To begin today’s article with a word of wisdom from our sponsor, everything in life is location, location, location.
Joke aside, an interesting issue to be addressed when it comes to prepping is which places are to be avoided after SHTF. The short story goes something like this, I mean this is the preamble: it is very possible for a catastrophic event to take place at some point in one’s life, whether you like it or not; it may be a large scale disaster of sorts, like a nuke strike, or an EMP strike, solar-made or man-made, courtesy of your local-crazy-nuke-armed dictator, or whatever natural extinction-level event, or terrorist attack.
The possibilities are endless.
Now, provided you’ve survived the initial “shock-wave”, you should concentrate your efforts on staying alive for a little bit longer, because, after all, there’s no fun in prepping and stockpiling gear and food and what not, if you’re not going to benefit from your efforts, right? It’s not about “he who dies with the biggest stockpile wins”, the trick is to stay alive, or at least to die last.
Hence, today’s article, which is aimed at trying to help you with the noble endeavor of saving one’s skin in the aftermath of WW3 or whatever catastrophic scenario you could think of.
The Number One Lesson
First world countries, like (parts of) the US, are awesome places to live when everything works fine and dandy. I am not talking about South-Central LA, or diverse neighborhoods in Chicago or Memphis, where crime rates are through the roof, if you know what I mean. The point is that our modern day uber-high tech society comes with obvious benefits. The caveat to living in a first-world country is that when everything is starting to fall apart, people are generally clueless with regard to surviving in third world conditions, i.e. without running water, electricity and things of that nature.
And yes, in a large-scale disaster, it’s very probable that electricity will go first, which means nothing would work anymore, since everything today runs on electricity, including your computer used for reading this article.
Also, since most of the US population is concentrated in a relatively small number of densely populated urban areas, it goes without saying that big cities are to be avoided like the plague in the eventuality of a SHTF event. Incidentally, almost every big city only has enough supplies to last for three days tops, and I am especially talking about food. The concept is that the food-delivery chain is never going to stop, the trucks will keep on hauling, hence nobody bothers to stockpile food anymore.
Obviously, in a serious crisis, life in a big city will become hellish rather quickly, as essential supplies are going to disappear fast (think about what happened this Black Friday, then amplify that by a factor of, I don’t know, 10,000 and you’ll start to get what I am talking about), people will get desperate for food and water (yes, your water utility company uses electrically powered pumps to deliver water to your faucet), and rioting and looting will become the new normal.
Naturally, it makes little sense to prepare (as in stockpile) large amounts of gear, including food, in a densely populated urban area. Since you’ll be the only one in “the hood” having emergency supplies of water and food and what not, you’d basically have a big-red TARGET sign painted all over your property. And soon enough, you’ll have to share your goodies with your local and not so friendly mob of looters. And that will get you nowhere, in terms of survival. Most probably, you’ll end up shot anyway.
So, if you’re all about “doom and gloom”, considering relocating from the big-bad city would make for a great idea. . And do it now, while you still can, until it’s too late.
The general rule of thumb is that big cities are to be avoided like the plague in SHTF scenarios. The good news is that the US has over 3000 counties, but half of the population lives in 146 counties, which means there’s a lot of “people-free” real-estate available for your bug-out retreat, where you can safely store food, water, guns, gold, bitcoin or whatever. Check out this map of population density by county.
Joke aside, if you’re a city dweller, it would be a good idea to have a little shack in the woods, somewhere remote, in an area (scarcely) populated by friendly conservative folks, who know how to hunt, and love God and guns.
The Infrastructure Issue
As cities are collapsing under their own weight, due to violence spiraling out of control courtesy of desperate and hungry mobs trying to loot to live another day, not to mention the potential for third-world diseases breaking out due to failure of basic infrastructure (a lack of sanitation because garbage trucks will be missing in action, law enforcement/emergency services rendered useless and impotent, dead bodies piling up everywhere and all that nice stuff that happens when people go berserk), it would be problematic trying to escape to your bug-out location, even if you have a getaway plan.
The transport infrastructure will get gridlocked instantly, as hundreds of thousands of people will try to escape the city in the same time, hence major highways will be something like Tetris meets Frogger, if you know what I mean. Also, a large-scale EMP strike would render most of the cars useless, hence hundreds of thousands of people will find themselves stuck across the countryside, in/near airports etc. And yes, they’ll try to get home by any means necessary, even if “home” would make for yet another nightmarish sight. So, any major airport, city or harbor is potentially “verboten area”, as in you should steer clear (at least 15 miles, if not more) from such spots.
Generally speaking, avoid all transportation nodes and all urban areas, that if you’re prepping for that big SHTF moment. Military bases are included in the list, since they make for obvious targets for terrorist/nuclear attacks.
If you’re trying to get out of the big bad city following a SHTF event, I’d reckon you already have an escape plan. Just in case, stay away from chocking points, which are the logical consequence of thousands of people trying to bug-out in the same time. Obviously, I am talking about causeways, tunnels, bridges, you know the drill. Also, when you’re putting together your getaway plan, steer away from obvious choking points, alright?
Hospitals and prisons are also to be avoided like the plague.
In a crisis, like an EMP strike, it’s very probable that prisoners will receive an instant pardon, due to a lack of electricity , which would render locks and alarms useless. Also, officers will most probably flee to take care of their own families. It’s the human thing to do, and this would result in desperate and dangerous escapees roaming around. You don’t want that near your property now, do you?
On the other hand, hospitals would attract huge crowds of people looking for help, and yes, in a SHTF situation, you don’t want huge crowds of desperate people near you, especially sick (as in contagious) people. Basically, any kind of place that is prone to attract crowds of people in a catastrophic scenario is to be avoided, including FEMA camps (people may try to get in to grab food, water etc), gun and hardware stores (for obvious reasons, think along the lines of Black Friday in Zombie Apocalypse), you see where this is going, right?
Stay away from major cities, transport-infrastructure, military bases, FEMA camps, prisons, hospitals, choke-points and major stores. Keep in mind that the biggest threat to you in a SHTF scenario is, unfortunately, other people. I think it was Sartre who said: Hell is the others. It’s a sad but true assessment.
I hope the article helped. If you have other ideas, questions or comments, you know what to do.