Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Through the decades, there have been many who have used the book “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” as a parallel with what is happening here in the United States. I read that book many years ago and could see the signs of eventual destruction all around.
Sadly, things haven’t changed course since then and if anything, we are closer to a total collapse of society than ever before. More and more people are saying that we’re heading for another civil war, one in which left fights against right. Should that happen, it will likely be the end of the United States as we know it.
But as we all know, that’s not the only potential danger we face. The world we live in is dangerous and if anything, it is getting more dangerous, not less dangerous. Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear arms as a means to keep the rest of the world from helping Ukraine puts everyone on the planet in danger.
Even if he’s only talking about “tactical nukes,” a nuclear attack pretty much requires a nuclear response and if other countries don’t have tactical nukes, they’ll respond with strategic ones, escalating the conflict.
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While the likelihood of these, or any other TEOTWAWKI event, is not as great as the next natural disaster, things have reached a point where they can’t be ignored. The likelihood of some bad actor upsetting the applecart and changing life as we know it is just too big to be ignored.
Every year, the chances of a major event causing society as we know it to crumble increases. The riots of 2020 looked like they might grow into it; but that seems to have calmed down, at least for the moment.
Surviving a breakdown of society is different than surviving other disasters, as it pits all of us against each other rather than against some common enemy from nature. As such, it can be much more destructive than any natural disaster, making survival that much more difficult.
The number one problem in such a scenario isn’t going to be coming up with food or water; it’s going to be avoiding the two-legged predators amongst us, as well as avoiding people in general. At the same time, there’s going to be a need to have ready access to resources, which may not be available through the normal channels. This combination makes it hard to find someplace that’s safe to live.
The first thing to do is avoid major population areas. If there’s anything we can be sure of during such a time, it’s that whatever fighting is going on will be concentrated in the major cities. That’s where the major gang activity is, as well as the greatest animosity between diverse groups of people.
At the same time, the ratio of resources to population will probably be worse in those cities; not due so much to there being less resources available, but because of how many people there are.
Here are a few choice places to consider relocating to:
I normally wouldn’t start a list like this with a foreign country, but the fact that so many high-tech millionaires are buying properties in New Zealand caught my attention a few years ago. These people are afraid of a breakdown of society and have collectively decided that the thing to do is build a survival retreat in New Zealand.
Why there? Because it is the most remote, fully modernized society on the face of the Earth. Besides, they’ve got Hobbiton, and who could possibly resist that?
The big advantage of New Zealand is that whatever bad things are happening in the world will probably be slow to arrive there. But that’s not saying that everything will be roses and light.
Gun laws in new Zealand are much more restrictive than they are here in the US, with a requirement to have a permit to own any firearm. I wouldn’t want to count on the police giving me such a permit as a foreigner. So, if the unrest ever reached New Zealand, it would be difficult for anyone to defend themselves.
A Private Island
If you really want some security, owning a private island is the way to go. While there’s always a chance of a small group getting their hands on a boat and attacking you, chances of that happening are much lower than getting attacked in the city.
From an OPSEC (operational security) point of view, an island is just about ideal, making it hard for anyone to see what you are doing and what you have. Gardening and other food-production operations can be hidden from view by a screen of trees.
Surprisingly, there are quite a few private islands located around the coastline of the United States, especially in Maine, New York, Florida, and Washington State. If you go a bit farther north, you can find a lot of islands available off of the western coast of Canada.
Speaking of Washington State, if you move just a bit east of there, you find the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, along with North and South Dakota. These five states are some of the least populated states, by both population and population density, in the entire country.
If you’re trying to avoid people, those are the states to go to. As far as security from those two-legged predators, they’re probably some of the safest places to be.
It’s also worth noting that all five of those states are solid red states, which means that there’s less chance of government interference with your personal rights, especially the Second Amendment. Game is plentiful in those states, especially Idaho and Montana.
Speaking of isolation, Alaska has everyone beat in terms of population, with a population density of 1.3 people per square mile. It’s also a state with abundant game, meaning that it will be an easy place to survive. That is, it will be easy to survive if you can manage to survive the cold. Adjusting to the freezing temperatures of Alaska is a huge challenge.
Interestingly enough, I used to work with an engineer who quit the company and moved to Alaska. This was in the early days of computers and he had written the code for our company’s products. So, he continued working remotely as a consultant, making just as much money and living where he wanted to.
The other good area of the country to live in, if food is a major concern, is the breadbasket. While most of those farms are busy growing grain of some sort, at least they’re growing something. Chances of there being food available are considerably higher than in some place like New Jersey.
One thing to be cautious of is that there are big cities in all those states. So, it’s going to be necessary to avoid those cities. That really shouldn’t be a problem, as there’s plenty of farmland and small communities as well.
If you want an ideal location to move to, try and find yourself a small rural community to live in. That means either working online or finding some sort of work that you can do in that community, but it’s worth it.
I’ve always loved the mountains and for much of my life, my bug out plan was to head into the Rockies. I don’t live close enough now; but if I did, I guarantee you that’s where I’d be heading. While there are population centers in the mountains, they aren’t all that big, and there’s still a lot of land between them. Because of the terrain, it’s fairly easy to hide and there’s an abundance of game to hunt.
The big problem with moving to the mountains is that land is very expensive. That’s not an insurmountable problem, but it is something that has to be taken into consideration. For bugging out, it might be best to use government land, especially if you can find a remote location where forest rangers are unlikely to find you.
Get Out of the City
No matter what you do, get out of the city, even if that means moving to a small rural town that’s only 30 minutes outside the city. The cities will be the worst place to be if society completely crumbles. Just being 20 or 30 miles outside of town can make all the difference in the world.
Let me say here that thanks to COVID, we live in a time when it’s easier to work remotely than ever before. While there are some jobs that can’t be done over the internet, there are many which can be.
If you can manage to get into a field where you can work from home, it makes it much easier to move out of the city and get to that small town I’m talking about or even to buy some land out in the middle of nowhere.
One last place I’d like to mention is Mexico. For the last 20 years, Mexico has been my alternate bug out location. Granted, I have friends there and speak the language, advantages that others might not have. But Mexico is an inexpensive place to live, making it a potentially good choice.
But the big reason that I like Mexico as an alternative location is that the government is poorly organized and prone to bribery. While I’m not particularly fond of bribery, I like the idea that I can go into hiding in Mexico and it is unlikely that the authorities will ever find me.
In fact, I’ve met people who have committed crimes here in the US and were in hiding in Mexico. If it works for them, I imagine it will work for me too.
Don’t bother trying to bring your guns into Mexico, though. If they find you with even one cartridge, it’s a 20-year jail sentence. You can’t get by with anything more serious than a BB gun.
On the other hand, you can legally take blades and bows into Mexico. It’s advisable to get a hunting permit as a reason for bringing a bow with you.
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