The 10 Safest Places to Be When the SHTF

It used to be that pretty much only preppers were worried about widespread societal collapse in America. I would reckon that anyone who isn’t today at least a little worried about it is actually the crazy one.

There is no denying that the rifts in our society, cultural, economic and governmental, are becoming wider and wider every day, and it won’t be long before we can’t even see the other side.

Accordingly, you can expect things to change, and as frightening as this is to consider you should take some measure of cold and clammy comfort that this has all happened before to empires and societies all around the world.

Life will go on, and indeed society will go on, but in new shapes and in new ways. But some places are going to fare much better, in my estimation, than others.

This is because the death throes of the societal ways of old will be calamitous indeed. There will be destruction on a level unimagined by most people living today, and unfortunately many deaths as the contractions and new growths attendant to the death and birth of nations take place.

And the interest of giving yourself and your loved ones the best possible chance for success and new beginning, picking when and where you will ride out this process counts for a lot. We will talk about five such regions in today’s article.

Even the Safest Places Could Fall…

One distressing tendency I have noted in my long years of teaching personal preparedness is the tendency of many folks, seasoned preppers included, to “put all their eggs in one basket” when it comes to choosing a place to settle that will afford them the most advantages should society start to break apart.

This is understandable, but perhaps a bit misguided. Yes, we all have to put our chips down on the table and then the cards will be revealed; you have to make a stand somewhere!

But it is critical to understand that the safest, best possible place, any place, including that small town you set your eyes on, could still be affected by the forces unleashed during a societal collapse. To say it will be a time of unpredictability is an understatement!

The regions on the list below have been chosen because they have proven to fare better over time in times of distress than elsewhere and also because they have endemic advantages to people who are well-prepared and skilled enough to take advantage of them.

Also, they are “less suitable” for so many of the people we are trying to avoid in trying times, namely people who are completely dependent on modernity to survive.

Bottom line, you should go or move to any of the places on this list with confidence, but be prepared with a Plan B if trouble befalls the region!

The 10 Best Places to Be When the SHTF


river in the Appalachian mountains
river in the Appalachian mountains

Appalachia has long been a redoubt against outside forces. Although the Appalachian mountain range stretches all the way from the southern US up into Canada, the region properly known as Appalachia comprises several southern, southeastern and a few northern states, but we are particularly concerned with Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Tennessee, West Virginia and the western reaches of both Carolinas.

Although suitably rugged, the Appalachian Mountains are comparatively short and gentle compared to giants like the Rockies and are nothing compared to the steep ranges of the Alps in Europe.

This makes them easy to hide in and easy to hold, but difficult to traverse in the remotest regions for outsiders.

How to fit in the country, especially Appalachia. ~

Even better, the mild, temperate climate throughout much of this region is nonetheless suitable for a variety of farming and growing, and plentiful wildlife and water combined with decidedly conservative cultures means that surviving the fall of empire in Appalachia is as likely to be as appealing as anyplace else.

The Ozarks

cows in the Ozark mountains
cows in the Ozark mountains

Also known as the US Interior Highlands, the Ozarks is a sprawling geographic region taking up a significant chunk of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri.

With gently rolling mountains, expansive forests and natural resources in great abundance combined with a relatively mild climate all year, the Ozarks will prove to be a sustainable and highly inhabitable retreat in the event of societal collapse.

Furthermore, the Ozarks region is fairly strategically located for our purposes, being not too far from major population centers in any direction that accessing trade or other necessities that would prove to be impossible, while being far enough away from most to dissuade adventurous or opportunistic pillagers and refugees.

So what’s the big deal with the Ozarks?

The diversity of the region means that you can remain as communal or get as isolated as you want, and all the while have plenty of access to water, wood and more.

Agriculture is definitely possible and hunting is plentiful, all kinds of species in all. If there’s one bad thing we can say about the Ozarks it is that the area is fairly tornado prone, but not too bad compared to other places in the greater region.

The Mid-South

An area making up southern Tennessee and much of northern Alabama and Georgia, the Mid-South exemplifies excellence and agriculture and hunting with plenty of variation in biomes and geography.

Sweltering summers are just about the worst you’ll have to worry about when it comes to weather, and the entirety of this region is intensely conservative.

Excellent gun and property rights throughout means you won’t have any trouble setting up your own homestead for surviving SHTF, and abundant freshwater sources combined with higher than average rainfall compared to much of the country means that one of your most pressing survival needs will rarely go unmet.

Also, much of the Mid-South outside of the largest population centers is very sparsely populated, meaning you’ll have easy access to affordable land that you can furthermore customize more or less to your liking. If you really want to get away from it all, and do it while they’re getting is good, you’ll definitely want to check out the Mid-South.

Texas Panhandle

Palo Duro canyon in northern Texas
Palo Duro canyon in northern Texas

Texas is a greatly beloved state by freedom lovers, and if you didn’t know that, just ask any Texan and they will tell you!

Although not quite as free and libertarian as popular conception would have you believe, and suffering from blistering property prices and taxes alike in a couple of areas, there is nonetheless much to love about Texas from a prepper’s perspective, particularly northern Texas in the panhandle area, when it comes to surviving a societal collapse.

Land is abundant, people are few and the climate is surprisingly mild compared to the Gulf Coast and interior regions.

This is also a place that is famous for produce and livestock alike, and with the right skills or the right connections you can easily ensure that you keep access to a bountiful food supply.

Middle Of Nowhere Abandoned Spots In Texas Panhandle - Forgotten Small Towns & Backroads After Dark

Perhaps the only detractors from the Texas panhandle region when it comes to riding out the collapse of society is that it is uncomfortably close to the US-Mexico border in the grand scheme of things ,and the fact that teeming throngs of refugees might pour out of the population centers of the state to the south, meaning you might be dealing with more neighbors than you had bargained for.

Idaho Region


Idaho is what I like to call a “sleeper” state. There is so much to love about it, but you hardly ever hear anyone talking about it unless they are making a joke about potatoes.

The people that I know who hail from Idaho, and those who have been long-term transplants, would probably prefer to keep it that way in order to avoid undo influxes to the population!

Idaho is an amazing state, both for its incredible climate suitable to growing a wide variety of crops to its amazing hunting opportunities and overall biodiversity, with many parts of the state being sparsely inhabited indeed.

Also, the state is broadly homogeneous, culturally and politically, meaning it will start off being more stable than most places. Harsh winters can be a problem, but this is a relatively small price to pay for everything you gain otherwise.

One should be aware though that you are ultimately a hop, skip and a jump away from Washington and Oregon, both two infamous colonies of progressive craziness, craziness that might in time be heading your way or just result in a mass displacement of other freedom loving people who would rather avoid being burned at the stake.

Northern Yankeedom

Vermont homestead during winter
Vermont homestead during winter

If you are like me, you probably want to get away from Yankee strongholds, not head towards them, but if you live in New England or have family up there, take heart because there are opportunities for excellent survival retreats that will likely survive the collapse of civilization.

In particular, Vermont and New Hampshire, though often regarded as quirky, liberal states, are in fact sparsely populated areas with incredible and abundant natural resources, both plant and animal.

We bought land! 40 acres of raw land in Vermont

Harsh winter weather will always be a problem, but one that is not insurmountable, and the state culture outside of leftist strongholds is one of largely traditional values and frontier independence.

You could do a lot worse than heading to the rural areas of either state so long as you know how to handle yourself when the cold takes hold.


Ark-La-Tex is the informal but popular name ascribed to the intersection of Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana given to it by residents of the region. It also has a lot going for it, and brings a little bit to the table from the advantages of each state.

Highly biodiverse, and with excellent hunting and agricultural opportunities this region is a sweet spot that is free from the climate extremes that each state is known for.

It is neither blisteringly hot nor too humid, and can give you plenty of breathing room to stay well away from the coast and its dense population.

If you live elsewhere in any of these states and need a backup plan, this is a good region to head toward to keep your options open and maximize your return on investment.

South Central Alaska

Alaska is popularly thought of as a frozen hellscape, but you might be surprised to learn that the southern reaches are quite mild in the summer and the winters are not absolutely, positively grueling so long as you know what you are doing and prepare.

The best part about Alaska is that there are precious few people in total in this absolutely massive state, and self-sufficiency is truly a way of life. You need to make sure you are up to snuff before you move there, but you can take cold comfort knowing that this area will not tolerate the weak or the pretender.

And while it is a giant pain in the ass to relocate yourself accordingly, take heart knowing that throngs of refugees swarming the lower 48 will hardly have a prayer of reaching the natural bounty that this rugged, frontier environment has to offer its residents.


country road in Wyoming
country road in Wyoming

Wyoming is one of the most sparsely populated states in the US, but one that has plenty of land and a strong conservative culture going for it.

Whether you into farming, raising livestock or something else Wyoming can accommodate it. This is a place where old world values rule the roost, and considering the lack of people most communities are very close and invested in each other.

TOP 10 Best Places to Live in Wyoming - Nowhere Diary

Make sure you aren’t a carpetbagger if you want to thrive in Wyoming. Many places are incredibly remote and difficult to get to throughout the state, and it isn’t even guaranteed you’ll have cell phone service while you travel.

If you really want to get away from the mass of humanity during a societal collapse without leaving the lower 48, Wyoming is an excellent choice.


lake in Missouri
lake in Missouri

Missouri is yet another state that has so much going for it when it comes to prepping. Biodiversity, fertile land, abundant wildlife and a livable, relatively mild climate year-round.

The fact that it is centrally located makes it even better, and it is also not particularly a crossroads for those who are traveling between major metropolitan areas, a perk for our purposes.

The Biggest Lesson We Have Learned Homesteading In Missouri!

Another park, is that Missouri is crisscrossed with many rivers that could be useful in place of highways during a societal collapse allowing for relatively easy and unfettered travel.


No one wants to think about dealing with a societal collapse, and certainly nobody wants to think about dealing with a societal collapse or that collapse will do the most damage.

Choosing where to make your stand as a prepper in order to survive the death throes of a society will greatly influence your chances.

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