One of the first books I read when I because interested in emergency preparedness was James Wesley, Rawles’s classic “How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It”. Rawles’s description of “The Golden Hordes” emanating from the major cities during TEOTWAWKI gave me the shivers, thinking of those needy souls who would do anything to feed their families, but do nothing now to prepare for trouble ahead.
I realized then that even small towns like ours, a university town of about 10,000 “townies” and 20,000 “gownies” were destined to collapse when the SHTF. All those college students with only rice, canned soup, and a couple of cases of beer in their pantries would be young, strong, and highly motivated to steal everything in sight when they start going hungry after a disaster.
We need to move our family soon, but where? Rawles recommends “The American Redoubt” for relocation out west, but we don’t have any friends, connections, or jobs out there. It just didn’t seem realistic. Then we decided that we don’t have to move across the country to parts unknown, just out of the line of fire. We are currently looking at houses and properties just 15 minutes away from our current address, in the country. That way, we can keep the same schools for our children, keep the same jobs for ourselves, and get together with our friends as we like. We can keep our current lives, but just live somewhere safer.
Such an approach is more appealing to most people than to overturn their lives for promised safety far away, and so is more likely to be implemented.
Here are some factors we are considering when touring houses and properties:
Location is probably the most important consideration for a new home.
Safety – Is it far enough off the beaten path that we are really safe? We don’t want to be near a highway, or any connector or road highly traveled or too close to densely populated areas. If none of your neighbors have heard of the road, that’s even better. However, if you have some prepper friends that live in the country, you could buy a property nearby and plan to work together post-SHTF. Finally, we also want to avoid areas prone to flooding, earthquakes, near nuclear power plants etc.
Convenience – Will the kids still be allowed to go to the same schools through open enrollment? Do we still have easy access to work and shopping and “situation normal” points of interest?
Taxes – Moving out-of-town would save us quite a bit on property, income and sales taxes, while still giving us access to all the good things a city can provide – cultural events, swimming pools and libraries, etc. This would allow us to afford a nicer house or bigger property.
An existing home could offer significant cost savings over building your perfect prepper castle.
Lot and House
1. Pre-Existing House vs. Building a House – While we would all like to live in a house fortified by thick steel doors and covered windows like in Patriots, we have to be realistic – most of us do not have the funds to build a house like that, while still paying the bills and buying the needed prepper supplies that would keep us alive. As a matter of fact, our realtor tells us that to build a house comparable to what we currently live in would cost 20-25% more than the sales price of a similar preexisting home. For us, building anything is out.
2. Lot – The size of the lot and the usability are major considerations.
* Five acres of farm-able land is the bare minimum to comfortably provide everything our family would need, like a large vegetable garden (maybe 2 acres), a half-dozen nut trees (for protein and oil), and a half-dozen fruit trees. We also want a hay barn or other outbuilding for equipment and supply storage.
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