Update: Big Decisions — Weighing The Risks and Benefits

JWR’s Introductory Note: The following is a slightly expanded update to a post that I wrote for SurvivalBlog back in September of 2005:

When doing radio interviews or giving lectures, I’m often asked where the “perfect” place is for a survival retreat. The short answer is: There is none. Granted, there are a lot of places that are much better than others, but there is no single “one size fits all” perfect place. Much ike buying a pair of boots, the decision has as much to do with the size and shape of your feet as it does the maker of the boots. Everyone has their personal needs and expectations. Some people prefer dry climates while others can’t stand them. Some folks like the feeling of privacy provided by a wall of trees where others would feel claustrophobic. Some need the stimulation of exposure to the arts, while others could care less. And some have good health, while others need to live close to medical specialists.

Even more importantly, before deciding where you might move, you have to weigh the Risks and Benefits of moving at all. From an actuarial standpoint, you might have nearly as good a chance of living to a ripe old age if you stay in the suburbs. It all depends on your personal “worst case scenario.” But if your envisioned worst case is an economic depression similar to that of the 1930s–with a relatively intact infrastructure–then you might conclude that there is no need to relocate. You can just “stock up”, improve your home’s security features,  and stay put where you are. But if your worst case is a full-scale whammy–such as a terrorism campaign that levels cities and/or causes a long-term grid-down societal collapse, then you will probably want to move to a remote, lightly populated farming region with plentiful water. I’m not in the business of making scenario-based decisions for people. Those decisions are up to you, as an individual. Once you decide that you definitely want to move, then, yes, I certainly have some good suggestions on potential locales for you.

The recent Wu Flu pandemic changed a lot of things. Increasingly, Americans are choosing to work from home. Many are now full-time telecommuters, so they can live anywhere that they have stable power, telephone service, and Internet service.  This has opened up the opportunity for many people to permanently relocate to a suitable retreat locale.

Lastly, as a Christian, I believe that any major decision should be preceded by prayer. Seek God’s providence for your life. You can only do that if you have repented of your sins and have begun a Christian walk. In deference to the nature of this blog and the wide range of views held by my readers, I won’t go into great detail about this. But you know where I stand. – JWR