If you’ve been following the news this week, you know the crap is hitting the fan ugly and fast in South Africa. Mobs have been looting, ransacking, and destroying supermarkets, grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping centers in cities in the country’s Eastern region.
The situation is also tense in Cuba. Though things haven’t reached the level of violence and destruction that we see in the African country (at least not yet), massive protests against the communist regime flare-up, and the population is taking to the streets in droves. Haiti is another place that’s been in the news lately after the president was assassinated in his own home by mercenaries (we’re definitely going back to the 1970s and ’80s).
We’re living in crazy and volatile times. These situations provide essential clues and encapsulate valuable lessons for all of us, regardless of where we live. I’ll focus on the developments in the African country for the moment for a specific reason.
Worst Violence Witnessed in South Africa Since the 1990s
I have a friend who lives in Cape Town, the capital of South Africa. She’s from Portugal, and her husband is an ex-pat working for a Spanish engineering company in the African country. He was prospecting a contract in KwaZulu-Natal, an important economic hub and the crisis’s epicenter when SHTF. My friend’s husband was rushed home, and they’re making arrangements to leave the country and return to Europe.
We spoke briefly. She and her daughters are frightened. She told me they didn’t see it coming, no one thought something this bad could happen this fast. There’s been a tsunami of fake news coming in 24-hours nonstop. She says it’s hard to tell fiction from fact amidst the turmoil and confusion. Things are spiraling out control quickly, she said.
The violence is still confined to the country’s eastern region and hasn’t yet reached her city. But fear has, and measures are already being put in place in case the riots spillover. Authorities reaffirmed no violence nor illegal activity would be allowed in Western Cape, but the population is insecure. According to her, my friend’s family has bugged out to a friend’s house in a safer part of town.
What Sparked the Violence?
Discontent runs rampant in both countries: the communist dictatorship that brought the Caribbean island to its knees is more than six decades old. Corrupt governments that have ruled South Africa since 2008 have kept the country in a constant state of crisis and underdevelopment.
I’m not implying there’s a direct connection between the two situations. However, both are ravaged economies hit hard by COVID-19, lockdowns, and unstable or dictatorial regimes. In South Africa, there’s also an enormous wealth gap and some lingering ethnic and racial issues making things even more complex.
But, in every similar situation, politics play a significant role. In these cases, the population of Cuba is obviously tired of the communist regime, at the limit with the insufferable conditions of living and lack of freedom.
In South Africa, the supporters of ex-president Jacob Zuma protested, demanding his release from prison (he was jailed last week on charges of corruption). The protests quickly descended into rioting and looting. Incapable of placating the moods of Zuma’s supporters and at the same time command decisive leadership on the rest of the population, the government of President Cyril Ramaphosa hasn’t yet regained control of the situation.
A Volatile Environment Is Necessary to Ignite Unrest
These things don’t happen overnight or out of the blue. What usually gives rise to these revolts is an economic crisis. A deep and prolonged financial and economic meltdown will invariably corrode the institutional pillars, destroy the social fabric of almost any society, and turn any place ripe for civil unrest and infighting.
It grows mainly in the underground, sowing the seeds of racial, ethnic, religious, political, and other social or national divisions, and exacerbates any existing feelings.
As we know, the economy and institutions of both countries are in shambles. Unemployment in South Africa is 32% of the population, one of the highest in the world. It has undoubtedly created the perfect background for the eruption of social violence.
Everything Crawls Until Everything Runs
SHTF happens in stages. We know that script very well. At least we should. It’s the same everywhere. Africa, Argentina, U.S., U.K., Cuba, Venezuela. If it’s about humans, it’s always the same. On that, we can count.
First, there are mass layoffs. With unemployment rising, homelessness and common minor crimes also rise. Then crime becomes more violent, spreads, and grows more. At one point, things will get so critical, and in so many different areas, the population will revolt and start protesting, for whatever reason. And anything can become the reason.
The protests of 2013 were sparked by an increase of just 0,30 cents in the price of public transportation. But the backdrop was one of political instability, widespread corruption, and economic downturn. From there, if the causes are not contained, if it’s not reversed – then it’s a matter of time for the situation to run out of control. Here, the protests led to the impeachment of the president three years later.
How Crazy Can Things Get?
The situation in Eastern South Africa brought memories of periods of unrest we experienced here in Brazil. It wasn’t nearly this bad. However, protests in opposition to the government exploded in massive demonstrations, which in many instances spiraled down into vandalism, rioting, and violent confrontations.
I live in a decent district of town just a few blocks from an open square, traditionally a meeting point for cultural manifestations and events. Unfortunately, it’s also the gathering place for demonstrations. During protests of that period, we heard helicopters, bombs, screaming, and the crowds clashing with the police from our home.
We woke up one day to closed stores and bank agencies, many with broken fronts. Local commerce stayed shut, and things took a while to return to normal. Even today, after years of normalcy and relative calm, some places will board up or close for a day or two at the slightest sign of unrest. Or even for weeks, as in early 2020.
This Can and Does Happen Anywhere, Anytime
We witnessed this type of thing happening in the U.S. in 2020. Again, there are differences in motives, magnitude, intensity, and violence. In South Africa, ambulances, police cars, and transportation trucks were attacked. People even looted a blood bank in Durban, the third most populous city in the country. The army was deployed to help contain the situation. Hundreds, or thousands, were arrested.
I keep saying the system is the people running it. When things turn this crazy, the population is either taking part in the turmoil – looting, protesting, fighting – or bunkering. Who will risk going to work in such a dangerous environment? Businesses will stay shut until it’s over, and public transportation will halt. There are already threats of shortages. If the situation persists, violence can increase, taking The Grid down, partially or even entirely.
This kind of happening also wreaks havoc on the local economy. Hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses already taking a hit from the pandemic lockdowns and the economic downturn, will have to deal with the impact of paralyzation, looting, and destruction.
Places May Change, But Dynamics Are Similar
A mood of discontent and revolt is sweeping most of the world right now. Globally, a deep distrust in the capacity (or goodwill) of governments, authorities, and institutions to take care of their sh*t and leave people alone is palpable. It’s perhaps more evident in western countries and places where information circulates freely. However, it’s starting to show up in more closed and tightly controlled nations as well, even relatively isolated places like Cuba.
The system is more fragile than ever.
The reasons don’t matter. The political, social, and economic backdrops might differ in South Africa, Brazil, Venezuela, Russia, or the U.S. Each place is in a different stage. But the acting forces and dynamics are the same. Get to know what stage, where you live, is in right now, and keep paying attention to the developments. And, of course, stay prepared.
There Are Many Ways to Die in This Kind of SHTF
When disorder reaches this level, things get dangerous. One day everything is normal. The next, it hits the fan. On the third, there are a thousand ways to get injured or killed. Cities have turned into war zones in South Africa in a matter of hours, with an estimated 72 dead since Monday and widespread destruction. It’s so crazy that people completely lose it in different ways.
Building the awareness and mentality by the knowledge gained about these things and situations is an invaluable prepper skill. When these things happen, we won’t fall prey to panic, despair, or blindly follow the herd. I can personally attest to that, and many others can, too.
A majority of the population are not aware of these things and act (or react) without thinking. Many will take part in the looting or protesting, as we’re seeing. Some will go out to see in person (or film the craziness to post on social media) like it’s a game. Some will face the mess to get supplies. Those are all just chances to get arrested, injured, or killed.
In Soweto, the hometown of Nelson Mandela, ten were killed during a stampede in a shopping center. Many are dying in shootings and crossfires. Others died from lack of assistance after being injured. (This is happening in Cuba as well, with the aggravation of political reasons for denial: some regimes don’t have any guardrails.)
Residents of Durban and other cities were advised by authorities to not rely on the police and instead arm and be prepared to defend themselves. Whether fake news or official, this led to the instant creation of armed militias (called “defense squads” locally) and paramilitary groups, increasing violence and shootings. Unfortunately, police, firefighters, ambulances, and everything else will be overwhelmed, attacked, or just not functional, eventually. That’s how it is.
What Lessons Can Be Learned From These Situations?
The best advice, as always, is to not be there. Sometimes this is not possible. Other times, trouble will come our way regardless. If the window for bugging out has already closed, staying put is indeed the safest option. Whatever happens, make all efforts to stay as far from the action (violence and confusion) as possible.
For that (as we’re always mentioning here), it’s not enough to stay locked inside the home. Some measures and preparations must be in place to ensure the essentials for the necessary period (which in cases like these can be days, weeks, or even a month – or more). Be prepared to ration, improvise and do whatever to extend supplies and manage resources.
Safety must be accounted for as well. I’m not talking about guns only. It’s common in some SHTF for many buildings to be set on fire after being looted and vandalized. That presents a great threat for anyone staying in place because, as I said, it’s violence and danger coming our way without us looking for it. Keep ready to defend your family in various forms.
Stay Mobile and Be Prepared
My friend’s family decided to bug out not only because they were frightened (justifiably or not). But also because they felt they could get trapped even before things got worse, by rioting mobs or by the authorities. In cases like these, the government may put some restrictions in place that greatly limit mobility. Curfews, roadblocks, martial law: be on the lookout for clues and sudden changes in your area, even if the mess occurs elsewhere, and move quickly.
My friend’s were not prepared, so they took the basics but left many important things behind. They might now need some of those things for safety, consumption, communication, personal hygiene, medication, documents, etc. My friend did not explicitly mention (she doesn’t know I’m a prepper), but I felt she wished they were better prepared and had some emergency kits or B.O.B.s with them. And always keep your passport ready.
Communication is essential. Unfortunately, my friends are now incommunicable (on the run, I assume). People in Cuba are also having trouble exchanging information and communicating with relatives and others worldwide. In great part due to censorship and restrictions imposed by the government, which is more common than people think (see Myanmar recently). Anyone living in an unstable place must have a backup communication system that works off-grid, like a satellite phone.
As we see, bugging out doesn’t happen just in prepper’s fantasies. It’s 2021, and if there was a time it can become real (at least in some places and for some), it’s now. Depending on where we live, we must know when and how and be prepared to flee if a situation calls for it. And not just run from danger, but to safety. It can be done in stages, but always with a plan. Otherwise, we can become refugees, and that’s never good.
It’s hard to cover everything going on in a situation like this or all the critical measures to take in advance.
Fortunately, there are many great articles here at The Organic Prepper and entire books in the Learning Center (from Daisy, Selco, Toby, myself, and others). You can find loads of information on how to stay aware, increase safety, be prepared while sheltering in place, bugging out, dealing with violence in the streets, and lots more.
If you see unrest coming your way anytime in the future, don’t take it lightly. We’re living in volatile times, and these things can and do happen. I believe it will increase and get worse in various other places before it gets better again. I suggest you start now by reaching for that reality-based knowledge and act on it.
What are your thoughts on the situation in South Africa?
Could you imagine violence like this coming to the United States? Would you be prepared for it? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Fabian Ommar is a 50-year-old middle-class worker living in São Paulo, Brazil. Far from being the super-tactical or highly trained military survivor type, he is the average joe who since his youth has been involved with self-reliance and outdoor activities and the practical side of balancing life between a big city and rural/wilderness settings. Since the 2008 world economic crisis, he has been training and helping others in his area to become better prepared for the “constant, slow-burning SHTF” of living in a 3rd world country.
Fabian’s ebook, Street Survivalism: A Practical Training Guide To Life In The City, is a practical training method for common city dwellers based on the lifestyle of the homeless (real-life survivors) to be more psychologically, mentally, and physically prepared to deal with the harsh reality of the streets during normal or difficult times.
You can follow Fabian on Instagram @stoicsurvivor
Good observations, Fabian. Something that came to mind while I was reading your article- if your city/state has defunded police, you’re much closer to military occupation when things go bad than those who have healthy police forces. I think that is what we are seeing in South Africa.
Also, we are seeing a rise in protests world-wide (France, Greece, etc…) as governments move to mandate COVID vaccines or relegate the non-vaccinated to less than 2nd class citizen status. As governments become more authoritarian, civil unrest will increase.
Three things we can count happening in France every year during the summer: nice weather, the Tour de France, and the protests. The weather may change if climate does. I guess the other two won’t, ever.
But I agree 100% on the growing of unrest, especially in western free countries. It’s just the times and the cycle we’re living. Sure enough, to every reaction there’s an equal and opposite reaction so the more they push on the population, the more it will revolt.
I see many correlations between South Africa/Cuba and the US. Too many factions, too much tribalism, too many corrupt politicians, and supply chain issues that haven’t resolved and in some cases, are intensifying. IMO it’s already happening here and has much potential to get worse. I agree that defunding of police departments will cause those areas to be hit hardest, but eventually, we’ll all get a taste. Yay. Not.
Get out of urban areas…hence my nickname. In my travels and travails all over the world there has always been a common theme; what goes on in the cities/urban areas is not necessarily what happens in the rural parts of a country. Haiti is the best personal example I could ever point to. Urban areas are nice to visit and to pick up more “stuff” for me. I will not however actually ever live in a city over 15,000 ever again because of what I believe is going to develop. Having said that I do have a well stocked bug out bag more for environmental vice unrest situations. I really feel bad for everyone who is stuck living in an urban area today. Unrest can start and escalate in short order: people can get ugly very quickly and civil authorities will not be able to respond with enough presence. Police to citizen ratio cannot cover widespread unrest. Takes the National Guard awhile to spin up and provide help. Case in point I think the TX Guard has approx 15,000 on the books. That includes a lot of support people and not grunts or MP’s. That means there is not enough of them to cover down on widespread civil unrest in too many areas. And not many are trained in Civil Unrest. It takes good training and less then lethal techniques (at least in this country). A South Africa scaled event would be brutal. Probably be in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, etc. Hopefully not all at once unless they coordinated like what happened in SA. Because Americans can’t keep anything secret…should be enough “chatter” for security services to pick on it…as long as they are willing to action on it. Man.. can’t believe I am even thinking about the US the same way I use to think about other countries just before I deployed there. Sad really.
Well…my last hill is where I live. It’s quiet, peaceful and surrounded by a community of like minded people. I hope that it is enough. If you haven’t already started or added to being “prudent”….times a wasting!
I love what you shared. I’m also in a small town in TX. Well it use to be small, but it’s growing more and more each month. We moved here from NC 3 years ago to be near grandchildren. It was much different then, and in just 3 years we have seen much more growth than we imagined or wanted. Having opened borders has not helped.
Central Texas resident
we lived in fl, small town – like you grew fast – we moved back to another smaller place, now again IT has exploded in 2 yrs!!!!! we lived in wv before going to fl, hated the cold but didnt know this mess would be happening….wish we’d kept our property up there…..so, we are seniors, what do we do now?
“we are seniors, what do we do now?”
help someone else.
Same thing here Bing. The next city over from my small town is growing quickly. I am not liking that one. Granted it’s 38 miles from me, BUT still it’s near me, and more and more people are moving from Houston, Austin, San Antonie to there.
Living in Texas Hill Country is nice, but to really feel secure, moving to towns less than 1,000 people is probably best. Most other towns are just satellite suburbs of big cities. It’s a big sacrifice driving 30 minutes to get groceries and other necessities, but the peace of mind is priceless living next to like minded conservatives who love 2A.
Couldn’t agree with you more InTheBooniesTX on this prudent advice. Same here with me, hence my name LOL. I Got the H E double hockey sticks outta Houston as quick as I could and ran for the hills. Best decision I could have ever made. What concerns me is these people that are going to be coming OUT of these libtard cities here in Texas up into the woods and countryside when SHTF. I know of a few preppers around me, most of us keep to ourselves, keep our caches under tight wraps and our opinions to ourselves, but one of the gentleman who I spoke to said we’d probably have to set up a round the clock surveillance team on the perimeters as well as calm down the few persons that have had their heads in the sand this whole time. Better to have some community that are trainable than none, I suppose. Any who, thanks for letting share this. And I too can’t believe I am even THINKING about this stuff, let alone actually preparing for it here in the USA.
Good move getting out of Houston…I don’t think they are willing to leave the creature comforts..such as they are to live in the boonies. I barely have Internet or cell service! You’d laugh if you saw the mashup I have to get any signal out here! No one wants to be where we are at yet…going to take awhile…not like Frisco/McKinney/Prosper which are exploding! The folks moving here are headed to the “Austin Relocation Zone for the Mentally Challenged” and the “Dallas Wokeplex” guess where a lot of problems are?
Yes it’s creeping North…unfortunately. I really dread the day reality comes home to roost. We have become way to soft as a society hence all our problems. Love the greatest generation for what they did, but in their zeal to ensure their offspring never had to go though what they did…they started the decent. Hence we are reaping what they sowed. It is what it is.
The problems in South Africa as well as Haiti (and Detroit…) are far more attributable to demographics than they are to politics or economics. The most shocking take-away from the events in South Africa is that it has taken this long for such a significant collapse.
Well…Haiti was the French side versus Dom Rep…not sure about the demographics argument though. Strictly haves and have nots based on economics. There are some well connected families but again they have the money. No tribes there. These are really really poor people. Aid money disappears…guess where it goes… SA was in the long slide into madness for a long time. Tribes are the name of the game in Africa. Same thing in Iraq as well as the whole Sunni/Shia dynamic. Actually felt more comfortable working with the Shia’s at the time: but they were killing each other like no tomorrow. We don’t have tribes here per se. Not like they do. My tribe is the US. All the other obfuscation is meaningless to me. My Scottish ancestors came to the US well prior to Ellis Island though later the other side came through there.
“We don’t have tribes here per se.”
oh yes we do, two for sure.
I beg to differ. If a country is surfing in prosperity (i.e. there’s growth, jobs, economic stability, etc.), there’s simply no way the population will revolt. Demographics won’t matter the lest, everyone will live together in peace. The majority will be busy studying, working, producing, investing, going to museums, rock concerts and traveling. There’s plenty resources for everyone, goals, a future.
In an affluent and prosperous environment, there’s simply no mood to ignite and insufflate moods, no easy ways to create internal divisions. But the opposite is true. Economical failure breeds wealth concentration and that exacerbates all sorts of social problems and division: political, religious, ethnical, etc. Then demographics can become explosive, as can religion or race or nationality or whatever.
When there are few with much and many with little, people feel disenfranchised, hopeless, and then anything can happen.
Spot on. Jobs, money, food on the table, shiny “stuff”…everybody is happy! But when you can’t get toilet paper (sorry could not resist), food is hard to get, no jobs…the “peasants” aren’t happy and the wealthy still buy lots of ice cream (gee I wonder who???) Yep…your definitely right.
You forget the role of morality, and that in the U.S. during the 1930s was still influenced by Christianity. Years ago I read a report about how Hitler and his top people were bewildered at that the American people hadn’t risen up in revolt against their situation during the Great Depression. Hitler and his people were followers of Marx, and Marx had predicted that people in such situations would rise up in violence, but the American people, except in a few isolated situations, hadn’t done so. The moral restraint kept most people honest.
Today we don’t have that moral restraint.
Today the politicians and bureaucrats are intentionally trying to divide us demographically, religiously, economically and every other way they can. I think they will succeed and have a lot of violence which they want to quell with force. They will gain more power that way and power is candy and ice cream to a government toady. It will happen in the US. Don’t know when but be prepared.
“Hitler and his people were followers of Marx”
? you really need to re-read up on that.
Fabian, would you be so kind as to answer a question for me, and anyone else who happens to see this if I’m not too late to the comments.
Thank you also for this article and to you and Daisy in general for your excellent material – as someone brand new to this it’s helping me so much.
I’m in a strange situation whereby I’m a European who has lived in the U.S. for 20 years but my huge dilemma is that I can’t drive, not even in my home country. I spent all of my time here in major cities on the East and west coast using public transport, and having experienced living in some of the more “urban“ crime heavy areas of those big cities as a broke student there is zero doubt in my mind that the people will be the biggest problem and not just a few people either.
I already saw the way people acted even in black outs and Hurricane Sandy and so on over the years before there was even a real lack of resources versus distribution issues, whether of food or police.
I know the city is not a good place to be – right now I’m in a smaller city of 300,000 but it’s in a blue state (PA) and it is OK now but could turn really bad really quickly even without a major shtf as is happening in all the other cities.
I work remotely and it’s just me and my large dog so I’m free to move right now.
But I’m so afraid of being stuck somewhere I can’t get anywhere of my own volition – it scares me to not have options to get to supermarkets and so on.
I can learn to drive but since it takes time and the license is tied to the state I want to get where I’m going first.
I guess what I’m asking is would you say my priority should be being prepared – being able to stock up and have everything I need in my home or is it better to be in a safer area, smaller, less urban and be less prepared and have less resources and just do my best to figure it out over time.
I’d like to consider the middle of the country – from the midwestern states, from Iowa/Nebraska to as far west and north as say South Dakota/Wyoming and as far south as Oklahoma. I don’t want to live in a food desert due to my current lack of self sufficiency and since my politics are definitely conservative – I’d like to be somewhere that people hold traditional values and support the police and military. I just don’t know if I’m being ridiculous thinking I can live any of these places without a car!
Hi, Drakey! I know more than one person in your situation. If you’ve lived in the city your whole life, it’s not a skill you’ve needed. I have two suggestions.
You could attend driving school while figuring out where you want to go and get a license where you are while the lessons are still fresh in your mind. Then, once you move, you have in most states 30 dqys to switch over your license to that of the new state. It’s not a difficult process at all – take it from someone who has moved a million and one times. You just have to prove you’re now a resident of that state with a lease or mortgage and a utility bill. Then you swap your old license for a new one. The cost varies across the states but you’ll be able to find that online.
Secondly, there are a lot of small towns that are reasonably walkable if you get a place near ‘downtown’. As for evacuations, that becomes a lot more difficult, as you’d have to rely on paid transportation or the good will of others to get from A to B.
I lied – I have three thoughts. I think that it’s essential to prepare where you are RIGHT NOW unless you have imminent plans to relocate. You never know when something will happen and you’ll want to have supplies. I have an article about prepping in short term locations here: https://www.theorganicprepper.com/prep-short-term-locations/
It’s important that wherever you are, you are prepared for that location. A lot of people put off prepping until their situation is “ideal” but I can tell you that it will never be ideal. You may be short of both time and money when you first relocate. It’s possible to survive anywhere – many of our writers are proof of just that, so while it’s important to make plans for the future, don’t let that get in the way of your present situation.
I hope this helps.
This is so helpful thank you!!! Thank you for such a detailed reply.
It is really good to hear you’ve known others who can’t drive sometimes I feel like the only one, but as you said there was just no need for me to do it previously – I could not have even afforded a car or parking spot in NYC/DC/SF all places I lived.
Something both you and Fabian made me realize in your replies is that I can also move somewhere intermediate for now, like you I’ve been pretty nomadic for a while anyway moving doesn’t stress me out.
I’m sure if I get online and research I could find a small city/large town, like someone else in the comments said, less than 15,000 people with some walk ability at least around downtown, maybe a college town until I was able to learn to drive, get a license and a car, then I’d have more flexibility. .
And like you said in End Game (amazing btw!) just start where you are with what you can do. I’m going to read the article about short-term prepping now, but maybe I can focus on starting with a bug out bag, not even just to bug out but just to have a basic toolkit of important items.
I have also started to follow your advice from End Game about starting with a list of things you actually use every day, and I started thinking through almost like a three tier system like taking an essential item say toothpaste, tampons/pads, soap etc and start first with buying extra of those items, then researching how could I make a home made version of that item with household ingredients if I could not get and did not have the item, then third tier, what improvised item could work instead if I both did not have the item and could not make the item like say 1. extra bottles of regular shampoo 2. home made shampoo with Castile soap. 3. absorb oil with cornstarch or vinegar rinse and so on.
Thank you again this is absolutely my favorite website.
There are purple states that aren’t that bad. I live in northern Minnesota, “rocks and cows” country according to the govenor. MN is communist in the Minneapolis / St Paul area but the rural areas are generally conservative.
If you’re looking at North Dakota, Fargo is nice but with three colleges and univerities it is the progressive hub of the state. Outside of the metro area it quickly becomes more conservative, most Democrats you meet fall into the Blue Dog Democrat category.
Even in the metro areas of the Midwest, with few exceptions, you’re going to need a car. Being within walking distance of stores is going to limit your options.
One solution is to look for a motorized bicycle, most states do not require a drivers license for motorized bicycles with an engine size of 49 CC or smaller. A small bicycle trailer you can pull will make grocery shopping much easier.
If you have a friend who has a car and is willing to give you some lessons get your beginners permit and start learning. If you can take a driving course do so, some states have limits on driving for the first 2 years. Having your license even if you dont have a car counts towards any time restrictions the state you decide to move to may have.
Thank you, both on the east and west of the country – even in large, more spread out metro areas, say Charlotte, Atlanta or Seattle, pretty comprehensive public transportation exists and is something that is used by many and taken for granted, at least by me, as existing in any city – my thinking is surely even in the midwest it must be there, just like it is in say Boston, DC, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and so on.
I am very quickly learning that in the middle of the country that is not at all the case! As you said, anywhere with colleges and more potential for walkability tend to be the liberal hubs too so that is not ideal.
Long story short I really have to focus on learning to drive and just come up with a short-term solution in the place I choose for the longer term – I like your idea about the motorized bicycle and even without a definite solution at least I can still order delivery groceries – Walmart and many major supermarkets and local ones do this a lot more now with the Covid options becoming permanent.
I don’t know about in the rest of the country but in the blue state I am in I can already see the potential for another lockdown in the immediate future, mask mandates coming back and so on, so I am going to move first, literally within a month, since I can with relative ease, having moved around a lot in the last 15 years or so, and then learn to drive.
I have considered purple states – I would actually really like to research smaller places in Colorado too. Like I said in a different comment, while my own beliefs are firm, I really don’t care that much about other people’s politics but unfortunately now it is just becoming too impactful with legislative over-reach in the blue states I have been living in. You can’t just “live and let live” because they are making sure they control everything you do at this point.
You make an important and interesting point though because as you said, the rest of Minnesota is nothing like Minneapolis, both politically and otherwise, and I am sure the same could be said of Detroit/Michigan, Milwaukee/Wisconsin, Chicago/Illinois and so on across the country. Even if you go out to more rural areas of New York State and Pennsylvania there are plenty of red communities. The times we are living in are madness, because who in the past would have picked a home state based on the governor!
Hi @Drakey, thanks and welcome.
It’s hard to say much without knowing much, but since you asked I’ll give my opinion based on what I could draw. You made clear your main concerns and limitations: not being able/licensed to drive as a limitation. It’s also clear that you’re worried about being in a blue state.
Basically, you should act immediately, in a deliberated and consistent manner but without freaking out or being too anxious. Just draw a simple plan, start acting and do one thing at a time. It’s still relatively normal out there so you have time and conditions to take some measures. Maybe lots of measures.
Go get a license and learn to drive. Don’t worry about the minor details and potential implications. Just get the skill and the document. But also check for the other options, i.e. other ways of staying mobile in case this turns vital at some point.
As for your location, act now too. Moving can be no big deal, but it always has implications and unforeseen hurdles. Better do it now while things are ‘normal’ too, if you can. It will be a lot smoother and you’ll take that from the list.
If you don’t want to (or can’t) move now, at least do some serious research on the options, and draw a realistic plan. Nail it down to a couple of options and visit those places, spend some time there traveling and visiting if possible, get acquainted.
Know about the life in those places as it might differ greatly (weather, prices, lifestyle, habits, etc.) from where you live, and from what you imagine. This is important.
What I mean is, whatever you do, don’t postpone, don’t procrastinate, don’t leave it for the last minute. Preparing is essentially having options and diversifying your strategies. Doesn’t have to be anything too complex, just tailor-made and done in advance. After something happens, preparation is over and it becomes survival, another ballgame.
All that and more, whether it’s learning some skills, learning to shoot and get a gun, a driver’s license and a car or motorcycle, storing a little food and medicines, all that and more, is still achievable. It’s still normal for the most part. It has hit the fan but we’re not yet suffering the full consequences.
Be well, and stay on the path. And let us know how it’s going.
Thank you SO much I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond.
What I realized from both you and Daisy’s replies, is that stupid as it may sound now, I don’t actually have to go directly from the big city to an isolated rural area and be stranded – I am going to quickly research walkable large towns with maybe a college population, some public transport and a walkable downtown where I can live for for say 6 months without a car and then when I can drive and have a car I can pick an even more suitable option.
Although my opinions and values lean conservative, if I’d been asked a year or two ago if I’d move to a red state I would have said I really don’t care what people’s politics are and I see the value in being around diverse viewpoints. But for the first time these further left policies have had a direct and negative impact on my life and that of other residents in places I lived – from endless destructive lockdowns steeped in hypocrisy, to an astounding (and growing at impossible speed – literally in the thousands) number of uncontrolled homeless drug addicts pitching tents (they may be city provided actually) where they are using and selling meth, fentanyl, shooting up, open air prostitution (and I don’t just mean the financial transactions) in the middle of formerly safe areas right next to elementary schools, parks, tourist spots, and along with them associated fires, stabbing, assaults, overdose deaths, drug paraphernalia, excrement, trash everywhere.
Then there are the insane criminal prosecution policies – no more bail and it being impossible to keep anyone in jail unless they actually murder someone has actually resulted in people, often the elderly, being mugged and assaulted in broad daylight in busy areas almost daily. Same for sexual assault, carjackings, daily attacks (Stabbings, mugging, beatings, chemical liquid attacks) on subway and bus commuters and so on – there are no consequences for violent crime any more. This is applicable to 5 Dem run cities I currently have current first hand knowledge of, and I’m sure there’s more but namely, right now, all of the above applies to NYC, SF, LA, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. This is not in “bad” or “ghetto” areas but right in the city centers, affluent areas.
A great example is Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village – famous historic park with striking arch in middle of celebrities‘ million dollar houses and neo-gothic architecture – until very recently it was a lively city oasis known for it’s history – from old New York Tammany hall era history to being a 60’s venue where Bob Dylan would hang out and play guitar, Beat poets did readings, and in recent times where local residents walked their dogs, kids played by the famous fountain and NYU students lay on the lawns studying and watching live theater.
In just a year it has very suddenly become a no-go area after sunset, a 24-7 shooting gallery, open air drug and prostitution marketplace with no limits, no discretion, violent fights, attacks on residents and local businesses. The police say they can’t stop it because they have staff shortages and limited ability to make arrests and DA’s offices operating their own version of “catch and release” as they say. But the result is insanity and dangerous insanity at that.
So to make a long story short yes being in a pro-police anti-criminal State – which def means majority Republican legislators has definitely become a priority now.
Thank you also for emphasizing that time is if the essence – I don’t want to be one those people who hesitated and waits and doesn’t “really” believe it could happen. I’ve seen enough. It’s happening.
Thank you again for the excellent article.
Your observations about liberal states are interesting. I purposefully chose to live in more conservative (Christian) area, even though I am not Christian, because certain behaviours are just not tolerated here. Although South Africa seems pretty tame compared to the US! Our country as a whole is pretty conservative anyway, yet dealing with our race issues more constructively IMO.
@Ibti – this is my thinking exactly. Not strictly Christian but prefer those standards of behavior. As someone raised in Europe I just grew up with a certain sense of propriety, you know the way people can behave in public and what is tolerated. In my experience just having that baseline of behavior is the pathway to a peaceful, pleasant and productive life for everyone and the opposite quickly descends into anarchy as I am seeing. I hope at least that I have just been in the worst parts of the worst cities and I will quickly realize the majority of the country is much better!
I just saw from another comment further down that you are in South Africa.
Stay safe there, I know what is going on there is a whole other level of danger!
My parents were schoolteachers in Swaziland in the late 70’s/early 80’s and traveled to SA often. From what I can gather like most of Africa it is always one election, one drought away from chaos which is definitely not usually the case here in the U.S so we definitely need to keep preparing but count our blessings.
I hope you can keep commenting and keep everyone posted about the situation there.
It is a good article. Lots of info and useful ideas.
The one thing I think we all have a problem in understanding and coping with, is that:
1) There are not “levels of SHTF”.
It has only one level, and that is one level, just short of Teowawki!
Basically a level 9 earthquake, instead of a level 10, ( to most of us, anything over a 7 or 8, would all look the same to us, I.E. total destruction).
2) None of this is SHTF, yet!
Not that living in it would not “feel” like it was SHTF, but it has not reached that level yet.
It is kind of like stepping into a dirt, fast moving stream, it is dangerous, but a flash flood (SHTF) is a whole different thing. Knowing the difference can save your life.
SHTF is defined in part, as having “no working Government”.
That means no police, fire, ambulance or organized military response. All of which still exist in South Africa, Cuba and in most other so called SHTF scenarios, that have been used as examples of SHTF events.
So beware that what you are prepping for, as it is probably not for the worst stuff, that is coming soon.
So If you are preparing for scenarios like this, you are NOT prepping for SHTF, but just for Pre SHTF scenarios.
Although your current physical preps might work in a true SHTF scenario. I doubt that most of our long term survival plans or our mental preparedness is ready for a real SHTF scenario.
So often we are prepping the equivalent of getting ready for a summer picnic, instead of a multi month, Winter Safari in a remote region of Siberia.
How many of you have a 5, 10 or 20 year plan for SHTF? Most of us are stuck on planning for just the first year or two of survival. Without longer range plans we are being short sighted. Which presents a real danger to us, down the road.
it took Rhodesia 20 years to collapse. South Africa had a far better infrastructure and a larger white population. Still this was utterly predictable.
The more I think about it, we should have known this was coming. I’ve been reading accounts of white ranchers beings attacked and driven off their land in South Africa for at least five years. I guess it’s important to recognize the spot fires before the conflagration.
The police are out of ammo in Durban SA. So in a way, they really don’t have government to rely on.
As soon as you think SHTF, do not allow chaos and anarchy to establish itself.
Get with your local government, or even form your own, to codify your own ROL.
Invite everyone within walking distance to a town meeting to establish a town constitution.
Take the Constitution of the United States and make it your own (i.e. clear up that 2ndA about ownership, open carry, term limits, voting rights, etc.). One year after the initial local government has been established, hold open local elections to establish a democracy based government.
Appoint a local sheriff (current LEO, or retired one, current military MP or former) with the powers to deputize local citizens as needed. He/she will have to answer to some kind of oversite.
Establish a local militia, dedicated to the protection of the local community. Look to those former military types who have the training and experience to train and establish the militia.
Establish a local EMS, be it fire or medical. Set up a health clinic made up of current or former medical professionals, who make house calls. Look for herbalists who can substitute modern drugs for herbal ones.
Then establish a breeding program of small, medium, large live stock. The threshold should be everyone has their own means of production to a degree. Look to those with manpower or supply and logistics knowledge and experience. Former military types in those occupations will have that capacity.
That rancher with the cattle, if he has to scale down/cull his heard as he cannot bring all the cattle through the winter, he gives half a cow to those who need it, it should be expected those on the receiving end has to pay him back in some capacity, be it in goods or manual labor.
Same goes for the hog/chicken/turkey/etc. Farmer.
Establish a wild game program, so everyone does not go out and shoot all the wild game. Take a deer cannot use all of it, give it to the neighbor.
Establish a salting, curing, drying program to ensure the maximum usage of any meats.
Establish a water management program to make sure no one contaminates the local water supplies.
Establish a seed saving/exchange program. Canning.
Those with solar power energy, put priority to supply others to charge their batteries to run a incubator for chicks. Flash lights. Comms. Sorry, charging your laptop so you can watch your porn collection is last place.
Establish a education system of the local children, with a heavy concentration on STEM working that into the local production of food. May have to pay teachers in goods and services for their expertise of teaching the children.
Teach the importance of humanmanure.
Start a bio-gas facility from the waste of livestock.
Establish a local mail carrier system. In the winter, once or twice a week, a team of able bodied people go out on cross country skis or snow shoes to bring supplies or mail to others in the community.
The first few years will be tough, with hardship. Once gardens, small/medium/large livestock and game programs have been established, then work towards where everyone is producing not only what they can use, but have a surplus.
Expand that for the next 5 to 10 to 20 years.
Establish civilization in your own, local community.
This is great, I love reading these smart visions, although I couldn’t help thinking you could probably pitch and sell this to Discovery Channel as the latest (all-too-real) reality show!
I am going to print out this comment and put it into my prepper binder.
That is actually a really great idea, I think I will do the same.
“Appoint a local sheriff … Establish a local militia … Establish a local EMS … Set up a health clinic … who make house calls … Establish a wild game program … Establish a water management program … Establish a education system … Establish a local mail carrier system”
how you gonna pay for all that? and with what?
@Mic, you seem to have a beef with the use of the term SHTF, if it’s applied for anything less than a Mad Max scenario. Like it will trivialize the term or lessen its impact.
You have your own definitions of SHTF, fine, I respect that. Keep using as you please.
But it’s not a technical term. I don’t recall it officially becoming a jargon, so I use to give idea (however loose that may be) of something going really bad, and not according to my standard of bad but the actual definition of “going bad”. As in the case here, I believe.
So I honestly don’t care if someone lost a job and a family of four ended up in the streets living among trash, drug addicts, and cold, or if an entire state in South Africa turned into a war zone with almost 200 killed in less than a week.
Call it however you want, if I’m in any of those situations, as well as in many others, and someone asked me how bad it is, I’d certainly say the sh*t has hit the fan.
Good response Fabian. From use in articles and books SHTF can be anything from a serious personal event that would cause you to need to rely on your preps to all the way up to a big event just short of a TEOTWAWKI. Since there is no official preppers dictionary, that spectrum of definitions fit. Having been through one of those personal events, had I known the SHTF term at the time, I certainly would have applied it.
Exactly Colleen. We use it to convey the idea that… well, that sh*t has hit the fan. It just tells how bad things have gotten.
And I can’t see how the situation in these cities that have completely gone lawless, violent and destroyed in a matter of days, can’t be called SHTF.
Or even TEOTWATPITROKZNKI or the end of the world as the people in the region of KwaZulu-Natal know it, I’m sure.
And there will be huge consequences of all that, too. If that doesn’t define SHTF I don’t know what else does.
Look at who is rioting, out away from those populations things are much more peaceful. Lucky me is in such a place. At worse food supplies will be disrupted but we all should be prepared for that.
We live in volital times. Governments tighten controls on people who want freedom, crooked politics, poor economies for whatever reasons, the perception-real or exaggerated of great divides between the rich and poor, greed, need, wild weather, so many causes all seemingly coming to a head world wide at about the same time. I hate to watch the news, local or world wide.
No police force can control a city with a large segment bent on protests, rioting, looting, vandalism, and or violence. No one feels safe in such a situation. No one should feel safe in such an atmosphere.
Avoiding or leaving the situation maybe an answer. Being armed may be an answer. Hunkering down and staying out of sight may be an answer. Best is not to be where such actions are likely.
Riots or severe weather both can arise so quickly there is no easy escape. If escape is possible it may be only during a short window of time. Being prepared can be prepared to ride out the situation in place or preparedness may be a BOB ready to grab and go.
For a true prepper both possibilities should be covered.
For some of us it is the clarion call to move away from large cities. Maybe even smaller towns should be avoided in the future if it’s political upheaval to be avoided. We each must decide. If it’s weather, one can only guess. Who could have predicted the cooler northwest US would have such record-setting heatwaves?
So how far does prepping go? You guess the politics of the future, the instigated riots, the weather- hot or cold, the next economic downturn or do you just try to insulate yourself from it all? Then how do you plan for illness, injury, or age?
How do you you avoid “100 year floods” or earthquakes where they aren’t usual?
You can’t avoid every possible disastrous scenario. You prepare for all the possibilities you can imagine and any others mention. You learn who you can trust and you intern be trustworthy. You stay ready to survive awhile in place. You prepare if you must leave on a moments notice. Keep a bag(s) packed and gas in the vehicle. Keep things at work and in the vehicles. Home will ofcourse be the best I repaired place.
I, by choice, live in a very tiny rural community and have for more than half my life. I raise chickens, ducks, rabbits, and a big garden. It is the lifestyle that brings me joy. And as I get older I have friends who check on us and help out. I’m 30 minutes away from small town shopping hospital, Drs and more. Just over an hour to big city specialists and shopping. I am not in a city with rules and regulations. So just county and state rules to live with.
It isn’t perfect, but after living in some big cities I’m happy.
James Rawls, wrote about this in his book “Patriots” A novel of Survival in the coming collapse , almost 12 years ago. Fabian Ommar is pointing out all these countries who have economic woes coupled with social and political unrest. The U.S. is not exempt from the kind of events taking place around the world.
This latest post by “The Organic Prepper” should be a confirmation of to wake-up and get your plans and preps in order, because when these events kick off there may not be any warning. It will seem spontaneous but a lot of planning went into “kicking them off,” just be prepared .
Of course it will happen in the USA, at least in the bigger cities. Way beyond what was seen with George Floyd or BLM/Antifa stuff when Trump was president.
The ruling class knows things are on edge and highly volatile and unstable, just one thing going wrong and everyone will riot beyond what was ever seen and they could all be dragged out and, well, gotten rid of.
I’m not advocating this, but it’s inevitable as the ruling class carries out their planned agenda. They can’t control everything as well as they think they can. They want 100% communist/fascist enslavement, no privacy, no liberty, amongst other things, by 2030 and they are believers in depopulation (i.e. mass genocide), they are literal Nazis. Look up who Klaus Schwab’s father was for example.
The big difference in Cuba and South Africa has been and always will be is personal firearms.
The difference between South Africa and the USA is they used theirs to defend by shooting and even hunting the rioters down and not waiting on the government.
Preppers like to buy things. You can’t buy heart to fight. You can’t buy physical fitness and you can’t buy training you needed today by booking it for tomorrow.
@Matt in OK.
I totally agree that the outcome can be vastly different in places with and without guns. By that I don’t mean better in one or worse in the other, or vice versa, because that depends on a lot of other factors. And weapons aren’t everything, maybe not even the most important.
But I’m pro-gun so I’ll always vote for them and their supporters. I think it’s better that the population has access to them than otherwise. Also because, well… it’s actually impossible to totally prevent the people from having some kind of access to firearms.
So yeah, it’s better that everyone is free to own them, rather than just the criminals, the black market and the governments.
In South Africa, the government is currently trying to bring in legislation that would make it harder for law abiding citizens to own guns. The upshot of these riots is that it has become clear that armed civilians were able to step in when the national police and defence force couldn’t/wouldn’t. Liberals are waking up here finally.
Thanks for chiming in @Ibti, we’re hoping and wishing everything gets better in SA soon. And yes, there’s always a silver lining (well not always but everything has another side). Nothing like reality to wake people up. Stay safe and please keep us updated.
This will be happening in the US too by the end of the year. Our political leaders actually want to push it to this level so they can wrestle final control from ‘We The People’. Many in the US are in denial but the second Civil War has already been started. Violence is open place now and people have already died. It will only get worse as time goes on. What makes it uniquely worse for the US is, we have many adversaries outside our borders too, so while we are busy fighting ourselves and distracted, they too, will move in and create havoc.
The US is also in a unique position in that, pretty much everyone has guns, so unlike say, South Africa where they are not too easy to come by for the average citizen, in the US, the average citizen has plenty of them. When the rioting monkey bands come through the neighborhoods in many areas, instead of the citizens fleeing in terror, there will be gunfights and blood shed.
THe US civil war could end quickly or could drag out and out, there are many factions actually and it’s honestly a coin toss at this time. IF things work well, all ‘sides’ will realize that the government is the ‘ problem’ for ALL the factions, and will join forces to take it back for WE the people. Will this happen? Time will tell. The next few years are going to be very interesting for sure.
Is Selco’s thing available other than Pinterest? I don’t do that one.
Hi there! I am in South Africa, but not in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Due to various factors (intense tribalism, poverty, corruption etc.), I always suspected that province highly likely to be the scene of a SHTF scenario. I live in the Western part of South Africa, in a rural farming area. Throughout the years, the police and government’s inaction on “farm murders” has resulted in communities organising and arming themselves here. In my town there are parallel (privately funded) emergency response, security and fire fighting functions. They will be having a very visible procession to the malls in town today, presumably to send out the signal that looting will not be tolerated here. It was interesting how the closure of a major arterial road, caused (will cause) supply problems in food and other items. I have recently been reflecting on the use of boats to bug out in SHTF scenarios. Any thoughts?
Drakey, your circumstances indicate that you would not be able to chop firewood or get it home. In just about any scenario, whether sudden like an EMP, or prolonged like economic failure or civil unrest, the power grid will go down. I suggest you look to the South, below the snow line, for your next home. I do live in the deep south, and I could live through winter with no heat at all, although I would be pretty miserable. But I would be alive. And you have a dog to snuggle with. Generally, people in the South are law and order people who don’t put up with looting, rioting, gangs and hoodlums of any sort (excepting Atlanta) .
@ Ancestor Lady
I have been planning and researching very seriously about moving for the last year or so in general, and had been intending to much sooner before I got delayed due to the Covid lockdowns. My initial choice was the south, for all of those reasons and I initially wanted to go closer to the gulf coast somewhere between Pensacola and Gulfport/Biloxi, though obviously not right in the hurricane zone. There are obviously some issues with driving there too, so then I started thinking about smaller towns/small cities in the south, all the way from Savannah to inland Georgia, SC, TN, AK and further South to AL and MS – I am really open to anywhere, being from Europe I really love traveling and experiencing the U.S. and that was my absolute first choice because of course naively, as a foreigner I am still pretty enchanted with that old Southern culture. I think what made me start thinking I had to go west instead was really concern with civil unrest. I know the South is really not liberal, obviously but it seemed to me from the news that there was a lot of potential for rioting but maybe I am just not understanding the size of the states and the distribution of population – but you know I just started reading too much doomsday chaos and thinking of places like Memphis, Little Rock, Birmingham, Jackson and it just seemed like there was so much crime in the south and I started thinking I had the wrong idea.
But now I am thinking again so I am very grateful for your input because you are most definitely right in that I could not chop firewood, or really do any homesteading/survivalist stuff beyond, you know making a few pickles. Getting away from potential civil unrest and then freezing to death is not going to cut it either. And I do know winter, being in PA and NY etc, I think it is just easy to forget how hard it is when summer rolls around and taking heat for granted.
I am not exaggerating when I say that just the responses I have had here have me very seriously thinking that until I can really become more self-sufficient, because it is not only driving I have to think about in terms of livability, a smaller town or city in the south may be the way to go and a really good choice for me. So thank you!!!
Dear fellow transplant. I absolutely do NOT recommend the south for one such as yourself.
While I’m sure the kind soul who meant well and seems to live in a good area has a good spin on the south I assure you it is NOT particularly law abiding nor low crime. They also failed to mention all the poisonous spiders and snakes and ticks/chiggers, wasps/hornets, termites, tornadoes, hail etc. Brown recluse are vast here — IN YOUR HOUSE. There is a huge trade off regardless of where you live.
Now before all the Southerners get upset. Wherever you grow up is home and you feel a sense of belonging and understand the pitfalls and local culture and know how to cope without much effort. I’ve transitioned to various regions and based on what sounds like a single female to me — I can’t recommend the south to a non-religious single female.
You need to get driving NOW. Otherwise you are dependent and a liability. This country is not set up for public transport outside cities. At best you can expect rural/ county transport bus that you must ride for hours to get anywhere and back. I know of some smaller college towns, no real public transport and certainly not highly walkable. The idea of a “Scooter” (<49cc engine)with a trailer is good except in bad weather and they go max 30mph per law as a Scooter. And small town drivers aren’t used to them.
My suggestion is the Goldilocks choice. Consider a bit further west and a bit further south. Towns 10-20k have at least basic services for groceries and medical and likely Uber or a single taxi till you get a your driving sorted. It doesn’t take that long to get enough practice to get your license. You don’t mention your age but I’d guess the older you are (past 16) the more intimidating it seems.
I highly recommend a site called homefacts.com I have no affiliation. Small towns the crime rates will appear high as 1 murder/crime drives their rate sky high so you have to drill down into the crime stats. Demographics can be drilled down into if you have a preference. I find the education levels of the population telling for what services are available — more graduate degrees — more medical, for example.
And it’s COLD in North Dakota!!!
If you had a car you could go “driveabout” and explore.
No place is perfect. You work from home so I’m guessing you need high speed internet. Don’t assume it’s everywhere. Check. Larger towns yes, but go to small and maybe not.
I got a bit carried away. Good luck!
@Southnot4all — THANK YOU so much that was super helpful. I am beyond confused at this point, although of course just being able to drive will change everything.
I guess my issue is I want to move now, literally in a few weeks so I can start to put down roots and get where I am going. For that reason I am not going to start driving lessons here, as I have enough to do just to move that fast. I have already downloaded the local DMV manuals from a couple of states I have lived in and also saved some You Tube videos just so I can do prep work at least.
Driving has to be the biggest priority the moment I have moved because I can’t stand being dependent on not having freedom of movement. I will probably just pick the best long-term place for me leaving driving out of the equation and then learn to drive while using Uber and grocery delivery. I am definitely not ready to move anywhere too small yet so it should be possible, whichever state it is in. I was thinking exactly that size of place too 15-20,000.
But location wise am definitely confused and it great to hear from people like you and Daisy who have also moved around a lot. I am from Northern Europe and bugs are not a thing there, at all, certainly not on that level. I do remember being pretty stunned by the giant flying waterbug things just visiting New Orleans and even the summer mosquitoes and little gnat things in PA in the early mornings drive me pretty nuts. I don’t care too much for being cold though so that is an issue and that is why I did latch on to the idea about the south which as I had mentioned, I had considered before.
I absolutely agree with what ancestor lady said – since I don’t have survival skills I don’t want to be in a place with long and brutal winters, PA is bad enough. Even when I can drive I don’t want to have to drive in say N. Dakota or Montana or Wyoming conditions as an inexperienced driver. I also can definitely see the power grid going down whether EMP or shorter term and I just don’t want to have to worry about that in terms of freezing as well as everything else that catastrophe would bring. The weather of the south is definitely a problem – the last thing I need is to set up home somewhere and then be at risk of flooding, tornadoes etc
As you mentioned too, as a single, conservative but non-religious woman the idea of a lot of crime, a lot of extreme poverty and racial tension/hatred from any group does bother me these days. A year or two ago I could really have cared less about the latter but just seeing what has gone on recently, it is a factor for safety reasons, comfort reasons, and also just because in the north east seeing some of the rioting last summer pretty close to me, I can see how everything can turn to absolute anarchy very, very easily, not a hypothetical but literally one event away from doing so.
I want to make the right decision because I don’t want to move again for a while, so I need to find a smaller place where I can be relatively anonymous without being in a huge place (i.e. not trying to join a small community where everyone has grown up together and it’s all about which church you are with) and does not have too cold winters and not as hot and crowded as say Florida. If I had family here I guess my decision would be made for me but it is almost harder to have a lot of freedom. I only ended up in PA because my brother and his American wife were living here for a while but they just moved to London and I am not fond of PA, or the politics here. I have friends all over the country too but not one of them is outside of a major city so I am really deciding completely for myself.
The couple of places I found that I think would have worked really well for me were prohibitively expensive – I want to buy a house after I move and settle and definitely don’t want to go somewhere where it is an exploding seller’s market with $300k being the low end. That crossed those places off the list but I researched the Bentonville/Rogers/Fayetteville area in NW Arkansas, some smaller cities in Colorado and also places somewhat commutable to Nashville in TN. The internet is an important factor I had forgotten about momentarily (i.e. Arkansas!)
While I am more confused than ever all the input REALLY helps so thank you. I guess I will just have to really figure out what the must-have’s are and what I can compromise on.
Drakey, I’d suggest you take a look at Lawrence KS, and Leavenworth KS area. Close enough to Kansas City for shopping, far enough out for comfort. Lawrence is a college town, more liberal. Leavenworth is more conservative and patriotic. In between both are plenty of smaller towns that are more rural. The Leavenworth area is in the Tonganoxie split, so most bad weather splits and goes around it.
Joy, thank you so much for the specific recommendation. I absolutely will.
The racial rhetoric in the US has been increasing in the past year. Biden and the democrats have been cranking it up.
I’ve seen repeated calls since Biden took office calling for the extermination of white Americans. Government programs that descriminate against white people are another indicator of this.
They’re stoking the fires for a race war. This would be the ultimate division within the country. If they keep the rhetoric up they just may cause a race war. There are nut jobs out there that seem to want that to happen even though there will be many innocent victims – but then again to those people the end always justifies the means.
So yes, the violence in South Africa can come to the US and other western nations.