A diverse local economy is of great importance when evaluating potential retreat locales. Unless you are retired or about to retire, the opportunity to find steady work pre-TEOTWAWKI is also very important. Depending on the scenario you envision, you should probably look for a town with:
A robust, growing economy
A good mix of jobs in dry land farming, ranching, mining, industry, high technology, and service sector jobs
City and county governments that are pro-business
A “Farmer’s Market” on summer evenings and/or weekends (evidence of sufficient small scale truck farming)
A good mix of established local businesses such as a grocery store, sewing shop, car parts store, hardware store, and so forth.
A high rate of church attendance. Even if you aren’t religious personally, a high ratio of church attendance equates to a high ratio of law-abiding citizens.
And a town without:
A single industry economy
Predominantly government payroll jobs
A predominantly retired population
A large seasonal tourist population
A large seasonal student population
Lots of bars
Nearby military bases
Attitude Adjustment–Yours! (SA: Survival Mindset)
Just as important as finding a town that fits your needs is re-making you to fit your new town. For someone accustomed to the Big City pace of life, this can be a major adjustment.
Get to know the local way of doing things in your new town. Get accustomed to the pace of life. Don’t expect to get a lot done during deer season. (Nearly every building contractor, plumber, and electrician will be out in the woods, with tags to fill!) Dress like the natives. Don’t be ostentatious. Don’t whine about the lack of “good shopping” or culture. Learn how to pronounce the local names quickly. Don’t stand out. Join the local church.
Don’t just talk about preparedness. If you have concerns about the future –do something about it: Plant a vegetable garden, get weapons training at Front Sight, learn how to can your own vegetables, change your own motor oil, learn how to knit and darn, take up hiking, help a friend (or a local church) with a building or remodeling project, et cetera.
The difference between a genuine survivalist and an armchair commando (a.k.a. “Tommy Tactical”) is that a genuine survivalist collects useful skills whereas an Armchair Commando collects gadgets that he doesn’t know how to use.
Rethink your budget and your priorities in life. Here are some examples:
Cut out unnecessary travel.
Sell your jet ski and buy a canoe. Sell your television(s) and buy a general coverage short wave receiver.
Sell your fancy engraved guns, and commemorative guns, and customized “race” guns. Replace them with practical guns in non-reflective durable finishes.
Make sure to buy guns from a private party with no paper trail. Sell off your guns that are chambered in oddball calibers such as 16 gauge, 28 gauge, .280 Remington, .240 Weatherby Magnum, .35 Whelen, .25-20, and .41 Magnum. Replace them with guns in the most common standard calibers like: .30-06. .308, .223, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, 12 gauge, and .22 Long Rifle. (In Canada and Oz, that list should also include the venerable .303 British rifle cartridge. )
Sell your Beanie Baby (or whatever) collection on eBay and use that money to buy storage food.
Sell your Rolex and buy a half dozen inexpensive used self-winding watches. (These will come in handy for coordinating tactical rendezvous and guard shift changes.)
Sell your fancy late models cars and replace them with 5 to 10 year old low mileage American-made 4WDs with good ground clearance. When you move to the country you don’t want to stick out or be the focus of envy, so it is better to have older and dinged up vehicles than to have ones that look nearly new.
Get out of debt.
Prepare for the worst case Schumeresque situation. Thus, you will always be ready for less severe circumstances and you can take them in stride. Such preparations will take a lot of money, but ask yourself:: What is your life and the lives of your loved ones worth to you? If being truly prepared requires moving to a small town in a lightly populated region, then so be it!