Over the past two weeks, I have released a series on prepper relocation that completely changes the old conventional theories that drove prepper relocation strategies (See: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/?s=prepper+relocation). The key takeaway you learned from the research is that you do not need to relocate to a remote region to survive. In fact, it is actually counterproductive to be too isolated. Now that you know relocation to a place like Idaho is no longer necessary and even counterproductive, where are the best places to relocate? The good news is that you have far greater options depending on what you are prepping for in light of the results of my research. In today’s conclusion to the five part series, I will introduce you to both domestic and international options that are readily available to anyone looking for a thorough, full spectrum relocation strategy that will work even under the most extreme situations.
My number one best option for any type of systemic collapse is to have established a secondary residence somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere. However, outside of a major war, Eastern Europe offers excellent options and a very high standard of living at a bargain price. International relocation is your best option and covers nearly all of your major contingencies. It is also easier and cheaper than building a bunker complex in Idaho. Having a second passport affords you huge benefits that are simply impossible to achieve any other way. It is by far the most realistic and full proof strategy if you really want to be able to protect your family, your assets, and continue living a good quality of life even if North America is completely wiped out. Note I said good life. I am not talking about surviving on the fridges where death awaits you at every corner. I am talking about relocating to an area where you will enjoy a living standard as good as or better than you currently have. Relocating abroad allows you to live in places where you can have clean water, a beautiful home, good education for your children, and a well-paying job.
Contrary to naysayers, this option is not expensive or difficult to achieve, but it does require you to leave your comfort zone and be more intrepid. There are plenty of countries out there beyond the US that offer great standards of living, significantly less regulation, and in various forms, more freedom. If not convinced, consider a lesson from history your forefathers taught you about international relocation strategies. America is a land of immigrants to even include the “Native” Americans that also migrated here. If it wasn’t for your ancestors that were intrepid enough to leave their hometowns across Europe, Asia, and Africa, you very likely would have never existed because they would have died in their home countries from the war, famine, oppression, and disease. You would have never made it to the US and enjoyed the benefits our nation has afforded its citizens for over two hundred years if relocating abroad was a “ridiculous” option. Today that same sound logic is valid.
The benefits to having a second passport are many. In any major collapse, the US banking system and economy will fail. Your money will be worthless and frozen. Most people don’t realize just how poorly capitalized and vulnerable US banks are even after the “reforms” of the 2008 collapse. Most also don’t realize that in the event of a banking failure, you entire wealth stored in these institutions can be frozen and confiscated to pay off the bank’s debts, which is called a “bail-in.” Further, doing something as simple and as sane as opening a bank account in another country with a healthy banking sector to protect your wealth is all but impossible because of the IRS. The second passport will allow you to legally and easily insulate yourself from this by allowing you to establish bank accounts with well capitalized and very safe foreign banks that would otherwise refuse to do business with Americans. This allows you to obtain and use liquid assets that still hold value both domestically and abroad when no one else has money. This is incredibly powerful and enables a huge number of options to include travel and escape otherwise not possible. Further, you can significantly reduce your tax burden to the US, which prevents your money from being used to fund an increasingly more oppressive government and puts it back in your pocket. Legally, you also have rights that are conferred upon you by the nation of your second residence, which gives you additional legal protections from things like extradition and imprisonment. Having that passport will also allow you to easily travel visa free to most other nations, incorporate businesses, work, and live anywhere you want when Americans are trapped within our borders.
If you look south of our border, I like the easy residency requirements, modern standard of living, and economically inviting countries of Chile and Panama. Both of these countries are easy for Americans to travel to, establish businesses, and quickly obtain residency. Further, they both offer areas that are very safe and conducive to a self-sustaining lifestyle at a bargain price. The climate in Chile is spectacular and the landscape in many areas is as picturesque as anything in the Bavarian Alps. True Chile, like California is seismically active, but it has good building codes and is a large country that offers plenty of real estate located in regions safe from natural disasters like quakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis. You can also own firearms in Chile if you file the proper forms for self-defense, hunting, and collecting. Their firearms laws are far more restrictive than in the US, but there is a growing gun culture and plenty of people do own a host of rifles, pistols, and shotguns perfectly legally. Panama is inviting because it is very easy to establish residency and travel there on short notice. It also has a thriving economy, a completely modern city with safe areas, wide use of English and the dollar, and a climate suitable for year round agriculture. Both Chilean and Panamanian passports offer visa free access to nearly all countries around the world.
Another great area from both a standard of living and business perspective is Estonia in Eastern Europe. Yes, you are bordering Russia, but much of the war monger is hype and life goes on perfectly normal there. Estonia is a bargain when it comes to costs of living, the people are well educated, it is as safe as the US, and it is arguable the most wired country in Europe if modern cyber capabilities are important to you. Estonia has some beautiful medieval coastal cities such as Tallinn. These fully modern cities and their periphery are not over populated or heavily congested. In fact, they are affordable boom towns if you are an entrepreneur looking for a true tax haven with minimal taxes and regulation. Estonia also allows private possession of a large variety of firearms for reasons that include self-defense.
The countries listed are just a few of many great options to include dozens of islands. No one place is perfect and that shouldn’t be the point. Each country offers a mix of costs and benefits, but when combined, creates the maneuver space and options that are vital to you as a prepper. For example, when the US economy utterly collapses and insurgencies break out across the US, are you going to be concerned that Santiago, Chile has a “bad area” of the city just like Chicago and nearly every other city in the world? No, you are thankful that you were able to move your money out of US banks before they froze everyone’s life savings and erased your pension. You are also thankful that your family is enjoying life on a large farm with private tutors for your children instead of worrying that a bomb is going to go off at the bus stop or local grocery store and kill them. How about if the US provokes a major world war with China and Russia? Are you going to care that Chile has some active volcanoes or less liberal firearms ownership rules? No, you are just going to be happy you had the ability to leave your hometown before it was turned into a radioactive no man’s land. Even if you establish a second residency abroad and that country falls apart, so what? No problem. You already know the routine and can easily now move to another country. You need to remember you are not marrying any one country. It is just a geographical tool to be used when it is advantageous and put away when it isn’t. What is better; eating a nice dinner with your family while you enjoy a beautiful view of the Andes or suffering a prolonged and miserable existence inside a concrete bunker as you succumb to the effects of radiation poisoning, starvation, disease, and conflict? At the end of the day, you only have to answer one question. Are you more concerned about staying in the US where you will incur large risks, suffer, and maybe perish or continuing a good existence?
The second chunk of your relocation strategy will inherently be domestic in focus. In this regard you now have many options, but it is important to differentiate between the more common short term events and a systemic nationwide collapse. The vast majority of crises are regionally contained and of relatively short duration. Having the basic home preps in place to cover water, food, shelter, hygiene, medical, and defense for a minimum of two weeks will be more than sufficient to weather any of these events well. In fact, these will not require relocation at all unless it is for an evacuation for something like a hurricane and this can be achieved simply by calling a friend living farther inland. This doesn’t need to be complex or expensive. These types of crises do not justify the cost and effort required to establish and maintain a second residence for relocation.
When it comes to a systemic nationwide collapse, the dynamic fundamentally changes. By definition, a full collapse overwhelms the nation’s ability to react and mitigate the situation. This type of situation is rare, but will persist for a much longer and could even be generational. These major catastrophes generally provide plenty of warning signs in advance, but when they happen, they occur rapidly. In this type of major event, finding a self-sufficient retreat is going to be necessary if you are unable to relocate abroad. However, if you plan accordingly, there is no reason your relocation plan has to involve relocation at all. In fact, the more I look at the data, the more it makes sense for your home and redoubt to be the same place aside from those that are living in major cities for work and other reasons. There are plenty of affordable places offering the option for a self-sustaining lifestyle that are within a short commute of good jobs, schools, and hospitals. In fact, a location in a more rural suburb that doesn’t involve joining a restrictive home owners association is very suitable. A property of even a few acres with good soil and ample water are more than sufficient in this regard. Further, when you are actively living at your “redoubt,” you gain many advantages. For starters, you cut costs and labor by only having to pay for and maintain one residence. Second and most obvious, you don’t have to relocate anywhere. This allows you to quickly react to a crisis, mitigates the risk of travel during a collapse, and improves your family’s ability to regroup. Third, and perhaps of the most consequence, is you have an established network of friends, family, and neighbors that you know. Anytime you relocate, even a short distance, you lose that network that often takes years to develop and the benefits it affords through division of labor and mutual security.
I want to speak again for a moment on the critical benefit of having a network close by, which is something completely absent in the numbers necessary if you relocate to remote regions of the country. I have repeatedly argued that the lone wolf prepper surviving for long in the real world is a myth. I don’t just preach it, but I practice it (See: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2015/01/27/when-the-shtf-you-can-come-to-my-placeseriously/). I also discussed how during an insurgency, which always occurs as a result of a failing government, it is very dangerous to be located on the periphery where you are stuck in the cross fire between government and insurgent forces engaging in open combat. Only by organizing and rapidly increasing your numbers do you substantially improve both your quality of life through a division of labor and your overall chances of long term survival. This can be done in both urban and rural locations, but the need to become organized rather quickly is critical. There is no argument that it is better to have the numbers on your side early on during a crisis. Trying to win favor with a force of 100 men approaching your bunker in the mountains after things have collapsed is not the preferred method. No matter how well you are prepared, you simply are not going to be able to resist an attack by even a small force of determined fighters.
It is also worth noting that being isolated can become very counterproductive should you be faced with a much more realistic near term situation where the political climate within the US becomes openly hostile to anyone seeking to live beyond the control of the nanny state. Many preppers are already being labeled as domestic terrorists by the US Government so we already stand very close to a time when the government orders anyone associated with prepper or militia groups to be rounded up and arrested. Living and working near a more populated area affords some insulation from this because it is very difficult for the government to operate against you without causing problems and alienating the general population. However, being too isolated from everyone else makes this much easier for government goon squads because you can be easily surrounded and overwhelmed. On the flip side, being too imbedded in a city is also counterproductive because the mindset of your neighbors is less likely to be supportive, you have no standoff, and it removes your ability to properly prep and operate with some degree of privacy. What you need is the “Goldilocks Solution” that isn’t too hot or cold, but just right during a long term systemic collapse of the US.
So what exactly would a place like this look like? As I have previously advocated, one example I like is West Virginia for anyone located in the mid-Atlantic. (See: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2013/12/02/overcoming-the-greatest-prepper-weakness-the-individual-versus-the-community-and-a-plan-for-the-future/). It is true that places like Virginia and Pennsylvania offer similar benefits, but the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia offers an ideal mix of defendable, affordable, self-sustainable properties. It is also a short drive from the DC metropolitan area, which is important to many people living and working in the region. In particular, it is situated so that it is far enough to be insulated from any urban chaos and martial law, but close enough to influence the region should things turn hostile. Further, West Virginia is unique in that its government is very hands off and the regulatory environment is far less oppressive than neighboring Virginia even though in some respects you may have a slightly higher tax burden. You also have very likeminded neighbors that welcome rugged individualism, freedom, and self-sustaining lifestyles. This makes forming your network of capable preppers easy. As important, the overall population of most counties allows real representation by your local government to ensure that your equities are represented and respected. Oh, and in case you wonder, West Virginia is both an open and concealed carry state that is for the most part very friendly to firearms. If you are interested in suitable properties in West Virginia, contact us here at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line, “West Virginia Land Referals.” We can put you in contact with our vetted realtors that have a proven track record of working with buyers to discretely find them an ideal permanent prepper redoubt.
So what about the rest of the US? Like I said before, it is generally good news if you follow these simply guidelines. Locate a property far enough outside a major urban center that you are permitted and able to grow a few acres of food on good soil, have access to year round fresh water, and are amongst primarily likeminded people. Another must is locating to a place with a government and laws that respect the Second Amendment (as well as the entire Bill of Rights) and off grid living. Places like Oregon that fine homeowners for using rain barrels or California that is passing draconian gun laws and levying huge taxes should be a big red flag the state government has become hostile. It is also smart to be within a reasonable drive of a trauma facility. No matter how much we prepare medically, we are never going to approach the kind of care that an advanced medical care facility provides. This is one of the huge self-inflicted negatives faced by those still choosing to relocate to an extremely remote location because having a good hospital nearby imparts major benefits to survival. Access to air and sea ports offer a mixed bag of pros and cons, but is something to consider in your planning. Avoid locating close to any major interstate highways, military bases, industrial/chemical plants, or downwind from any nuclear power plant. Those maxims from previous prepper relocation planning still apply. Still though, generally speaking, most small towns are suitable. Rural suburbs are fine too and usually offer the added benefit of land affordable enough that you can purchase enough to safely practice with firearms in your own backyard. If you have a region like West Virginia that also offers some rugged terrain, you have the added benefit of natural obstacles, which provide enhance security.
Over the course of this series on relocation, I have covered a great deal of information that fundamentally transforms how we prep and look at relocation. Many of the old ideas proved to be invalid, which opened up a host of better options for modern preppers. We also discussed why it is essential you understand, plan, and prepare for an insurgency if prepping for a nationwide collapse. As important, I introduced the incredible benefits of establishing a second residency abroad and how that should be a cornerstone of any full proof strategy to not just survive, but live well. Now that you are better informed, it is time to get to work and reevaluate your current preps. It is also important that you get the word out amongst our community and inform those out there that haven’t been provided these critical updates in strategy. As always, feel free to email us with any questions or comments.
By Guiles Hendrik
September 19, 2016