Friday, 3 February 2017

10:03 – It was exactly freezing when I took Colin out this morning, with a slight blizzard: no wind and an occasional snowflake visible.

There’s been discussion in the comments lately about the suitability of various areas for preppers. Of course, for many preppers relocation isn’t really an option because of job and family responsibilities. For many others–those who are retired or wealthy or can earn a living anywhere–the question is where it is safest and best to relocate.

There are any number of sites on the Internet that purport to rank the states by suitability, and I looked at a lot of those before Barbara and I relocated back in late 2015. Michael Snyder has one of the better sites, where he ranks and grades the 50 states. He awards an A to only Idaho, a B+ to Montana, and a B to Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

I decided that none of these sites were useful, mainly because they broke everything down by state, which is a dumb way to go about it. For example, other than the fact that they’re both in Virginia, the far southwestern part of the state has nothing at all in common with the DC metro area. In terms of population density, the latter area earns an F in my book, while the former is very close to an A. Also, Snyder and many others consider the presence of nuclear power plants to be a downcheck, when in fact it’s a very good thing to have power  plants nearby that are independent of fuel resupply. And so on.

I’m not as good at multivariate analysis as I used to be, but I gave it a shot. The first thing I did was draw a circle of 50 miles radius around any metro area of one million or more population. Anything inside that circle was out. The next thing I did was overlay that map on another map that showed annual rainfall, which I used to rule out arid areas unless there was reliable surface water readily available. I continued doing that with various key criteria–such as percentage of land devoted to agriculture, politics, gun laws, etc.–until I’d eliminated most of the US land area.

What was left was large areas of the midwest, basically most of Kansas and Nebraska, along with non-arid parts of Idaho, Montana and the Dakotas. That and the Blue Ridge/Appalachian mountains of Virginia, the Carolinas, and Tennessee.

Barbara and I actually seriously considered the Montana/Alberta border area, but neither of us had ever lived in the West and Barbara much preferred to move to somewhere closer to where she grew up and where her friends were. Thus we decided on the Blue Ridge mountains and eventually on Sparta.

Not that prepping was our only criterion. We both liked the idea of rural/small-town living, where people are friendlier and the customs are much more traditional. Basically, we now live surrounded by Deplorables, and that’s just the way we like it. The inconveniences are minor, and more than made up for by the general lifestyle. If shopping is limited, who cares? There’s always Amazon, Walmart, and Costco on-line, and there are plenty of big-box stores within a two- to three-hour round trip.

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