room.  Like Alaska, most supplies have to be either shipped in or flown in.  And one really bad tsunami could pretty much wipe Hawaii out.

    But once again, there is no “right answer”.  There are areas of just about every U.S. state that could potentially work well during a major economic collapse.

    When assessing where “the best place to live in the United States” is, it is important to examine your own personal factors.  What will work for me and for my family will not necessarily work for you and your family.

    So what do all of you think about this list?  Which area of the country do you think is best for those Americans who are seeking to prepare themselves for the coming economic collapse?

    Originally Published at the Economic Collapse Blog

    Editor’s note: Also read our supplement to this article: Considerations for SHTF Living & Bug Out Locations


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      1. Friend of mine has 60 nice acres for sale in Claiborne Co, TN ( not far from Cumberland Gap area ) for 180k.  1/2 mile of river frontage on Powell river, couple springs, mostly in woods.  Good rural location, decent weather year round ( not too hot, not too cold ), low taxes ( 120/yr right now ), minimal govt intrusion.
        You can contact him: mtnman37879(at)hotmail.com

      2. In his book “Surviving the Economic Collapse” Fernando Aguire makes quite a few excellent points, derived from experience. The two that struck me as non-obvious, were:

        1. You will not survive in your isolated farm/bunker/complex of spiderholes. You cannot be on guard 24/7; you must leave your bunker occasionally; you will be sniped.

        In Argentina, criminals organized in armed attack groups of up to one dozen individuals and assaulted like special forces – some attackers likely WERE special forces/former SWAT groups gone rouge.  Isolated farmhouses were overwhelmed and entire families raped/tortured for days, until they gave up all info, goods, and money. Then they were executed.  

        Police response time was non-existent and some attackers WERE the police.  Any ideas of you pulling a 2011 version of The Omega Man will not end well

        2.  Your fantasy of knitting a sweater and exchanging it for a harequin romance novel and 6 brown eggs at your local bartertown will not happen.  You will not find that one person with eggs in need of your sweater – even if you spend days searching.  You will need a medium of exchange.  In Argentina that meant USD or gold/silver.  After our meltdown, it will likely mean gold/silver or US ‘junk silver’ coins.

        All in all, a good book to read from someone who actually lived through a collapse.

      3. West of Port Angeles WA you feed a family on 5 acres with food to spare.
        Wood plentiful and quite and no to many people isolated.
        Most people their don’t like the GUV and except newcomers readily.

        • Good information about survival in the Northwest US can be found here:


      4. While not to disparage FerFal and his experiences, you do have to consider it was a limited SHTF situation AND limited just to that country…..that USD/etc had value to buy things only because they too had not followed the Argentine currency down a hole.
        If the US goes down the tube, the social chaos that will go with it will make for a very ugly situation.
        Gold/silver/SwissFrancs ( and I say this as a HUGE fan of metals, because the odds are, IMHO, that we simply continue a long, slow, slide down in dollar purchasing power for the rest of my life, just as it has for the last 50 years versus an “end of the world” scenario ) won’t be near as valuable as boxes of .22 shells or canned food, or canning lids, in a severe SHTF situation.  Argentina never got to that point.
        And while I agree ‘no man is an island’ and we all have to sleep sometime, I think FerFal’s premise that a city will be better off than rural area is simply not so. Argentina just never got sucked down far enough to see that.  And I hope we never do either.

      5. Interesting this should come up now. Just last week I was lamenting about how I’ll never get my spouse out of California (and looking for advice on how to open his mind to it) on a post at City Data. He has a decent job here that seems steady and secure for now. We live in a decent neighborhood, however the lots are small with very little room for growing and the neighborhood has one way in and one way out making it easy to be barricaded off for looting.

        On my post, I mentioned my dismay at all the illegals here and how close to all the bedlam we are going down in mexico. Not only am I sick of paying for them and their kids, but I feel they pose a serious security risk should the fit hit the shan. Of course this brought the race baiters out in full force and I was instantly branded a racist, paranoid, redneck. Makes me want to scream how ignorant people are.

        If I had my choice, I think ID would be the place for me. It would have to be north of the Snake River Valley as the population is predicted to boom along there the next 20 years. We will be taking a road trip out there this summer to see my dad and from there we will be going to South Dakota to see the sites there and visit my great grandparents grave and the small town they lived in (pop. under 500 now). I can hardly wait. I have not been there since the 70’s and Im so curious as to how I’ll feel visiting there now as a middle aged adult…

      6. California may be poor, but it still produces half of the fruit, vegetable and nut crops for the United States…  When the shtf, you better believe whatever is left of the state gov  will do everything it can to keep them producing.

        And there are millions of illegal aliens, but they were here in the 90’s too.  If things were really THAT bad in California, they wouldn’t be moving here either – but they are, and by the thousands.

        And as far as earthquakes go, give me a break.  It  is a reality – but it’s mostly dangerous to those who are living in 30 year old buildings who aren’t up to Earthquake Code.  If you live in a high rise apartment building that sacrifices the first floor for an internal parking lot, then yeah, you’re kinda fucked, but most other buildings are going to be safe.  The SF Bay has the highest paid emergency workers in the country, outside of Seattle, WA.  The are consummate professionals.

      7. I am contemplating offering armed tours of Detroit. There has to be a market for warped thrill seekers.  Yes Detroit is a hell hole and areas as dangerous as some third world countries, but vast areas of the city have become vacant, occupied only by wild dogs and other wildlife (many areas have a huge population of pheasants, go figure) . Its like going into the aftermath of Armageddon, it is creepy beyond belief and I am sure would make for a good sightseeing income.

      8. From someone who rode out Katrina in South Mississippi, I have to say THAT is the best place. The one major drawback here…HEAT. Around here, 90 degrees is a fairly warm day; good beach weather. Up north it’s a killing heatwave.
        However, in South Miss, during the limited engagement called Katrina, neighbors helped others they didn’t even speak to. But, we come together in disastrous circumstances. Contrary to Mac’s article, however, crime rates here are not high (compared to other parts especially). We all get along pretty good. Of course, there are a few bad apples, but i doubt the existence of a phalanx of armed looters waiting to pounce on unsuspecting farms here. There are too many ready/willing/able men AND women with guns ready to mow looters down around here.

      9. Here in Tonasket WA, we have lots of wide open spaces – mostly public lands, so popular with hunters and outdoorsy people (like myself).  I am a real estate broker here, and you can search properties for sale (not limited to just my listings) using this link:  http://www.propertiesbytinaholan.com/mx/idx/

      10. To TnAndy, You have had a lot of good insights and wisdom for as long as I have been following this blog, but I think you have missed the boat on your belief that rural areas are safer than cities and towns. Throughout history, humans have banded together for mutual aid and protection, whether it was in a tribe or in a city. In American history, for instance, individual white settlers were extremely vulnerable to attacks by the various native tribes. To counteract this, the first thing they would do when settling a new area as a group was to build a fort (a city, by golly!) for protection. Similarly, the violence against isolated white farmers in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe and South Africa is well known.
        In the US, we may not have the same set of circumstances, but in a power vacuum, you can be sure that gangs and such will become both more daring and more prevalent everywhere, not just in the cities.  Criminals are not stupid; they are predators who attack those on the fringes of the herd and the easy targets, including those who live in isolated areas.  If you live on a 1000 acre farm in Nebraska and a gang shows up to take advantage of you, you’re toast, Rambo talk notwithstanding.  There will be *no one* to help you.  I’m not a huge fan of cities either because they have their own sets of problems (they tend to be dirty and overcrowded, among other issues), but that is where most of the jobs are.  The best solution, I think, to balance the two sets of problems is a small to medium town (10,000-20,000 people or so) set in a more rural area but close enough to a major city that you can still get there easily (50-60 miles is probably fine).  For a house, I think a house on about 10 acres with other houses nearby is ideal.  That gives you enough land to have a garden and some elbow room, but it keeps you close enough to the neighbors in case something bad happens.  You also need to get to know your neighbors.
        I also agree that PM’s (including 90% silver coins) are not as useful during a crisis as your other preps (food, water, guns & ammo, etc.).  The PM’s are for after the crisis when things have settled back down.  Although a TEOTWAWKI scenario is possible, I think it is improbable.  One of FerFAL’s main conclusions is that even after a collapse life goes on (this is also borne out by the historical record in the Maya, the Dark Ages after Rome, and more recently Somalia).  The people don’t just all pack up and leave their homes.  While some (usually the wealthy) do, the rest stick around and go on with life to the best of their ability.  Barring a complete nuclear holocaust of the world (or a similar disaster on a global scale), I can’t imagine that enough of our civilization/technology would be destroyed to take us back to the stone age.  A much more likely scenario is something akin to Argentina, Brazil, or South Africa, where you have a corrupt, semi-functioning government with a tremendous amount of local poverty and violence, but at least some (or all) the trappings of modern technology.  In such a scenario, the PM’s you put away before the collapse will help you land on your feet.

      11. Having lived now in Alaska for over 30 years, I can attest to the supply line issue. Alaska is currently able to only supply about 1 months worth of food for the roughly 700K residents. The majority of food is raised in basically 2 areas: Mat-su and Fairbanks. The food from Mat-Su (Matanuska-Susitna) is consumed locally and Anchorage. Palmer (city in Mat-Su) came into being as a governmentally sponsored agricultural colony during the ’30s.

        In some areas, growing enough food to survive is quite do-able. The problem is the environment doesn’t care how you did it in the lower 48. Use those techniques and you will starve. Alaska has very little manufacturing and much of it is geared towards the oil industry that is currently stalled out with only 1 (yes Dorthy, only 1) exploratory well being drilled this last winter.

        Most of the economy is driven by government money and tourism. And tourism is completely dependant upon disposable income.

        If a person chooses to live in the more rural but still highway accessable areas, they had better have a vast skill-set and a network of like-minded friends. Even today, many if not most are dependant upon goods shipped in. Electricity is about $0.25 a kWH and gasoline is roughly $5 a gallon. In my area winter electricity is generated by diesel; it is shipped in.

        Living in the bush is virtually impossible without imported goods. Yes like in the Matrix, there are levels of existence that can be had, but few if any can do it. Even the Alaska natives are totally dependant upon imports as their subsistence skills are centered around gasoline and modern weapons, nets, and even the fishwheels.

        So where will I go? Nowhere. I’m home and I have honed my skill-set for decades as my investment strategy. Of course this meant some books and tools rather than stockpiles of PMs and food. Rural income is marginal, but I raise a fair sized garden, burn wood and admittedly still need a better water system.

        So I concur with the estimation of Alaska’s potential for survival in a broken economy. Will I live through it? No. I’m old and this mess will last longer than me. But a country boy can survive and I can and do teach my skills to any and most all that ask.

        No matter how bad things get, commerce will live on. There are not enough hours in a day to accomplish everything needed to have a real modest standard of living. The key is specialization. Do what is most needed and what you are best at. Trade your surplus to others that produce what you can’t. Fair and honest commerce will usually produce far more friends than enemies. Never forget “No man is an island” and to quote Red Green, “We are all in this together and we’re rooting for you.” Success is the producer of hope. Nothing welds a loosely knit group together better than commerce be it in goods or teaching skills.

      12. I have  9.2  acres located 1 hr west of nashville  on the edge of a 20k  game reserve, with the cumberland river minutes away, high on a hill, with priest lake and old hickory and others located nearby.  will sell reasonable cheap, and my bug out is near by with  LOTS  of   gun totaing friendlies  nearby.  deer, turkey  possums  coons,  fish, and  forest for  wood heat.  call me at  615-636-8071

        • why are you leaving???

      13. Anywhere along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mts in a small town is good. Or Utah, CO, AZ, NM, Nevada, sw Texas. The eastern provinces of Canada are good as these lands will rise with the Changes. It would be best to relocate in the next year or two to get settled if you can. Parts of interior Alaska and BC will work for a select few with the skills to survive.

        The West Coast is NOT advisable, except above 5,000 feet. Florida is NOT advisable. The East Coast is NOT advisable. Get West of the Mississippi River and away from the cities. Folks, there are way to many people in the east for life to be sustainable when the Changes come.   The Upper Midwest where the unemployment is currently low is NOT a good place

        New Orleans and HOUSTON are NOT advisable.   🙂

        • I live in middle wisconsin on the far edge of the populated areas. I am prepared, I am used to the cold. I have good employment and millions of acres of forest land to the north. I can hunt, fish and provide for my family long term. I have a couple of places to go where I can survive for at least a year and then poke out and see what is left of mankind then.

          • Wisconsin is definitely the place to be.

      14. In my sailboat.  I have thumb tacks I sprinkle on the deck at night.  Fish & dehydro veggies anyone?  I have one tomato plant & smokers don’t scare me.

        • do you have webbed toes?

      15. I’d just like to point out while the Northwest is indeed atttractive, this area will be especially adversely impacted in the event that the caldera in Yellowstone explodes.

        Of course, that may never happen in our lifetime, but it’s worth pointing out since the author mentioned natural disasters that affect other areas, such as the New Madrid Fault and the proclivity of earthquakes in California.

        • fyi if yellowstone blows its over where ever you are !!!!–so if it doesnt because of population i recomend ne wyoming any takers i have a safe place in progress regards richard

      16. Most people won’t/can’t move.  They have jobs, community, business or family ties.  It’s not easy to sell a house in most places and moving is expensive.  Several people I know bought places in isolated areas before y2k and lost money when selling later.  If a person is single and renting, they could move much easier than most of us.  The book about Argentina  that rafter man mentioned, says it all:  moving didn’t benefit the ones in the countryside.


           Did you see what has been happening to silver the last week (i.e., 3 margin hikes since Thirsday)?

           This is why the “Crash JP Morgan” crowd is naive: JP Morgan can pressure the COMEX to do whatever it waqnts to kill a silver rally that troubles JP Morgan’s huge short position.

           In other words, there is absolutely no danger of an economic/hyperinflationary collapse whatever; the FED has tools to prevent that; it will allow inflation to keep us all poor, but will prevent a collapse to keep them rich.

           If you have silver as a hedge against inflation, well, hope you didn’t pay more than $20/oz.

      18. RE: MVL,  If the Yellowstone Caldera erupts we are not talking Mt. St. Helens.  This will be a life ending ending event for the U.S.  Don’t take my word.  Read up on it.  Natural Disasters are all in the odds.  Be Well  MM

      19. The Truth:  You don’t understand what you are trying to talk about.  Do you understand the difference between physical and paper?  Leveraged, margins & cash fiat?  Go buy some mushrooms with your $10’s.  You are naive and short sighted.  Do your homework & come back.  You should buy more and dream on.

      20. Comments….. about people “moving on” with their lives post-SHTF and behaving civilized – it did work in some countries, but none of these countries were like ours.
        Nowhere in the world one would find so many spoiled, unskilled and medicated people. Take away their cheap food, “circuses”, video games, medication and it will not be pretty. “Civilized behavior” is not in their vocabulary.
        We all want to believe that there is something good in EVERY person, but the reality, I am afraid, is that people and society are not what they used to be.
        We’re living in a very different world.
        Good luck to us all.


        @ Anonymous:

           I have bought and sold more silver (and other commodities) than you will ever hope to.

           If you don’t like my news, well, I leave you to your delusions (hope you don’t have people depending on you financially).

           For the rest of you able to see what is happening in the silver market (i.e., the death of Bin Laden announced to bolster the dollar, coupled with margin hikes to squash demand for silver), the course is fairly obvious.

           A rising dollar pre-empts a dollar collapse (duh).

           You should learn from people who know more than you (as proven by their investment history).  

           It would be humorous (and pathetic) to see where your strategy lands you in 2 years time.


        • silver has been used as money for 5,000 years and I agree that it will be of value in a post shtf situation. A farmer will still farm and cannot keep all his food fresh all year long can he? I believe that a person should get there survival preps and food preps to a decent level and then start putting some pm’s away at that point. Even if you can only afford $20 a week to invest go on ebay and buy some silver dimes.

      22. @ Anonymous and The Truth:  Should I buy more or sell?  I don’t understand either one of you.  We bought at 17. 

      23. I just bought another monster box….from gainesvillecoins.com and happy to do so.  Silver is going to shoot right back up! $50.00+ an ounce.

        At the first crack of the whip and the sheeople run…the more things change the more they stay the same.


      24. Comments…..seems to me that wherever a person goes to ride out teotwawki should be a well thought out process…with the conclusions that anywhere that is not a flood zone, is not a tornado alley, does not have a hurricane season, is far away from serious earthquake fault lines, and so on and so forth…is not a decision to take lightly or without careful planning and replanning .(everyone should have more than one plan). in other words, pick your place with the demons that you know you can deal with and stay away from the ones you can’t.

      25. Hello Sam!  I do not like green eggs and ham.

      26. The Truth is correct. Precious metals is a bubble and its about to burst, probably by this summer. Fiat is how currency will be for the remainder of human existence from this point forward. As you can see, the dollar is rising again and oil prices will go down to below $100/barrel later this year. Just relax people, nothing bad is going to happen.

      27. I live in New York and HATE IT! Anyway I was weighing the possibility of moving to Virginia,Indiana,Arizona,Texas,Montana,Pennsylvania after I am done with college. These states are very progun and have great hospitality. Anyway i think it is better to be in a small town-medium size town with like 50,000-100,000. If you are buy yourself in a rural area with 20 acres of land. Armed bandits of 50 against your family of ten  will get massacred. It is better to be in suburbs or small towns. Set up check points and make sure every citizen is armed. Cities with 500,000-8,000,000 will be battle zones and a concrete killing fields. Having  a community of like minded people who  are armed will survive any shtf scenario.
        This video is for all you lone rangers that think going solo will save you when the shtf.

        • It amazes me you’re in college with grammar and sentence structure like that.

      28. Rocket Man this is Houston Control.  We need a GPS fix and a order of green eggs & ham.

      29. Hi all -I’ve thought about this as well, and decided to stay put in Pittsburgh/Western PA.
        Yes, it’s one of the foremost (or first) Rustbelt cities, but our education/hospital complex has mostly stopped the decline, along with exporting 2/3rds of our population to CA, FLA, NY, etc.  If the city does get crime-ridden, a 30 minute drive gets you way out into farm country (compare that to any major city, LA, SF, NYC, D.C. a 1-2 hour drive at least to clear the ‘burbs in traffic)
        We’ve got water in several big rivers and wells, fuel – oil (discovered here), natural gas (Marcellus shale) and wood, transportation (rivers again) and railroads, we can grow most everything but citrus (even if it isn’t as pretty as CA veggies) and have the water to do so.
        Not too hot, not too cold, not too much snow like the Northwest and Northeast, no HUGE insects like the South.   We get the odd tornado, but usually pretty isolated and not swarms like we just saw in Tuscaloosa (I think the tips of the Appalachians kind of break up the storms a bit).
        The worst we usually get is local flooding (ie: don’t live right next to a creek)…but not the kind of floods that the Mississippi gets when the levees break (something else to consider – floods miles away from the river).
        There’s a reason that the colonial settlers built a city here.
        I think that if TSHTF many from the sunshine states might just come back home (hopefully not in the Golden Horde way) bringing whatever goods and skills with them.
        As far as food grown in CA, water is already a huge problem, where they have to decide whether to use the Colorado river for crops, industry, or drinking.  Don’t forget the wildfires out west too.

      30. The Truth (Sam):  You have to wake up pretty early in the morning to beat this crowd.

      31. Figure much higher oil prices in the future and work from there.
        Higher oil prices ripple thru the economy in myriad ways. That is .. if
        you expect something less than a complete ‘mad max’ style meltdown. If that happens then … yes, being as far away from everyone else as possible and having cached (as in a lifetime worth) supplies will be the key to survival
        Barring that, in a slow collapse scenario (far more likely to my way of thinking)  …. those living in rural areas (away from manufacturing and distribution centers) it could be that transportation costs will seriously affect you.  And hamper job prospects too. Yes, this goes against the grain of preppers common wisdom which is to get to a small rural town. Time will tell, however I think most folks misjudge the effects of far,far less availability of oil will have. Oil scarity turns this into a whole new ballgame that noone as experience with.
        For a ‘slow collaspe’ scenario … as some posters have noted previously…. look to FERFAL and his blog about Argentina’s experience.  He thinks living in a safer zone of a metropolitan area is the way to go for most (as in… those who can’t afford fortress villas in the sticks).
        Much Higher oil prices also have important ramifications to those dependent on heating oil to stay warm, or air conditioning to stay at least tolerable comfortable (sorry Phoenix, you are screwed… realize it or not, Phoenix is as dead as Detroit. They just don’t know it yet).
        If you’re in a place dependent on either heat or A/C then you might seriously consider relocating. Personally, I consider cold the worst fate. Being stuck in the cold without recourse seems to me about the most untenable position … regardless if its in the ultimate prepper location according to common wisdom.
        Finally, I leave this last bit of advice.
        Stay mobile … or at least have that option at hand if your situation degrades beyond bearable. Granted some will fight to the end to maintain their prior invested energies in their chosen spot. They could very well end up like Custer.

      32. I didn’t see Colorado mentioned on here at all, so I’m hoping someone can give me info or advice.  I’m moving from the midsouth (tennessee, near the new madrid fault line) to north colorado (fort collins area) this summer.  Is Colorado a good option, especially closer to wyoming? Any thoughts, tips or things we should know (we’re a young newlywed couple, I’m starting grad school there, hence the reason for the move).

      33. @Dave P

        I agree with you 100%. I will stay in western Pa (greater Pittsburgh area) too. You pretty much nailed every reason why I have decided to stay here. Pittsburgh and surrounding area has shown a remarkable ability to adapt to whatever has been thrown at her and come out on top. They don’t call her the Paris of Appalachia for any old reason. Plus I love the yinzer spirit and people here are hardworking and resilient. I was born here and here is where all stay.

      34. i have 9.2 acres of land for sale the 20k acre game reserve outside of nashville one hour ,   it is near the cumberland river,  not  far from 2 lakes, with deer, turkey, etc running wild,  will sell reasonably cheap,  my bug out location is a couple miles away, and we have alot of friendlies in the area.  call  615-636-8071

      35. Comments….. Ilive in the Mid Atlantic area along the chesapeake bay several miles out from a small town. Raise chickens and a large garden. I ain’t going nowhere. I keep a picture of my great-greatgrandfather (and great-greatgrandmother too) on my desk. The picture (gggf) is of him wearing his confederate dress uniform. That same picture is the background of my cell phone, so I see him constantly. He fought bravely for his cause and I shall do my best for mine. God will come for us all in his own good time no matter where we runn-oft to. Im in my mid 50’s now, Im too cantankerous, and don’t feel like moving. Ive been prepping for probably 25 years, long before the word “prepping” became a slang term. It’s been my way of life for a long, long time. If the golden hoard comes, Im sure that before I close my eyes for the last time, I will have given as good as I got. 

      36. Mardochee Augustin….I hear you. I live on Long Island and about 30 miles from NYC and I don’t like it here either. When the SHTF here, the only way off the island is by boat, helicopter or plane. You definitely want to be as far from NYC as you can. I would head to the north end fork of the island where all the wineries and port towns are. Lets just hope the northeast doesn’t get hit by a tsunami anytime soon.

      37. You all could really benefit from reading what has been thought about for a long time at survivalblog.com…here is a link that may get you to think:


        GMAFB – still no apologies…

        PS buy all the PMs you can afford, but do so after you’ve prepped the primary stuff.


      38. naive/delusional/The Truth (sam):  “In other words, there is absolutely no danger of an economic/hyperinflationary collapse whatever; the FED has tools to prevent that”

        I hope it does go to $20.

        I hear Cheyenne Mountain would be a good place if the shtf.

      39. EVERYBODY:  Ok, EVERYBODY to Western PA! Dave P and Stacie s are hosting when the SHTF!!!

        MA: Whats your degree in?

        Jack: I was downtown PPhoenix this morning. The inner city of Phoenix is relatively dead except for the people commuting to downtown offices.  The action is in the suburbs where everyone has moved.

        The Truth: Is true. A dollar collapse will not happen without a major “event”: emp, etc. Its inflation by a thousand cuts and the dollar will fall farther than it strengthens. Thats the market ratcheting it down. Its not a straight slide.

        Don’t just get out of NYC: get off of L.I. 

      40. I beg to differ with your assessment of being in CA when the economy collapses. CA produces 25% of the Nations agricultural goods and has tremendous farming capabilities. There are many nooks and crannies one can set up shop in when the economy fails…..after all it is about resources, security, and survival. If you are worried about the ‘ring of fire’ then stay as far away from Seattle and the Puyallup Valley as possible. My group already has a setup on a cattle ranch with a water supply and a huge growing area. With a group large enough to help with all the chores and provide 24/7 security, life will be good. Did I mention it is in the high ground.
        Besides, after a couple of months 10-?% of the population will have starved to death?

      41. A tip for all you people hoarding Silver and Gold to barter with, trade it in for cans of beans and toilet paper. If you give someone a gold/silver coin then they know you have gold and silver…and will be back for it with your friends.
        We are out of the snow in our site and want nothing to do with it should the SHTF. I do not want to spend my whole summer cutting wood or breaking up furniture.

      42. Freeport56: A good point about the metals but they are a way to save a portion of your wealth through the Changes. Human beings are resilent and civilization will recover from SHTF. At what pace depends on the event that triggers SHTF. Eventually, silver and gold will become a medium of exchange and a store of value as it has been for 5-6,000 years.

        Besides, we already have our beans and toilet paper.  🙂

      43. Freeport56: Understand your snow free choice as I live in Phoenix. However I can remember one Christmas when snowflakes as big as the palm of my hand were falling quite lazily before melting as they hit the ground. (And I can palm a basketball.)

        Its hard to predict the weather after the SHTF. It might snow where you are at, or where you will be. Prep some gloves and long johns. You can wear them more than one day if you turn them inside out ……

        In CA I would advise anyone to be out of the cities and above 5,000 feet.

      44. @Durango – hey I’m not really concerned with someone reading the internet somewhere else in the country and making an epic journey to my house – my home is not a bug out location after all – it’s the people nearby that hear your generator, see your lights on or smell your food cooking that you have to worry about, IMHO.
        Anyone could (and did – like Stacy) think about it and arrive at the same conclusion.  Heck, our city is underpopulated anyway so if a few preppers read this and moved here I wouldn’t mind 🙂
        One thing when discussing prepping is that there’s a lot of apples and oranges comparisons.  Some people talk about the unlikely Mad Max, some about a quite likely economic/currency event, the slow grind.
        I wrote a post to to define a system to try and separate the various types of events, and importantly, people’s reaction to them.  You can then in a sentence or less describe exactly the type of situation you want to talk about.  Here’s the post, I hope you find it useful:

      45. I am 50 miles north of San Francisco in Wine country…so no snow. Roughly 80 inches+/- rain per year, with balmy warm weather most of the year. There are roughly 6 ways out of the SF Bay Area for roughly 14 million. The three big CA cities have massive gang problems(although TV makes LA look cool, it is very dangerous). Most leaving the cities will head for a place they think is safe and has food.
        For all intense and purposes we are already in economic collapse. CA is $840 Billion in debt, while the country has an estimated debt between  $30-200 Trillion. Total Global wealth in 2008 was $60 Trillion. The Fed has been pumping up our money supply by printing $75 Billion per month(QE2) with it ending in June. The major banks are sitting on top of their bailout money and not lending it while Barry keeps spending and promising more money for Brazil’s off-shore oil drilling. Gas here, moving at this rate will be $6 my August(I remember $.29 per gal). The intentional destruction of our energy supply…well you get the point. Slowly you will see crime rise as local governments make more cuts and propose higher taxes to solve the problem. All the while making it harder for Joe Citizen to get bye.
        Precious metals, Copper, Lead, and Brass.

      46. Comments….. @ Hill. You lucky guy! I visited Fort Collins on my way to Red Feather Lake area to fish and hunt, but never lived there.  It has a great downtown area that’s easy to get around, neat small town festivals, good community feel, local breweries, nestled close the RMR and there’s some distance between the town and I-25.  

        You should hit up the army surplus store on the north end of Fort Collins when you are settled.

        My get-a-way is further south near Fairplay, Canyon City, 11 mile area.  I had a coworker from Iowa mention that us mountain people have some weird festivals e.g., Dead-Guy (Nederland), Chicken Fly (Guffey), Frog Hoppin’ (Empire), Beetle Bike Fest (Dillion) festivals.  To each his own.

        You be the judge … it gives us more reason(s) to party, work, ski, climb 14ers, camp, snowboard and enjoy the great Colorado outdoors.  

        You chose wisely and good luck with grad school. 

      47. I used to live in Canon City Co. Several prisons there.
        what happens when shtf. gosh, the inmates will certainly
        help out…….duh.. Have plenty of ammo, you’re going to need it……….

      48. I have a remote property near Goldendale Washington, South Central, lots of fruit near by. Great survival property, was an old wheat ranch. It is 10 acres and 30,000 will take it.

        • Damn we are almost next door…across the river in Or
          3000 an acre? got water?

      49. There are some good points made in the articale above, for sure. There are also some things that were not mentioned and bear mentioning even in a rudimentary posting.

        1) Community – In the case of abrupt change there will come a time shortly thereafter when things settle down. Community will become extremely important at that point for resources, security, multi-generational survivability and mental health to name just a few reasons. One thing you MUST take into account is that you can’t know everything about everything. You will need help to cover all the bases of your needs in the new world. In this regard the Southern US and Southwest US would certainly be the “better” place in my opinion as they have maintained a more reasonable community bond than most of the other areas of the country.

        2) I am looking at economic collapse, civil war, revolution and other HUMAN-INITIATED causes for the impending doom of this country. Warning people about areas that suffer high numbers of tornados and hurricanes I believe is acceptable, same with climate, population and crime. However, warning people to steer clear of a large portion of the Midwest due to the New Madrid fault zone isn’t very sensible. Obviously if you live there and it goes, you are not going to be happy, but the chances are astronomically low in comparison to weather events and the woes of humanity. The midwest is extremely fertile, has mild seasonal patterns, has plenty of natural wildlife and lakes for hunting and fishing, plenty of natural forests and low population density for the most part. Combine all that with very few firearm restrictions and a good number of people capable of surviving on their own and you are set up nicely. It would be a shame for people to feel this was not a place to they could plan their survival.

        3) WATER – When you start considering your ideal location for refuge you need to think about WATER. Food can be killed or grown. Shelter can be built from anything. Security can be a rock, stick, slingshot, gun or anything else. Only water can be water, and you can’t live without it for very long at all. Coastal areas have lots of water, but will you have the means of turning it into water for drinking? You can’t live on salt water. If you stake your claim somewhere, stake it somewhere with a very ready source of fresh water. If the source is a small stream or spring, you need to be at the source of it. Claiming the downstream resource is no good if someone upstream builds a damn or redirects the flow. Once you do, go get your rocks and sticks because you WILL have to defend it. If you can find a freshwater well or two, that’s a good find.

        I have written extensively on this subject, feel free to send me questions if you want.

      50. I Love It Here In The N.W. Im 15 and one hell of a prepper i’ve got everything let me give you an example I went out with my wrol gear and everything went in the mountains for two weeks and it was easy I lived in lake cushman near the olympic mountains with my grandparents and it was a blast i’m proud to say im not worried about a collapse cause im confident and know the nw like the back of my hand!

      51. The other nice thing is my bug out loacation is in the mountains & close to the ocean so I can always fish if I dont hunt there are MILLIONS of clams to yummmmmmy

      52. We will all have to:

        1. Learn to live with a lot less.
        2. Learn to cooperate more.
        3. Learn not to waste.
        4. Learn to go back to the old ways and combine
        them with a new more practical science.
        5. Repair the damage we’ve done
        There is always a solution.

      53. The problem with the North West is that all the White Supremacist groups are moving there so when it all falls apart, not only will you have to worry about the general masses, you’ll have to worry about these nuts also.

      54. Alaska. Not a good place for romantics but potentially survivable for Alaskans and those who have lived here in a rural or bush location for several years. You’ll die here very quickly in the scenarios that are discussed on this site if you are not physically capable or if you find yourself in the wrong part of the state. On the other hand it is possible to sustain yourself here. Having lots of experience with year round off grid living, heating with wood, carrying water, hunting, fishing, milling, gardening, and so on, it’s not a viable place to retreat to. It’s a place you must be for some time to understand how to survive. If something happens and transportation becomes problematic, AK is too isolated a place to come to or to leave.

        My advice: don’t worry about any of these scenarios. It’s more likely that we experience a slow erosion of our civil liberties and increased poverty. Invest in things that hold value like precious metals and land.

        My pleasure

      55. Geez, everyone gets so spooled up.
        my list:
        Water. Hunting. Fishing. Farming. No extreme weather. People within wagon/horse distance for trade. Neighbors near enough for protection.
        I may have missed something but this is my common sense list.
        Now. I live there and pre-shtf, land is cheap no state income tax, utilities are cheap, people are friendly, crime low and we all have guns!

        • where do you live? what state and county?

      56. people always argue the city or country plans, but honestly i think a combination would be best, in the mid -to- upper east coast where i live, you have plenty of rainfall most seasons (obviously there are rare exceptions) for crops, abundant wildlife populations, both game and fisheries, and though the population level is a bit higher than other areas, you also have VERY few natural disasters to worry you. an occasional flood, or possibly a tornado if your lucky is the pits, but that it really. yes it does get cold up in these parts, however those who know the area (hunters/fishers/outdoorsmen of all kinds) understand both what to do how to do it and where to get it when it comes to staying warm. most folks have winter gear (in multiples) that are damn near artic quality. in those cases the winter if you know the area is fairly easy to weather. there are few other areas i would be interested in living in a total collapse, perhaps the upper reaches of the west coast such as montana. but back to my point. the first days or months in a city are going to be bad no one denies that. but once the looters and killers get bored breaking windows they WILL move outwards looking for prey. my bet as to those who will survive the best, will be those who stay flexible, bug out of the cities early, wait out the looters and such until the start leaving in search of foods and victims, and then reenter the city. this allows you to avoid the worst of the conflict and yet still be ready for long term survival. at least thats my plan friends. (roughly anyways lol) when crap starts flying im getting out. but ill be back as soon as the heat cools down. that, short of living in a hippie style commune in the deep deep timber will likely be your best defense to survive the coming shtf

      57. Florida may be crowded from orlando to Tampa and Miami , but florida has so much open land , lakes , oceans and natural undeveloped land. Tons of fish and all types of game and even gator to eat. You also don’t have to deal with freezing.

        • Look brass tacks here..when SHTF then GTFO period. The only things you should be stockpiling are skills and experience…yes there is safety in numbers but you have to be able to find those numbers and the only people knocking on or down your door are not going to be the people you want….There will be no friendly neighborhood watch coming to invite you to the sole sanctuary in the city.the only thing that will await you in city’s is violence,or hunkered down in a hole that more than likely will be burnt to the ground with the rest of the city until order is restored if ever.Find some isolated areas near by and become comfortable with them,lay of the land,water sources,wildlife,foraging.Make preparations to get there ASAP when the time comes,car/truck,bicycle,hike,horse,dog..whatever. If you have the right skill set’s you will be fine,not surviving just uncomfortable at worst…when the dust clears as it most certainly will,then venture in to see what’s left….think about it like this-if you want me and mine you have to find me then catch me-if your in the city I just have to kick in the right door or just set it ablaze either way your stuck….good luck to all on whatever path you choose.

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