Moving house, especially to a new area can be a traumatic experience. Most people move for economic reasons, job transfers for example. The to do list in such a situation seems never ending, find a house, find a school, work out commuter routes etc etc.
Relocating because you feel your current location is unsafe, or will become so in the event of any kind of collapse, throws up a whole new set of issues, on top of the normal concerns that a house move brings.
Every day the news becomes more grim. Gangs roam the streets in most cities, every scrap of land is being built on causing us to live in ever closer quarters with complete strangers and parts of most cities have areas where it literally isn’t safe to walk at any time let alone at night. Crime, against both people and property is on the increase and the police are not dealing with it, how can they when government cut-backs and a ludicrous amount of red-tape and paperwork tie the seasoned police officers we have got to their desks?
Civil war rages in numerous countries, and some of those conflicts are threatening to spill over, leading to a real possibility of a global conflict and the danger that will bring with it. Even without a localised conflict going global some are intent on bringing the fight to us, extremism is on the increase in our cities.
During World War ll thousands of children were evacuated from the cities and sent to live with families in more rural, less targeted areas. The German bombers were not overly interested in dumping their payload on a field in the middle of the English countryside. The name of the game in war is to hit as many people as possible in one fell swoop. The targeting of London, the heart of government, and industrial centres such as Birmingham, Coventry and Derby was the order of the day.
Of course, if war were to break out today it would be a very different situation than that faced by half the world between 1939 and 1944. Long range missiles can reach thousands of miles at the push of a button. The availability of ICBM’s, Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles mean a city can be destroyed without the nightly barrage of bombing runs that people faced last time.
Any missiles that did get through would immediately damage our packed in infrastructure, electricity, water supply and escape routes would be severely impacted…if not totally obliterated. If those missiles had a nuclear warhead on, which is what ICBM’s were originally built to support, the difference in the way your city will look and the way Hiroshima or Nagasaki looked, are zero.
The United States, untouched on home soil during World War ll would not be so lucky next time around as the continental United states is as vulnerable as anywhere else due to the range of modern weapons.
It may not be war that triggers a complete brakedown in the fabric of society. Total economic collapse, food prices soaring out of reach leaving families hungry, terrorist attacks…they all have the potential to trigger a breakdown of society, marking an end to life as we know it.
The question is, when is the right time to leave the cities? The answer is quite simply before anything major happens. Sadly none of us know when something will occur that will rock us to our very foundations.
We made the decision to get out before that time came, to decide an approximate area where we wanted to live and then start looking. We spent six months driving thousands of miles of endless motorways until we found our spot and set about making it our forever home.
It’s not perfect by any means, just five miles from a major city, but the island we live on has ferocious currents, enough to deter all but the most determined attempts to make the crossing. There is a bridge at the closest point to the mainland, the only way on and off the island, it’s a small two lane road that leads to the winding, bendy main road that splits in two halfway down with one fork going to the west for a mile, and one to the east for a mile. That’s it for what is known here as the main road, as wide as a side road in the city. The population density is 12 times lower per square mile here than it was in the city we used to live in, and over 20 times lower per square mile than London. The house has 1/4 acre behind it, enough if farmed intensively to supply much of our our needs. We have wood heat as well as mains and the island is covered in trees should anything happen that stops the supply of seasoned firewood we store, getting across the bridge. With the ocean a couple of hundred yards away even if the rain didn’t arrive and the little creeks all dried up we could disill enough seawater to survive. On our budget, and on our time scale this is a good as we could do, and once all the renovations are complete, and the solar is on the roof I will feel more relaxed.
Deciding to go is the easy bit, making it happen is where the hard work comes in, and if like us you need to take on a wreck of a property because that’s all you can afford in that area, well that’s when you find out if you really do have the skills you think you have. We built the first ceiling we had ever built here…because two fell down and the cost of getting the professionals in was exorbitant. (Thank God for the Readers Digest DIY Manual). We have learned how to use a chainsaw and how to fell trees with it without damaging ourselves or the property. (Those from our own garden alone have provided a few seasons worth of wood). We can now repair floorboards and fix leaks, something we had never had to worry about before. Our skills are growing weekly, we are far from experts, but we are learning, we have no choice if we want the place finished before we die!
Our BBQ and outdoor cooking skills are excellent, they have to be when the cooker works intermittantly…we will get a new one, one day, when we have a kitchen to put it in.
By the end of August I should have a couple of extra plug sockets rather than the one that blows all the fuses when I try and use the kettle and washing machine at the same time…
It’s been a long year, but knowing I can take the dog for a walk at night and not get mugged makes it worthwhile. There were three recorded crimes on the island last year, two house break ins and a couple of lads scuffling over a girl. There has been one recorded murder here, back in the early 70’s a woman was having an affair and her husband got whacked by the boyfriend, hit his head and died. In the last six weeks we lived in the city there were three shootings and five stabbings resulting in four deaths…within three miles of our front door, and we didn’t live in a rough part of town!
If you are seriously thinking of moving out of the city I suggest you do so now, whilst moving is still an option. If you wait too long your window of opportunity could slam closed, trapping you where you are. Look around you:
- Could you survive in your current location without a mains water supply?
- Is your garden big enough to grow even half of the food you and yours would need to survive in a crisis?
- How long without power would it be before the riots started?
- Do you feel at ease moving around your neighbourhood alone at night?
- How many violent crimes have there been within three miles of your front door this year?
Think about it long and hard, because when it happens, it will happen fast, and then it will be too late.
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Contributed by Lizzie Bennett of Underground Medic.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Underground Medic on the topic of preparedness.