THE GOAL: to find a homestead, as safe as possible from as many prepper-minded threats as possible, and to resume a normal, sustainable modern lifestyle there.
We are looking to move in the next 6-9 months. This journey began when I learned that there is a nuclear training facility 11 miles from my home. The chance of the electric grid going down for over a week, causing a meltdown or nuclear incident, may be low. But the devastation for my family would be 100%. We are so close we would have to leave. When the effect is that high, even for what could be a low probability event, I try to counter it in my preps. As I learned of the fragility of our electrical grid, vulnerable to so many failures, I have judged it is too likely for my comfort level. I have begun the daunting process of choosing where to live.
States and the reasons they are crossed off my list:
- California- multiple reasons incl lack of water, earthquake risk, political climate
- the southwest: heat and lack of water; incl Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas
- New Madrid Fault risk states: Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi
- too cold/short growing season: Alaska, Washington (state), Montana, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
- Population density: the top most densely populated states are disqualified, being: Washington DC, Maryland, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia, Delaware, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Indiana, Hawaii, and Louisiana. (Doubly disqualified from previous criteria incl: RI, MA, CT, CA, IL, TN, NH, KY, WI.)
- Near or directly east of known nuclear plant: Every state east of the Mississippi River, the only two not already disqualified are West Virginia and Iowa. In addition, the narrow northern portion of ID and MT are east of known plants. (Because of the curious shape of Idaho, I didn't disqualify it from this or the "too cold" category. Both possible threats are in the long narrow northern portion.) Although it is on Wikipedia, a comprehensive looking list of nuclear reactors- active, decommissioned, power plants and training facilities, are listed here. Please check for anything in your area.
- You know how preppers caution about settling within the 300-mi radius around any city, to avoid the golden horde migrations? HERE is the first I've seen of its kind: a map covered in 300-mile-circles... the idea is to choose a spot outside of any circle and live there. Some states have low population density but are so near dense cities that they disqualified this map helped me see Alabama, Oklahoma and Colorado this way. (Nearly all of Oregon, half of what's left of Idaho, and about a third of Nebraska are covered with these circles as well. I will * these, below, in the list of states that haven't been crossed off our list.)
- I don't know very much about the threat of Yellowstone- supervolcano, ash cloud... I think the local devastation would be spectacular, but my line of thinking is that an ash cloud would be a generally temporary problem- temporary being even up to an entire year. With the proper long-term preps a family could limp by for that long until the sky cleared. So I don't exclude Nebraska, Kansas, or Oregon. Because of Yellowstone's extreme western location in Wyoming, combined with general west-to-east national wind patterns, all of Wyoming is excluded. Again, parts of Idaho scrape by. I judge the threat of Yellowstone's caldera to be like living right beside a nuclear facility: possibly unlikely, but with 100% local devastation.
- South Dakota
For our family, a personal choice to homeschool is very important and so states that heavily regulate that are also disqualified. From the remaining 5 states, South Dakota is now disqualified.
So after all this mental gymnastics and research, I have a starting point.
We're so pleased you are reading Farming Salt and Light! Choose how you live!