Time To Pull The Trigger on Strategic Relocation? (Picking an Ideal Permanent Retreat Location)

This week’s newsletter is sponsored by Vision Gym…the eye exercise system that I use to shorten the time necessary to acquire my front sight when shooting, transition between targets quicker, and widen my peripheral vision.  Learn more by going >HERE<

This week’s newsletter is going to be quite a bit different than normal…it’s going to primarily be a conversation among readers (and myself) and it’s an article that you’re going to want to come back to throughout the coming days to read and reply to the comments and responses.  It comes, in large part, from an article (and 327 comments) from last February.  MANY people made or reinforced decisions to do a strategic relocation to a permanent retreat location due, in part, to the article and excellent comments.

Well, we’re 18 months down the road and there’s a whole new wave of people who have decided that it would be a smart decision to relocate to a more sustainable living situation now, rather than waiting until the balloon goes up and the SHTF.

One of the most common lines of questioning that I get from people is about the “best” place to move to. The intensity of this question has been increasing as of late, with friends calling me up, telling me that they’re ready to make big changes in their lives, and asking me where in the heck they should move to.

My wife and have done considerable research on this…both primary research and secondary research through reading  every book that I know of on the topic, as well as countless forum postings, and the only constant answer to the question of where to live is, “It depends.”

We’ve personally made a handfull of  1500-2000 mile moves in the last several years and our “ideal” criteria have been different each time.  This question has as many answers as it has people asking the question, simply because of how different people’s lives are. You may need to be close to a major airport for business or to be able to get to ailing parents quickly. You may have medical concerns that mean you need to stay near a military hospital or another specific type of medical facility. You may have allergies or arthritis, lung issues, or other conditions that dictate where you live. If your profession is geographically specific, you’re going to be limited somewhat.

Wheat farmers and deep sea fishermen are examples of this. Wheat farmers won’t find many wheat farms in New England and deep sea fishermen won’t find too many boats in Kansas.

Regardless of what your criteria are, the National Association of Realtors says that 1 in 7 households move every year. The US Census Bureau says it’s as high as 1 in 5 households. Either way, it happens a lot. One of the ramifications of that statistic is that thousands of people reading this article will be moving in the next 12 months. Thousands more will move in the following 12 months. In other words, this is an important topic and your educated input could literally help thousands of people.

In addition to “normal” factors, like jobs and family, many of those thousands of people will be choosing their new state, city, neighborhood, and house based in part on how survivable it would be in the event of an EMP, currency collapse, infrastructure breakdown, terrorist attack like a suitcase nuke, hacking, or bio weapon attack. These events, and dozens more could all easily lead to a breakdown in supply chains and civil order.

The fact is, where you spend the majority of your time is going to be one of the biggest factors in creating a survival and preparedness plan. That’s the exact reason why I created the SurviveInPlace.com Survival and Preparedness Course…because most people spend the majority of their time in houses and cities that are a far stretch from being “perfect” but they need to have a practical plan in place to survive in their non-ideal situation when disaster strikes.

Does my emphasis on Urban Survival mean that I think that is the ideal place to survive long term?  Frankly, it depends.  Personally speaking, we have had stages in our life where living in major metropolitan areas was our best choice, so we lived there.  Right now, the ideal for us is a semi-rural area within an hour of a few small cities and that’s where we are.

But what if something in your life changed today that made it possible to relocate to your ideal location—one where you’d be equally happy spending the rest of your life if no disaster ever struck or if civilization imploded in on itself tomorrow.

This week, I want to get a lot of input from you—particularly from those of you who have recently moved and from those of you who are in the process of picking a new place to call home.

If you are looking to relocate, what features are you looking for? If you have relocated, what features DID you look for? Regardless, if you could tap your toes and live anywhere you wanted to live, where would it be?

Would you want to follow the Mel Tappin model and look for a town of 10,000, hoping that it’s big enough to provide mutual aid and a wide range of skills but too small to support a large entitlement population?

Would you want to live in the middle of nowhere, cut off from society, hoping to be insulated from people?

Would you want to live in a tiny town, hoping to be accepted as a local?

Would you want to live in a city of a million or more, to take advantage of the increased earning potential, shopping choices, medical care, technology, and food choices for as long as possible?

Would you look for a city in the 100,000 range, so that you could have a taste of both big and small?

Do you want to live outside of one of these towns in an attempt to mix the benefits of rural living with the conveniences of urban shopping and job opportunities?

Do you think that the popularity of the Pacific Northwest “Redoubt” area among preppers makes it more desirable or simply makes it a concentrated target?

How about specific states and towns? Any “honey holes” where you love living now as a prepper or would love to move to? (Only if it makes sense to share them)

Kerrville TX? Mena AR, Angelfire NM? Montrose CO? Ft. Collins CO? Colorado Springs CO? Basalt CO? Prescott AZ? Carson City NV? Salt Lake City UT? Ogden UT? Sun Valley ID? Coeur d’Alene ID? Sandpoint ID? Spokane WA? Bend OR? Fairbanks AK? How about East of the Mississippi in the Appalachians? Or even other countries like Chile, Panama, or the Philippines?

In short, if you could pick your ideal place to live, where would it be and why do you want to go there?

Is there an established prepper network to plug in to? Is that where your family and friends are? Is it purely a SHTF tactical decision?

Do you want to move somewhere and drop out of society, or move somewhere where in the hopes of having your cake and eat it too…enjoying the benefits of both increased self-reliance and a developed infrastructure and a wide variety of foods, products, and services during good times.

Do you want to live in a “prepper” community?

What about factors like politics, gun laws, homeschooling laws, taxes, local views on alternative medicines, predominance of a “buy local” mentality, crime rates, great churches, etc.?

Share your experiences, questions, and thoughts by commenting below…this promises to be a fun and informative discussion.

Before I let you go, I want to share a little bit with you about Eric from Vision Gym.  Eric works with professional athletes from the Major League Baseball, NHL, UFC, and more, as well as Tier 1 tactical units and his methods and techniques ARE “out there”, but they’ve been proven to work.  In short, a lot of guys can talk themselves into training one elite unit one time, but you’ve got to deliver the goods to be asked back and referred.  Eric gets asked back and referred.

It’s worth your time to check it out…whether you want to be able to see clearly without correction or you have perfect vision and just want to be able to focus faster and more clearly, you’ll be glad you listened to me on this one.

Oh…and all of the stuff about aches, pain, strength, and reversing aging.  Don’t let disbelief about all of the side benefits get in the way of being able to simply see more clearly.  I KNOW it’s hard to believe, so don’t.  Just trust me on the vision part and see what happens on the rest.

For more information on Vision Gym, click >HERE<

God Bless & Stay Safe,
David Morris


About David Morris

David Morris is the creator of the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course, the Fastest Way To Prepare Course, Urban Survival Playing Cards, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, and other books, courses, and articles on preparedness, survival, firearms, and other tactical topics. He lives with his wife, 2 boys, and 2 dogs.


  1. The discussions seem to focus on physical attributes of the site .
    how are you going to support yourself in the country . . .? Seems like you would have start an internet business to accumulate holdings for retirement and to pay for health insurance.
    The president has executive order saying in a national emergency he can confiscate food put aside. They are stockpiling millions of bullets for some purpose. How will drop below the radar ?
    I live in Missouri and my wife is 65 years old with arthritis. The long cold winter in Idaho would be hard to take.
    Some of the small towns near my home appear to be corrupt . The local sheriff was just jailed for confiscating guns and drugs and reselling them. there is a huge amount of illegal drugs in some of these small towns. so your research will have to deeper. Perhaps read the back issues of the local paper at the library and talk to the locals before you put the money down .
    The climate here has plenty of water and not many snowy days,
    I agree East Texas has some characteristics that are favorable including very affordable land. I lived in Texas for 20 years but was driven out by attorneys and powerful insurance companies. native Texans are being overwhelmed by Hispanic immigrants and escapees from other states and the politics could shift soon.
    thanks for letting me ad my 2 cents.

  2. Some key items, IMHO, to look for are: look at terrain, look at weather patterns in the area you are looking at, look at access roads, look at proximity to necessary supplies – granted in a grid down scenario this might be non-existent, keep your circle of family/friends in relation to your relocation area – you don’t want more people than you can support. Look for a natural source of water if possible and not a big pond because it will attract others.

  3. bladesmith says:

    I want a place with a Constitutional Sheriff. Though not likely, it would be nice to have a state that would abide by the Constitution & it’s abilities to nullify unconstitutional laws & refuse to accept & enforce unconstitutional treaties or the new constitution being written by the American Constitutional Conference

    • @ bladesmith – there are some counties out there where the sheriff supports our Constitution first. We have a number of counties in MO where these sheriff preside. With anything, we also have some counties where the sheriffs are anti-gun, anti-prepper, etc. Do some research and you’ll find what will fit your needs.

  4. Mona Manifesting says:

    Relocating has been my present focus for a while. Dave, do you have any suggestions? I was considering Texas, Nebraska, Montana, Idaho, sheesh! Anywhere that has a good SHTF area! I dont care! I will consider anything at this point. I live in VA Beach. Nothing really sustainable here but the ocean. Need to go somewhere where it is more likely to be out of sight.

    • Mona,

      Relocating is an incredibly individual undertaking and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

      One thing that you could do is use the quiz/answers on this site: findyourspot.com/

    • W.V.? I found the perfect place close to you…30+acres,fresh!clean creek, remote mountain retreat. No building. Less than 25 k. The only problem, too far from my home, job. It takes me 9.5 hours to drive there. My wife says SELL! At a Loss if necessary. Call me 815-236-6087 so I can buy something closer.

  5. Mona Manifesting says:

    Im trying to figure out where relocate RIGHT NOW!! i was thinking Blue Ridge/Applacian/Smoky Mountains area along east north carolina/northern georgia/western tennessee area. Anyone have any better suggestions for me? Want to move January/February. December if i could, but just not financially able right now. I need help!!!

    • I think you meant Eastern Tennessee. I just moved here with SHTF being a major factor. It is really great for people living on a fixed income: cost of living is only 85% of US standard, no income tax, and real estate is very cheap. We found a place in the country with 7 acres, about 5 miles from a city. Getting a high-paying job might be a little harder, and the schools are not the best (we homeschool). I like the people. Good luck.

  6. Mona Manifesting says:

    Hey Floyde Adams,
    I would LOVE to know some of your secrets.

  7. Folks, This is the best forum discussion I have had the good fortune to come across. All of you reinforce my belief that we have an incredible country, with lots, if not full of great patriots, who plan on surviving no matter what comes. I am thankful to be one of yall…..

    I have never taken my 10th generation ranching roots for granted, while living in the city all of my life, and driving to the ranch every weekend, evenings, etc. . Since the droughts of the late 1940′s drove us to become part time ranchers, farmers, hunters, etc, while becoming white collar folks during the week. Lots of my closest friends share the same heritage, whether we are from Tx, Ok, Wy, Coahuila, etc, We are all survivors, always have been, and we are not going to go away……God bless yall….

  8. Best regards to all and thanks for sharing!
    As for myself, I find that I’m in a unique position in that I’m free and not tied in any way to where I live now in MO. I have lived most of my life here and it’s home but I realize now that unless I move out of the suburbs, it’s not going to be safe. The Ozarks would be a good area to move to in MO. I don’t want to be forced into moving so I’m trying to move now before it gets too late. Anyway, I read the book “Strategic Relocation” by Joel Skousen and between that and a few suggestions from a reading I had done, I settled on Idaho because it’s a 5 star rated state in the book I mentioned. It seems there are more like minded people in that area and that’s where I want to be. Somewhere that I can possibly meet up with a mate who I can work with to build a simple life in a rural area. I’m a 59 year old active, attractive, passionate and hard working woman looking for a friend, partner/mate. Part of “the carrot on the stick” in moving is that I was told that I would meet someone after I had moved. That in itself is enough for me. I am ready for major life changes as I am a survivor. Another thing about moving to an area with more like minded people is that it will make it somewhat easier to build community. That’s also important to me and when everything goes down, that’s how we will survive. In small groups, towns, tribes, etc. We can’t stay isolated, not even as families. It’s going to take all of us pulling together, working together, helping each other out and being good to one another to make it. God Bless Us All!

  9. Preferred: minimum 20 acres (agricultural tax break) within 7 miles (walking/biking distance) of groceries and supplies, hilly (to support earth sheltered structures), thick border of woods, pasture, good garden soil, water (flowing, pond &/or well), minimum 100′ above sea level. Hope to be adjacent/near national or state park.
    And until SHTF: natural gas, cell phone, internet, within 30 minute drive of good med care and other luxuries.

  10. James McDonald says:

    I live in Florida and am in Kissimmee, my daughter lives on Merritt Island(Kennedy Space Center sits on the entire north end!) This is my home if you read Alas, Babylon a 1959 novel by American writer Pat Frank. There is fish and a way(if you know the outdoors) to survive. Won’t be easy, a lot of people will be walking to where they think the “Gov” is to take care of them! You will have to group together to survive like the book.

  11. We’re in a good enough spot, right where Jesus put us.

    • Marge Bhagat says:

      In response to what Jay said, The best place to be is in the perfect will of God even if that may be in the “front lines*. I know that I have a place prepared for me in eternity. John 14:1-3

  12. Holy Crap. How did my town get on that long list, and the only one in Texas?
    While we would welcome more Preppers, we are also getting our share of zombies-in-waiting that will have to be delt with if things fall apart. We have about 200 active, acknowleged Preppers our area. Having Local Law enforcement and the Mayor on your side doesn’t hurt either.

    • Hey Stephen,

      I have spent the majority of my adult life in Texas…mainly South Texas, and the list is made up of all places that we looked at moving to at one time or another :)

  13. Soylent Green says:

    Well, all of these suggestions about where the best SHTF place to live are just terrific! It appears that everyone posting on this site has apparently figured out what the ‘SHTF’ occurrence will be. As for me, I don’t really know. Will it be a natural or man made electro magnetic pulse? Will it be an economic meltdown? Will it be an infectious and drug resistant super bug? Will it be a second ‘revolution’? What? It seems to me that being in the ‘best’ place depends on knowing what the coming ‘S’ is. Without knowing THAT you might as well just flip a coin on where to move. Or, you can hunker down where you are and prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Either way you’ve got a 50/50 chance of being either upwind or downwind of the fan.

    • Medic Mom says:

      Yes you are correct. That is why I think the question should be “where can I live happily for the rest of my life (or the next phase of my life) in challenging times? I am old enough that I accept that if I chose the coast and a giant tsunami hits, I know I will probably die. If I choose wyoming and the Yellowstone caldera explodes, I will die. I’m going to die eventually anyway, I’d just like to finish out my life where it makes me happy and gives me the best chance for survival. No one can plan for everything and you’re a fool if you think you can. On balance, if I have to chose between urban survival in hard financial times or wilderness/rural survival in hard times, I choose the wilderness based on my personality. A few different life lessons and maybe urban survival would be a better choice. You’d better know yourself first

    • Hey Soylent…good to see you back, as salty as ever :)

      What you may not realize is that some places are more survivable than other. You DON’T have a 50/50 chance regardless of where you are.

      If you require dialysis, you can’t flip a coin. Some areas are more survivable than others.

      If you have grandkids or adult kids, you can’t flip a coin without taking them into account.

      If you have a career in oil and gas, you probably need to be close to the oil and gas industry until you’re able to go Galt.

      And, if you have the ability to move from downtown Manhattan to a semi-self reliant property surrounded by semi-self reliant families, it’s not a flip-of-the-coin situation.

      The fact is, EVERYBODY has locations that are more survivable than others. Everybody’s ideal location is not the same, but everybody has “best” locations and “worst” locations.

      Now, what I’ve written about consistently for the last 5 years is that no matter whether you live in your ideal location or your worst-case location, you need to have a plan in place to survive where you spend the majority of your time…hence the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course. If you can improve your location, do so, but when the war comes (survival) you’ll go to war with the army you’ve got (or you’ll need to survive with the situation you’ve got.

    • Hey Soylent…good to see you back, as salty as ever :)

      What you may not realize is that some places are more survivable than other. You DON’T have a 50/50 chance regardless of where you are.

      If you require dialysis, you can’t flip a coin. Some areas are more survivable than others.

      If you have grandkids or adult kids, you can’t flip a coin without taking them into account.

      If you have a career in oil and gas, you probably need to be close to the oil and gas industry until you’re able to go Galt.

      And, if you have the ability to move from downtown Manhattan to a semi-self reliant property surrounded by semi-self reliant families, it’s not a flip-of-the-coin situation.

      The fact is, EVERYBODY has locations that are more survivable than others. Everybody’s ideal location is not the same, but everybody has “best” locations and “worst” locations.

      Now, what I’ve written about consistently for the last 5 years is that no matter whether you live in your ideal location or your worst-case location, you need to have a plan in place to survive where you spend the majority of your time…hence the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course. If you can improve your location, do so, but when the war comes (survival) you’ll go to war with the army you’ve got (or you’ll need to survive with the situation you’ve got.)

  14. Comrade X says:

    1st; the storm is coming and you can see the clouds forming, therefore thinking about relocating means acting pretty fast otherwise where ever you are will be where you will be.

    2nd there are SHTF situations that bug-out will be your only option if you want to live; whether you be on a mountain top or in a bunker or both so face facts on that one. So having a bug-out plan is required it just doesn’t have to be you first & only plan.

    3rd there are SHTF situations where you may be able to stay in place and for that I will recommend a book; A Failure Of Civility (www.amazon.com/gp/product/0615670105/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0615670105&linkCode=as2&tag=surviveinplac-20), this book teaches you how to set up a protection plan whether it’s in a neighbor, community, building etc and IMHO that will be the only way you will be able to survive because no man is an island.

    As for me I am behind enemy lines on the left coast with thousand upon thousands of acres of mountains nearby and I look at my neighborhood in my medium size city as a forest with many trees to hide behind with those of like mind if hiding is an avenue of survival that is plausible; no one can say for sure when it will come or how it will come so multiple plans of survival for the many faces of evils we could face is IMHO the only plan that will get one to the other side. Also I am prepare to fight for liberty too as needed.

    • Of Course, I would be remiss If I didn’t chime in and mention the authority and original modern text on Surviving In Place–http://www.surviveinplace.com/index-3-13.php. A Failure of Civility may be a good book…I haven’t read it. I do know that the majority of the “survival” and “preparedness” books/courses/reports that came out after mine are complete and total crap that are written as book reports rather than as first hand knowledge and experience. There are a few obvious indications that this one was heavily influenced by my book, but it appears that it is more than an over-hyped book report and that the authors either know their stuff or worked with people who do.

  15. I have been living in my ideal bug out place for over 20 years. I felt I was led here. It’s in a very rural county of a little over 35,000 in western NC. Our farm is 30 minutes outside of a small town and located in a hidden “cove”. The mountain people here are unique. They don’t take quickly to strangers, are independent and stubborn. When I moved here, I remember telling my old friends it was like “moving back in time”. Of course it has changed as people have moved here from all over. But I’ve traveled all over the US. There is nowhere like here… We are where we will be…

    • I agree with others. Those who think they can stay where they are, and “bug out” when the SHTF and live off the land are in for a very big fatal surprise. I’ve been studying this and learning how to live off the land for 20 years. This is a lifestyle. You can’t just pick it up overnight. There will be countless multitudes trying to do the same thing. Living off the land takes year round work, most of which is done a year in advance. For example, you cut your wood and store it in the dry a year in advance. I run into people all the time that think; you cut a tree, spit it and burn it… Ha. You grow and preserve your food a year in advance. I laugh every time I see those commercials for “survival seed banks”… like you could somehow get instant food from them if something happened. Even if an emergency happened at the optimum time to plant those seeds, you are months from a harvest. Again, this is a lifestyle that must be put into practice far before anything happens.

      • Bonnie, we live in the Dallas metroplex. My husband and I live from paycheck to paycheck as far as finances go, because both our Moms are in Nursing Homes we carry the financial responsibilities of their needs. We do have a food, water, medical and other supplies if God forbid and EMP or terrorist attack of some kind happens….BUT, we are in the city. We rent an apartment and know if Martial Law or an attack happens we are stuck in the big city because all rodes would be lined up for miles or no one allowed out! What would you suggest for us. Where would the closest SAFE area be for us? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you. Mary

        • James McDonald says:

          As the old saying: “Plan for the worst, Hope for the best, Settle for something in-between!” Having wind-up radios, flashlights, a stove(alcohol) or candles for cooking. Just do a little bit each month. I am on disibility and have very limited income, so when I buy some of the wind-up flashlights ($1.87 each) I get some extra and sell them for $5.00 each! This helps to pay for some of my gear. Just by doing a little bit each month you will build up a stock. As my friend told me “being 60% ready is better than 0%!” How right he is!

      • What is SHTF and IMHO? Thanks

    • Thank God there’s lots of great places like Western NC, all across the land…..especially in rural Texas, OK, WY, Mo, Mont, ND, SD, Ark. AK, ID, La, etc……just need to meet up with like minded folks in the area of your choice, join the community and be ready to defend your loved ones from wherever you are, when the time comes…..

  16. Joseph L M says:

    Well- So far What I have read from the other comment worries me , many of the prepper have in there minds that they will move to the country and live off the land and hunt for food . Well when the SHTF how many city people will be heading for the country side to hunt for game or invade the farms thinking farm people will have tons of food and the country side will have unending supplies of wild life to shoot at. I guess what I am saying you need numbers to survive , people you can trust – they must have skills to keep things going.
    I wish I could move , my ideal place is home – no choice we are going to hunker down ,do the best we can, most of my neighbors are drugs dealers , heavy drinkers and losers the rest are elders with very little resources. For the most part druggies and drinkers will leave the area thinking they could get what they need from people that looks like they have money in richer neighborhoods or out in the country side, if they don’t kill each other first. My group was twenty people last year we lost two this year to flu down to eighteen now – need to remember if SHTF and you have elders remember stress alone will kill a lot of them along with the common flu or even a colds.
    Thank David for this Article , you have given ideals that I can work with.

    • James McDonald says:

      My great-grand-father told us tales of game almost being hunted to extinction during the Great Depression! There is not enough game to feed everyone (not even counting those who have never hunted/trapped) and the cleaning of what you just killed. Most people have never ever cleaned an animal for eating! I am lucky that my wife is a S.F. Veteran and grew up in Colorado, where her mother and father had chickens, ducks etc. So she has cleaned and de-fearthered and so many don’t have a clue. All those farmers are not going to let the city people stomp all over their farms and clean them out! It will be a all-out fight!!

  17. The south is where it’s at: More conservatives, more guns, more patriots, more friendly, warmer weather for growing food, less government intrusion. We live in Texas, there are many rural spots here that would do well, you just have to have a good water source, about 5-10 acres per person, and not live too far from a town (within 5-10 miles of a small town of over 10K). So if Yawl are conservative, love freedom, work hard (no handouts!), love God, your neighbors, and your country, know how to shoot, eat meat, and have true grit, come on down and move here, we’d love to have you! (PS riding a horse and wearing boots is optional!) :)

    • I have started looking for a relocation spot in Texas. We are currently in VA. We want the things you list above. I grew up on a farm in ARK. My husband served a term in the Navy, so we both can shoot. :-) Our kids are grown. We want this to be a permanent location for us with enough room that the kids could come when the SHTF. We want woods with enough acres cleared to have a good size garden and a pond. My husband works from home so as long as there is internet we can move there.
      I want a place no more than 1 1/2 hours from an airport.
      The hardest part in finding the right spot for me is also knowing that it has a strong Bible believing church and friendly / hard working community. I want to live in a rural spot but don’t want to be a hermit. Real Estate can be found online, this other info is hard to find just from web searches. I am hoping it won’t take too long

      • East Texas is heavily wooded–pines & deciduous, also has lots of lakes. If you want a big airport, you may want somewhere north of Houston. We are in far N.E. Texas, about an hour from Shreveport, LA–which has a smallish airport & 3 hours east of DFW. We are in the woods several miles outside a town of 2500. I also work from home over the internet. Our best internet option outside of town is DSL–which can be slow but it’s working okay for me–especially early morning. Had the DSL for several years now. You might look up “dedicated internet”, which is mainly for businesses (pricey tho’). On churches, you may have to shop around. Ours is very friendly. Our church families share produce from their gardens as well as garden know-how & even eggs. We’re glad & blessed to be here.

        • East/Northeast of the “pine curtain” (Sam Houston National Forest) is an awesome area. It’s too backwoods for a L O T of city people in Texas, but I love it and there are some great opportunities for self reliant communities.

          • Dave do you believe when the SHTF that someone working in Dallas will be able to get to their east Texas bug out place? Just say Dallas was hit with a suitcase bomb at a government site or DFW airport and there was mass confusion, deaths, etc. Do you think we would be able to get out of the metroplex or allowed to hit Hwy 80?
            What do you do and how do you prepare? I really don’t know what to do! Thanks for your response.

    • Dee what are the best areas in Texas to prep and survive? Thank you.

      • Not Dee but glad to help. All depends on what you are looking for. East part of the state has woods & lakes. East part is also very humid. Middle North of the state (DFW area) is rolling prairie land. Very middle (Austin area) is called Hill Country. As you get West of DFW you’ll start seeing cactus, mesquite trees and then dry desert. I recommend East side.

    • Texas is a wonderful place, at least in the minds of Texans. Texas has a population (at last count that I saw) of 24 000 000 plus people. Most of them live 100 miles east or west of I 35. Texas also is riddled with the illicit drug community trafficking north, east & west from Mexico. Texas also has a HUGE illegal alien population, mostly from Mexico. Texas is no longer the land of wonderment of the past. If your thinking of tacking up the sign GTT (gone to Texas) & setting up a retreat out in the “out back” good luck, cause cousin you have no idea what comes next. My family first arrived in Texas in 1828, so I know a little bit about Texas.

      • Yes, my family’s been here about that long too and it has changed. I agree that there are probably a lot of illegals in the Dallas/Ft Worth area (I-35 runs down thru the middle of the state for those that don’t know). I lived in DFW for 23 years. During that time I never had bad experiences with them. I could not tell you who is legal & who is not–and would never ask. When we travel the interstates, we often see people transporting cars & know those cars are being delivered to Mexico (assume legally but don’t know). I’m currently in East TX where I grew up, a good distance from any interstates & very happy. Also lived in Midland/Odessa—desert, sand storms, we were told don’t drink the water; Abilene—very nice if you live in town, lots of churches & 3 Christian colleges.

    • Climates will change after the pole shift. The Zetas (www.zetatalk. com) predict a shift of 84 degrees, with the new North Pole being offshore some distance from the eastern (current direction) point of Brazil, and the new South Pole being some distance south (current direction) of India. The east coasts of North America and South America will become cold, like Canada is now. The new equator will run from the Bering Strait down thru the Pacific — which will compress so that New Zealand will be offshore Chile — across Antarctica, up across the western (current direction) coast of Africa, and across the Arctic. The west coasts of North America and South America will become tropical or sub-tropical but will sustain much damage. Within the USA, the best area for future climate AND safety is the Mountain Time Zone — but avoid large cities.

  18. We are trying to figure this out ourselves. We want something a gas tank’s drive away from here. We love our current home, but it appears that Texas State government is more forward-looking and citizen-friendly than our own. On the other hand, our neighbors have known us for twenty years, are genuinely sensible and helpful, and intend to shove back if it comes to that. Our home has many features that make it safe and comfortable. Praying for wisdom. I have no idea what to do.

  19. LK EPPINGER says:

    I look forward to more info on location(s) for permanent relocation. I have lived on and operated farms and ranches my entire life (68 years), it is not reasonable for those that have no experience to expect to move to the country and expect to survive, let alone thrive. My ranch is located 13 miles from the nearest grocery (very, very small) and 50 miles to the nearest Walmart. Personally I would not have it any other way. I do have one thing about my ranch that I do not like, the lane from a US Hwy is only about 1/3 of a mile from my home. I would prefer to be at least 2-3 miles from any paved road.
    I have degrees in animal science, horticulture and business so along with my life-long experience in agriculture I feel that we would continue to prosper no matter what. Also I have 5 years military combat experience (Infantry Officer).
    To survive in a very rural location, it is necessary to have so many talents ( equipment repair and use, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, animal health, chemical use and application, seed selection appropriate to the locale and many, many more items of ability and knowledge that
    takes a life time of experience, use and study to acquire).
    So even not considering the tactical side of the equation, I feel that it would not be prudent for many (probably less than 1% of) people to relocate to very rural situations.
    Just my thoughts and observations,

    • AMEN! The more rural and self reliant you become, the more roles you need to fill, plates you have to keep spinning, and the work never slows down.

      Heck…just cutting, hauling, splitting, stacking, hauling, and burning wood is a year round job that you don’t have if you live in a city or use electric heat. Don’t get me wrong, I love it (usually) and get energized from it, but it’s work that never goes away.

      Add in basic maintenance of decks, utilities, fences, walls, etc. and you’ve got another year round job.

      That being said, there are those who the lifestyle resonates with and for those people (like us) there seems to be a continual draw to get further and further away from the hustle and bustle of big city life.

      • People think they can just move to the country and all will be well. But, there are a lot of unspoken rules to observe like painting your fence post purple to keep hunters off your land and there is not an abundance of wild game to be had either. And when you shoot a gun to kill a dear, a gun is quite noisy, if you are trying to hide out a little bit. So is cutting wood for fire. Out in the country, you can hear for miles when all is quiet or it happens to snow. We live a mile from the highway leading to a large town and we think people will drive out of the city and down our black top road for a mile just to kill the area farmers beef cattle for their dinner. Think hard about this. There are many unknowns. It might be a best place, but give some thought to it.

    • I agree. I grew up in the country where we raised our own vegetables and fruit. So I learned both canning and freezing. We had our own cow so we had plenty of fresh milk and I learned how to make butter. There is a whole lot of truth to what LK says. We weren’t remote like he is and it was hard. Since then I have continued to grow some of my own vegetables, some places more and present less. Soils make a whooping big difference as to what is necessary to grow a successful garden so you better learn about the local soil where you are going. I am currently in an area of gray gumbo clay. You don’t grow much in it so am learning more about small space above ground gardening. Open to any tips towards more productive yields. So far mine have been minimal.

    • This is a very intelligent approach to the question of departing our current residence.
      I grew up in a small community and learned many survival skills and other skills such as repairing motors, building, welding and other talents. I could live anywhere as I’m a trainer and work all over the west. I would prefer to live in an area where there were a few more conservative people but many of my friends are conservative. The most important factor is being able to join other people of like minds. We will need to watch out for each other and provide protection for one another.

    • Yep.

      There’s really two scenarios here-

      1. Something bad happens and “the government” is able to restore order in 2 weeks to 2 months. After that, food, water, power, medicines will be gone and the interconnected system of logistics to restore them will be dependent on two many critical nodes that are simply broken, to restore them for some time. Stock up for two months of food, water, supplies, and hunker down with friends, if you can, to defend what you have, is your best bet. IE: bug-in.

      2. Something really bad happens, and it takes two years to restore some measure of community in regions or communities that have enough human resources pulling together to survive, off the land, and resources gathered up after people fight over the remains for the next year or so. There are very few places like this in the US, and if you read “One Second After” you can get some idea of how unlikely it will be that you will be accepted in, if you arent already part of it.

      My family has farmed three generations. Its a lifestyle and some of the hardest work ever. If you dont have the skills, tools, supplies, and physical stamina to get up before dawn and work 18 hours a day out in the weather for weeks, then you better have some other very useful lifeskills or supplies to barter.

      Bugging Out. If you dont somehow get the word before 95% of the rest of the population, you will be too late and stuck in the crowd of everyone else panicking.

      When the power goes out, ATMs, EBT cards, gas stations, and most stores will be out of business. The stores will be empty in 24 hours, if not sooner, and you will be taking your life in your hands fighting looters over the remainder, if you aren’t first in line.

      Getting out of major metro areas will be a non-starter – in my Socal area, people were driving on sidewalks after the power being out for a couple hours, and about to panic, after 12 hours.

      In true, no $hit situation, where everyone decides to run for the door at the same time, the roads will be clogged and in another 24 hours, people stuck in their cars will be fighting amongst themselves. In two weeks the jammed freeways will be a disease ridden area full of corpses you wouldnt even want to pass by on foot, bikes, or in your FWD vehicle going down the median, if you could.

      If you aren’t already bugged out before it hits, you will be caught in the crowds. Just look at Katrina, Fukushima, Haiti, etc, and imagine it lasting a couple weeks without any help from the govt. Because FEMA and the National Guard CANT deploy everywhere, and even if they could make it to two or three major cities, where do you think they will go?

      DC, NY, SF? Do you want to be there under martial law? Taking handouts in a camp filled with un-healthy, un-prepared, un-cooperative people/criminals?

      My guess is the survival rate after 2 years will be about 10%.

      • You left off scenario 3: the government as we know it never gets back, and we remain in a 19th century environment.

        Of course, no one can prepare for every eventuality– you just have to do the best you can with what you have. The best weapon is knowledge, so continue to educate yourself and your family in how to survive. That includes being able to shoot straight, find edible plants in the forest, how to preserve food, how to run a generator, how to repair a vehicle, how to find a job, how to invest money, arithmetic, and how to worship (not least), just to mention a few. A survival library is one of the first things you should assemble (and one of the cheapest).

    • To Stargazer and fellow rurals:
      Would it be reasonable for someone who would prefer the country setting, to team up with folks like you and LEARN how to work it from you? If your a healthy 68, God bless you, but how long can you really do it all? Pass the wisdom to willing next generations? Even if we just want a small homestead (not a full blown ranch/dairy etc) your experience would be invaluable.

      BTW Great discussion forum topic, David!

  20. Stargazer says:

    Good Morning.
    When making the decision to purchase a relocation/retirement property my wife and I considered the following factors:

    Culture; laws and customs of the people. We are both “southerners” and have experienced living in “the north”. We felt we would be best suited to live in a rural southern environment

    Climate;. We considered the temperature and rainfall that would best support a life style of subsistence farming.

    Size of the property; Minimum of 10 acres maximum of 40 acres. This was limited by the ability of two people to supply the labor necessary to “keep up” the house, barn, fences and land.

    Location; within 10 miles of a town (preferably a county seat), located with a frontage on a county maintained gravel/dirt road at least one mile from a paved road about 5 miles from the town.

    We bought 15 acres south east of Yellville, AR in Marion County. We kept our home on the island in Jacksonville Beach, FL.
    A word of caution; Transplants are no always accepted into a rural community right away. It will take time and effort to find your “place” in a rural community. We found it useful to be members of the VFW, the Cattlemen’s Association, have a local checking/savings account, subscribe to the local news paper, retain a local attorney and be a member of the local church. We did these things 25 years before we planned to move there and it paid off well. We witnessed several cases where “Johnnie come lately’s” were not accepted by the local residents.
    I don’t presume to dictate to others, just offer my experiences to those who would be interested.
    May God save the Republic!
    Yours in Liberty,
    Oath Keeper

    • Hey Stargazer,

      We’ve noticed that a big factor on whether or not transplants are accepted is their desire to become a local vs. change the town.

      As an example, in some places in the Pacific Northwest, Californians have a common pattern of buying up 5-20 acre wooded lots, clearing out LOTS of trees to get more sunlight, planting big water hungry grass yards, planting the plants and trees that they loved from LA/SD/SF, failing miserably, and then letting the property go into foreclosure and moving into town. Once they move to town, this stereotypical transplant gets politically active and pushing entitlements, more restrictive zoning, and other measures that centralize power and try to turn great mountain towns into the cities that they were so quick to leave.

      There ARE a lot of transplants who move from big cities and don’t try to impose their ways on their new rural neighbors, but the ones who refuse to “take the city out of the girl” when they “take the girl out of the city” just cause unnecessary stress to themselves and everyone around them.

      All of that to say, if you’re considering moving to a rural area, make sure you get as much of the city out of you as possible and become as much of a local as possible (in your mind) before you even move.

      • Extremely well said David. It’s been several years since I moved. If that old city girl pops up, I’ve learned to laugh at that part of myself. My neighbors and church friends have been wonderful at teaching me new things. They know I respect their expertise.

      • I moved 300 miles from one small town to another. I’ve been there ten years. Some of the longer locals, still don’t consider me a local… But i cast a large shadow, so they don’t give me a hard time either.

  21. I was born and raised in Iowa. I live in Nebraska now that I’m married. I live in a community of 13,000. While there is a small entitlement population, most families work, and work hard. Across the river in Iowa is a city of 75,000. There are only 2 bridges that cross the river. Those would limit the flow of people out of the city as the major interstate is a North/South route.

    We have very good gun laws compared to Iowa. We are allowed all types of restricted weapons, while Iowa allows none.

    We are home school friendly and have been for a long time. Iowa has just recently allowed home schooling.

    Our tax rate is lower on everything except for fuel and new vehicles. No problem there.

    Utilities are cheaper here than Iowa.

    My family moved from the small community about 5 miles to a home we had built for us. Its a 4000 sq. ft. Lightform home. We now live in a small housing area in the country. 24 homes on 3 streets. Each home has an acre lot. We have a small private airport to the west and an auto salvage yard to the south. No new development in those directions. To the north, are farm fields right up to the banks of the river. Not much will be going there either.

    I have rural water but will be putting in a shallow well sometime soon. REC supplies the electricity. I’m not sure what type of backup I’ll put in for that. Natural gas heat with a wood burning fireplace (87% efficient) as a back up already in place.

    We have a small camp, 120 acres, just a mile from us. The manager and I are in scouting together. My family and I would be welcome there, as would the other adult leaders.

    Another 45 miles away I have access to 500 acres of woodlands. A close friend and I have set up a couple of campsites to use on weekends. We’re making them more of a long term campsite and hopefully year round ones next spring.

    • Go Huskers! You’ve got to be a hearty soul to live in Nebraska/Iowa. I grew up in the midwest and the last year I was there we had 30 days straight with single digit or lower temperatures followed by another 30 days where it never got above freezing. That doesn’t sound too crazy for Alaska, but the cold always seemed a lot colder to me when there weren’t mountains within eyesight.

  22. David,
    You have hit on a struggle that my wife and I have dealing with for about two years. We have a cabin in the mountains that needs work to be completely self-sufficient. We can only do so much, supporting a home in a small city and working on a cabin. We do not consider either place to be our ideal location. We have identified an ideal location that is about 200 miles from family, friends, and church. Our kids are having kids, so we are new grandparents and it would be very difficult to leave the kids and grandkids. Besides, our kids need our help because they don’t have the resources to prepare, so we are taking on that responsibility for a family of seven.

    We want to move to the ideal location. We feel that the ideal location would be best in the SHTF. The area is self-sufficient including people who are fully capable of living off-the-land. As a matter of fact, the location is very close to one of those listed in your article. The location would also serve us quite well if everything is okay. It is close to everything we want to do: hunting, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

    Something else, our church is where we are now. This is a very good church that teaches Christians to be actively involved in politics. We teach preparedness and tactical firearms training at the church. Kind of hard to leave.

    Anyhow, I’m sure we are not the only ones with this choice.

    • Medic Mom says:

      We have the same type of issue with our grandchildren, who are a little older but regularly in our home while their parents work. We are all intertwined but they support our efforts to find a more hospitable location. They have stated they would be willing to move with us if we can get to an area where there are opportunities for jobs. That has really helped us get ready to take a road trip and find what we want. We know the general area we are considering but all these points people are making we have thought about also. For us my husbands health requires a more temperate climate than the frigid winters in the Dakota’s. That being said, I can’t think of a better place to wait out SHTF times than here. We have a small population of hardy people who are aligned with hard work, agriculture, conservative values and hands off government. And add in the fact that real estate values here are low enough to make it very affordable to get exactly what you want. If you don’t care about mountains, or trees. We had been considering an organized prepper community but I’m not sure we’re the type to go gung ho. We just want to get out of the way and keep our family safe. I grew up in Oregon but since we have left the state of the PNW seems to be much more liberal, with entitlement mentality huge. I don’t think it’s the place I want to live with my grandchildren where people proudly admit to live sex shows, open witchcraft practices and other perverse and dangerous attitudes. Now on the other hand, we spend a lot of time in Wyoming and find it to be just about right.

  23. I live in Western Canada so do not share all the concerns that are experienced by US readers. But the primary concern is present: potential societal breakdown following an economic collapse. IMHO, all other potential threats are secondary to this one.

    My first choice would be to depart this country and live in one of several South American countries. The language hurdle is there but that could be overcome with effort and time. Cost is a consideration as are family relationships. The primary advantages would be a warm climate, ready local food supply and less intrusive government (not universally applicable to all S.A. countries, of course).

    Chances are I will have to remain in Canada. I live in a new development within a small town of 3000 people. We are somewhat exclusive to the town, the development constructed surrounding a small lake (of potable water). When I considered possible defense of this community, it was obvious that a cooperative, coordinated and integrated defense could be readily affected: we have a pathway that encircles the lake, not visible from the town proper. My next door neighbor is police officer with specialized skills (not the frequently encountered goon type) and a good family man. We have several other police officers in our community: at least these guys (theoretically) know how to establish order or if necessary, pull a trigger! (My philosophy is that if you are not prepared to defend you assets after a societal breakdown, you WILL lose them).

    Nobody except my wife and I is a prepper in our small community. Consequently, though I have a nuclear family of four, I continue to supplement our food supplies and plan to provide for up to ten people for a year, twenty for six months. That is the cost of cooperative relationship, one must be prepared to assist others in the community.

    Trying to talk to folks in my immediate neighborhood is a waste of time. No one is prepared to confront a worst possible scenario: they are passive and in denial. I have an alternative bug-out option using my remote cottage but that is a completely different scenario.

    • In the last 5 years I have seriously considered Central and South America, Belize and Chili in particular ‘sound’ to be more Liberty minded than my home country has become. But, to keep my business alive, I need to stay near the US southern shore and thus concentrating on homestead capable acreage slightly north of I-10.

  24. My Ideal location? I tend to care too much about others so I would prefer to be away from the main and be more like a hermit.
    Long thought over the years leads me to the East side of the Northern Cascades as it is a little drier than the West side.
    Good hunting, cool temperatures, with proper prep the outdoors there can be used as a refrigerator. The ideal location would have a water drop of at least 100 feet for hydro electric generation and flowing water. The East side has better solar power prospects. During the winter there is wind that can also be used. I would utilize all three into my power system.
    The home would need to be well insulated, preferably squared up logs, 18-24″ thick, wired for 12 volt led lighting (or 24 volt). There are high efficiency 12 volt freezers and refrigerators available. A wood burning cook stove for heat (Alder tends to be plentiful at least on the west side and is an excellent fire wood, slits easy when wet or dry -not in between though- with broad leaf Maple for overnight)
    What would be lacking is greens, so a geodesic dome green house with an aquaponics system for greens and fish. If properly sized, it could be used to heat the house also and reduce firewood requirements.
    A large library for the winter, with satellite internet using a mailbox for billing.
    Enough acreage to be invisible from the road and lumber growth, Alder grows like a weed an 5 acres of Alder should be enough to keep you warm permanently.
    I would add a biogas generator also, located in the geodesic greenhouse to provide methane for cooking.
    I may never get my ideal location.



  26. I have a 47 acre place ,12 acres of fields rest timber ,5000 acre lake 1/4 mi. away , property borders 200 acres elect co-op land. Plenty of wild life and fish in area. regional hospital 20 min, drive, univesity hospital one hr, drive.Small 2 bedroom cabin all electric could be heated with buk inserted fireplace. Small pole barn old ford tractor plus 3pt. attachements for farming and car port for additional cover. This where I plan to go when then shtf or to use to support my family. My concerns are people and/or the government? Any have any suggestions?

  27. I personally moved to my permanent location 6 years ago, in the only very hilly area in Louisiana, very heavily wooded, with enough clear land for a couple acre garden, a creek that runs clear most of the year. Also within an hour drive of a major city. Plenty of various wildlife (food) if and when I need it, rabbits, squirrels, white tail deer, a small mostly sustainable 3 room cabin. Lots of room for stored food water and petroleum products. Of course defenses and it’s easily defended except from the air, and I don’t know of anyplace that can be safe from that. Anything short of an actual army attack, I feel mostly safe, thanks best of luck to all

  28. David,

    Thanks for allowing people like me to take advantage of your knowledge and research, and your generosity in sharing it with us. As a father of 4 and a small farm/ranch owner, I spend alot of time planning and wondering “what if?”.

    I am writing you today not to see my comments on your site, but to mention something that you may want to consider posting about (you probably already have, and I have just missed it). But to sum it up, many of us have pets, whether it is the little lap dog companion or the herd guardian or something in between. Common sense would tell us that we need to consider the necessity of having pet food put away in case of a bad situation, but virtually all animals have medical needs to be met. Over the years, I have become a very self sufficient (as much as possible) person and this includes treating all my animals, pets, livestock, etc myself. And I guess what I am trying to say is broken down into two things: 1) most routine animal needs can be taken care of by the owner, including administering vaccinations, rabies, antibiotics, etc and 2) there are very econimical and practical alternatives to running to the vet every month for routine services.

    Over the years, I have utilized many “home remedy” resources and have saved a ton of money and inconvenience by avoiding the vet, yet maintaining my animals with all basic medical needs. The down side: many of the products readily available require refridgeration (this is also true of the supplies used at the vet’s office) but so long as they can be kept at a safe temperature, they are a logical part of anyone’s planning and preperations.

    If you would like any specific details on the products I use to prevent heartworms, treat infections, flea treatment on dogs, vaccinations, etc, I would be more than glad to share my info with you.

    Take care,

  29. mark smith says:

    My current requirements for relocating.
    •Take Family Choice Survey
    •Conservative Neighborhood, not Liberal Democrat
    •Not in Flood Risk Area
    •Not in Tornado Alley
    •Not in Hurricane Region
    •Within 30 miles of a Trauma I Medical Center
    •Within an hour of airport
    •Avg. temp between 30 – 90
    •Extreme Temp not below 0 degrees
    •Hardiness Area 7 or above
    •Max snowfall between 20 – 40 inches
    •Lower Unemployment Rate
    •Min 16 acres of relatively flat and tillable land
    •If 16 acres has a house
    •Within 55 min of work
    •Must have water and water rights
    •Must have mineral rights deed must be clear
    •Within 45 min of a real town with a least one upscale restaurant
    •Cell phone coverage
    •Allow ponds
    •Zoned for multiple buildings
    •Zoned for residential buildings
    •No pollution up wind
    •No active railroad tracks within hearing range
    •Within 60 min of quilt store
    •Not within hearing range of major highway
    •Pass Pert test for septic
    •Natural gas available
    •No outside entity with right of way on property
    •Not near high power lines
    •Must be dark at night
    •Not on a schools major bus route
    •Not within 5 miles of animal farm
    •Must be south facing
    •Firearm friendly

    • Mark,

      Agree with many items. As retirees we have a shorter list: conservative Christian neighbors, a firearm friendly state, a hospital nearby, on-site year-round stream or creek with water rights, at least 20 acres wooded (wouldn’t mind 40) and another 5 tillable/pasture acres with fruit trees, high elevation above sea level, low-density population, a well-stocked hardware store and few if any zoning restrictions; of course a house, a barn and outbuildings.

      • Take a look at Eastern Tennessee, which also has no income tax and low cost of living. And for personal survival, 5 acres of mixed woods and pasture would probably suffice. Good luck.

    • Floyde Adams says:

      You pretty much describe where we live in SW NM. All factors considered, it is pretty hard to beat our area. Especially anything concerning weather. We live at 6200 ft. elevation. Visibility usually exceeds 60 miles or so. The sky is almost always severe clear. Our snow fall is seldom over 3-4 inches and melts right away. Snow shovel…what is that. Our water comes from a deep well and is the best tasting water anywhere. If we can see 3 cars at the same time we think we have a traffic jamb! We have no traffic lights. Good paved NM state highway about 1 mile away. At night (when the Moon isn’t bright) one can see the Milky Way and even the Great Rift. No noise at night. No noise during the day either. Neighbors reasonable close but not too close. We have access to excellent medical facilities about 45 minutes away. Walmart same distance. Very low property taxes (relatively speaking). In our case, we generate all our own electricity. We have paid $0.00 for energy since 2009. We burn waste oil for all our heating needs (approved boiler). All in all, I can’t imagine anywhere I would rather bug out to. We have done many things to make our home far more impregnable than most. And I am a DAMN good shot. If hordes were to arrive (which I doubt because we are too far from major cities) it would be very expensive for the attackers before they got us. I sincerely hope none of these bad scenarios occur…but if they do, we are much better prepared than 99% of the general population.

    • google Dulce Underground and UFOs

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