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There are many different disasters that would be catastrophic to the United States. An EMP attack that causes the power grid to collapse, a huge natural disaster, or a complete economic collapse far worse than the Great Depression are just three such disasters that would take years to recover from.
What many people fail to realize, however, is that it won’t be the disaster itself that kills the most people. While it is true that the EMP strike would cause planes to fall out of the sky and cars to crash into one another, and while it’s also true that a natural disaster could claim thousands of lives instantly, it’s what happens after an apocalyptic disaster that would cause most of the deaths.
With communications, food, water, and other necessities all cut off instantly, once ordinary people will do desperate things in order to survive. Hunger and starvation, dehydration and lack of water, and people killing one another savagely for basic necessities are what would claim the most lives.
Nowhere in the United States is going to be truly safe or immune from a disaster on a grand scale. However, some states will certainly be less safe than others, and we’re going to discuss what those states are and why they are more unsafe than others.
Here are the top five worst American states to be in during a collapse, presented in alphabetical order:
Here’s a state that you’re probably surprised to see on this list, especially when you consider Alaska (known as the Last Frontier) is supposed to be a safe haven for survivalists. There’s no denying that Alaska has many factors that would initially make it seem like a good place to be in during a disaster.
For one thing, it’s sparsely populated and its few urban areas are not anywhere near as populous as cities like New York or Los Angeles. It also has an abundance of natural resources such as timber and wild game.
But at the same time, Alaska has many negatives. For one thing, it’s very earthquake prone due to the fact that it’s situated along the West Coast. It’s also cut off from the lower 48 states, so imports of basic supplies and necessities will come to a screeching halt in the midst of disaster with no hope of resupply (gasoline and oil are arguably the biggest of these).
There’s no denying that Alaska is one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. But at the same time, it has serious cons that should make you seriously reconsider it as a bug out location.
You might as well put the whole West Coast under this one, which is incredibly vulnerable to earthquakes and is very densely populated. Those densely populated cities like San Francisco, San Diego, or Los Angeles are not just bad places to be in an earthquake. They are also prime EMP or nuclear targets for our enemies.
Furthermore, California’s economy is incredibly fragile with very high debt. It’s arguably the most prone to an economic collapse over any other state. This is on top of the very high cost of living, taxes, and regulations in the state as well.
All in all, the West Coast is definitely not somewhere you want to be during a disaster, but California will be even more dangerous than Washington and Oregon.
You can probably already guess one reason why Florida is on this list: hurricanes. It’s no secret that Florida is very prone to hurricanes, but even that hasn’t stopped retirees from flocking to the Sunshine State as a warm tropical haven.
Sure, Florida is a very attractive state, but it’s still far too overburdened with negative factors to be considered a good state to be in during a disaster. On the contrary, it’s one of the worst. Miami is a very large city and could be a prime target of a nuclear or EMP attack. The population in Florida is also very dense (it’s surpassed New York) and the crime rate is high.
In addition, most of Florida is already under sea level, which is dangerous should ocean temperatures ever seriously rise. Overall, you would be advised to not consider Florida as a bug out retreat.
Hawaii is on this list for many of the same reasons that Alaska is: it’s cut off from the rest of the United States and therefore will also be cut off from shipping and imports during a disaster. As an added con, Hawaii already has less overall resources than Alaska.
Hawaii is also a goldmine of military bases that will be prime targets in the event of a global war. Unless you can get out beforehand on a ship or an airplane, you’re essentially stranded in an archipelago out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with no serious way of getting out.
If Hawaii serves one purpose, it’s a vacation place to make happy memories. But it’s certainly not a place to go to outlast a disaster.
5. New York
Last but not least, we come to New York. The East and West Coasts are both highly and densely populated, and the city of New York itself is going to be a prime target for our enemies.
New York also shares many cons with California: the high cost of living, high taxes and regulations, a high crime rate, strict firearms laws, heavy traffic, and so on.
Granted, not all of New York is so bad. Much of the northern part of the state is very rural and teeming with natural resources. Still, you’re in very close proximity to the city, and refugees will undoubtedly be flooding north towards Canada, so you’re still not that safe anyway.
Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, and New York will be the five least safe states to be in during a major nationwide disaster. As an alternative, you would be wise to check out the states in the Great Plains or the Rocky Mountains instead.
While those areas certainly have their cons as well (remember that no state is truly safe), they are still much safer than the five states we’ve just gone over.
North Florida is the best, warm in winter, fresh water under feet and few nuclear power plants, the real long term killers.
Thank you! I live in North Florida. Having moved from Michigan to Florida 24 years ago . So tired of the gloomy outcast towards it. We live in cattle country, Our neighbors are cops and a gun shop owner. It’s gonna be scary everywhere. Even Wyoming for some reason we don’t even know of if things go crazy.
I Reeves says
“…most of Florida is already under sea level”…really? I have lived here almost all my life and all I can say is that this an incredibly stupid statement. So much so, I can’t take the article or author seriously.
This is about the dumbest list I’ve ever seen. Every square foot in the world can potentially have a “natural” disaster. We’re talking about a scenario that causes society to collapse, not places to avoid because they “might” have a natural disaster. There are a few basic rules that preppers follow should the worse happen and society falls apart. The number one rule is to stay far away from major population centers. Those areas are completely reliant on goods being trucked to them. If the power grid goes out, cities will see a mass exodus. Roads and highways will be jammed, there will no water and no fuel or food. People with weapons will take supplies from people who aren’t armed, which brings up the second most important rule, own a gun. It doesn’t matter how well you prepare for the worst, if you can’t protect it, all of that preparation will have been for nothing, and you and your family will die. As far as where to go, it’s wide open. The average vehicle can travel 200 to 300 miles on a full tank of gas. Once that’s gone, people will have trouble finding more fuel to travel. Everybody will compete for what little remains. Pick a location at least that far away from a major metropolitan area so the city dwellers can’t easily reach your location in a societal collapse. Besides what I’ve already mentioned, you’ll need a place with plenty of fresh water, and enough like-minded people around who you can barter with for food and supplies. With no electricity, you’ll need wood for heat and cooking, weapons for hunting, and plenty of fresh water to drink. Most preppers write off the east and west coasts, but there are areas on both coasts that are isolated enough, have plenty of rainfall for water and running streams, and they have an endless supply of seafood for survival in addition to wild game, so you don’t have to be a farmer to make it. Do your research carefully. Nobody has all the answers, but a little common sense goes a long way.
Yes; we have illegal aliens living here. But not all of them are violent criminals.
I lived in Houston for over45 years. I went to school and worked with many of them. I was never robbed or assaulted by them.
If the border patrol is so effective; WHY DIDN’T THEY CATCH THEM 50 years ago?
My comments keep disappearing
Dawn Freeman says
Hawaii has “poor soil quality”? What planet are YOU from, OP?!? Hawaii has a wonderful agricultural system and some of the most fertile soil in the planet! And let’s not forget that the Hawaiians were living and flourishing in paradise LONG before white Europeans invaded and brought them diseases that decimated their population.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but you need to put a great deal more research and thought in before espousing yours– especially on topics people may reference for survival.
Kieran Roberts says
The reason Hawaii has such fertile soil is due to volcanoes, most Mauna loa and Kilawea going off every few years.
Elbert Jones says
IF AN EMP IS SUCH AN EFFECTIVE WEAPON; WHY HASN’T ANYONE USED ONE IN A WAR YET?
If the Yellowstone Caldera erupts; it might cause another ICE AGE.
Not all illegal aliens are criminals. CAN YOU NAME ONE STATE WHICH HAS NO ILLEGAL ALIENS IN IT?
steve cullison says
It’s semantics and a nuanced so to speak play on words that all “illegals” AREN’T CRIMINALS! Since they’ve been flooding across the border unchecked for decades you’d be hard pressed to find any place in the US or Canada void of them. And your point other than the sky might be falling if the caldera erupts was?
Illegals ARE criminals by definition.
Just some are criminals BEFORE invading our country illegally.
Come here illegally and you are a criminal.
You need to think a little more about the Alaska as #3. First of all there is a great chance that if the pulse takes place over mid America that it won’t even affect Alaska. Alaska has multiple power grids that are not tied into each other nor the lower 48. We may still have power. Alaska also has plenty of meat. Between Caribou, Moose and Salmon our strategic meat supply would last indefinitely. With power we have oil and gasoline. Every year Alaska is producing more produce and with greenhouses we can grow food for 6 months of the year if not longer counting cooler weather crops. We may not have watermelons but some of the cabbages I have seen will feed a family of 4 for weeks. We also have our own communications networks that are Alaska based. I would be sorry to see my neighborhood moose go but if it comes down to me or the moose we are gonna be eating moose burgers.
Judy Windham Saunders says
After 17 years in Alaska (Anchorage and Fairbanks, where most of the people are) I must say I agree it’s among the worst. Most people focus on food, and yes that’s important. But how do you keep your house livable at -30 to -50 degrees? And if you can’t heat, how can you keep canned goods from exploding (the cans crack when the food is frozen). In a state where one has to keep survival supplies in your car in case of a winter-time accident or flat tire in the best of times, I believe the Cheechako (city dwellers or newbies) death rate would be about 100% the first year in the Interior. Just my opinion. Remember, too, just because there are moose and caribou doesn’t mean a city dweller would know how to kill or dress one out. And, of course, this message is not for native Alaskans in native villages living the native lifestyle. Most folk in AK are not used to that, and even if taken in by an Aleut or Inuit village, the chances of survival would be low.
Danny Mootispaw says
I think you should stay in an area that you are familiar with , but certainly not in a mega city , store shelf’s would be emptied in 24 hours and after that it’s door to door gang raids..the evergaldes will be swarming with desperate people trying to escape the chaos and your life won’t be worth those half dozen 22LR rounds ,, so if your not in or near a major metro area stay in place your know your home turf.
Wondering how VA will fare. We live about 35 miles from VA Beach oceanfront. All military, coast guard, as well as shipyards around. A good 5 hours from Wash. D.C. Not sure we are in the safest place around here. Hurricanes have’t been as bad for us as in other places but you never know how one will hit.
All of Florida is not the same. Sure, South Florida is packed with retirees, the cities are well populated, the elevation is low, and the soil is sand. North Florida, however, is like South Georgia. We are sparsely populated, have hills (actually the foot of the Appalacian mountains is in North Florida), good soil, and a moderate climate, without the swamp producing mosquitos of South Florida. We can grow crops year round and rarely does the temp fall below 30 degrees. We might sweat but we sure won’t freeze. Many places in North Florida are more than 100 miles from any of the military bases, and there are no nuclear power plants in North Florida.
No. 1, without a dought, not a question about what could happen. It’s a question about, what naturaly kills the most, before the collapse??? Mosquitoes! Get out of Florida! From there, I’m having two homes… mid november through february somewhere southern Tennessee or maybe in the smokey mountains. March through october im somewhere southern Ohio/Pennsylvania.
I am late to the conversation. I absolutely disagree with Florida making the list of the top 5. In fact I would place Florida in the 45 to 50 range. Hurricanes are few and far between. They are also easily survived in buildings and homes built properly. As for an EMP strike, no other state has access to fresh water and a year round growing season that can utilized without any power. We in Florida may loose a few pounds. But we will survive in far greater numbers than this article suggests.
I didn’t agree with his comments either. I do think Florida is a bad choice and I live here in the Panhandle. We have military all around us. Where does hurricanes and earthquakes come in to the picture? If we have a EMP or nuclear attack you definitely won’t be safe in populated areas. I’m from Michigan and have thought about the upper peninsula. I would have to get used to the weather again. Fresh water, good hunting and not as populated. The states out west are beautiful but they have a monster brewing underground and it could explode at any time. Remember Mount Saint Helens, it was quite the disaster on a smaller scale. And isn’t there military areas out west? I say go north, as far as you can go. The south is booming now. Good for the weather and jobs. I take that back. Stay here and I will go north. The middle of the country is tornado alley.
H R Holden says
About California; you have forgotten just how big a state CA is. After you remove San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles etc., there is still a whole lot of state left. We have our own oil and the entire center of the state has year round agraculture.
Too many people no matter HOW big your state is. No going back.
Dingleberry donna says
Anything, anywhere west of the Rockies is ABSOLUTLE toast. Cali namely, account of all the illigal aliens,over population, gross human nature,extreme burn outs and very very bad infrastructure. Oregon,in the cities,you guys are toast account of your gross human nature,also illegal aliens,over population, social extremeism And excessively poor civil management skills. Washington state ditto!!
LOL You say the the northern part of NY may be OK because it is rural but that California is bad due to earthquakes. Guess you have never been to Northern California and seen the Sierra Nevada mountains. Also if there is a collapse WTF does that have to due with earthquakes,Hurricanes ect? I guess if we have an economic collapse it will stimulate nature?
Nicholas, Your’e an idiot. Don’t say things like “the 5 American States…” based on a few opinions you selected. Florida, for example, is NOT below sea-level, or the areas below sea-level would be under water… that’s how sea level works. I’m an 8th Generation Floridian… I could tell you the average elevation is 12 feet above sea level (hence, they are dry land) with central Florida (Mount Dora up through Ocala, Gainesville and into the panhandle) being much higher. I have had my roof destroyed by hurricanes (twice). Many years later and after many tours in the US military, I live in a part of Utah that is ideal for what I want. I think I agree with you on Hawaii. But… my point is to do some research and use facts, not just some opinions to “write” an article like this. You make us look like fear-mongers and not the wise, thoughtful folks preppers truly are.
I’m a Florida native. I agree on some points of making Florida #3. Yes our population is pretty packed. Yes our big cities; Miami, Orlando, Tampa along with the Space Center are juicy targets for Terrorist.
As for Hurricanes……BFD. Most hurricanes are weak and just dump rain. As for being at sea level so what. The seas are not going to rise like an Al Gore wet dream. Global Warming/Cooling/Climate Change is a SCAM.
I’m sorry but I live In Florida as well. Now to some degree I understand how they made the list. But for the Same reason those 5 could have been the top 5 as well. I have a sailboat. In any event I can go to about any state or country for that matter…Sooooo…. it all depends on how did you preppare….
i have lived on the gulf coast most of my life. you might as well add the coast line from florida to texas. i am already sick of hearing about cane season and am looking for places further north and west to move to. i have utah in my sights. looks like a good place to me. my parents lived there and always loved it.
Not even close! You cannot simply decide bad SHTF states by foul weather or earthquakes zones…Anchorage is a. Nor hub for cargo…I know I helped build the airport. There is also a fuel production plant in Across the inlet from Anchorage not to mention the oil production in Alaska! Ft. Rich and Elmendorf AFB right there, the Municiple Power uses Natural gas to generate power and has backup units along with Larger utilities. I’m not saying it’s the best place but just listing it because of earthquakes is ludicrous. Not bothering with your info again…waste of time!
Sorry for the errors damn smartphones anyway
Government Mule says
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