10 Safest Places to Live when the SHTF

There is plenty of talk in the preppersphere about surviving the collapse of society, and much of the planning in that regard revolves around bugging in or bugging out.

barn with eroded ground in front during winter
a barn with eroded ground in front during winter

This is reasonable enough, but especially as it pertains to bugging in, it is rarely discussed that certain regions are entirely unsuitable for the purpose.

As with most life-or-death situations, positioning is critical to ensuring success, and if you live in a place that is going to present you with far more obstacles and disadvantages than it will resources and better chances for survival.

No matter how prepared you are, no matter what kind of home-field advantage you think you might have under the circumstances, the odds are definitely against you in some places.

It makes sense, then, if one is truly committed to affording themselves and their loved ones the best possible chances to survive the societal collapse that will invariably erupt out of our ever-widening cultural schism, you’ll need to stake your claim in a place that will resist the effects.

In this article I will tell you about five such places throughout our once great nation.

Be Warned: No Place is Safe, Only Safer

Before we get to the list, I want to make something of a disclaimer. Although we as humans love absolute, tidy, and simple answers to complex questions, life rarely works that way. It works this way on this topic, that’s for sure.

When considering a paradigm-changing event like a genuine societal collapse, it is almost impossible to forecast all of the things that will occur as a result of it and, more importantly, where they occur.

That means that harm could come to you anywhere, even in such places as I have listed below that have shown to be historically stable during times of trouble.

No place that has humans living there is ever 100% safe, and even if you are surviving 100% by yourself you could still face many dangers. You could arrive at a place to find it worse than the place you left.

When that happens, it is time to go to Plan C. Being prepared to deal with grueling and unexpected setbacks is what prepping is all about!

The Safest Places to Live when the SHTF

The following regions represent a cross section of some of the very best places to live or if possible retreat to during a societal collapse.

Obviously, this is a theoretical exercise and things could turn out to be particularly awful at any of these places in which case I might have egg on my face.

However, notwithstanding a particular threat endemic to any of the regions below you will find that they have much to offer preppers.

Each has excellent suitability for agriculture, hunting, and procurement of water but is also culturally largely homogeneous, has smaller populations that trend toward being widespread, and feature generally mild, livable climates that will not pose much in the way of major challenges toward survival.

Additionally, with few exceptions, each will afford you plenty of room to get away from high-order military and civil targets as discussed above.

Here’s a quick table of all of them first before we talk about each:

Southern IdahoMid-South
Northern TexasNorthern Arkansas
Appalachian MountainsSouthern Alaska
Vermont & New HampshireNorthern Louisiana
WyomingSouthern Missouri

Southern Idaho

Southern Idaho is one of the best-kept secrets among the states as far as I’m concerned. A beautiful, varied biome that is suitable for all kinds of farming, reasonably mild weather even if the winters can get a little challenging, and a broadly similar culture throughout the entirety of the state.

Even better, what population there is outside of the two major cities is pretty well evenly distributed, and there are plenty of places to go if you want to get away from it all and everyone else, or make a go of it as part of a smaller community.

Perhaps the only thing that one should be aware of is the proximity to the west coast, and in the event of a nationally challenging societal collapse, you could be facing hordes of refugees from leftist strongholds.

Northern Georgia and Alabama, Southern Tennessee

The Mid-South has much to recommend it for those who desire self-sufficiency and plenty of breathing room between you and a major city. Balmy, hot summers, and mild winters make this an excellent place to live without worrying about the worst of climatic extremes, and the entire region is a veritable cornucopia of agriculture and hunting.

Perhaps of more interest to seasoned preppers is the region’s friendliness and amiability towards property rights, water rights, and more, with Alabama in particular having extraordinarily affordable land throughout the state.

No matter what kind of terrain you prefer, you can find it in this region, and plenty of water to go along with it.

Strong conservative culture along with equally strong views towards personal freedom and gun rights means that this tri-state area might well be a bastion of freedom and civilization when everything else starts to crumble.

Northern Texas

Everything’s bigger in Texas. The portions, the guns, and apparently the freedom. There is a lot to love about Texas even in normal times, but the state might have special advantages in times of real trouble.

Compared to the southern and gulf coast part of the state, northern Texas is seen as boring and does not get much attention. It is sparsely populated, but this might work to our advantage in our case.

The weather is somewhat milder, the terrain gentler, and just as amicable for growing crops as it is for raising a variety of livestock. There is still plenty of opportunity for hunting and reasonably ample fresh water to be found throughout.

The only thing that might snare folks who would consider a move to this location is that property taxes and other costs can be quite high in certain specific areas, but considering there is so much land to be had this is probably a trifling concern.

It’s not all good news, and if you were already worried about major domestic problems here at home the relatively close proximity to the Mexican border could give you pause.

However, compared to the southern parts of the state you’ll have a lot of distance to go between you and there.

Northern Arkansas

Northern Arkansas makes up the lion’s share of a region colloquially known as the Ozarks, a huge swath of interior highlands that is as renowned for its natural beauty as its bounty.

Lush, fertile, and minimally populated, comparatively to the rest of the region, no doubt this place looks like a proper paradise compared to most places that you’re likely to be fleeing during an SHTF event.

The climate is probably the best part of this area, though you’ll be overflowing with natural resources, both plants, and animals, and should not want for great cropping opportunities or game hunting.

Plenty of wide open spaces and an abundance of other resources means you should have everything you need if you’ve got the skills and a few good people as your neighbors.

Something to keep in mind is that this region might be considered the geographical crossroads of America, and you likely aren’t the only one who has had the idea of retreating to this place…

Western Carolinas, West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Tennessee

The Appalachian Mountains are known more for their rugged and mysterious beauty than their towering and imposing height, but that does not mean whatsoever that they are unable to help residents resist the intrusion of outsiders.

Fleeing to the mountains in times of trouble has long been a good choice when humanity is faced with existential dangers, and that remains true today.

But instead of rocky and mostly barren slopes you’ll have abundant forests with fertile soil and an amazing natural bounty along with copious freshwater resources at your beck and call.

Sure, they might be easy enough to navigate so long as you keep to the highways and interstates, but the farther you get from will traveled routes and tourist destinations the more remote and mysterious they become, perfect for giving interlopers and intruders the bamboozle.

Concerning the weather, this area is relatively mild throughout though higher elevations always bring with it the risk of particularly harsh winters.

One should also keep in mind that living on a slope means that the risk of avalanches and mudslides will be a particular danger when precipitation is high.

Southern Alaska

At first glance, southern Alaska might seem like it is in violation of our “No harsh climate” rules, but this area in particular has an awful lot going for it, and the average temperature in December is usually above zero.

With a small population, abundant resources (including oil!), and the sort of remote harshness that will dissuade all but the most dedicated or motivated people, southern Alaska is a great place to ride out the collapse of society.

You definitely won’t want food so long as you have the skills to get it because marine and terrestrial wildlife is abundant. 

Perhaps the biggest problem with southern Alaska is that you’re going to have a very hard time getting there if you don’t live there already.

An overland trek takes you through some very harsh and very remote country from the lower 48, and the locals are generally wary of transplants as a rule.

Vermont & New Hampshire

In probably the most surprising inclusion on this list, most folks don’t think of New England when they think about places to ride out a societal collapse.

Most preppers think the opposite, wanting to get as far away from there as possible on account of large leftist cities like New York City, Boston, and Buffalo.

But if you travel up farther into the furthest reaches you’ll come to States like Maine and, in particular, Vermont and New Hampshire.

These states have low populations, are absolutely covered with forests, and have abundant natural resources that can make surviving the harsh winters comparatively easy.

Away from the largest cities, there is a not altogether surprising culture of preparedness and self-sufficiency, one that echoes the frontier lifestyles of yesteryear.

As you might be expecting, the general proximity to some of the largest metropolitan areas in the country is cause for concern but the deeper you travel off the beaten path into either of these states the more secluded and remote habitation becomes, serving as a natural defensive measure.

Northern Louisiana

The stereotypical image of Louisiana is that of the state that resides on or near the Gulf of Mexico.

Northern Louisiana is quite a bit different, but one that has much to recommend it for riding out the collapse of society. Louisiana is rightly famous for its various ecosystems that are host to an amazing variety of flora and fauna, but that isn’t all that it has going for it.

Land in this part of the state is cheap, and although water rights might vary from the highly restrictive to the highly inclusive depending on where exactly you are, most folks that desire seclusion or living as part of a small, tight-knit community will like this region.

The general accessibility from other neighboring states with similar mindsets makes this a natural choice for a “Plan B” if you live anywhere in the near southwest or deep south.

Another added advantage is that staying well away from the coast means you will likely be spared from the worst that frequent hurricanes have to offer.


Wyoming is the closest thing that we have in the lower 48 to a proper frontier state. Wyoming is host to a very small population that is spread out all over the place, and even the largest settlements don’t feel big compared to many other cities.

Plenty of land, ample resources, and manageable weather that is particularly pleasant and mild in the summertime means you won’t be battling mother nature too often. This is a great place to raise livestock or homestead and will pay dividends the earlier you get started.

As a rule, the state and bodies strong conservative values and engenders attitudes of self-reliance and self-control.

You have to really want it if you want to get to some places in Wyoming, and living in these remote areas means that most trouble is going to give up well before it reaches you.

Southern Missouri

Southern Missouri is something of a best-kept secret in my book. Incredibly lush, pleasant weather, and a fantastic region that exemplifies biodiversity and agriculture potential, this is an area that is rich with resources of all kinds.

In fact, part of the Ozarks region covers much of southern Missouri, and this makes it a natural complement if you don’t want to live on the Arkansas side. 

Whether you want an on the grid house in a small community where everyone knows each other or off the grid retreat, Missouri’s amiable property laws, water rights and more will help facilitate that reality.

Start Looking For Land Today

One should not attempt to ride out the collapse of society in a place that is going to suffer the most when that event takes place.

You’ll have plenty to worry about when it comes to survival even under ideal circumstances, so you shouldn’t make things harder on yourself than you have to.

Living in a place that is culturally unified with abundant natural resources and less competition from other survivors will set you up for success.

safest places when SHTF

35 thoughts on “10 Safest Places to Live when the SHTF”

  1. That sounds good and some of those states we have looked in to before. Once we got to studying it. We had to cross off any where that had fault lines and earth quakes. As well as volcanoes. Then we had to look at anything down wind of a nuclear power plant and petrochemical plant . Then we had to look at anything that had past nuclear testing in the area for concerns over the water supply being contaminated. Then we had to look at areas that have concerns over massive flooding. Plus tornados, and fires. You already covered mudslides. That kept us with very little area left to pick from. We found out there were very few areas that are safe.

    1. I understand, having gone thru my own list that is almost identical to yours, and agree with you totally. About the only place that clears my list is Wyoming, but damn the winters there are not only brutally cold because of the wind chill, but it lasts pretty much 9 months out of the year. I have lived in a lot of snow off and on for a lot of years, but at 67, I would really like to keep it down to a couple of months. Southern Idaho was perfect, but as with the rest of Idaho, it has been inundated with Californians, who are now selling the land at 6 times what they paid for it. Sad. Idaho used to be what America was.

      1. A friend raises sheep in Oregon and moved to Wyoming where she had too much trouble with predators, so she moved back to Oregon.

    2. Sweetie just stay where you are. No place will suit you and you will end up making any who are around you miserable if you relocate. I fear your constant harping will have you tossed out within a week.

    3. You pretty much have to pick your poison. You also have to make a living, whatever it is you do. We only rent the planet anyway.

    4. I have one and won’t reveal it, nobody comes here. It’s too much for city people to handle. My wife and I love it. Taking time to do projects for the up coming Biden Destruction!

      Upper Midwest.

  2. Very well-written, and you’re right. A lot of these areas would not normally be considered. Thanks for some great information – and new ideas.

    1. Almost every place on your list I’ve eliminated except for Vermont. And just because the place is Republican or right thinking is not a reason to pick it for safety.
      Our places are Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and Vermont those are the best places to move to.

      1. I have lived in the northwest all my life, I left Oregon for a reason. The states you have listed will have 100% lawlessness. The best chances anyone going to have, is ex military looking out for you.

        1. Ex military are “all” going to the ozark mountains but north of Chattanooga is a small city , Cleveland where nuclear doesn’t go and there’s plenty of water woods and foods.

      2. You sound extremely liberal and in my opinion it is liberals that will cause the shit to hit the fan! Am happy to know that you will not be moving to a place near me!!!

  3. Thanks for letting me know I’m looking in all the right places! Glad you mentioned water availability as this is my main concern.
    Great article!

  4. Jerome J. Mcdonald

    Am always interested in information that will come in handy, when I may need it .🤔😁😇🤗 Thanks so much!

  5. All good information to consume, but other factors come into play when making the decision to relocate or not. For instance, age, family size, family health conditions, outdoor experience, and possibly your own psyche. This wouldn’t be like a vacation! It may very well be forever and until the end of your life. Leaving family and friends and your way of life for the past many years would be very traumatic to say the least! Not something to be taken lightly, even when threatened by horrific conditions. After all, “There’s no place like home!”

  6. I am going to be 80 in June 2022. I live at the edge of a small town, two blocks from a year round creak( bad spelling). I have rain barrels. I was raised on a farm. I have been trying to get my neighbors to learn to make vegetable gardens, learn to pressure can and other preserving methods. If my neighbors don’t start doing something soon, there won’t be anyone left to teach them to help themselves. MY children and grand children have the knowledge,.I hope they have the want to.

    1. Ms. Margaret, I would love to be able to soak up all of that valuable knowledge. Wish you lived closer.

    2. I am going to be 65 in December,female.I am interested in relocating to a quiet place that I can live off the grid.I still work full time at present but hope to remedy that in a year or so.I do admire your abilities and your willingness to teach others.I live in Illinois so I am sure we are to far apart for you to teach me as I am a hands on learner.Thank you for keeping the important things in life up and running.Pam

    3. What a Blessing you are Miss Margaret would love to live close to you to learn so much valuable knowledge 100% God Bless You Always

  7. PRO: Consider the western end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula regarding (1) remoteness and (2) low property taxes..

    CON: (1) Not the greatest place for crops, thus requiring building your supplies and (2) State income tax.

  8. I know this is for USA only, but would love info on other countries as well from anyone who knows. I am Australian and where I live is possibly too close to a major town with a population of 25 – 30K. The small town 25 mins away in which I live has probably 300 people. Yes I prep too, been doing that for the last 18 – 24 months when my gut sent signals that something was going to hit the fan in the future. How severely Australia will be affected is anyone’s guess, but we wont be spared either.
    Thank you for your wealth of info and forewarning.

  9. There is no perfect place. When SHTF, we have no practice. I do love north east Ohio because we don’t have droughts that are terrible and the weather is more even when it comes to tornadoes and such. You have to stay south of the snow belt but water is ample and weather is good for vegetable gardening. It’s quite lush in summer. I’m not sure I want to live in an isolated area. I think there’s something to having neighbors when things are bad because people can band together. I do like around Bowling Green Kentucky. The weather is milder and there are lots of little lakes for water.

  10. This seems to me to be a bit inward looking. What about the rest of the world? Why not Ruwanda? Malawi? Switzerland? etc

  11. I would either live in Vermont, Texas, Montana, Arizona, Georgia, or stay where I’m at Florida with the rest of the people 🤔 who don’t know if there coming or going or buying an RV to where I can travel on the road and boldly go where no man has gone before!!!!! LOL hallelujah. peace ✌ ☮

  12. What about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan? Remote/low population/great water and natural resources, but, granted, cold. . .

  13. Thx for everyone’s idea’s and knowledge. I live in north LA. In a remote area. Winter is 1 month a year. We get plenty of rain and lakes are full. Plenty of lush gardens and animals to hunt or chickens to raise… No earthquakes, no hurricane, no mud slides, no flooding. Only very hot in August.
    Perfect place to survive.

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