Letter Re: Deep Family Roots Versus “Ideal Location” When Considering Relocation

Good Evening,
I’ve recently become a reader of your web site – thank you for the excellent resource.
Having read through your information on Recommended Retreat Areas, I have an additional question or two. My husband, kids and I currently live in Utah. He has family here, within an hour drive. We also live in a heavily populated area, right on the Wasatch Fault. That is worrisome. My mother, many cousins and close friends live in rural coastal North Carolina. My mom lives alone and is aging. We have thought ahead to the possibility of needing to care for her. She has a large house that is paid for and will pass on to me when she leaves this life.
My family has very strong ties to North Carolina, having ancestors in the same county for 200+ years. My husband and I have lived there together – he felt most welcome and fit in very well. We were part of a close knit church group, in addition to family and neighbors that looked out for each other. I know that the East Coast is not high on your list of places to be, and my family is in a hurricane/flooding zone. On the other hand, it’s rural, the home is paid for, it’s on almost two acres that can be used for small scale homesteading, and there is a family/friends support system in place. Do you feel that these things are more important than having a retreat in a specific location, i.e. West of the Mississippi? Thank you, – Mary C.

JWR Replies: As I described in my book Rawles on Retreats and Relocation, you cannot put a price tag on having deep roots in a community! Even if you were not known personally, if you are related and share a distinct surname with “one of the pioneer families”, then you have an exceedingly valuable “in” in a rural area. This factor should weigh heavily in your choice of retreat locales.

My main objections to moving to the eastern United States are the generally higher population density, and the unfavorable downwind position of the eastern states in the event of a full scale nuclear exchange. You can fairly well mitigate both of of those drawbacks by:

1.) Building a home fallout/storm shelter (typically by upgrading an existing basement, or building a stand-alone shelter, such as those built by Safecastle), and

2.) By teaming up with contiguous neighbors or “doubling up” with another family that would share your house with you after TSHTF, to provide additional security for your retreat.

The only other significant limitation in your situation is owning less than two acres. Perhaps you could buy or lease some adjoining land. Good luck with your upcoming move!