Where are Preppers Moving and Why?

Where a prepper lives makes a big difference in how they can respond to an emergency. It can also have a big impact on the likelihood that someone will face an emergency in the first place. From a preparedness standpoint, I live in a pretty decent area, but many preppers wonder if they should move, and if so, to where?

In general, large numbers of preppers are moving to the following areas:

  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Tennesse
  • Texas
  • Survival Facilities
  • New Zealand

Although moving somewhere new may be an extreme way to be more prepared for an emergency, that is what some people are doing. If the don’t live there permanently, at the very least they are buying land in these areas in case they need a place to fall back to.

Where Preppers are Moving to:


Preppers moving to IdahoIdaho is one of the most popular places for preppers to move to in the United States. It is James Wesley, Rawles’ first choice out of all 50 U.S. states. If you don’t know who he is, Mr. Rawles is one of the most prominent and well-respected voices among preppers. He founded SurvivalBlog.com and has written various books, including How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It and Tools for Survival.

Idaho has a lot of attributes that preppers will find appealing. The first is that Idaho is much safer than the majority of American states due to its low crime rates. It also has much less government interference in daily living. This includes non-restrictive gun and knife laws.

Idaho also has an abundance of wilderness areas and a low population density. This will give preppers concerned with mass migration from populated areas a considerable distance buffer and plenty of raw lands to work with.

The main negatives of moving to Idaho from a preparedness standpoint are high income taxes and its proximity to Yellowstone National Park. High income taxes take a bite out of your prep budget. The problem with Yellowstone is that it sits on a Supervolcano. If it ever blew, Idaho would be devastated. Fortunately, many scientists believe that this probably won’t happen in the foreseeable future, though some in the preparedness community are still concerned about it.


The next state that preppers are moving to is Montana. It is right next door to Idaho and shares many of its benefits. Montana, similar to Idaho enjoys a low population density. It is the fourth largest state in the U.S. but its overall population is just over 1 million. Montana is also far removed from any large metro areas, which reduces the chance that it will see large numbers of refugees during an emergency.

Other benefits of living in Montana include low crime rates, unobtrusive gun laws, and a good education system. Although Montana may be a good choice for some preppers, it does have some drawbacks. First, it can get really cold in the winter. Montana also has a shorter growing season than many other states.

The last big drawback of living in Montana from a preparedness standpoint is that it is home to numerous nuclear missile silos. If a global conflict were to break out, particularly one that involved the use of nuclear weapons, those areas of Montana would be obliterated and any area downwind would experience large amounts of fallout.


Tennessee is another area that preppers are moving to. The eastern part of the state is home to heavily-wooded and mountainous terrain, including the Cumberland Plateau and the Great Smokey Mountains. Demand for property on Cumberland Plateau is so intense among preppers, that one real estate company is marketing property in the area specifically for them.

Living in Tennessee has several advantages. First, it has no income tax, which is always a plus. The state is fairly gun-friendly, and unlike some other states popular among preppers, it has medium-sized cities with good job opportunities. The drawback to this is a greater likelihood that you would come into contact with refugees during an emergency.

The main disadvantage that preppers who live in Tennessee would face is the chance of being overrun due to mass migration. Tennessee is very close to the east coast and is a popular tourist destination. These two factors will put Tennessee at the front of people’s minds when they leave their homes and “head for the hills”.


Another popular place that precepts are moving to is my home state, Texas. Texas is famous for being almost more of its own country than a state. This is due to the attitude of its citizens, its size, as well as its economic power. If Texas was its own country, it would boast the 10th largest economy in the world, ahead of Canada and South Korea, and only slightly behind Russia.

This robust economy is due to Texas possessing abundant natural resources and a well-diversified economy. It has allowed the state to fare better during economic downturns than most other states. A downside to this is the state is very densely populated, being home to 2 of the U.S.’s 10 most populous metropolitan areas, DFW and Houston. However, Texas is so vast that it is still possible to find remote areas that are a fair distance from population centers.

Due to its size, Texas is home to numerous types of terrain. West Texas is home to mountains and desert, plains fill the central portion of the state, and the eastern third of the state is heavily forested. It also has a long coast which gives access to oil and food resources in the Gulf of Mexico. Much of the state, especially the eastern portion has numerous manmade and natural water sources, however, this is not the case in the western portion of the state which is largely desert.

Compared to many other states, Texas has relatively mild winters. Snow is so scarce in most of the state that an inch is enough to shut down schools. Summers, on the other hand, are almost always brutal. Pretty much the entire state can go a month or two straight with high temperatures at least in the ’90’s. Anytime from may to the first part of October can get miserably hot.

Survival Facilities

Although many wealthy preppers will purchase land in the states mentioned above, some may choose to purchase a condo in one of the many survival facilities across the world. These are not places that they would live year-round but are refuges their owners will flee to in case of an emergency.

American Survival Facilities

Two of the most popular survival facilities in the U.S. are the Vivos xPoint and the Survival Condo. Vivos xPoint consists of over 500 self-contained bunkers on what used to be a U.S. Army munitions depot. It is located near the Black Hills in South Dakota and is far removed from population centers and nuclear targets. The facility has its own security team, and each shelter has around 2,200 square feet. Vivos claims that this is enough space to accommodate 10 to 24 people and their supplies for up to a year. You can learn more about Vivos xPoint by clicking here.

Survival Condo is a whole other animal. It consists of two decommissioned missile silos that have been converted into luxury doomsday homes. As of writing this article, you can currently purchase an entire floor of the facility for 2.4 million dollars. This includes around 1,820 square feet of living space and a three year per person food supply. Survival Condo also includes common areas including a general store and indoor pool. You can learn more about Survival Condo by clicking here.

European Survival Facilities

The United States is not the only place where you can purchase your space in a survival facility. Germany is home to Vivos Europa One. It offers 34 residences that are 2,500 square feet but can be expanded to 5,000 square feet with the addition of a second level.

Each individual residence is sold bare so the owner can customize it to fit their individual tastes. The facility also has other amenities such as restaurants and game rooms. Residents can access these areas by use of a tram.

New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the most remote and isolated places on Earth. It is also one of the safest thanks to a low crime rate and its lack of foreign enemy states. This has made it a refuge of choice for silicon valley billionaires.

So many of them have bought land in New Zealand that its government took action to ban foreigners from buying homes. Although this is a pretty epic doomsday plan, it does have some drawbacks. The first is that getting to New Zealand will involve either air travel or a really long boat ride. Any number of things could occur between here and there to prevent those people from reaching their final destination.

The second drawback to this plan is that New Zealand is so remote that accessing certain resources in an emergency could be very difficult. Although it is rich in natural resources, New Zealand relies heavily on imported petroleum. This could slow down the country’s ability to recover after a widespread disaster.

Why Preppers Moving

Now that you know some of the places that preppers are moving to you might be wondering why they move and if you should do the same. Here are some reasons why some preppers are moving and why it may be a good idea to consider doing the same:

They Live Near a Population Center

One of the biggest reasons why preppers are moving is they live in or close to a population center. Areas with a large population present several problems. First, almost all areas with a large population are dependent on outside sources for their food and water. During an emergency, this food would be depleted very quickly and would not be replenished until it ended.

Another reason why areas with large populations are problematic for preppers is that they will become hotbeds of crime and violence during an emergency. An example of this is the looting and violence that took place during Hurricane Katrina. 

Population centers are also prime targets for terrorism and would likely be targets of nuclear strikes if a major worldwide conflict broke out. Many ICBMs only take around 30 minutes to reach their targets, meaning it would be almost impossible for city-dwellers to escape in time, especially with the traffic that would result from panicking evacuees.

They Live in an Area with Little Natural Resources

Another reason that preppers are moving is that they live in an area with little to no natural resources. Preppers who are concerned with long-term grid-down situations prefer to live in areas with abundant natural food, fuel, and water sources.

Desert areas and metropolitan areas lack at least one of these necessities and some lack more than one. Forested areas, such as those in the northwestern United States, eastern Texas, and Appalachia offer all of them. Water, food (both plant and animal), and fuel (wood) are plentiful. It is important to note that a prolonged emergency would result in many food sources being used up quickly and water sources being contaminated. That is why it is important to move to an area with a low population density.

They Live in an Area Prone to Natural Disasters

Another big reason that preppers move is that they live in an area that is subject to frequent natural disasters. These can include hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and others.

Natural disasters are unavoidable and, in many cases, impossible to defend against. Many, such as those listed above can destroy large areas. It can take years for an area to recover and some never do. Many preppers who used to live in areas such as this (Florida, California, and others) feel that the best way to protect their families and property is to simply leave.

They Live in an Area Unfriendly to Preppers

Another reason that preppers choose to move is that they live in an area that is unfriendly to various aspects of prepping. States that infringe on gun rights, the ability to harvest rainwater, and do other things to stifle self-sufficiency are poor choices for preppers. 

In addition to restrictive state or local laws, local attitudes can also make an area unfriendly for preppers. Many times, they will choose to move to an area where they have more freedom to live the way they want to and not have to worry about being considered an outcast by their neighbors. The individual states mentioned at the beginning of this article are generally prepper-friendly from a governmental and social standpoint.

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