Consider Horde Mentality in Your Planning – Part 1, by Ani

As a prepper for many years, I’ve put some consideration into trying to understand the mentality of the “hordes” who might be forced to leave their cities and heavily populated suburbs, in the event of a major disaster. I think that while we may not know how things are going to unfold or what sort of disaster might provoke people into leaving and essentially becoming refugees, we can consider some of the more likely to occur scenarios. Doing this will let us examine how well-situated we are in our own homes, the risks that we might be most susceptible to, and actions that we could take. And if you’re reading this and still living in a city or heavily populated suburb, well, then this is also for you.

Lights of the USSo as someone who has lived my entire life thusfar in the heavily-populated eastern part of the US, I already know that wherever I may live here I’m at a higher level of risk than say someone living in a sparsely populated area of Idaho or Wyoming. One only has to take a look at those really amazing night sky maps of the US such to really get the picture of the difference in population numbers and density across the country.

In general, more cities and more population isn’t a good thing if TSHTF. So why, knowing this, am I still here? For me as for many people, the reasons vary but mostly have to do with family commitments, money, and the difficulty of a long distance relocation. I’ve seriously considered moving to an area such as the “American Redoubt” not just for prepper reasons but also for the wide open spaces and lower population levels as well as the generally Conservative politics which I prefer. I’ve realized though that it’s just not feasible due to family here plus the costs of land and housing there which are beyond my means. So I’m here in the east and have to make the best of it. I suspect many of you are in the same boat. That is: Knowing what you might prefer to do but facing up to the reality of the factors keeping you tied down where you are.

With that said, there are places, even in the eastern part of the US that are more rural, have more like-minded people around who actually know how to do “stuff”, lower population densities, etc. Now I no longer need to consider the local schools but still have to take into account the other things such as road conditions, ways to earn money, and so forth. I also prefer to not be too far away from my son. That way it would be relatively easily for him to make it to my house, in times of need.

My Criteria

When I was looking for a home and land to buy recently (having sold my former hoouse) I kept these thoughts in mind: I’m very limited in terms of cost and home prices have increased at a rapid pace here. I’m in Vermont which seems to be a favorite place for people to relocate to or often, these days, to buy a second home in which they can vacation at and otherwise rent out through AirBnB and other short-term rental sites. This has had the effect of driving up costs in any area that out-of-staters perceive to be “desirable”, scenic, on a pond or lake, etc. Unfortunately, some of the things that they desire are also those that would be a plus for one looking for a home/land with preparedness in mind.

I previously wrote in greater detail about my home search and what I was looking for so I won’t enumerate that in detail again here. In general though: I was searching for a home with enough land for a garden, some woods, reasonable privacy not on a main road, not too close to the interstate and that sort of thing. I mostly focused on central and northern Vermont as this has been where I’ve lived for decades although if I didn’t find something here I was going to look at rural Maine. Other than rural northern New Hampshire, I do think that these may well be the only places left in this part of the country that are still rural enough, and with a low enough population density. The western portion of North Carolina, parts of Tennessee and that area (Appalachia) is also another possibility and has previously been written about by others here in SurvivalBlog.

The Horde Mentality

So anyway, now to consider how the mentality of the “hordes” plays into where we choose to live. I call this “Horde Think.” Back in the late 1990s, when there was a lot of fear over Y2K, it was very interesting to read what people were posting online. There were of course then far fewer web sites devoted to preparedness but they did exist. I think I could sum up the thinking of the unprepared city/suburban people who posted as mostly” “I’ll just head into the country and find some land to start a garden”, “I’ll just head to the woods and shoot Bambi”, “I’ll just find a Mormon family and help myself to what they have.” (Ditto for Amish families.)

Reading these thoughts as to how they were going to find a way to house themselves and eat if a disaster struck, I was appalled by their absolute lack of knowledge and assumptions. One big assumption of course was that they had a way to get to “the country”. Another big assumption was that all of this land “out there” didn’t already belong to someone who might well have an issue with them planning on using it to garden or hunt. I think that many who live in urban/suburban areas view the fields and woods of rural locales as public land. They don’t conceive of this land as being privately owned by those who pay a mortgage, taxes, and upkeep on it who will likely have problems with strangers showing up.

Another big assumption of course was that someone whose only experience growing things might be the petunias in their hanging flower basket or mowing their suburban lawn was just going to magically grow enough food for themselves and their family. Ditto for being able to hunt or fish for the bulk of one’s food. Wild-crafting in the woods for those who haven’t a clue falls into the same category. Still, it was interesting to know what many of these people were thinking. I suspect not much has changed in this regard since then except that there are even more people now in adulthood who only know how to do “stuff” using their phone and an “app”.

So knowing all of this, where might be a greater danger from the “hordes” fleeing the city and when might this happen? Much has been written on the path (“lines of drift”) that urbanites might take to flee the city. Some of this of course depends on if they are fleeing in cars/trucks, or on foot, or on bikes. A situation such as an EMP would be quite different than one where people had motorized transport and access to fuel.

The only situation where I’d want to assume that most would be on foot would be that of an EMP where most vehicles were inoperable or a disaster which made the roads impassable by cars such as a major earthquake. So in the event of other disasters such as prolonged power failures, a pandemic, civil unrest, severe economic distress etc., I think I’d assume that many would have the means to at least get one tank of gas away from the city or suburbs. This then means that there could indeed be hordes of people in vehicles fleeing the city and heading out to their idea of perceived safety in rural areas.

Where Will the Horde Be Heading?

So which kinds of rural settings will they be looking to access? I’ve been considering this to some degree as I think that not all rural areas will be as much at risk as others, even in the east. Some of this depends on where people are coming from. It also depends on the time of year. Those fleeing New York City or Boston for instance would likely head north to the perceived safety of rural New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. But if this was in winter, I’m not so sure of that. Even city people know how cold and snowy it gets there. If people were on foot, I doubt they’d attempt this in the winter. But if by car, then I think many would.

I suspect that whatever the season, many would have in mind that they would find a vacant “camp” or vacation home, all set up with a wood burning stove, firewood, and food that they could break in to. Some might go in search of the vacation home that they previously rented. This could get interesting given how many of these homes are rented out by the week every year and how many people that would add up to. [JWR Adds: Just imagine how many “Time Share” co-owners will show up to simultaneously claim the same property. That is a tasty recipe for a gunfight.]

Some might head to the state, private or US government campground where they stayed previously on a camping trip. They would assume that this would be a safe place to be and there is (was) running water, toilets, showers, ponds etc to avail themselves of, at least in the camping season. Again, just considering how many times each campsite is rented out during the camping season over just 10 or 20 years, that’s an astounding number of people. They all might have fond memories of their camping trip spent on tent-site #26 who would decide that this could be their exclusive place of refuge.

This then means that any place which currently has lots of vacation homes or campgrounds may well be at risk of having a whole lot of people descend upon this area all thinking that they alone had this brilliant idea. The prospect of a whole bunch of ill-prepared city people all duking it out over a vacation home or campsite that doesn’t even belong to them isn’t pleasant. Many of them will likely end up needing to find a place to stay in the general area as someone else beat them to it first and they can’t go “back home” again to the city. This then would result in areas that have many vacation homes or campgrounds needing to cope with the overflow. If a disaster should happen at a time of year when the campgrounds/vacation homes were already occupied, then this could get even worse. And if I were a second home owner, I wouldn’t want to count on being able to occupy it if I weren’t there first, and suitably armed to defend my ownership rights.

(To be concluded tomorrow, in Part 2.)




75 Comments

  1. Two thoughts. Something more concerning is government relocation of displaced people from urban areas. Imagine government trucks dumping large numbers of folks in small communities, expecting them to host them.

    Then the news from the UK, where rural folks are posting their versions of “Keep Out” signs to those who bought secondary homes in their area, and want to escape the virus from the cities.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8146283/Angry-locals-St-Ives-Cornwall-scrawl-messages-beach-second-home-owners-remain-defiant.html

  2. This is happening NOW, in Hunter, New York. Many from the city have gone there, bringing the virus with them, according to a friend of mine who has a second home there. The area is known by many due to its ski resort, but the city folk consider it “the boondocks”

  3. Seen local communities rally to stop planned ski resort development because the financial benefit never out weighs the infestation, which once upon them… the Rats only become all consuming.

  4. Wait a minute! I got first dibs on tent-site #26! And time share ‘owners’! Mercy, what could possibly go wrong?

    The author makes a lot of sense. If I had a silver dime for every time I decided to ‘go with what I know’.

    1. Sorry dude, but I’ve stayed at tent site #26 every August for the past 10 years! it’s mine! ;-(

      But seriously, when things get scary people do seek out what and where they know. That is why when someone is on the run from the police they look for them where they have lived in the past and at friend’s and relatives homes. If I were fleeing the city/suburbs, I’m sure I’d be more likely to seek refuge in a place I had already stayed at and was familiar with. So I won’t be showing up in Montana anytime soon!

  5. And as many preppers are now learning the “Horde” mentality is demonstrated by un-asked for Family’s and their “Friends” showing up to “Crazy Uncle Joe’s the survivalist” place. Your “Years Supply” of food looks a LOT smaller when two or three Extra Mouths show up empty handed.

    Social media is a real prepper problem. It takes BUT one Teenager or an “Adult” with the same mindset to twitter to their “Friends” about this wonderful “Survival Place”….

    We have a LOT of Condo action around here. So far not turned into a shooting match but the real fear of COVID19 and social unrest hasn’t occurred. I am very concerned the constant stories of law enforcement NOT enforcing “Minor” law issues AND the Release the Prisoners to “Protect” them from COVID19 is going to become BAD.

    I hear from local Gun shops that Guns and Ammo are essentially gone aside from expensive dribs and drabs as even the “Gun Hating Liberals” are buying like crazy.

    Having a gun does make you dangerous but lack of skill is also a danger, often to yourself and your family. I suspect that “Accidental” gun discharges as well as unskilled wood stove users are going to make what little Fire Department and EMS still available due to sick outs, very busy before everything collapses the medical system due to COVID19.

    That old Navy saying of “Prepare to Repel Boarders” might be all too real to the prepared and simply “perceived” to be safer-more prepared.

    1. Without going into a great amount of detail, my daughter’s BF decided that he just had to tell a handful of his friends about a wonderful place that he knew- via social messaging. And extended an invite…….
      Needless to say to this audience, you can imagine the great joy and good humor with which I greeted this information.

      1. Oh. My. Word.
        I am in shock for you.
        As I started reading, I thought you were telling a joke, or “this could happen,” story. I literally did an audible gasp upon understanding this really happened to you… I’m sooo sorry. Thank you for sharing this experience so others can learn from it, and do what we can for prevention. I’m thinking of many things, some not so Christian, like; “No idiots allowed.”

  6. Ani,
    What an excellent article! I can’t wait to read Part 2!

    You have perfectly described why my wife and I decided to abandon our out-of-state retreat property for our current rural farm in Virginia. Our retreat location is near a lake surrounded by vacation homes owned by what I would describe as “un-likeminded” people. Even today, they and their extended families swarm in like locusts during the summer months with no regard for locals. I can only imagine what it would be like during a true crisis.

    Another factor people fail to consider is some rural areas are already experiencing hard times financially. The opioid crisis is still raging near our retreat property and addicted residents are having a hard time surviving as it is. During one of my regular visits last year, I found that someone had stolen nearly two cords of split and stacked firewood that I had painstakingly prepared. Even churches have been plundered for the copper and aluminum in their HVAC systems. Imagine what those people will do when everything goes sideways. City dwellers seeking refuge there, with no concept of local customs and mannerisms, will be in for a rude awakening.

    1. Seat belts… the road is fixing to get bumpy. So glad to have caught the crazy prepper mentality. Here is where we make the hard decision to care for those in need or not.
      Walking close to God…..the answer.

  7. From what I am reading, the horde is already leaving and trying to find their “ideal spot” to hunker down and are stripping the local mom and pops grocery stores. The locals are getting upset and also over taxing the local medical centers bringing in the virus with them. If this keeps up, I can see county sheriff’s shutting down highways into their towns and vacation areas and turning people from out of state or the area away.

  8. Our current situation also reveals the failure of the horde mentality to think logically or to follow simple instructions. Witness the “toilet paper crisis”. The fools from metro Phoenix drove 4 hours to buy every roll of toilet paper in our tiny community. How will toilet paper help you survive???!!!! And completely disregarded the request to stay home and Do Not Travel so as to slow the spread of the virus.

    We have had many show up in our community as they have taken advantage of extended school breaks and work leave to Take a Vacation hours or even states away from home. Thereby potentially spreading illness to all they came in contact with. Including the elderly family they came to visit.

    At the small locally owned grocery store/gas station there are not only limits on certain essential items but you must prove local residency to purchase water, toilet paper, etc. They are not allowing out of town locusts to wipe out resources needed to care for locals.

    Thankfully there are many preppers in this area who quickly realized the threat to resources posed by the horde mentality from larger metro areas.

  9. Yup,
    Husband and I are keeping a close watch. There is apparently a pretty decent sized opioid/herion problem in my town and county as well as the surrounding counties. Also a fairly large alcoholism element here too. (Remember the drunk neighbor I told you about? Well he is just one and I see evidence of MANY more like him in this town). Throw in the drug dealer house down the road & it’s pretty scary

    Fantastic article Ani!! You are very articulate and I am looking forward to the next part.

    Have a Rockin great day!

  10. 1) Much of the News Media is based in New York City and they are functionally “lying by omission” to their readers.
    2) Out of 790 US dead, 192 were in New York City, even though it only has a population of 8.4 million. If the rest of the country (320 million) were as badly infected as NYC, we would have 7,314 dead instead of only 598.

    3) Due to a massive failure on the part of NYC Mayor Blasio and New York governor Cuomo, NYC has become a lethal threat to America — and yet the lying News Media is NOT criticizing that failure. Instead, it is holding Governor Cuomo up as a “national leader” and “potential President”. Which is ridiculous to anyone who judges politicans by results and not by their playacting on TV. Where did Cuomo get that hilarious uniform, by the way?

    1. I have been watching the numbers intently for a while now and they do not make sense.

      New York is reporting over 10 times the number of cases as California. I would buy maybe 3 or 4 times but not 10. And the numbers are maintaining.

      New York must be either fudging their numbers or other states are fudging their numbers or New York is testing way more people.

      I am of the opinion this disease is already well spread up and down both coasts and probably in the middle as well. I am of the opinion there are millions already infected and either recovered or asymptomatic. I suspect I could know four of those people who came down very sick around the middle of February and recovered in about a week with something very uncharacteristic for them.

      We need to test more people. We need to randomize testing. We need to test people for antibodies to see who has already caught it and recovered.

      I hate to giver Cuomo any kudos but I think his state has to be testing more than any other and I think he is right that those who have recovered need to be identified and get back to work if able. I think that population is likely in the millions.

      1. The population density in NYC is higher than anywhere else in the US; over 27,000 people per square mile! So given that, people are jammed on top of each other plus mass transit is used heavily. If there was nary place in the US I would have expected to see have a pandemic within a pandemic it would be NYC. In California there are way more places where people live in single family homes and driving is common.

        1. In my opinion, the loud outcry in the news media distracts people away from a measure that does NOT require testing and which is clear: How many dead bodies are stacked up.

          There can be a lot of argument about how many people are infected, how many without symptoms,etc but the one thing that is NOT fuzzy and vague Is the number of dead. And by that measure, New York City is a very hot zone that threatens the rest of the country if its residents flee to safe areas.

          The Governor of Florida has mandated that anyone arriving from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut MUST be in a 14 day quarantine.

          1. “The Governor of Florida has mandated that anyone arriving from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut MUST be in a 14 day quarantine.”

            And they’re going to enforce that how? And I think it’s only if you fly to FL, not drive. People showing up here from those states immediately go out shopping it appears. Our governor has suggested this(14-day isolation) but it’s not mandated nor enforceable at this point. They have stopped telling us the numbers for infected residents versus non-residents but at one point it was 7 non-residents out of 17 infected. No idea what the numbers are now but I guess they didn’t want those from other states to feel unwanted.

      2. I caught a vid of a reporter acting as a Chinese official and got through to a funeral parlor. They have 11 working crematoriums and are processing a body every 50 minutes, for 318 people a day. That was Dec 29. If they’ve kept that rate, they’ve processed around 27,000 dead. That’s just one funeral parlor in Wuhan. Lot higher than the 3400-4000 dead that China is putting out.

        California isn’t testing!

        We need 100% testing to try and find those asymptomatic folks and isolate them. That’s the only way to put the brakes on this.

        MASK! MASK! MASK!
        The countries that are wearing masks are seeing a much slower rise in the number of cases than non-wearing countries. Even homemade masks are better than nothing. If you have the materials, start making them!

      3. My roommate here is running tests on people for covid.
        He has been ordered to stop. The results have been 40% positive. The testing criteria now is the same as treatment will be when hospitals are over run.

        That’s 40% of 8 million with a critical care need of 25 – 30%.

        NYC isn’t fudging high on its released numbers it’s fudging low. My roommate is in NYC. Right now the medical facilities are just about maxed.

        Cuomo and DeBlasio have screwed the pooch as has the government for not isolating sooner and giving so much side away.

        And for the record I’m sitting on the same package of to I had in December.

        1. Your room mates observation match what I suspect.

          What would be interesting would be to test at random all over NYC and spots all over the country. You may not find 40% but I bet you would find the exposure is much higher than estimated now. I suspect you would also find millions with antibodies that would indicate they have already had it and recovered as well.

          I would point out that the author of this very site was severely ill along with his whole family not long ago. From what I have read over the years this is fairly uncharacteristic for him and his family with their healthy lifestyle and efforts to build immunity. I would not be surprised if it was COVID. Could have morphed into something bacterial after that but that is quite typical of viruses.

          1. I have wondered, too, if we have already had a mild form of it, since we picked up bad colds and for Jim severe bronchitis at the Spokane gun show at the end of January…???

            Of course if we did have it, it makes it more important for us to not to get re-exposed, since the reports of the effects of re-exposure don’t look good.

            Jim doesn’t think he had it though…

          2. I have two friends and their wives (total of four people) who were put in bed sick around Feb 16 for about a week and were pretty weak for a while after that. None of these people remember being as sick as they were for a long time. I have known one of them for two decades and never saw him come down with anything like that. I watched him have two back surgeries and be up shoveling horse manure before he was supposed to both times. (Which explains why two surgeries rather than one.)

            My son takes his family to the local YMCA several times a week. Not now of course. When the first cases started showing up in the US the staff there stated that they thought it had already swept through the place. Everything goes through that place. But there were no tests yet.

            My son in laws best friend recently tested positive. If it were not for the news he would not have even given it a second thought. All he had was very light sniffles that under ordinary circumstances he would have totally ignored. He is young and very fit and I suspect he will be fine. Time will tell.

            My wife and I have been self quarantined for the most part since March 12th with only me going to work a few times and a few trips to the market. My work is considered critical infrastructure so I have to work out of the home occasionally. No contact with my son in law for several weeks. We are a little older but have no complicating conditions so I am relatively unconcerned for us. And I would make a small wager we have already been exposed.

            We need widespread randomized testing for antibodies to get to the real truth of this matter.

          3. This makes me wonder as well that the massive “sinus infection “ I had about 4-5 weeks ago MIGHT have very well been the virus in question. I was prescribed antibiotics (875mg Amoxicillin, 2 times daily for 10 days) and honestly I did NOT even start to feel ANY better until day 8 . Of course I’ll never know . I usually get a pretty bad sinus infection about every 5-6 years but this felt different.
            Also, I explained in a post a couple weeks ago how my “never ever wants to go to the doctor husband “ got sick enough that we went to urgent care & they offered the test to both of us & then quickly withdrew that offer.
            Who knows , but it does seem strange that more than a few of us on here have been sicker this year than usual?
            Hmmmmm

            Rock on!!

    2. From your post: “Due to a massive failure on the part of NYC Mayor Blasio and New York governor Cuomo, NYC has become a lethal threat to America…”

      Agreed. …and the numbers of people who have left, are leaving now, and plan to leave resulted in Florida’s stipulation that anyone arriving from NY self-quarantine for the prescribed period of time. NY may now seeding coronavirus in many other places simply by virtue of the numbers of confirmed cases or those who are likely infected.

      We are also concerned about the blame directed to the President when it appears the Governor of NY could have acted upon ventilator orders years ago, but elected not to do so — pursuing other checklist issues from the liberal agenda.

      It’s long past time to get serious, folks. We have a lot of work to do to get to the other side of this. We hope those future efforts will see a much greater focus on REAL concerns (and not those that seem to exist only in the remote recesses of leftist liberal minds).

      Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

  11. Ani, nice article.

    To toss out a wrench, was it not mass migration, under the context of “tourism” that caused our current “Coronageddon”?

    Should this be true, then how we understand what a horde is, is made up of poor people attempting to flee (for whatever reason). Completely different from people who can afford to travel, who are the sole reason this pandemic happened?

    It’s all perspective. 😉

    1. I think a horde can be at any income level; the ones flocking here now to second homes, AirBnB’s etc have money. We’re not yet at the point where people are flocking here on foot with just what they have on their backs. But yeah, tourism and the incessant travel that we now engage in is what spread this so fast. But 2 different issues I think.

    2. Muddy Kid, close but a more insidious element is involved. The first case was a woman who returned from Wuhan after taking care of family, upon returning was diagonsed,quarantined,and cured,out of the thousands of contacts she only infected her husband,also quarantined and cured. The real infection started with the Japanese creating a plague ship by not using quarantine procedures then exporting the infection. US bureaucrats then purposefully spread it(deep state? population reductionists? anti-Trump?).

  12. Hi Ani, thanks for writing this, lots of interesting thoughts. What time does the shootout at campsite #26 start? Don’t want to miss that one!

    This whole subject has always been a favorite debate topic after I find someone who has read One Second After. I’ve always taken the side of the argument that in a TEOTWAWKI event the vast majority of people in cities would shelter (and die) in place, waiting for the government to come and take care of them, tuck them in at night, and make everything all better again.

    But even a small minority of 330 million people is a lot to contend with so it behooves all of us to have a good roving-hordes strategy.

    Looking forward to part 2.

    1. St. Funogas! From your post: “This whole subject has always been a favorite debate topic after I find someone who has read One Second After. I’ve always taken the side of the argument that in a TEOTWAWKI event the vast majority of people in cities would shelter (and die) in place, waiting for the government to come and take care of them, tuck them in at night, and make everything all better again.”

      Your thought about that the vast majority would shelter and die in place is interesting from the standpoint of behavioral psychology within the context of crisis, and we tend to agree with this — although we agree as well that even a small minority of 330 million on the move would be a tough challenge!

  13. I was never a believer in the “Golden Horde” James often wrote about . But now when I live near a huge National Park , I have become a believer . Our local supermarket was stripped the bare walls long before the locals could begin to stock up . The National Park had to close due to massive overcrowding. Same goes with our state beaches having to close down . It must be a instinctive thing to flee the urban centers .

    1. I think it is. The only thing that has kept more people from fleeing places such as NYC, Boston etc is that we are still in winter-mode here in the northeast. They are coming however. The ski areas closed down but the out-of-staters stayed on. They’ve been going to their second homes, AirBnB’s, inns etc. My son reported seeing a whole lot of cars with MA and NY tags parked in town. Anecdotally I’m hearing tales of people from NY showing up to stay and buying a HUGE amount of stuff be it from the grocery store or the hardware store. They are scared and feel safer here. We are still buried in snow up in the far north or else they would be flocking here en masse to the campgrounds, state parks, seasonal vacation homes etc. If this virus doesn’t resolve soon, and I fear it won’t, it’s only a matter of time before they all come up here. The closest big city to me is Montreal and the border is closed so the invaders will be coming from the south; all over 150 miles away but as cars are running and gas is wicked cheap, they’ll do it.

  14. I’m hearing the same things about upstate NY and the Hamptons: Richie Rich’s showing up and buying everything up. Typical of their attitude. I love that places are only selling to locals. Looking forward to part 2 as well.

  15. Excellent Ani! A good refresher on choosing a retreat property. Where I am now in the middle of nowheresville, Idaho, there are only 2 roads that lead you here. They are the only way in and the only way out, easy to close, and they wind through snow covered mountains for most of the year. Some may think that a great inconvenience during the winter as heavy snow fall, a fallen tree or two, an avalanche, an accident, etc., can close them down. But, I specifically looked for that type of situation. Basically, you stock up during the good weather and hunker down during the bad. If someone is addicted to shopping, Starbucks drive through, an array of restaurants, the movie theatre, we have none of that. If someone loves the out of doors, wildlife, an excessive amount of quiet, good fishing and hunting, and miles and miles of beauty and serenity, we have lots of that. The downside is, we don’t have a hospital just a small clinic (if you can call it that) where the neighboring county sends a doctor twice a week. We do not have a grocery store! You have to drive to the neighboring county where there are 2. There is 1 fire station, 1 tiny library, 1 place that serves lunch/dinner, 1 little breakfast place, 1 little thrift/antique store, 1 post office, 1 school, 1 church. You can drive through town in 3 minutes or less. I used to travel all the time for business, worked in Silicon Valley for many years, lived on Starbucks coffee, enjoyed a variety of cuisines, and I miss zero of that. We do have Internet here (it’s slow DSL for some and slow wireless for others), and a cell signal (tower in town), which I very much appreciate. Everything and everybody moves really slow here. When I first purchased my cabin, I had to wait 2 weeks to get Internet and a new cell phone… it was a very quiet and reflective 2 weeks. There’s no such thing as “demanding” service from anyone if you need help. There’s a guy in town who does handyman stuff, but he doesn’t carry a phone or have email (and never will) and only works when he feels like it. What I learned: If you’re new to Idaho, or any area, it’s best to keep your mouth shut, smile a lot, be friendly, and most of all observant. You have to learn to fit in to the culture or people will shut you out completely, and if you ever need an electrician… good luck with that. You need to be kind and thankful, pleasant. It’s a completely different lifestyle. I love it, but you have to leave your demanding, fast-paced, exacting attitude (I learned the attitude working in high tech for 30 years), behind you. I wonder if you’ll be writing about that aspect of a move to a rural location? Thanks for covering this topic.

    1. I am that handyman. You nailed it! I’ve been abused and ripped off countless times by natives, and snow birds alike. People in general these days cannot be trusted, and I run into a lot kooks too. Doesn’t matter what they drive or what they apparently own, or do not. Most are deeply in debt and cannot afford an expensive contractor for a small job. The local plumbing shop costs $80 to $120/hr, and will schedule you weeks out. I am cheap and fast in comparison, yet it doesn’t matter. After the crisis is over, they may not pay. It is rough out there, and will get a lot rougher when these same people become even more desperate. There are also many very nice folks who are like gold nuggets compared to all the rest. Once one has found enough gold nuggets, new customers must prove themselves to get on the good guy list. My regular customers treat me very well, and often tip, so I would rather do without than be abused again in some way. It is a two way street. If there was another way to make money around here, I would leave the business. It is that bad. Treat me good, and I will save you hundreds, if not thousands over time, from remodeling to mechanical repair jobs of many kinds. Yes, treat the locals with respect and it will be returned in full, and their knowledge of the area will save you money and trouble.

      1. Yes!!! Then we’ve met at some point – I mean, someone like you. From my point of view: be respectful, patient, pay cash (immediately), and pay a bit more than you are charged. I’ve met wonderful, kind, people, and have a lot of respect for people who welcomed me into their piece of heaven. I pretty much keep to myself, and I haven’t run into any jerks yet. LOL. There seems to be an “underground” economy here. Not suggesting illegal. Suggesting, that it’s all about developing relationships, and people helping one another. You can’t just zip out to the Internet, do a search, find a website, and call a plumber, for example. The way it rolls here, is you ask a friend if they know anyone good with plumbing that might be willing to help. Usually that is all it takes. I usually bake up something yummy to give as a thank you, if I can swing it. Take care Tunnel Rabbit!

      2. I need to find someone like you in my area. I’m going to replace my water heater due to age, and the uncertain times (get while I can). The local plumbers want $750 labor to install a $400 water heater–1 hour time plus travel (?). Thank you, but no. Fortunately, I can do it myself.

        1. Hi Mike,
          Necessity is the mother of invention. You’ll do fine. Get the height of the new water heater before you buy, and if not has tall as the old one, estimate the length of the flexible copper outlet line and flexible braided steel encased rubber hose line needed to make up for the difference. flexible copper can be use for both sides and is best. The outlet requires copper or galvanized as the water is very hot. Or be prepared to elevate a shorter water heater. Verify fitting sizes as well. Get all potential supplies that might be needed in place before starting the work. It is better to have extras and optional parts, and have to return it, than to need it, and have to run to the store to find it after the work is started.

          1. Thank you for responding. I should have mentioned that as a DIY 34-year home owner I’ve changed both gas and electric water heaters. If needed, I can sweat copper as well as the best plumbers. Our plumbing is CPVC, and the replacement water heater is very similar in size to the existing unit. As you no doubt know, PVC/CPVC gets brittle with age, so I’m going to use flexible stainless steel to connect the new heater to the existing plumbing.

  16. In one county already in N GA vacation rentals, not homes, must be vacated. Last weekend in the nearest town they were still partying like spring breakers, which is part of their mentality, but the local outcry was great and most stores and restaurants are closed.
    Today I gave the FedX guy a package of lettuce seeds and you’d think it was a $100 gift card at Christmas time. A local candle shop that employs 300 shut down today due to supply shortages and Bed, Bath & Beyond shutting down their stores. This is the tip of the iceberg, folks. Oh, and the second home/summer residents are returning to our community. I think most of them are okay and have lived here for many years. Not too many new people. Got a last order of organic meat today. That’s probably it for awhile. The Walmart delivery products are spotty, but we try to order what we think we might need. Many are still only partially “woke”.
    God bless us all.
    Great article, Ani.

  17. People fleeing to their familiar camp ground, or hunting camp could be a real problem for those in remote areas. These refugees believe they can hunt for their food, but when they run out, they can turn their hunting rifle into a sniper’s rifle, and wait for preppers to leave their homes and work in the garden. This is why we need to close all trails and unused roads, all access to the property, secure the entrance with a heavy gate, and use trip wire alarms, sensors, and patrols if you can. If we can in enlist the help of neighbors, controlling or monitoring the road into the area would prevent unknown visitors and potential campers from entering.
    A friendly looking local sitting in their old pick up will not attract much attention, yet he may see hunters and campers entering the area. Controlling the entrance can be just two guys with their pick ups blocking the road to make sure only local, and their kin only pass. Use radios and other mean to verify the identity. Check all possible camp sites and forest roads for campers. If one happens to run into campers, be a gray man if possible, and not a threat, but carry concealed and have a rifle in the vehicle. No one should be looking for trouble during the early stages. They might be looking for help. Hunters will often use FRS/GMRS hand helds. Monitor these frequencies with a scanner on a good antenna may hear them.

    (Chirp doesn’t support all radios, especially some tri-banders. Looks like I’ll have to do some programming manually…..bummer.)

    1. One of the many advantages of having a high gain antenna on a MURS Dakota Alert on a main artery into an area is to alert the user of others coming and going. Using two sensors, one can determine the direction, speed, and number of vehicles. The sensors reset after 30 seconds, so to determine the number of vehicles, they need to placed more than 30 seconds apart given the fastest comfortable speed for the road. If it is a dirt or gravel road, then speeds are usually less than 35 mph.

      In the set up I had and used for months, it worked well. It also gave me a 6 minute warning of vehicles that may turned down my road. One sensor was set up about a 1/2 a mile away as a bird flies, and had a hill in the way. Mounting the Slim Jim perpendicular to the crest of the hill allowed the 1/2 watt signal to deflect over the top. With a Slim Jim antennas on the transmitter, and only a rubber duck Boafeng AV-85 antenna on the Boafeng receiver, they can be reliable for up to 6 miles in ideal conditions. If the receiver also had a Slim Jim, or just an old VHF TV antenna on it, the range would be even greater. This beats having an old guy (me) sitting out on the road all day and night. If there is an intruder that does not trip the sensor on his way out of the area, then I might have to go looking for them, or bar the door.

      If the signal must pass through a mile of trees and unfavorable terrain, putting a Dakota Alert on a 5 element yagi can boost it’s signal up to 2.5 watts ERP, and have the range of a Boafeng set on low power. Use your hand held to gauge the potential site. Defending at a distance when it is just your family, can be made easier if one knows how to fully leverage the potential of these sensors. QRP (low power) radio is not well understood, because it is not popular, but it can be reliable. My set up was time tested, and I will be using it in the future.

  18. Chicago mayor is threatening to arrest people now because large groups of them are congregating on the beaches and bike/walking paths of Lake Shore Drive. She said she knows this because before their “look at me” daily News conference she was reviewing the footage from all the cameras placed around the city.

    Also, just rumor right now but governor of Illinois is suggesting he may extended our state “lockdown “ past April 7th.

    And lastly, on my way home from mom and dads today, a major jerk (much stronger language was flying from my mouth) was trying to bumper crash me because I wasn’t going fast enough for him. (Apparently my 80 miles an hour was too slow).
    Anyway, I know I shouldn’t have but I tapped the breaks and he raced up next to me to give me his middle finger then got in front of me & slowed way down. At the stop sign he sat & continued to flip me off (I returned the favor) for about 10 seconds before racing off .
    I really shouldn’t have engaged him but I was furious and sometimes my Italian temper gets the best of me!!

    Be alert!! People are getting REALLY salty!!

    Have a Rockin great day!

    1. RKRGRL68,

      Hey Girl,

      I totally understand and get it, but BE CAREFUL!!! PLEASE!! 🙁 We don’t want anything happening to you! Please try to operate in the opposite spirit, for you own soul’s sake and for your parents and your husband and children’s sakes.

      Heard from my Mom, and the governor of her state came on the TV and announced that they are thinking of extending the lockdown until April 15th!!

      Ayup “they” want to protect people and make other’s hurt financially and in hunger… and complete their plans for a world takeover… I really do think there is a pandemic, and I do think the PTB are taking advantage of it.

      Keep rockin’,

      Lily

      1. Lily,

        I am making a solid promise to myself, my family and all of you guys that I will NEVER do that again. I’m one of those drivers that constantly checks all my mirrors for threats around me but this happened really fast and caught me off guard.

        I have been working with mom and have taught her how to video call me so they can see me when I’m not there. I may have to cut down on my every other day visits. I do make sure that I am coming and going during full daylight hours.
        They refuse to come here and there is not enough room for me there so I am making the best of the situation. The police officer downstairs is also keeping an eye out for me.
        I’m so glad you heard from your mom, my heart aches for how you must feel not being able to have her with you

        One other reason why I may cut down my every other day trips to mom and dads is that today I noticed two county sheriffs cars (two different counties) just sitting on the side of two different rural roads I use to go to mom and dads.
        They NEVER do this so it concerns me and I don’t want them hassling me or arresting me for being “out”

        Thank you so much for thinking of me, I love being part of this blog family!! (Even if it’s like being in a real life version of Jim’s Patriots novel)!!

        Rock on!!

    2. Really sorry to hear about the incident with the other driver! You know… I had something like this happen several days ago now in a town where this sort of thing simply does not happen. It was crazy, really. It’s true… People are getting salty, and FAST.

  19. Vermont has a “stay at home order” in effect from 5 pm today. Our numbers of infected are growing exponentially. They are doing minimal testing so that is concerning. We have an epidemic in a nursing home and that’s looking pretty bad.

    Went out today(with mask) to pick up some last minute stuff(garden tools, etc) from the hardware stores; one told me they aren’t getting any more shipments in- what they have is it for now. Grocery store has been “locusted”- they told me the frozen food truck didn’t show up. Sure hope we don’t continue to get an influx of out-of-state residents as many things are not being resupplied here at the stores.

    Oh yes, and the hardware store clerk told me a guy from New York placed a large order; was wearing goggles, mask and gloves at least!

  20. When the toilet paper crisis hit our area, I was shocked at how fast we were wiped out. Later, a friend told me that she was in a local meat market and a man from Houston had came up and had bought 700 lbs. of meat. We live a little less than two hours from Houston. Another friend told me that the toilet paper and paper towels were short because Houstonians came up here to buy all they could get. This was information obtained from a worker in a major chain store. If they will do this for toilet paper and meat, now, while supplies are available, what will they do when food supplies get low. By the way, the next run was on food staples and guns and ammo. There is no flour, sugar, cornmeal, dried milk, beans, rice, or cereals on the shelves. Meat and eggs come in and are sold out in a few hours. It is like a horde of locusts has hit the grocery stores in our area. I have never seen this many empty shelves even when people preparing for a hurricane to hit and that was not only locals preparing but also evacuees coming through.

    1. Big Mike, sounds like you are close to my area. While we aren’t getting folks from Houston (yet, we soon will be if the RV’s and Travel Trailers are any indication), we are getting bombarded by other rural towns. I went on a last trip to a local walmart (another county) Sunday. There was NOTHING left. I then went to our local “Mom and Pop” store and got some things that were on my list.
      What was ironic, I ran into a lady that mentioned “Oh this isn’t looking good!”. I said “have you been over to the XXX walmart? This is like a major shopping center!” What she said almost stopped me in my tracks…”I know, my husband works at XXX walmart and that’s why I’m here.” It’s only going to be a matter of time…..

  21. On lockdown here for one month. $250 fines and 30 day jail time if caught not going to store for food or meds.

    Need advice. Is it better to run in for your own groceries if you have to or better to pick up at store (where the store gathers stuff for you). I’m thinking that the store employees touching all of my products may be higher risk due to their being around so many people all day long.

    So happy my lettuce is starting to grow!

    1. Deb, I’ve thought of this too. My conclusion is it’s better to get stuff gathered for you if possible. A lot of hands are touching it anyways and I would rather not breathe the air of the store. This virus is transmitted via airborne aerosol. Easier to sanitize products as they come out of the bag. Good Luck. People – don’t forget to sanitize your steering wheel, all door handles (including cabinets and fridge), cell phones, wallets and computer keyboards!

      1. Some of our essential stores are still “open” but not allowing anyone inside; hardware, food coop, farm/garden stuff etc. The ONLY way to access them is to phone or email in your order, pay for it and then arrange to pick it up outside where they seem to be having the sweetest youngest employees bring the orders to the customers. 😉 This does work for the most part as people aren’t inside the stores and if the customer and employee are careful, they can minimize their exposure to each other. It’s not like browsing the store though(and I just ended up with a container of yogurt that was supposed to be used by 6 days ago!) ;-(

    2. Deb, I have a pallet set up on cinder blocks and a one gallon hand pump sprayer I fill with bleach diluted with water. EVERY grocery item (and even the mail and packages!) goes on the slats and I mist everything with bleach.

      It’s a lot of extra work (and some things can just be washed with soap and water in the house), but for a person at high risk such as myself it’s a step well worth it!

  22. “Some might head to the state, private or US government campground…”

    All Oregon state campgrounds are closed. I believe Federal ones are too and I’m sure other states as well. Private resorts are closing.

  23. Just heard from our adopted daughter who lives in a small town in Michigan. The local police (paid) have informed the public they will not respond to B&E or several other calls if there are no injuries.

  24. Timely topic! Just got a report that campers from out of town are camping at the popular Lake Koocanusa site near Eureka Montana. They were kicked out of the small town store, Montana Market ,when they attempted to buy in bulk. There is no snow on the ground, and unseasonably warm temperatures that are inviting.

    1. I was bummed at how slow our snow here was melting and we just got a big dump of fresh snow earlier this week on top of it but now I think it’s the only thing saving my area(for now) in northern VT from the hordes. Also the only reason our virus test numbers up here are much lower than the rest of VT(southern and Chittenden Co area). Really want to blockade the roads! I feel like I’m living in a prepper novell! 😉

  25. I live in rural upstate ny where i work my small farm plus for my local county which is the 15 minutes from my home.
    At my job the town also hosts a state college which has a large population of kids who come up from nyc. Imagine our surpise when the college decided to close for the rest of the year and invited the kids to come back to get their stuff cleaned out. They had an estimated 300 kids back in town for about 4 days before they were taken back home. Seems like whomever decided to do this either wasnt thinking or did it on purpose. Even rural locations may not be safe. Great job Ani look forward to tommorrow.

  26. Ani! Great article, and looking forward to the 2nd installment. Thanks so much for sharing these thoughts… Lots of interesting discussion and sharing followed too! Really terrific!

  27. My daughter lives about 30 miles outside a major southwestern city. I was so happy she moved out a few years ago. I have been staying with her and her family for the time being. The only grocery store here closed, so we have to go into the city to shop if necessary. She is an intelligent girl, she is usually well stocked, but she had let herself get low on flour. It took us nearly a week to get 25# of flour.

    She has sold eggs,chickens, ducks and turkeys here in the community over the past few years. She has also volunteered at the local ‘food share’ here in the valley. My point is that people know she has some source of food.

    I had a frank talk with her the other day about how she would handle the problem of people coming to ask for food. Her, not to acceptable answer was, “I’ll deal with that problem if or when it happens.” I told her, “You need to make the ‘moral decision’ of how you are going to handle this before the situation arises!” Food for thought.

    One more comment. I think we need to keep things in perspective in relationship to this situation. Folks, THIS IS THE FLU, this is not the plague! Should we take measures to lessen the effects? YES, of course! All the health measures that you would normally take in any contagious event are pertinent here BUT keep things in perspective. WHAT DO THE NUMBERS SAY! What are the numbers of people that ACTUALLY die from this flu? Depending on
    the sources you use 2-4%….I’m 74 years old and am suppose to be at HIGH risk. Am I cowering in my boots and frozen in time because of this, NO! Do I take reasonable care, yes… The FEAR factor and it’s cascading effect is much more dangerous than the actual event.

    1. Earn, I agree with you. I am in my sixties and my husband is older. We do take precautions and strategize who will go out if we need an item. For the most part we stay home, take our vitamins and carry on as we always have. You have to ask yourself who is benefiting from this media blitz where they really are not telling you much. I had a discussion with my daughter this morning when she said, “the death toll in our state is now xxx.” I asked her what the ages of the people were, what confounding conditions existed for those people etc. She acknowledged that this information was not provided. Yes, it is tragic that we are loosing people but we are not really being told who, why and what other conditions confounded their illness. Is the purpose then to cover up the already mounting food shortages from the GSM? If not this, then what? There are many theories out there and I am sure we will eventually find out.

      On another note, I live about 10 miles out of a major city in our state. It is rural country with multi-acre farms. We’ve live here for the better part of 35 years. Our kids went to the rural schools and we have been a part of the community for many year. With that said, we are still considered outsiders as we did not acquire our land through inheritance. Many of the surrounding families have had their land in their families for many generations. We have good neighbors and have worked hard to network. If you are going to move to a rural site, make sure you are ready to give to your new community rather than take. Establish networks and by all means, bring your own TP!

  28. 1) In my opinion, the News Media is deliberately lying to the American People re the threat posed by New York City. The outbreak there is Far Worse than elsewhere.

    2) WHO just has new numbers out — NYC situation is worsening as I projected above.
    Earlier today, USA dead was 790 of which 192 were in NYC. Current count is 1042 dead in USA with 280 in NYC.

    3) Repeating my earlier point, USA population is 328 million and NYC’s is only 8.4 million. IF the rest of the USA was as badly infected as NYC, the number of dead in the rest of the country would be (320/8.4) X 280 = 10,667. Instead it is only
    (1042 – 280) = 762.

    4) Cuomo lied when he said the rest of the country would be as bad as NYC — because local governments elsewhere are obviously not as incompetent.

    5) Note the rapid RATE of increase in NYC dead — from 192 to 280 within a day. I.e, 88.

    If the rest of the country was dying at the same rate, our additional dead this day would be (320/8.4) x 88 = 3352. Instead we only had an increase of 164.

    6) THIS is how the News Media lies to you — not necessarily with outright falsehoods but by distracting you with irrelevant nonsense , hyping cherry-picked one-sided arguments, and covering up important facts. Plus having attacks of convenient stupidity.

  29. There sites on the Internet, that say, ‘50% of the caloric intake for Americans is from food prepared, and eaten, outside of the home.’ … The State and local governments have shutdown businesses and schools. … People are now forced to prepare ALL their meals at home.

    The food inside the Retail Grocery Stores is just NOT sufficient for everyone. A big increase of quantity buying shoppers just occurred; plus the panic buying going-on too. = Empty shelves.

    It’s difficult for some businesses to quickly redirect their food-products to the retail stores. Anyone, that thinks it’s easily possible, has the possibility of a good business opportunity right now.

    Food supplies are just part of the ‘just in time’ delivery system to stores now days. America still has plenty of food being produced. The difficulty is a sudden change in the place of preparation and consumption of the food.
    ********************************************************************

    People living where a ‘horde’ is showing up in their town-neighborhood right now, should have a community group for mutual protection; even if there is only you and your next door neighbor in the ‘community’ group. … A top ‘to do’ item on everyone’s list, should be that, the Survivalblog recommended preparations are available in the home, or will be purchased when this ‘crisis’ dies down. … There’s a need to ‘bug out’ in place ~maybe; at the moment.
    **********************************************

    There’s a lot of people in our country, that want America destroyed as a country, and Trump defeated in 2020. … This crisis seems ‘designed’ to meet those goals. We’ll have to wait and see, how it turns out. … At the moment, there are politicians and their minions advocating for a more Socialistic Economic System in America, because of this crisis.

    Socialism equals a slow death for a society and a country. … Socialism for many people means, they can lay around the house all day, smoke dope and watch television. … Many of the same people not working, think they should have as much money and stuff, as the people getting out of bed, working and paying the taxes.

  30. Just a couple quick things to add:
    1). Feb 2nd I became sicker than I have ever been – four days flat on my back unable to eat or anything. A couple friends claim the same. Mine turned out to be the worst and after 5 days it progressed to pnuemonia – first time I’ve ever had it. I spent two days in bed on my back pounding my chest to cough it up with legs elevated and it cured. As of now, my county, which is remote, still has zero cases. However, I would love to get an antibody test.
    2). My business evaporated overnight. My savings will last 3 months. I hope it resolves by then.
    3). I have supplies for until next Spring.
    4). People are driving several hours to buy from our small local supermarket.
    5). I have this blog to thank for my preparing enough for points 2 & 3. A HUGE thank you! The 10 cent challenge was money well spent.
    6). Next year, God willing, I will quadruple down on prepping. Ding ding, coffee ready! Wide awake now.

    1. DRD! So thankful for news of your recovery from such a terrible illness. Praying that the resources you have developed hold out for the duration. We’re sure that everyone will be redoubling our efforts to deepen our levels of preparedness through this time and after this crisis passes.

  31. GREAT article, Ani.

    You make some good points, one of the most important of which is: we’re not through with COVID. We’re just beginning to see the second and third order effects.

    The end isn’t even in sight. It’s going to get worse. And then we’re likely to have an economic collapse that will rival an EMP.

    I know that sounds pretty negative, but sometimes reality is negative. Although it’s harder now, we can still be preparing. More to come.

    Since mid-January I’ve dried and powdered 400+ eggs and added 100 lbs of dog food to our stash. Always keep working away at it…

  32. I worked in the Caribbean the year before last.. I came home got the normal sniffles and cold.. it’s a rarity for me.. no big deal.

    Came back this year again, picked up the wife, Oregon at her mom’s, drove back to Alabama. Two weeks later I was working in Louisiana, the sickest I can remember. Worked every day and never thought about it. She has been questioning it ever since. Still working as my job has been determined to be essential.

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