by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:
In the prepping world, discussions abound about the “perfect” location for preppers. According to most, it has to be rural, it needs to have a crystal clear stream running through it, acres of garden space, a mature orchard, and it needs to be off-grid (or ready to be so at the flip of a switch.) Heck, I’ve written about thismyself. I’ve lived in that “perfect” location.
But the reality is that although some live in that situation, most of us do not. For most of us, the demands of work, family, and budget mean that we live someplace that is not perfect. And moreover, even those places that sound perfect, aren’t necessarily all they’re cracked up to be.
Perfect isn’t always that great.
I’ve lived in some places that would be considered perfect in prepping circles. Actually, because I’m sort of a nomad, I’ve lived in quite a few really awesome places.
When I first began prepping in an SHTF kind of way instead of just stocking up on some extra food and keeping extra batteries for the flashlight, I lived in a large metropolitan area between Toronto and Buffalo. The region had a population of close to half a million people and I had no doubt that things would get ugly fast if a serious event were to occur. When I got a chance to live the prepper’s dream out in the boonies, I jumped at it.
A secluded cabin on a lake in Ontario was my first “perfect” location. That was actually my introduction to rural living and I thought I was going to freeze to death before learning how to build a fire in the woodstove that would stay lit long enough to warm my house. But learn I did, and I had a lot of practice living without electricity there, as the electricity went out every time the wind blew a leaf across the power line. It was spectacularly beautiful there and it was all fun and games until the temperature dipped to negative 53 – yep NEGATIVE 53 – and I discovered that I hated cold weather and winter with a passion generally reserved for Communism.
That place was almost two hours from the closest town big enough for a Wal-Mart. It was so isolated that newcomers weren’t particularly welcome, as my daughter and I both learned the hard way. I loved the abundant resources but between the climate, the isolation, and the closed ranks, this place was not for us. When I was offered a job in California, I took it without a second thought.
I lived on a couple of different farms in California. The first one was wonderful, with a huge barn and high-quality fencing. But it was hot and dry and terribly far from any source of water except the back-up of the septic system. When it finally did rain, my cottage became victim to a mudslide. It didn’t knock the house off the foundation, thankfully, but my nice garden beds were covered in filth, we couldn’t use our water due to the fussy thrice-damned septic system, and the place just smelled terrible. Cross that one off the list.
The second one was about as ideal as you could find. It did have a cold, year round creek in the back. It was in the country but in a county full of warm welcoming people who are the best neighbors I’ve ever had. We put up our own fencing, raised lots of animals. and enjoyed the heck out of living there.
But there were downsides to this paradise too. Like when a sinkhole opened up on one road down the mountain and a mudslide covered the other road and I got bitten by a black widow spider and could not get medical care for a week. And the horrible internet service (internet is a necessity for my work). And the time some guys came to do a home invasion and we were 45 minutes away from the police and 10 minutes from a neighbor and I had to scare them off myself. Eventually, we moved not because of the downsides, but because my 16-year-old daughter was heading out to college across the country and was too young to go by herself.
And now we live in a nice, well-maintained house in a city again. Here, I have had no issues with crime (except when someone tried to steal my Jeep from the parking lot at the mall, but I wasn’t there and only knew because they broke the cover of my steering column.) We have abundant rain, a wonderful garden, a fruit tree in the backyard, and reliable water and power. But if the SHTF in a big way, would it remain this nice? Probably not but the home is bordered by a huge wooded walking trail and way out on the edge of town. So who knows? It certainly wouldn’t be the first area to get hit if things went down.
There’s good stuff and bad stuff no matter your location.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that nothing is perfect. We live where we need to for different reasons and those who scoff at the reasons of other people are – I have to say it – ignorant. Here are some of the reasons I’ve heard that people live in “less than ideal” locations:
- The kids are in a school they need to be in for specific reasons, like special needs, a pre-university program, etc.
- They have elderly parents who don’t want to leave the home where they raised their families.
- A spouse has an excellent job with high pay (hard to find these days)
- They don’t want to leave a job with benefits in the age of Obamacare – particularly if they have a family member with an expensive health condition.
- They need to be near a specific hospital for a child’s treatment.
- They can’t afford to move because life is paycheck to paycheck.
Heck, maybe they just like where they live. It’s not up to the rest of us to decide where all preppers should live. That’s nonsense.
And another thing to remember is this: there is no location on the planet that is completely safe from all types of disasters. You can have winter storms, heat waves, power outages, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, industrial accidents, civil unrest, drought, earthquakes…I mean, really, the possibility for upheaval is practically endless. It’s a matter of picking your poison and dealing with the aftermath.