Survival Guides

Choosing a Survival Retreat

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Distance from undesirable locations

We want a retreat that is far from undesirable locations. What exactly is an undesirable location? It can be anything that, just by virtue of being there, is a threat to your existence. Care must be taken to adequately identify potential threats before purchasing a retreat – many undesirable locations and threats to your retreat security happen to be located in remote, rural locations. Therefore, don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because your retreat is in a remote location with a low population density, that it is safe. Population density is only one factor – it is not the only factor. Many of the following undesirable locations happen to be located in remote areas! Beware of:

  • Jails and Prisons: Some of the worst jails and prisons in the country are located in remote and rural areas – the reason is simple. Should an escape occur, the prisoners are less likely to be a threat to the general public. Still, if you live close to a prison in a remote area, and there is a general societal collapse, expect the prisoners to escape “into the countryside” as it were. Prisons must be staffed by guards and support personnel to function – in a natural disaster, these people will be concerned with their own families rather than prisoners. Consider that a prolonged grid failure will also leave many prison security systems disabled, which will make monitoring the prisoners more difficult. Escaped prisoners in remote, rural areas will not likely have the means to provide for themselves, and thus will likely seek out local homes to prey on for food and supplies, among other things. Make sure your potential retreat is located more than 50 miles from the nearest county jail, state or federal penitentiary. Note that counties, states, and the federal government all maintain prison facilities! Check all three for information, and also keep in mind that the threat from, say, a county jail or minimum security prison is far lower than it would be for a maximum security prison.
  • Mental Hospitals: Like prisons above, mental hospitals are often located in remote and otherwise ideal looking retreat locations for the same reasons prisons are – they want their patients located far from the people. Like prisons, mental hospitals have different classifications, with the ones meant for the criminally insane being the biggest threats to you and your family. Really search hard for these facilities using all the means available to you. As an example, one of the best retreat locations in central California – a location far from people, freeway access, and located close to abundant resources, also happens to house a state hospital for sexually violent predators (SVP). Not exactly a good idea to have these sorts of people close by during a disaster! Make sure your retreat property is a minimum of 50 miles away from such a facility!
  • Military Installations: Military installations are self supporting communities that are often located in what would otherwise be prime retreat locations. In and of themselves, they don’t represent much of a threat unless your retreat was unusually close to a military installation such that you would fall under scrutiny. The reason military installations, bases, airfields, and other such government property is a bad thing to have close to your retreat is that they themselves are often prime targets for terrorism (both domestic and home grown), as well as conventional attacks by hostile nations.
  • Critical Infrastructure: Power plants, water plants, gas plants, and other such critical infrastructure plants are often located in prime retreat territory because of the abundance of natural resources in remote areas. Also, they are located in remote areas due to environmental concerns. You, as the prepper, need to avoid critical infrastructure for two reasons – first, these are prime targets for terrorism, and second, you want to avoid any environmental disasters that could occur if the plant suffers a malfunction or is attacked.
  • Nuclear Reactors: These locations would seem to fall into the critical infrastructure category, and they do, but we have broken them out of that category because they represent a special threat. Nuclear reactors have all of the same threats of terrorism and environmental issues that critical infrastructure does, but with one special consideration: radioactivity. Even routine, peacetime failures can be potentially devastating to a nuclear site. Also, these are very labor intensive operations to run – if a disaster occurs, the nuclear site may not have the personnel required to keep it running safely. Avoid having a retreat located downwind of a nuclear site, or within 50 miles of it.
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