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.
There’s no slack in the system. The Green Revolution, our free market capitalist system, and our modern transport network mean we can keep ten or twenty times as many people comfortably fed as a hundred years ago. But if those modern miracles succumb to a civilizational apocalypse, we would have ten or twenty times as many hungry people as in past times of true famine. The results would be ugly. Cannibalism ugly.
This also implies that people thinking they can “live off the land” are in a dream world. Within six months after a true Mad Max catastrophe, every animal larger than a kangaroo rat within our borders would have been shot for food. Our ancestors killed off the passenger pigeon and almost killed all the buffalo with muzzle loaders, back when there were fewer than 100 million of them. Imagine what 300 million hungry people with 200 million modern weapons would do to the fauna of this continent.
Thanks. We do appreciate you experts dropping by with your two cents worth.
Yup. Look what happened after Katrina in some of those little towns on the edge of New Orleans. It wasn't pretty.
If you don't have connections in the place you're going, the best case scenario would be that you'd be permitted to pass through on your way to somewhere else. Worst case, you'd be treated as an invading army by a bunch of good ol' boys who know the terrain and have been hunting man-sized animals since they were little shavers.
So...do you follow his orders or resist him/them?
Russia may be the closest analogy, but they didn’t have near the gang issues and people were used to living with next to nothing and the population centers were nothing like what we have today. This is going to be a whole different rodeo.
It should be plain to see that we are heading (or being driven, depending on your view) toward a economic collapse. Congress doesn’t have the will to cut spending and there is no leadership coming from the White House.
The dollar is falling almost every day and prices are rising, gas is head for $5.00 a gallon and there is no way the economy can’t not bear any tax increases so with out badly need DEEP cuts in spending we are head straight for the cliff.
I see no way we can avoid a crash much like that of Argentinas only MUCH bigger:
You need to remember that as a armed society and one which contains a much more violent crimial and entitlement minded element our collapse is much more likely to be much more violent than Argentinas was/is. I see evidence in the daily news that in many big blue cities you can expect what I call Pocket pogroms will be carried out and if you arent Amish you better be ready to get out and quick!
For more information on living in a collapse economy I strongly suggest that you read Ferfals blog SURVIVING IN ARGENTINA: http://ferfal.blogspot.com
Another good video to watch is: Economic Collapse - Why People Die in Crisis - Normalcy Bias Vs. Situational Awareness
For those who would like to get started preparing my Preparedness Manual is available (THANKS!to eaker)for a free down load at:
“Once it crashes, govts will no longer have the funds to maintain order.”
Economic activity never drops to zero, there is always somebody selling and somebody buying what they are selling. Oil and gas will not just magically disappear, the oil producing nations will always be interested in selling that oil to someone so there will be some energy available that can be used. Also, you had better believe that if people in cities start to get hungry that they will organize and go out and take (tax) what they need from the rural areas. You’ll be paid in worthless paper for you produce or packed off to jail if you refuse (they’ll leave enough for you to survive and plant next years crop so that they can take it again, or if really stupid do what they did in Zimbabwe and give it over to cronies and watch everyone starve to death).
The real danger is that you get some genocidal idiot in a leadership position who decides that there are too many people and starts systematically killing off the undesirables. There’s not much that you can do other than run to another country if that happens. Look at the Ukraine, Cambodia and any number of other places for those types of examples.
Just remember all the past small peaceful civilizations that grew up and thrived. Oh wait, none of those are around because they all got stomped on by someone bigger and more aggressive. Remember that when planning on going out to some small rural community on a small plot of land.
That’s kind of my thinking, that the gov would have it’s hands full just trying to keep some sort of order in the cities and trying to protect high-value assets (power generation plants, command and control facilities, etc),
I doubt they’ll be out harassing J6P who lives on a couple acres 25 miles outside of town.
Around here the locals would resist en masse.
Its not a dislike of police or anything, just naturally independent people who are here because we like to be alone. If it came down to it we could easily block access by road and force anyone to slog in through the swamps, across the streams or across the lake by boat.
I expect the same here.
We've already discussed the road-blocks with some.
OK, I see what you’re saying. We will be in interesting times and it will be a patchwork of order/disorder no doubt.
“Except in this case we’re talking about many small interconnected rural communities and urbanites who don’t have the sense to do more than head down the highway to the next city.”
Think about Sherman’s march, those small interconnected rural communities really did a number on him didn’t they? Nope, sorry you’ll be mowed down like clover.
LOL by a bunch of urban slugs?
Sherman’s march has just about nothing to do with any situation we are considering.
Sherman had over 100,000 men well supported marching through and area where nearly all the men were gone.
Sherman was opposed by a small army without any hope of really stopping him.
A much more realistic comparison would be Mosby’s rangers in Virginia.
“LOL by a bunch of urban slugs?”
Doesn’t matter, this is a numbers game and trust me there isn’t anything magical about rural areas. Put a few thousands guys that are well organized out in the field and they’ll easily mow down the few dozen that any small rural area can muster against them. Plus they’ll have heavy weapons where all you’ve got is small arms. We aren’t talking about gang bangers here, we are talking about what’s left of the middle class in the cities organizing to survive.
My county is pretty rural. We have 35K people here. Even the really rural counties here have 6-8K people each. Many have guns.
Most middle class in the cities have no guns whatsoever. I’m not sure how they are going to get the weaponry you are talking about. You are talking about strangers going from county to county to county without supply lines trying to survive with no familiarity of the terrain. Not exactly a superior position.
If the distribution of food is interrupted, the same thing will happen here.
I’ve seen how urbanites react to difficulties. Many will die while awaiting rescue or in rioting when they realize that rescue isn’t coming, many will die in the escape and those that remain will find a home in the small rural towns that will take them.
The biggest city in my county is around 20,000 people. Half the population fears the country and the others could easily disperse to the small towns where they would be useful.
However a lot of people will head south rather than try to survive a winter.
"And were going to be seeing food shortages in the US in the coming months."
That's going to be a problem for those of us living in Florida. We'll get all the folks who don't 'fit' up there - the ones looking for an easy way...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.