Skip to comments.Considerations For SHTF Living & Bug Out Locations
Posted on 05/04/2011 4:43:43 PM PDT by blam
Considerations For SHTF Living & Bug Out Locations
May 3rd, 2011
Editors note: If you are not yet in the location you want to be if the S were to hit the fan, and are currently looking for either a home or raw land, then we recommend that you also read What Is The Best Place To Live In The United States To Prepare For The Coming Economic Collapse. The opinions expressed below are a supplement to that article.
If insulating yourself from a worst-case scenario is your primary concern then the following considerations, some of which were mentioned in the article above, could help you to better decide what to do next:
* Stay out of the cities: This is without a doubt the top concern when looking at the possibility of an economic collapse or other disaster scenario. Youre likely better off taking your chances in the middle of the wilderness than you are staying in an urban center. Youll be dealing with packs of wild animals in both scenarios, but at least you would have a chance at acquiring some food, water and shelter.
Of course, were not recommending that you make the wilderness your bug-out plan, but rather, are pointing out that cities will be hit extremely hard, and millions of people will be in need of food, gas, clean water, medicine and other supplies. In an all-out collapse, similar to that described by James Rawles in his book Patriots, the grid would go down, transportation systems would come to a halt and urban areas, including suburban areas, would become war zones as individuals, gangs and clans would compete for the last remaining resources.
When you think major city and SHTF, think Hurricane Katrina, but on a regionalized scale affecting tens of millions of people.
* Dont plan on living in the wild: While the wilderness may seem like a much better option than the inner city or suburbia, youre not the only one whos thought of it. Only experienced outdoors men should even consider living in the wild as a primary back-up for a collapse event.
Like the cities, it will only be a matter of time before competition for resources reaches a boiling point. Unless youre one-hundred or more miles from any major human access points, youre going to come across others who are looking for food, water, shelter, clothing and supplies.
Depending on where you are in the country, the elements may become just as dangerous as gangs in the city. Without the proper equipment, youd probably have a better chance of surviving an inner city meltdown then you would freezing temperatures in the north / north-west part of the US.
If the wilderness is your plan, do you have a plan for staking and defending a piece of land for you and your family? And are you prepared to evade and/or deal with the golden horde that will eventually makes it way from the cities?
* How close is your support network? If you plan on relocating, are family members and like-minded friends within a tank of gas to your new location? While an SHTF location 400 miles outside of a major city is a great idea, if your plan is to have just you and your immediate family of 2 to 5 people defending the land you may run into problems. Regardless of how many guns or how much ammo you have, coordinated attacks by gangs or the possibility of being overrun by those who managed to make it to rural areas should be a consideration.
Also, looking at the location of your home town and the reality of coordinating with neighbors and city officials to stop non-residents from entering a particular area would be prudent. A support network on a familial and community level will be critical if you are near any population centers, even if your town is only made up of a few thousand people.
Primarily, your immediate team is of the most concern keeping 24 hour watch and working the land will be critical, and youre going to need more than just a few people to do this effectively.
* Is your new place to live capable of going off-grid for extended periods? Were not just talking about electricity but water and food as well. Electricity and gas power are important, but not as important as your immediate needs like food, water, shelter and defense. With the right people by your side, your defense capabilities should be significantly enhanced.
But if the grid goes down, how will you manage? Will there be fresh water available from a well or stream? What if someone dams your stream up river? Is there enough arable land to produce food and enough water to keep it alive?
Remember, the food you need will not be just for you, but for the animals you might be raising. Do you have reserve feed for those animals, or do you plan on feeding them off the land?
* Location. Location. Location. The above article pointed out that coastal areas could be deadly for a number of reasons. If youve read any historical doomsday theories, youre likely familiar with the statistic that some 90% of the worlds population lives within a hundred miles of an ocean. Bad news if the earth ever decides to sneeze. That, and the fact that those areas become major targets in the event of war or wide-scale terrorism.
The east coast of the US, especially, would be dangerous simply because of the number of people. Even if you arent directly on the coast, golden horde migrations will overrun hundreds of thousands of acres of land during evacuations or panics.
The west coast would experience similar effects. From the south, as the article mentions, there is the real possibility of mass migrations and violence its no secret that certain lines of thoughts suggest the southern US belongs to Mexico so be prepared for an onslaught if you are anywhere within several hundred miles of the southern border.
During any such mass migrations, any easy to traverse land masses will be subject to disturbances and only those in remote or difficult to reach locations will go unscathed. If it even exists, the SHTF protection zones, in general, seem to be the central United States regions this includes flat lands and mountainous regions, stretching from northern Texas up towards the Dakotas and west towards Idaho.
Parts of northern California, Oregon and Washington also qualify. There is, of course, the possibility that some natural events Yellowstone comes to mind could wreck havoc, but other than that, the right piece of property in these areas could be your best bet to survive a whole host of end of America scenarios.
This is not to say that areas outside of this zone are unsafe, as we are speaking more in regional generalities here. Ideally, you want to be out of the migration path of the horde, preferably on higher ground in the mountains, or a good distance from any major or high trafficked roadways if youre living on flat land.
One rule of thumb would be to look at how far away a major city is from your location. If tens of thousands of people live within a gas tank of that location, you can expect unfriendly visitors.
* Hideaway, safe room, bunker. We may be getting into tin-foil prepping here, but well mention it anyway. Mass migrations are going to be of critical concern in ANY collapse scenario. Even those in a fairly poor location can still have a back up plan. Our advice: If you have the ability to do so, do what the government plans on doing, and go underground.
Find property with a basement, or an old mine or cave, anything that is out of sight. If the horde comes your way this would become your new bug-out location. In such a scenario, one may need to disappear for an extended period, so quick-food considerations, water storage, and sanitation become important.
Plan on 15 30 days at a minimum if youve got to go underground. Theres no sense in fighting if you can get out of the way and let the horde Tsunami pass over you and eventually recede.
As preppers, we all want to say were prepared for anything, but a good prepper knows his or her limitations. It is impossible to plan for every potential scenario, but staying flexible and open-minded is going to be critical for survival. A willingness to admit, contemplate and act on weaknesses in your preparedness plan is of utmost importance.
I already live in a small rural town better than 10 miles from the highway. I think I’m good here where I’m on familiar ground with good conservative neighbors.
And that’s the key. Anyone planning on “migrating” during a catastrophe better realized they’ll be persona non grata in most rural areas and small towns. Sustainability means the middle of the country where there is potable water, tillable soil, and enough land to survive on. And as few other people as possible.
We live on 2 forested wildlife acres on a major river at least 30 miles from a major urban area. A good portion of our yard has been converted to garden, and if the SHTF, I’ll build a coop, buy chickens and goats, and let the HOA, if they’re still around, put bunches of liens on my property.
People shouldn’t leave their comfort zone if they don’t have to. It just creates stress for themselves and possible danger from others already under stress.
I grew up in these rural Michigan towns where neighbors know and trust each other. Also important is the interconnectedness of these little rural towns. (I know someone in most of the little towns in my county) Everyone gardens, everyone hunts or fishes and everyone is armed. Also we have the great advantage of knowing how to cope with economic adversity.
Winter sucks but its also an advantage because those who can’t cope will head south.
I live in a decent area for the zombie apocalypse - an island with a bridge about 3/4 mile from the mainland.
If this are gets overrun, we can flee about 5 hours north. We have a hunting cabin on about 60 acres, on a river, 15 miles of jeep roads from the nearest home and about 35 miles from the nearest town.
I’ve started gardening multiple plots around my yard. It makes it hard to steal a serious amount of food without spending a lot of time wandering around in the dark.
Unlike the movie suggests, if Yellowstone 'goes off', most of the population of the world will not survive. That's a whole 'nother ballgame.(Try 2-6 years without any crops, worldwide.)
Toba, a super-volcano like Yellowstone went of 74,000 year ago. We're all related to the (about) 10,000 people worldwide who survived..it can be seen in our DNA today.
I live in a modern house with heavy insulation and all the modern comforts. This house would do OK during the Winter here in the Florida Panhandle. The Summers would be unbearable tho.
I grew up in an old frame house with live oaks all around for shade. The ceilings were high and every room had large windows with screens.
When I was around 12, Daddy along with me and my Brothers installed central air and heat. It was nice but generally, I could simply open a couple of windows and the breeze flowing through made the room comfortable.
This house would be so hot as to be unbearable.
Because most of us have lost the ability to live off the land by farming, it is going to be really rough. My guess is a large percentage will die off. I will probably be among them mostly because of age and health.
I will say no one is likely to come and take what I have tho, well not until I die from natural causes.
I'm on the coast and to close to I-10 and I-65. I remember those 'strange' folks from New Orleans who showed up here, desperate during Katrina. We still have some of their pets here that they abandoned.
Don’t come to Alaska...........Alaska bad place, very cold, you go hungry, freeze and die.
Hate to pop everyone’s bubble but these Mad Max type fantasies will never play out. Societies don’t just collapse into total chaos with every man for himself. Typically there is an out side force that precipitates the collapse of the ruling government and then moves into the vacuum left to take over. There probably won’t even be a short period of time where there is no real governing authority in charge.
Even in hell holes like Somalia there are “governments” controlling most of the population, granted they are mostly tribal in nature but still there is some order and governmental authority being exercised even there. People for the most part don’t like chaos and will gravitate to whatever person stands up at the time (with enough guys with guns backing him) and supports the new regime fairly quickly. Besides, if you really did have a Mad Max type of environment all of you doing the bug out to a survival farm would soon be watching your wife and daughter be raped (if you haven’t been killed already) and your food taken by whatever roving gang spies your hideout and waits until you drop your guard.
So what does that mean in our situation? Who knows! Most likely there will be some rioting and looting in urban areas but with out gas most of the rioters will be stuck in their neighborhoods and will be too lazy/stupid to go more than a few miles outside of there. After that someone will step into the vacuum to take over, restore order rather brutally and then get about the business of taking everything that you stored up in order to feed his goon squad (if he can find it so don’t make it obvious). After that if you haven’t starved to death it becomes a question of rebuilding some kind of economy and restoring functioning services. Urban areas that have some economic reason for being will do well, cities that don’t will die (see Detroit). Rural areas don’t have a lot of economic potential other than farming, mining or some other natural resource exploitation.
So if you want to live on a subsistence level then by all means buy a few acres and go for it. But you’ll be the equivalent of a Mexican peasant and have about the same living standard as one.
This article covers the key points, especially the bug out place. One of the things I’ve been looking at is something underground like the author says. One solution possibly is container trailers run about 2K and could be buried and hidden. Properly rust and water-proofed they’d last for years and would be easy to heat.
Don’t worry, the weak will head south or die trying. LOL
Even with a “wealthy” United States providing huge amounts of aid, there are plenty of places in Africal where people starved by the thousands if not hundreds of thousands.
If the American farmer can no longer feed a couple of hundred people besides himself due to fuel shortages, I think we would go down much faster than most think.
“Winter sucks but its also an advantage because those who cant cope will head south.”
Good point. We northern folk have already proven that we can withstand anything old man winter throws our way.
So....what do you plan to do when the local sheriff(cops) show up saying that they've been ordered by FEMA to confiscate your 'excess' food for re-distribution from the FEMA food centers, (ahem)up-town?
And...if you're the sheriff and your family is unprepared, wouldn't you lie and go to Cripplecreek's house too?
I'm considering making small emergency 'stashes' of food in 6" PVC tubes and burying them underground, here and there. (When the crooked sheriff walks off with all my food I'll still have something left. Eh?
When do you say no to the sheriff and what action are you prepared to take?
You're close to a do/die moment already and the 'conflict/emergency' is just three days old.....
What we are facing is unprecedented in history. Our society is completely dependent on our modern distribution system. We have saturated the world with dollars and debt. Places like Somalia have never risen to that level to crash that hard. It will be very tough in first world countries.
Once it crashes, govts will no longer have the funds to maintain order. The best bet is the states, but the national govt will be impotent. It will be fairly anarchic, but way worse in the major city areas. They will leave the ruralies to fend for themselves while they try to contain the cities. The scenario the author projects is very possible.
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