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Best small-sized cities for survival in the West/Southwest

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posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 10:06 PM
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Okay, hey all. First thread here, so bear with me if it's not all that great but this is a subject I am extremely interested in and haven't been able to find much regionally-specific information on in past threads.

While I don't nessesarily believe in the whole 2012/ZOMG/pole shift/epic disaster stuff totally, I have an feeling that has increased over the time that we may eventually (within the short term) be faced with a total societal collapse/government breakdown situation. Any cause of that from my end would just be speculation but I suspect that it may come from the form of a natural disaster in combination with the chaos and lawlessness following that disaster. In any case, in the next year or two, I am looking to get out of my current city (Phoenix) and find a place in the West/Southwest where things may be better if SHTF. I've drawn up a map via Google Maps here:

SHTF Map


Minus a couple anomalies (Jarbridge and Arcata, which are on there more for interest sake), I've used the following rules to come up with locations following the thought processes below:

1-Size. Ideally between 7,000-15,000 people and no larger. Mainly because if I were to move to the area prior to SHTF (which is the ideal), some sort of local infrastructure is needed, and this type of city size is ideal. It also means that the area itself would have a local economy and jobs would come easier. Especially in today's economy, finding a job in a smaller city that this, IMO, would be extremely difficult.
2-Ease of location. My #1 rule to follow is to find an area as far away from a major interstate as possible. My reasoning is that I believe that after a SHTF scenario, the interstates could be used for a variety of nefarious and good people. I could see bands of raiders using the interstate and looting smaller towns along that interstate, or bands of refugees causing problems as they used the most well known routes to find other areas that may be better for them.
3-Geography. I think an area backing to, or in a mountain range provides extra cover in case of problems, and a forest is necessary too. These mountain ranges also couldn't be too high, for temperature's sake.

This is a baseline. What I've come up with are the following cities:
Cortez, CO
Gunnison, CO
Show Low, AZ
Terlingua, TX

I'd love comments or suggestions from other ATS'ers and any feedback on the ways I'm judging these areas. I need as much information as possible.




posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 10:42 PM
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This is an interesting question I would also like answered. I just moved out of Phoenix for the east coast but really did like the southwest. I feel it would be a good shtf location.

My gut says avoid Colorado since it has so many military instillations.



posted on Jul, 31 2010 @ 11:22 PM
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It depends on what type of operational ability you want after the SHTF.

If you want to just survive and live life like the old settlers did, then find and old farming community that has a readily available fresh water supply(lake or river). And no major city infrastructure. No sewer systems natural gas pipes or the like. A good cow and pig population would be good. Most people heating with wood will be a plus. An existing local market with fresh food stands and the like, would be good. And existing small hydro dam that can supply the area with power would be a big big plus. That would allow food refrigeration and pumped water supply to the community. A small biofuel plant would be a big big big plus. People could keep their farming equipment running without having to go back to horse drawn plow. If you have the last two, then a local full service machine shop is a requirement to keep the provide repair and maintenance services to the local infrastructure.

If you want full force modern living after a SHTF event.

A city with a large industrial/machining base.
With at least one foundry.
An active agriculture community surrounding the city.
Preferably a number of food production and slaughter houses in the city.
A city close to a fresh water supply that it pulls it’s water from.
A city with coal fired/hydro/nuke power plants.
A city with a coal mine in close proximity to it.
A city with at least one biofuel plant at full operability.
Or a refinery and close proximity oil wells to supply it
A place that has a large number of natural gas wells would also be good.

Close availability of coal will mean lights will stay on, and there will be a source of fuel during cold seasons.
Machining base means there is places where people can have replacement parts made that can’t be found any more, to keep equipment running.
CNC rapid prototyping equipment would be priceless when it comes to one off complex replacement parts.
Agriculture base means that food supply will be local and plentiful.

Biofuel plant will mean that there is fuel to run critical infrastructure.(farming equipment, transport trucks and such)

If you was in an area where there was an active petroleum industry, with a refinery and closely located wells that supply it, then that would provide fuel supplies without the need for biofuels.
NG supply would provide heating and auxiliary fuel needs.

Petroleum or NG would also be a source of electric generation fuel in the absence of a readily available coal supply.

If there is a readily available coal, NG, or oil source in the area, most likely the local generation has already been built to utilize that source.

A city with those supplies would be able to fall back in on it’s self and survive it the outside world goes to heck.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:19 AM
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I'm 22 and live in Paris, TX. It's grasslands/wooded areas for miles, about 80-100 miles from the closest interstate. It's a small "good ole boy" town based on farming and agriculture with a good peaceful base population of about 26,000 and the town is full of crafty people. ( not a lot to do here besides a movie theater, a wal-mart and a few bars so people play sports and do family activities a bit, including make stuff... anything. We will never run out of quilts or socks or wooden wall carvings) There are tons of back roads and wild animals to hunt for food if needed, several lakes around the area and thousands of places to fish.

I movedup here after selling all I owned and exploring Guatemala back in March Since i'm 22, I always look for things to do and know my hometown of Denton, which is a college town full of kids anf hippies who love their rights is only 90 miles away. (Saying that in the case of martial law or something involving people vs tptb)

Dallas/ Fort Worth are both 40 miles farther. Paris is smack in the middle of nowhere but surrounded by everything. Also voted one of the top places to retire for the past few years. It's a step out of society but no so far that you are disconnected.

Just an idea.

No mountains though, heh.



[edit on 1-8-2010 by Cross8712]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:53 AM
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you should consider Idaho.

higher elevations so if parts of the world become flooded from some disaster, you'd be safe here.

in fact besides the occasional forest fire we just dont have natural disasters in Idaho. we arent in an earthquake zone. we dont get tornados or hurricanes. we dont get flooding. no lightning storms here, it does rain but rarely a thunderstorm.

plenty of small towns in Idaho. Boise the capital only has 250k people. the next largest town (mine) Nampa has 120k and its really spread out. after that, its pretty small. there are lots of towns that average 10-15k people. the central part of the state (the most rugged terrain) has towns with 100-500 people.

Idaho is very secluded. Most of the state is mountains, lakes, streams, woodland (except the far south border which is high desert)

Idaho has plenty of fresh clean water to drink. places like colorado are dying of thirst always. Idaho has a ton of lakes in the mountains and of course our streams are legendary...salmon.

food in Idaho is plentiful. You have the wild huckleberries that grow all over the state. Huckleberries only grow in Idaho, washington state, montana, and i think maybe oregon. people tend to think potato when they think of idaho but honestly we should be thought of as the huckleberry state cause there is no better berry !

that famous fish called the salmon, well it spawns here in Idaho. theyre born in these lakes here, swim the streams to the pacific ocean. they return to these lakes when its time to breed and die.

plenty of game to hunt here. elk, boar, wolves, moose, deer, mountain goat, grouse, etc.

finally, like many western states Idaho is very anti-federal govt. You wont have any problem finding folks who hate the feds here. our state was the first to sue the feds over Obamacare.

[edit on 1-8-2010 by admriker444]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:55 AM
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I am looking to get out of my current city (Phoenix) and find a place in the West/Southwest where things may be better if SHTF


I am planning on heading to Phoenix,so leave the keys under the door mat!

Have you ever seen ants after their colony was peed on?That is what will happen.

Arizona with their laws allowing the carrying of unconcealed guns will be the best place to be after all the unwanted human parasites find other states to run down like the country they came from.

The best place to be is the place you are at.

Maybe you just don't see that being there.

I always related Arizona with"arid zone" and of course Phoenix is rising from the ashes.

It is the third youngest state after Hawaii and Alaska and we all know the leadership those states produced.

There will be so many people running,wandering aimlessly that for anyone to go in one direction with a set goal in mind will be impossible.

If the states tell the Feds, "up yours" because of to much control,then I doubt they will allow people to freely cross borders.

Look at what happened in eastern Europe ,Yugoslavia and even Russia when those regimes collapsed.

They did shut the borders for a while to figure out the good guys from the bad guys.

If you want to go find some place near up in the hills where you have good observation and control.

Don't plan on any infrastructure to remain intact.

That will be the first taken out.

Including electricity and and gas lines..

Man has survived for THOUSANDS of years without what we have had the luxury of having for a little over a hundred years.

Billions of people live that way today!

It won't be a break down of the government it will be a earth changing event.

It has happened before many times and it will happen again.

What happened to all those ancient civilizations we know about and all those that we do not, that just disappeared?

Whole mega city/states left abandoned and no sign of the people!

I will post a link to a program that I found that will give you all insight as to how dynamic this planet is.

It will display all the earthquakes that have happened in just the last 50 years plus major volcanic eruptions.

You can set the speed of which they are displayed.

Tell me if you see a definite pattern to the earthquakes.

Here it is.

Seismic/Eruption: A program for the visualization of seismicity and volcanic activity in space and time.

Read the page and follow his instructions and sit back and watch.

Pass this on to your family and friends

If we have a pole shift in conjunction with a CME from the sun,billions will die.

Those on the daylight side of the earth when it hits wil die quickly.

They will be the lucky ones.

It will happen in your lifetime and those in power know it.That is why they are passing through laws and agendas that give less freedom to the people and more to the government to control them.

They are not sure who will be their "citizens" after it happens.

Prepare where you are at.Moving makes you vulnerable especially going into unknown territory.

And to the above poster about tilling the land.

Have you ever heard of no till farming?

Plows and oxen.

Give me a break.

[edit on 1-8-2010 by Oneolddude]

[edit on 1-8-2010 by Oneolddude]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 03:21 AM
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reply to post by admriker444
 



Idaho always interested me as good place to be if SHTF. My company does have a field office in Boise and Nampa, of around 5-10 people for both so a transfer would be possible. I think the mentality of the people is also important and that's why I fully believe that rural areas with people who are used to doing stuff on their own without the assistance of the state or federal government will be much more apt to adjust to these changes than individuals who have lived in cities their entire life and haven't educated and prepared themselves.

Even living in Boise wouldn't be too bad. Although it is large in size, I'm sure there's some suburbs not too close to too far out that would allow me to work in the city and commute. Thanks for the heads up.

 
Mod Note: Excessive Quoting – Please Review This Link

[edit on Sun Aug 1 2010 by Jbird]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 03:48 AM
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i really loved living out in AZ for the decade i was there...

if i recall correctly there are futuristic maps that show the desert SW inundated with a shallow sea in our immediate future

so i wouldn't be so focused on the american SW excluding places like NewHampshire for example.

fate & family ties has brought me back to the SC coastal area...
i'm at the edge of a safe area (according to Edgar Cayce)
but the areas south of here...from Charleston all the way to Florida are also to be submerged along with portions of the desert SW

?small cities? i expect towns or villages to be more better

[edit on 1-8-2010 by St Udio]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 03:57 AM
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I believe Four Corners is mostly Navajo Reservation land.

Not sure if Show Low is on Reservation land.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 02:08 PM
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reply to post by zcflint05
 


If Kalifornia is tolerable, Truckee or Grass Valley are excellent spots.
They are small enough to be neighbor friendly and big enough to come together after a disasier.
In the event of a flood, they are aways up the hill so no worries there, and they are close to reno if you get the itch to be around big lights.
Plus in the event of a collapse I think Kalifornia would be able to get back up quicker than some states.
Just as long as you can put up with the Kalifornia laws but hey if the economy collapses we will go back to states governing themselves anyway.
Plus people in the Kalifornia valley seem to be some of the most mellow people in the world.
Could be the hippies
Peace and love man.


(Edit)
Oh and we don't seem to have a huge illegal problem up here either, no border wars up north.

[edit on 1-8-2010 by g146541]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 03:09 PM
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reply to post by g146541
 


Grass Valley looks like a real ideal spot. Truckee's off a high volume cross country interstate and kind of close to Reno, but in a pinch it wouldn't be bad either. I've always had a soft spot for rural Northern California, lots of libertarian types and friendly people every time I've visited.

Honestly, if the proposition to legalize personal use of marijuana passes in California, it's going to move up in my "places to move" list. I've developed some back issues over the last year and my previous recreational use has turned into use as a pain killer and I hate sh*t like percocet and vicodin, addicting and liver damaging stuff.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 03:14 PM
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reply to post by Cross8712
 



Thanks for the heads up...the size looked a little big at first but the remoteness from the rest of the state would make up for that in the long run given that it's about smack dab in the middle of that smaller population area around the TX/OK/AR border. How are jobs out there--is there any specific industries that do a majority of the hiring or is it service based?



 

(replaced large quote with 'reply to:' option)



[edit on Sun Aug 1 2010 by Jbird]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by zcflint05
 


Funny you say that, I used to have to go to Grass Valley a few times a week and I would be working in peoples houses, yards and garages and something tells me they did'nt name the place Grass Valley for the grassy meadows.

Some people there are so open you might think it had passed.


(Edit)
For my bad grammar.

[edit on 1-8-2010 by g146541]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 07:52 PM
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The Rocky Mountains of Colorado.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 09:21 PM
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I will give you an example of my reasoning in reference to the Paris Texas one of the places on your list. It’s umbilical to it’s power/energy and water are too long, and it’s really dependent on a group of other cities for existence. If those cities were to go under, then Paris would be SOL.

It is surrounded by agriculture. It does have a campbells food plant, but it is mainly strip malls, and little industry. Strip malls won’t build a house over your head. It is too big to exist without power. Most of the main city runs via pumped water and city sewer. If you loose power then you don’t have pumped water. No way to clean things, no way to flush toilets. Without power, no waste water treatment. The city would become a cesspool in no time

The cities it is most dependent on is to the south east. That is where it gets it’s power from.

I would look closer to the source of energy that it runs off of, you will see a more ideal community.
The cities of Mt Vernon, Mt present, Daingerfield, Pittsburg, and Winnsboro form a box around the prime zone..

They have multiple water reservoirs literally on their doorsteps.
They have the same outlying agricultural base.
They have food processing plants.
They have two operating power plants, that are literally on top of the coal mines they run off of. Those are the Monticello Steam Station and the Welsh Power Plant
You almost don’t have to move the coal from the mine to the power plant. Its just a short rail track between the two.
You have got a good industrial/fabrication base in those areas.
You got a good foundry (Henderson Manufacturing Company) with up to 1.5 ton casting capability.(that runs off the pre-stated power plants.
With close power, the waste water systems will remain running.

With all that closely packed stuff you could get by pretty good with limited fuel supplies. Mining and other stuff is electric powered. With the fabrication base, they could have an ethanol or biodiesel plant running in no time. But considering how close some of the outlying refineries are, I would say fuel supply would not be a problem.


[edit on 1-8-2010 by Mr Tranny]



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 09:25 PM
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reply to post by zcflint05
 


there are plenty of suburbs / nearby towns adjacent to Boise and Nampa. And 10 minutes outside of any town is vast acres of farmland and ranch homes.

We are very self-sufficient here, even in the suburbs. I live in a development, and despite my 1/4 acre backyard Ive managed to grow a lot of veggies plus I raise rabbits for meat.

all the surrounding suburbs and towns are 15-20 minutes from Boise so the commute isnt bad at all.

A lot of folks here have cabins or just land north of Boise in an area around McCall and Cascade. Its mountain country with several lakes, streams, hotsprings, and good hunting. Its about a 2 hr drive to get there. Most everyone I know would head that way if we had to bug out.

I have a piece of land up there that Ive been prepping for years. I have 3 underground storage lockers built from cement and cinder blocks waterproofed. Ive filled them with supplies. The land has almond trees, huckleberry bushes, a stream, asparagus, apricot trees, cherry trees, and apple trees. Lots of game are attracted to the fruit that hits the ground. Eventually I plan on building a rough cabin with a solar panel for electricity.

Also there is only one military installation in Idaho, a small air force base about an hr east of Boise. So there wont be any soldiers blocking that road heading to McCall (at least not right away)



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 09:35 PM
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as far as idaho, i prefer the stanley and salmon areas. nearby to the sawtooths and not far from the frank church.
montana, i like the hungry horse area, lots of like minded people and a community attitude.
want more of the boonies, check out the polebridge area.



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 10:30 PM
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Originally posted by rubbertramp
as far as idaho, i prefer the stanley and salmon areas. nearby to the sawtooths and not far from the frank church.
montana, i like the hungry horse area, lots of like minded people and a community attitude.
want more of the boonies, check out the polebridge area.




Stanley is waaaaay to isolated and cold to survive a winter. its sometimes the coldest place in the entire country (including alaska). We like going to redfish lake lodge every summer in stanley. they close the whole place though for the winter, too cold and the roads are impossible to drive with the snow.

Kinda reminds me of that movie The Shining. and apparently weird things happen up there. one night we got talking to the bartender who told us sometimes when they return to open for spring they find lights on, cabin beds slept in, etc. the snow drifts are like 10ft and its -40f so its not like there are any sane humans walking around.

the town has a population of 100, too small to have a place to resupply items if the country suffers some huge natural disaster or goes into martial law mode.

stick to the Boise area if your considering Idaho. your only 20 minutes drive from total isolation and 2 hrs to prime backpack country



posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 10:46 PM
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Here is the other cities on your list.

Cortez CO
It has close water.
It has close agriculture.
All power is long haul transmission.
ALL agriculture is pumped irrigation.
No power equals nothing to eat (unless you are into cannibalism).

Gunnison CO
It has water, but that is it.
Very poor agriculture. If you are locked into that area, you wouldn’t have anything to eat even if you did have power, which would not be likely.

Show Low. AZ
No developed agriculture
It’s dependent on the outside world for everything.
You would have nothing to eat or drink.
It is a recreational/showroom city.

Jarbidge NV
It is in the middle of a scrub brush forest.
It only has one unreliable stream going beside it.
What are you going to eat or drink for most of the year?

Grass valley CA
No agriculture.
What the fudge are you going to eat?

Arcata CA.
No power so sewage systems will not work.
Most agriculture is pumped irrigation and pumped drainage.
So without power, you don’t have FOOD.


Terlingua TX
Um…… No……… In so many ways.

I am seeing a trend with the places you picked. They all have one major problem. People can live in all these marginal landscapes because the food is brought to them. without the modern amenities, you need to live where the food is, or everything else is irrelevant.



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by admriker444

Originally posted by rubbertramp
as far as idaho, i prefer the stanley and salmon areas. nearby to the sawtooths and not far from the frank church.
montana, i like the hungry horse area, lots of like minded people and a community attitude.
want more of the boonies, check out the polebridge area.




Stanley is waaaaay to isolated and cold to survive a winter. its sometimes the coldest place in the entire country (including alaska). We like going to redfish lake lodge every summer in stanley. they close the whole place though for the winter, too cold and the roads are impossible to drive with the snow.

Kinda reminds me of that movie The Shining. and apparently weird things happen up there. one night we got talking to the bartender who told us sometimes when they return to open for spring they find lights on, cabin beds slept in, etc. the snow drifts are like 10ft and its -40f so its not like there are any sane humans walking around.

the town has a population of 100, too small to have a place to resupply items if the country suffers some huge natural disaster or goes into martial law mode.

stick to the Boise area if your considering Idaho. your only 20 minutes drive from total isolation and 2 hrs to prime backpack country


awesome, one less person that will be in my way.
the reasons you give not to go there, are the reasons the area is on my list of places to go.

boise is too populated, to much access from different directions. the town itself could be locked down in a matter of minutes. i'm an outdoorsman, i spent a winter on foot in the bob marshall a while back. not saying i enjoy 40 below, i head for the arizona desert every winter, avoid winter.
but we are talking about places to go when the shtf, not places we could live comfortably.
i know boise, there are many down falls to the area.
most there would struggle if utilities were cut off mid-winter. those i know in other areas are already off the grid and would not be effected.



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