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The maps presented here highlight what I consider to be the "big three" of survivability: population density, climate, and rainfall, and can be useful in the evaluation of the long term survivability of a given location. Please note that these maps are generalized and that there will be variations within any given region.

Population Density

us population density.png
Population density is a measure of how much competition there might be for available resources. In a long term SHTF scenario, any given amount of land can only produce enough food to support a certain number of people. Generally speaking, the higher the population density, the less survivable the area.

Annual Precipitation

US rain map.png
The availability of water is another important factor when determining an area's survivability. We can only survive a few days without water, and the amount of rainfall also directly affects an area's suitability for growing food or raising livestock.

Temperature (USDA Hardiness Zones)

usda map.png
An area's climate determines what can be grown in that area. It also indicates the relative ease of surviving in that area. In general, colder climates will require a lot more work to survive than warmer climates.

Please note that there are other factors that might come into play in certain situations. For example, in a scenario that anticipates massive amounts of earthquake activity, proximity to nuclear power plants might be a big factor. Likewise, in a scenario that anticipates a nuclear strike against the US, proximity to potential military-type targets would be a big factor.

Although these maps are just a starting point, I hope some of you might find them useful in the evaluation of your overall chances of long term survival.
 

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yup you guys stay down there in the warm weather... I will keep up with my 7 cords a year of cutting..
Those living in slightly "less than ideal" climates might actually have the best chance of all.
 

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Looks like a few places in Utah and Idaho would be good based on the three criteria. I'll stay put though.
 

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Those living in slightly "less than ideal" climates might actually have the best chance of all.
I have friends up here that have no clue how i cut wood all winter. -20c and im out in the trees cutting for the next year.. I even use a old cross cut hand saw for cutting to keep my body going and to remind myself how much more work that will be. I know that if/when shtf life will get harder. BUT i'm up for it.
 

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Looks like I'm in a decently ok spot, if I can survive the people :(

Hopefully I can remain under the radar for a while. Just need the first wave of people to pass me and die of starvation. That will thin the threats down.

But being in a big AG city, there are literally hundreds of nurseries, and groves to hit before my house. Maybe that'll buy me time.
 

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Looks like we are in a decent place.what the USDA does not show is zones for animal proteins like beef,pork,venison etc.cant eats my veggies with out me meat.
 

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I sure did not think Montana was that dry.
Montana is a "high desert" climate and so yes it is very dry.

On the upside we are the head waters of huge amounts of water, which means the water origionates from here so we have first picks for irrigation.

Also if you grow grains, the annual precipitation is about right for wheat and barley.
 

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With only 11 inches of rain a year, the Tucson area will be a challenge. But since I plan on staying put unless the water is lapping at my back door (I'm at 2700 feet alt.) I'm hoping that the heat and the lack of water will cause people to get out of Dodge fast and leave me alone. While I am just a beginner at gardening in this climate, I've got a small garden in and getting tomatoes already from some plants that winter over. I've been lucky to find someone who has given me some advice about the garden.
 

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I'm in a good zone. Plenty of rain, mild temperatures, low density population (could be better though). Or do I?
 

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Good info, thanks for posting. I've heard it said that most people prefer to live out their lives close (50 miles, I think it was) to where they were born, that includes me, I'll take my chances here in the hills, unless of course, I am given no choice but to leave.
 

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Hawaii would need a magnifier. The first time I visited I asked for a weather report. After a five minute conference, the local folks concluded they didn't have one. Go to the wet side of the island, it's wet and warm. Go the the dry side, sunny and warm. Climb the mountain, cool. Done. Hawaii has special problems, but climate ain't among 'em.

All those things make a difference, but I suspect population density compared to how much food production could be done low-tech (who would be minding dams, shtf?) is a big deal; and a hurricane could seriously ruin a season's production in those zones.

Population density itself would, I suspect, have the greatest impact on how unpleasant a shorter term problem would get (and that's much more likely imo).
 

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The plus to snow areas.. like Maine, PA, West Virginia, Minnesota, etc - we have no problems with zombie mutant motorcycle gangs Nov - April...

Very little chance of an attack on your homestead in the middle of a 4 day blizzard when temps dip to -20

population density is interesting... my area has some high density places that make the whole county seem higher then it really is - there are many days when I leave for work and I am the only tracks in the snow and come home after 10 hours and nobody else has drive by my house.

snow can be melted for water... sort of like a natural water storage in your back yard, side yard, front yard, roof, etc

summer time seldom gets into dangerous heat indexes
 

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Thanks for posting! It would be cool to be able to layer all three to really narrow the focus. What surprised me, just by eyeballing the three is how ideal parts of AL and MI are if you can be removed from major cities. Those states and much of the South, honestly, never occurred to me.
 

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I was looking at that survivability map. I am wondering if this takes into account that the arctic permafrost is melting? We are considering a move. I am in the western Great Lakes area, sitting on an absolutely enormous oil corridor (which is going to get bigger shortly) and, it seems to me a bad place to be. :/ I am 2 miles away from it. That, the cold, the collapse of any services here, eh, it seems to me some place else may be better.
 

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Hawaii would need a magnifier. The first time I visited I asked for a weather report. After a five minute conference, the local folks concluded they didn't have one. Go to the wet side of the island, it's wet and warm. Go the the dry side, sunny and warm. Climb the mountain, cool. Done. Hawaii has special problems, but climate ain't among 'em.

All those things make a difference, but I suspect population density compared to how much food production could be done low-tech (who would be minding dams, shtf?) is a big deal; and a hurricane could seriously ruin a season's production in those zones.

Population density itself would, I suspect, have the greatest impact on how unpleasant a shorter term problem would get (and that's much more likely imo).
If the internet is up Hawaii weather is easy to get> http://www.wunderground.com./q/zmw:96740.1.99999

It covers most every area.
 

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I like the maps and would layer a couple more for state taxes, gun laws, red vs. blue vs. swing state. Oops, not place is perfect. :)
 
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