Letter Re: Advice on West Virginia’s Retreat Potential?

Mr. Rawles,
I’m a huge fan of your work, and was pleasantly surprised to come across Survivalblog during the course of my cyber-travels. It has become my new source for survival info. I particularly enjoy your state-by-state retreat potential evaluations. As a lifelong resident of the east coast, and an eight year resident of Virginia, I’m kind of geographically anchored to this section of the country. My family’s here, too. Consequently, I’m rather limited in terms of my choice of retreat locations. I will be graduating from law school (God willing) in May 2006, and hope to do real estate settlement work, as it will give me some flexibility in terms of work locations. Plus, it will ensure that I am able to avoid engaging in the sort of lawyering that would conflict with my beliefs (my wife and I are fundamentalist Baptists). I’ve had my eye on West Virginia for awhile, as it seems to offer the greatest potential within this limited region. I would really appreciate your thoughts on the matter. – “Mo”

JWR’s Reply:

As mentioned in previous posts, I don’t consider anything east of the Mississippi River to be survivable if and when things get truly Schumeresque. (The East has too much population density and is downwind of too many nuke targets.) Read my posts from early August, 2005 in the Archives for details.

With the mobility that your new profession will afford you, I strongly suggest that you move out West. (Preferably the inland northwest.) With a lawyer’s income you can afford to fly home frequently to visit relatives. But if you must stay in the east, move to a very lightly populated rural area and construct a very well stocked fallout shelter.

I am not familiar enough with West Virginia to make any specific locale recommendations. Perhaps someone who reads the blog who lives there will send me an e-mail and enlighten us.