Tuesday, -2 January 2015

09:55 – Work continues on the prepping book. At the moment, I’m writing about so-called strategic relocation. I’m considering titling the chapter Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire.

Too many preppers have romantic notions about upping sticks and relocating to a remote cabin in the mountains of Idaho or wherever. Those who actually do so are likely to find that reality bites. Other than those who have a successful Internet business or can telecommute, few people will be able to earn a living in their new remote locations. And that’ll actually be the least of their problems.

Then there’s the separation issue. For most men, that’s not an issue. Men will move across the state, country, or world without thinking much about it. We are the center of our own universes. Women, on the other hand, are all about relationships, family, and friends. Guys figure we’ll just form new relationships, if we need any. Women want to keep the relationships they already have.

About the only reason I can think of to make a major move is water supply. If I lived in densely populated areas of the Southwest or the Mountain States or southern California–areas where the water supply is insufficient for the current population–I’d relocate to somewhere with a nice excess of surface- and ground-water. There’s nothing anyone can do to prepare for long-term drought other than move.

Which is not to say that there’s anything wrong with relocating for the right reasons. But most preppers put far too many constraints on destination locations. There are lots of “rules” such as being 20 miles (or whatever) from the nearest Interstate or 4-lane, being no closer than 10 miles to the nearest town with a population greater than 1,000, being no closer than 100 miles downwind of a nuclear power plant, and so on. Ultimately, none of them make much sense, and if you try to follow all of them you’ll find that there’s literally nowhere in the continental US that meets your criteria.

I mean, who cares about Interstates? Even a minor emergency turns them into parking lots. An emergency on the scale that many preppers are worried about would make Interstates completely impassable within a few minutes. Wrecked, broken down, and abandoned vehicles would see to that. Same thing on the big city issue. Most people don’t realize that very few cities of any size have evacuation plans at all. Not because someone dropped the ball, but because it’s literally impossible to evacuate them. There are simply too many people in too small an area. In any large-scale catastrophe, city dwellers would simply die off in droves. They’re not going anywhere. They can’t drive out, and they’re sure not prepared to walk any distance.

Barbara and I live on the far northwestern edge of Winston-Salem, a city of about 250,000. We’re talking about relocating, but when we do it won’t be to a remote mountain cabin in Idaho. It’ll be to small-town North Carolina, somewhere to the northwest of where we are now, probably up toward the Virginia line. Maybe Dobson or Sparta, which are 30 to 60 miles from where we live now. During normal times, that makes it easy to do a Costco run every month or two, just as we do now, or to come into Winston to visit friends or whatever, or for them to visit us. If/when things do get bad, that 30 to 60 miles of separation from the underclass population of Winston-Salem should be more than sufficient to isolate us from the rioting, looting, and burning and other nasties.