Deciding where you are going to go in the event of a doomsday situation is a big deal. Everyone has their own criteria for what is the perfect place to try to survive. Based on what I have researched, this is my opinion of the best areas in the United States to bug out to.
My requirements for a good bug out location is that is needs access to water, food (hunting, fishing, good for gardening), not a common natural disaster area and not overly populated. I generally think of a permanent bug out location as being a homestead to rebuild from after a catastrophic event wipes out a large majority of the population.
Southern Colorado is on the top of my list of bug out locations. A place at the base of the Rocky Mountains being ideal. Mountain ranges have great wildlife and water sources, but the nice thing about the Rockies is that there are no volcanoes. Staying to the south end of the state will hopefully limit exposure if Yellowstone erupts. Colorado’s population is fairly low and property prices are lower than average. The climate is fairly temperate with summers that don’t get too hot and winters that don’t get too cold. The cold will depend on how high up the mountain you go.
The northern New England area is ripe with wilderness and natural resources. The population density of Maine is just lower than Colorado and New Hampshire is higher but the population thins out up north. The chances of natural disaster are relatively low. Most likely there will be winter storms. Hurricanes can reach that far north but are only a hazard if you live close enough to the coast. There is a wide variety of hunting and fishing locations and even in the cold you can do your gardening in a greenhouse.
I was originally looking at eastern Tennessee but found there to be to many nuclear reactors in the area. Fortunately a short distance to the north takes you to eastern Kentucky where you can take advantage of the same environment without the messy nuclear fallout. The base of the Appalachian Mountains in this area would make a great bug out location to survive the end of days. The mountains have no active volcanoes, but the area is known for tornadoes. The deeper into the mountains you go, the less likely you are of experiencing a tornado as they tend to stay a bit west of the mountain range. Some might be concerned about the New Madrid Fault but since it is on the west end of the state, any eruption would be only barely felt in the Appalachians. You have plenty of food and water sources and people have been living off the land in Appalachia for centuries.
The area to the West of the Appalachian Mountains in Ohio is home to the largest community of Amish in the United States. This is a community of people who have been living off the land with no technology forever. If the area works well for them, who am I to argue? I wouldn’t try to inject myself into their community, but having them close by to get tips from wouldn’t be a bad thing as well as being able to barter with them. The population density of Ohio is fairly high, but most of that is in the cities. There is one nuclear power plant in western Pennsylvania that ranks low in safety that could affect the area. Ohio is on the top of the list of states that are least likely to be destroyed by a natural disaster. They have no flooding, no tornadoes, no earthquakes and no volcanoes. Good water and farming resources but winters are long and cold.
Alaska is always one of those locations that people either love or hate. It is a place that people have been living off the land in the wilderness for centuries despite the bitter cold. It has the lowest population density in the country at 1.2 people per square mile. Depending on your location you could experience earthquakes or feel the effects of a volcano, but the overall rate of natural disasters is relatively low and there are no nuclear power plants. Hunting and fishing are some of the best in the country and fresh water is plentiful. The warmer months will be spent preparing to survive the winter months but many people have had no problem surviving in Alaska long term.
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42 Replies to “Best Places To Bug Out In The US”
If it’s below 4,000 feet above sea level you need to rethink your selection. Especially, if it’s in a flood plain…..
I’d like to be reasonably close to a nuke plan when SHTF because it is far more likely to be able to generate power, and power is civilization. Long term, including Japan, nuclear power is the safest AND most reliable on the planet. Get the politics and bad science out and it would be even safer.
Like fucasheama nuclear plant?????
All large cities, power plants, and utilities would be targets.
The fucashema plant was poorly designed and one that isn’t used in the US. That said, the number one choice could put you in line with an errant attack on Cheyenne Mountain.
My bugout options are located away from nuclear plants due to potential meltdowns. Nuclear plants in the US have been relatively safe now, but once there aren’t enough people to maintain them, they will be much less safe. I can build an off grid house with solar, wind and hydro easy enough.
Northern Minnesota would be my first choice.
Low population density. Low chance of natural disasters. Abundant wildlife for hunting and fishing. Plenty of water sources (Land of 10,000 lakes and all).
While you would have to deal with pretty harsh/cold winters, that is a plus in my eyes. Keeps the “freeze-babies” away.
I agree 100% Papa. Marauders will have a field day in warmer, more populated areas. Within 6 to 12 months you shouldn’t have to deal with entitlement mentalities up north. Way up north. Nuclear and natural disasters are also a non-factor to me anyway. There is only so much guessing you can do, after all.
Personally, when it hits the fan I want to be in Hawaii. On the big island you have everything you need water is a catchment system but on Kauai you do have a river for water. You can easily grow your own food ie: coffee or forage if you wish. There are plenty of chickens, fish, cattle and pigs.(leather for sandals)
Hi Rhonda, We live on Oahu, and I think anywhere in the state of Hawaii would be a horrible place in a total breakdown. The entire culture here is Control FREAK, barely held in check by the federal government.
In a real breakdown, I think the Constitution would be used to light the bonfires under the feet of anyone who disagreed with the majority, and the majority would confiscate anything they thought would help them. The majority might very well ban all private ownership of anything from land to housing and food. They would impose wage, price, and rent controls. The urge to control in detail would absolutely run amok.
As an added attraction, while there are relatively few serious racists here, a non-trivial part of those who are, hate white people. Black people tend to be considered honorary white people. Since all guns are registered, the benign government knows who has them and where they are.
Without electricity, there would be no potable water for most people. Imagine 930,000 people on Oahu, all looking for water. The die off might well exceed 95%, and I expect the other islands would not be far behind as the water distribution systems are completely dependent on municipal electricity. Kauai might have water for many people, but they won’t have enough food, and the fights over that, combined with the attempt by government to control the populace into prosperity would likely doom most of those who might have been able to survive if they had been left alone.
Your comment delves into an area that is little considered by the prepping community in general. What is the local ruling class like? What is the local culture like? Finding these things out when choosing a bug out location is equal to food, water, shelter, possible natural dangers, and growing season.
is there any way to make the map bigger so we can read what it says on each state?
Click on the picture to enlarge it
The map appears to be nuclear power plant locations.
There is no safe place in the USA because they (the evil “gods” who made us to be slave workers to mine gold) are going to start WW3 where amerikka-the-stupid will be annihilated by Russia, China and the whole SCO. It will happen the same day as the next false flag using the nuke they stole back in 2007. Planet X will end this war when it goes around the sun, erupts Yellowstone supervolcano, rips north america into thirds and kills 5/6 of the 200 million invaders.
Can’t believe Kansas isnt on the list. We have more shorline than Minnesota, sparse population, fertile soil, water, constitutional carry, timber for housing and firewood. We got it.all plus plenty of wild game to hunt. Should be #1 pick!
I agree with you AG! I lived in Ks. my entire life up to 10 years ago when I moved to Nebraska to get better money. Ks. is a land of plenty for those with the gumption to work it. There are also a number of abandoned stone dwellings in central Ks. that might be made into livable quarters by agreement with the landowner. Once the SHTF that might be easier as the landowner may very well want some good neighbors close by. Maybe we will run into each other sometime!!!!
No. Well I would say more shorline. The thing people forget about northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and upper peninsula of Michigan is that it is all fresh water shorelines’ and these areas are big with game, fish, lakes, and rivers. The only downside being of course winter. If there is a way to shelter and stay warm for winter these places are great. The large population centers of these states are mainly located all in one are in each state.
Now they are the 5 worst locations
I live in Tahoe and I bought a lot in the Carson Valley that takes a half hour hike to get to so other people wouldn’t even know about it. It is along a stream that feeds into the Carson river with a marsh just down river. Near the marsh is good soil for planting. The marsh draws water fowl and is a hatchery for fish. The higher ground (above 5,500 feet) have dear and bear. My small cottage is under a heavy growth of trees with a green roof. My supplies are buried in sealed barrels nearby.
Like naming the best knives, guns, religions, and western movies, making a list of the best bug-out locations is going to run into all sorts of diametrically opposing views, but I salute you for giving it a shot! I absolutely agree with the southern Colorado pick, but would put northern New Mexico in that list as well. Colorado has a virus of leftist communities in various places that might be hard to deal with post apocalypse so you would have to be careful of that. Northern New Mexico is a very agrarian area populated by ranches. If you can fit into that culture you would have a better chance of survival. I have lived in central Ks. and Nebraska my entire life and know these folks well. They are the ones you want on your side in a fight or if things go south for other reasons. You have to get to know them and gain their trust, but once you have proven that you are their equal and will stand with them they will be the finest friends you can find anywhere. If anyone gets the idea they can move into ranch country and live off the free range cattle in the area, their stay will be short and the ending painful.
Penrod brings up a GREAT point. Determine the current ruling class in an area and what their political persuasions are. When SHTF occurs that is going to be magnified, be it good or bad. Nuclear plants are built near population centers which are anathema to survival. Believe me if we have an EMP incident a nuclear plant is the last place I want to be near for many reasons. Middle America, agrarian (which automatically means food and water), conservative, and low population density all make for a good choice. Neither coast seems to be a great choice because the high population density will by necessity cause mass migration to low population density areas. Think locusts across the landscape. The time to make decisions and plans is NOW. Time is getting very short before we have some kind of event and by then it will be too late.
Whenever I read about bugging out, I ask, Where are they going to? If you don’t already have a place, do you intend to squat on someone else’s property? Can you be sure your bugout spot hasn’t been taken over by one of these squatters? What will you do if it has? How will you get there? You most likely will not be able to transport all you will need. People say they will live off the land, hunt and fish—-everyone is thinking that. The game will disappear. People will be shooting everywhere—don’t get shot by another hunter or by the property owner when you’re caught trespassing.
We’ve thought it over–staying where we are is best. We know our area, our neighbors, and what to expect from the weather. It’s more than 10 miles to town, although sometimes I wish we were further out. If you are in the city—better buy some land, maybe go in with other family members. Get a place put together and stocked, visit it often, do test runs, get to know your neighbors and perhaps they will keep an eye on it while you’re away.
There are so many things to consider, you need to think about the “What If’s” and have more than one way to deal with it. It’s the old cliche—if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Ohio does have tornadoes. In fact, we get quite a lot. Not sure where you got that information. Also, Ohio does have earthquakes. Not huge ones, but I have been in two small ones (rattled the dishes was all they did). Ohio does sit on a fault line, but the rock is so thick under Ohio that we don’t have the problems like in California. But a big shift could really do some damage.
We do have flooding as well. We have the Great Miami River that has flooded, and then the Ohio river, not to mention other large rivers.
I guess there is no CANADA,No map.So NO WORRIES . lol
What about Canada ? What’s best and worst there
I have chosen central Georgia as my location. Good climate, water, good soil, plenty of timber for fire or building, Georgia is a Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground state, pro 2A and individual rights. The north Georgia mountain areas get tornadoes and earth quakes, small ones. South Georgia gets tornadoes. Atlanta is full of moocher class scum and will turn to garbage in an instant but outside of Atlanta is good. Most people, regardless of race, are somewhat self sufficient, hard working and willing to band together to help all for the greater good. Tornadoes are possible but rare, they usually come from the west and head south or follow the mountains north. We do have droughts but not as bad as elsewhere. Nuclear plants, which are not as big a target as some believe, are to the northwest or east. Far enough for fallout not to be as big an issue as other places. Fort Stewart is a military target but lower on the list of targets. Atlanta is a large urban center but there are more interesting targets for nuclear strikes. Being a transportation hub for the southeast, it will be on the priority list after rebuilding begins.
Dobbins and Warner Robbins and Ft. Bennington are primary military targets. The Atlanta Airport is a primary target as well. Port of Savannah is a target for invasion or bombing as well. As a Georgian myself, this is a great place to live, but not to bug out…unless you’re heading to the N. Ga. Mountains.
ALL OF YOU, need to read “strategic relocation” by Joel Skaussen. You ALL need to rethink VERY VERY carefully your choices for when the SHTF. ALL of the locations mentioned in ALL of comments, are NOT safe if the SHTF. You need to understand 2 things: 1.-The nature of the conspiracy. #2.-The human nature, which in case of ANY SHTF scenario, would be your #1 concern. “Strategic relocation” is the bible you all need to read. Check it out in youtube.
Avoid the Eastern Half of the United States, filled with nuclear power plants, as the trade winds blow west to east, fallout will be more eastern. Even though there are NP plants in the west there are not as many. East of the Rocky Mountain States are mid-western states seem to be the best to avoid fallout.
Best states for survival, NV, UT, ID, MT, WY, CO, NM, Northern AZ, ND, SD. OR, Eastern WA and AL, Anywhere in Canada.
You should do your homework or at least recruit someone who knows the subject matter. Ohio and Indiana has many many tornadoes. Some parts of Indiana get as many as Oklahoma. Whats east of Indiana? Ohio. Ohio is also home to Cleveland, Youngstown, Cinnci, Toledo, Dayton and Akron/Canton, all home to a restless section of the population that likes to riot. Also, Ohio is close to Detroit, another potential flash point. You need to ask, can you get at least one full tank of gas away from a large population center? THAT is a prime bug out area.
While everyone has their own ideas as to what different parts of the country are like, I have to say that the tornado-phobia of the midwest is blown way out of proportion. I have lived in Kansas and Nebraska for my entire life (60+ years) and have seen 2, neither of which was threatening me. This also includes 3 decades in young adulthood where I actively looked for them as an adjunct to public service volunteer duties. Yes, there are some every year, but there is an extensive warning system to say nothing of those of us who have lived here long enough to know what signs to look for. Your chances of seeing one, let alone being affected by it, are slim to none.
This message is for the comment about the guy who wants to live near a nuclear power plant: In a SHTF situation, what do you think happens when a nuclear power plant isn’t properly powered down (which takes days and staff) ? Answer: They “meltdown”. Depending on the situation that brings about a SHTF crisis, there may not be the staff to bring the nuclear power plant down to a safe level to shut it down. While one is “hot” they have to be carefully monitored to prevent meltdowns. With no staff monitoring, (because they are either dead or taking care of their own families) in my opinion, I would want to be as far from one as possible. Chernobyl or 3-Mile Island anyone?
As far as tge topic of tornadoes, I’m with Rod on this. Lived a long time in Indiana and Kentucky and have only seen a cpl. And that was when i was actively chasing them for SkyWarn. The chances of seeing a tornado in Eastern Kentucky is even lower (than Indiana) due to several environmental and terrain factors. Eastern KY ranks very high on my go to bug out spot.
As far as the topic of tornadoes, I’m with Rod on this. Lived a long time in Indiana and Kentucky and have only seen a cpl. And that was when i was actively chasing them for SkyWarn. The chances of seeing a tornado in Eastern Kentucky is even lower (than Indiana) due to several environmental and terrain factors. Eastern KY ranks very high on my go to bug out spot.
Regarding Southern Colorado: Parts of it could give you serious water problems so take care. Wells are expensive and many creeks are intermittent. Rainfall near Great Sand Dunes national monument is restricted by the rain shadow effect of the surrounding mountains. The growing season short so think greenhouse. Land values are terrific and I think you’d find most of the locals decent. It is truly beautiful there and game is plentiful.
I was born and raised in SE Kansas and not a year went by that I didn’t see at least one tornado. I do know people who have lived there all their lives and never seen one. The upshot is, if the water table allowed, I would build an underground home there instead of a storm shelter–but then I’d do that anywhere. The soil is excellent, water is plentiful and most folks are somewhat self-sufficient.
I’m surprised Southern Iowa isn’t on the list as it has some of the best soil in the world, plenty of water and the growing season is good. And if you live in Eastern Iowa, the Mississippi will become a trade superhighway after TSHTF.
Ohio?? Really? Yes, being around the Amish would be an excellent choice. But where do you suppose the hungry masses from the big city are going to go in search of food? And the long hard winters?
why Is the UP not on Here and Canada
Of the first two….I grew up in one, I live now, in the other….
I didn’t see any mention of the impending Grand Solar Minimum. A game changer. It may well be the defining event of our lives.