Relocation, by Zack Strong

January 25, 2016 Posted by: Kelly Gneiting

From my first recollections, I recall having a strong sense that cities are dangerous and that true safety from the storms of life is only to be found outside of their limits. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned how absolutely true this is. Consequently, in recent years I have been a tremendously vocal proponent of physical relocation. Those wishing to live among like-minded, Liberty-loving, morally-upright folk will only be able to do so after relocating to areas where these have congregated. I believe relocation will prove one of the most effective means of surviving the cataclysmic disasters, both man-made and natural, that every thinking person knows are coming our way before long. This article, then, is written to provide you with information on what relocation is all about, why it is necessary, and where some of the safer areas in the United States are to be found.

relocationFor my research, I have drawn heavily from two sources. First, I have lived in seven states and two countries, in large industrial cities and small fishing or farming villages, in the mountains and in the deserts, on the American mainland and on islands both tropical and temperate. I am, therefore, taking much of my information from my own experiences. Second, I have taken many pointers from Joel Skousen’s book “Strategic Relocation: North American Guide to Safe Places,” 3rd edition. There are many survivalists and relocation experts, such as James Wesley Rawles (see his website, who have done great work, but the most insightful and accurate, in my view, is Joel Skousen. I highly recommend his various books to you, as well as his websites and And as far as relocation goes, “Strategic Relocation” is the best information resource available. Blending my experiences, Joel’s research, and what appears to me to be common sense, I present this article.

Let’s begin by discussing what might cause one to consider relocating from their current location. There are innumerable reasons. I will list several: a desire to live among greater concentrations of politically like-minded people; corruption in one’s current state government, such as California’s efforts to forcibly vaccinate its citizens; concern about coming war that would naturally hit highly populated areas to a more marked degree; discovery that you live near a fault line or potentially active volcano; rising living expenses; the physical, spiritual, or moral deterioration of cities; the lack of real education in large public schools; a desire for one’s children to grow up among religious peers; a desire to become self-sufficient; a desire to hunt, fish, raise, or grow one’s own food; a need to get away from the physically exhausting and stressful hustle and bustle of cities; a longing for fresh air, open spaces, and soul-fortifying quiet; a desire to be part of a community where you know your neighbors’ names and have real relationships; a realization of how important it is having a network of like-minded people to rely on during hard times; a love of nature rather than a love of jungles of concrete and steel; a desire to live in an area with lower crime rates; a desire to escape high population centers which would devolve into uncontrollable anarchy in the event of a crisis; a desire to own land; and many, many more.

Some people call this type of thinking reactionary. They believe survivalists, “preppers,” and people urging relocation away from cities, are motivated by fear or paranoia. They often call us “conspiracy theorists” or think that we are old-fashioned and out-of-touch. Many of us are the “bitter clingers” referred to by President Obama. Call us what they may, we will continue to urge everyone to prepare for life’s disasters, to relocate to safer areas, to be self-sufficient, to be in harmony with the Holy Spirit, and to be politically aware. This is what reason and common sense dictate. If being prepared for all eventualities, like our forefathers were, is passé, then yes, we are old-fashioned. I believe, however, that nothing is more logical and healthy than to prepare for the worst, to actively plan for contingencies which may or may not arise but which would be devastating if they did, to save something for a rainy day, and to be independent rather than conform to the opinions, habits, and lifestyle of the crowd of conditioned, dependent, and helpless Americans.

One of the major reasons that people turn to relocation is because their spirit is warning them about looming threats, seen and unseen. Whether it be the threat of war, terrorism, tyranny, or hurricane, something is prompting you to consider your surroundings. Sometimes we don’t realize which threats are facing us, but we feel that something is not right. In “Strategic Relocation,” Joel Skousen gives us seven things to look for in analyzing how pertinent any given threat is to you personally. These are:

  • Visibility
  • Timing
  • Degree
  • Location
  • Personal Probability
  • Causes
  • Prevention and Mitigation

As Joel explains: “Each of the aspects above is very important but some threats may apply to you more than others.” I will leave you to look up what each of these categories entails, but, to give you a general overview of how much thought is required for effective preparedness, I will discuss two of them.

The “Location” category is, to my mind, perhaps the most important. Simply put, which threats do you have in your area? If you live in North Dakota, the odds that a hurricane will hit your community are zero. However, flooding is a big problem in North Dakota. And if you live in California, earthquake is a bigger threat than if you live in New Mexico. And the ravages of illegal immigration will affect you more in New Mexico than in Wisconsin. And Alaska has its own set of challenges that Alabama will never have to face. Your goal should be to take a serious look at which threats face your specific location.

The second point from Joel’s list that I will cover is “Degree.” Many locations might face similar threats, yet the degree to which they are susceptible could be radically different and is very important to consider. For example, though tornado strikes occur in Colorado, they are more prevalent in Tennessee or Illinois. And while you might have social unrest or rioting in Boise, Idaho during an extreme crisis, the rioting and anarchy would be a thousand times worse in Dallas, Texas or Cleveland, Ohio. Though war would negatively impact all fifty states, you will be hit harder in California or Texas, New York or Florida, than you will be in Utah or Idaho. If the war went nuclear (and I would bet everything that we will see world war with a nuclear element between the United States and Russia and China one day), you would be at ground zero in Eastern Wyoming or Eastern Montana (owing to the fact that many of our nuclear silos are based there), whereas you would likely altogether avoid the attacks in Western Wyoming or Western Montana. I hope you can see, then, how location, degree, and these other points listed, can help you determine where you and your family might be safest.

As you may have gathered, I am a huge believer that the Intermountain West is the safest region in the United States. In particular, I see Utah, Idaho, Western Wyoming, and Western Montana as the safest locations. These are mountainous, fairly rural areas where you find a lot of hard-working farmers, devout Christians, and Liberty-minded individuals. Some of the world’s most beautiful country is located here, as well as some of the best hunting and fishing spots. Economically, Utah leads the nation. Politically, depending on which data you look at, Utah votes more “conservative” than any other state, or right near the top, with the other three states on my list normally within the top ten. Additionally, more people go to church in Utah than any other state and, consequently, violent crime is much lower and there is a greater sense of community. Guns, survivalists, and third parties are had in abundance here and, despite all the hype about Texas, this region is the last major bastion of Liberty to be found in the United States.

If you look at a topographical map of the United States, several things jump out. the first thing that strikes me is the distribution of mountains. The Intermountain West is, not surprisingly, full of mountains, whereas the rest of the country has few real mountains (the Appalachians are more like hills). My spirit tells me that mountains are safe. They have an almost sacred quality about them, reaching into the heavens as they do. I also love the woods, and high mountain woods are my favorite.

If we think strategically, we see that beyond their aesthetic qualities, mountains are ideal for protection. Consider war for a moment. It is not a coincidence that most castles and fortresses are built on the high points in their respective areas. Having the high ground is essential in a battle. It makes for a more defensible position. It gives you greater visibility. It allows you to direct the engagement. To my mind, war, and its attending ravages such as social unrest and mass migration, is the number one future threat to be prepared for. And so it follows that the mountains would be the best place to relocate to.

A word on “digging in” is in order. By mentioning fortresses and castles I do not mean to imply that you should find a spot and make it a stronghold that you will only abandon with death. I share Joel Skousen’s opinion that adopting a “last stand” mentality is potentially dangerous and, at the very least, limiting. Many survival experts recommend acquiring bunkers or moving to a location and digging in for a conquer-or-die scenario. I previously mentioned James Wesley Rawles. He is a proponent of this “dig in” mind set. He recommends relocating to what he deems the “redoubt.” Rawles recommends Western Montana as the heart of his redoubt. He sees the surrounding states, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and the Dakotas as forming a buffer zone. In any war scenario, whether civil war or invasion, the surrounding states would make it hard for potential enemies to penetrate up into Western Montana.

Chuck Baldwin, one of my favorite political voices today, holds a similar “redoubt” philosophy and made Whitefish, Montana his home. After searching and much prayer, Baldwin chose Montana out of a list of states that included Idaho and Wyoming as his retreat location. Others, feeling similar inspiration, have flooded into Montana and the surrounding areas. I believe the Holy Spirit is inspiring some of the more sincere and receptive individuals to abandon the most dangerous locations (for example, both the East and West Coast), and relocate to the Rocky Mountains (see more from Baldwin at

While I agree with Rawles and Baldwin on which states are best (namely, the Intermountain West), I disagree with pigeonholing oneself into an area which, if compromised, allows for few routes of escape. This is something that Joel Skousen rightly harps on. He believes that it is far better to have multiple contingency plans, multiple escape routes, and multiple retreat locations prepared. This is logical and appeals more to my mind. I love Western Montana greatly, but one should not view it as the only hope.

In Joel’s reckoning, the following states, in order, are the top picks for best retreat locations: Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Washington, Oregon. It should be noted that in the case of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, only the western half of each is recommended. In Washington’s and Oregon’s case, only the eastern portions of the state is recommended. This is vaguely similar to Rawles’s “redoubt” idea with the major exceptions being 1) Utah, rather than Montana, is the focal point, and 2) Joel is against a “last stand” mentality, but instead recommends having multiple contingencies and multiple retreats in different locations, as well as being ready to hide and go “underground” in the event of serious persecution. Joel is also realistic and knows that not everyone can cram into the Intermountain West, but that, for various reasons, some will have to be back East, or in the South, etc. In his book, he has provided an analysis of each state in the Union, including which threats are most prevalent and where one might find reliable local retreat areas.

The Intermountain West is, by all counts, the safest retreat area in the nation. I can’t imagine attempting to find a truly safe location east of the Mississippi River, along the nation’s coasts, or anywhere near the Southern Border. These areas are too densely populated, have far too many potential threats, and possess far too few strategic retreat locations and natural protective areas such as mountains. The laws there are more repressive, life is more expensive, there is higher crime, and perverse ideologies are completely entrenched. For that matter, I cannot imagine finding safety in any city anywhere. And that is my next point. Even in the Intermountain West, one must be careful to avoid the cities and high population centers. There are vastly fewer metropolitan areas in these states, which is one of many reasons I recommend them, but the few that exist are not ideal for relocation.

For instance, though Utah is highly recommended by myself, Joel Skousen, and others, Salt Lake City is a dangerous place. Avoid it. It is prone to earthquakes as well as having a high population density. Being a city, it is massively corrupt and has attracted the worst of the worst, including a large number of militant homosexuals who have attempted, with much success, to take over the city. The only saving grace here is the strong moderating influence of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which founded the city in 1847. In Idaho, swiftly-growing Boise and its suburbs are susceptible to all the pitfalls of large cities, including gangs, immorality, corruption, disease, etc. Needless to say, a city like Denver, though located in an otherwise decent state, is to be strictly avoided. Denver is home to some very dark forces, including the military wing of the shadow government that runs our society. Wherever cities are, you should not be, unless you have had a personal witness of the Spirit to the contrary.

Not only should you avoid the cities, but you should also avoid military targets and natural disaster zones. I will give a few examples. I would encourage those I love to move away from Hill Air Force Base in Utah. HAFB is a highly important military outpost and, therefore, is a strategic target for our enemies. People in Cheyenne, Wyoming will want to relocate, too. Surrounding Cheyenne are hundreds of nuclear missile silos—all of which are likely targets in a serious war. The multitude of people living in Utah’s Salt Lake Valley and Utah Valley are targets of earthquakes and might want to consider relocation, or undertake reinforcing or “earthquake proofing” of their homes. As a minimum, you should be aware of this very real threat and develop a solid family preparedness plan for the eventuality. This entire area sits atop a huge fault zone and an earthquake could be devastating. Prepare for it. A myriad of volcanoes throughout Oregon and Washington, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and central Idaho’s Crater’s of the Moon National Park area, are to be considered before relocating to those locations. I hope that you can see that there is more than meets the eye when undertaking relocation.

In this piece, I have not covered food storage or the specifics of survival gear. I have detailed these topics in previous articles, however, two of which can be found at these links:

Though not my focus today, I do want to mention these subjects briefly before concluding. I feel strongly that food storage will be a critical need in the coming days. I often see survivalists recommend having a month’s supply of food storage, but I think this is grossly insufficient. I believe that realistically we should have at least a full year’s supply of food and water. This will seem far too unrealistic to most folks, but I feel that these people will mourn one day if they have rejected this advice and have not properly prepared for their family’s temporal welfare. We cannot live without food and water. What good are our other preparations if we have not prepared to feed ourselves? “I know how to hunt,” one might say. Yes, and how long will that last in a crisis when everyone will be forced to hunt or during war when being out and about might be hazardous? “I have a farm, I don’t need to worry,” says another. That is commendable, but what if a massive hail storm destroys your crops or a drought dries them up or an early winter kills your harvest? You should indeed learn to hunt and grow a garden, but you also need storable food in sufficient quantity to survive a major catastrophe that disrupts the normal flow of society. If you do not have the room to store a year’s supply of water, prepare various ways to filter water, such as a LIfeStraw. Stick these in each family member’s survival kit.

In addition to food storage and gear, you should begin acquiring useful skills. As I write this, I sit in front of a blazing fire in my wood stove. How many people can start a fire? I would wager that many people, if they have started a fire at all, have only done so with charcoal and lighter fluid or pre-cut logs or “fire-sticks” they bought at the store. If your family’s life depended on it, could you acquire fuel with an axe and start a fire? This is but one skill among many. Here are others to consider: Can you cook from scratch? Can you grind wheat and make bread? Can you sew? Can you shoot? Can you clean or assemble a gun? Can you sharpen a knife? Can you patch up and dress a wound? Can you perform CPR? Can you butcher an animal? Do you know how to can food or smoke meat? Can you plant and grow a garden? Do you know which berries, plants, and mushrooms native to your area are edible? Can you raise chickens or livestock? Can you build a shelter? Can you tie various knots? Do you understand concealment and evasion? Do you know basic combat skills? Can you read a map or use a compass? Can you run a ham radio? Can you fix an engine? Do you know how to lead and make decisive decisions under stress? Again, I hope you realize how much effort it takes to properly prepare yourself for disaster situations.

Reading a book on preparedness, moving to the Intermountain West, purchasing a weapon, buying storable food, and learning to tie a bowline knot could all be very helpful, but in and of themselves, these actions are not enough. We must act with purpose. We must begin to think strategically and learn to see the bigger picture. We must be informed and aware of our surroundings. We must network with others and develop multiple contingency plans. We must learn to discern truth from error and to use not only our logic, but also the feelings of our divine spirits, to judge situations, people, and events. After helping ourselves, we must also help others who are receptive. In short, preparedness must be a constant study, mixed with much thought, hard work, and prayer.

To conclude my article, I want to quote from the preface of Joel Skousen’s “Strategic Relocation” and then offer a parting thought. Joel wrote: “You cannot develop good strategic judgment without a very detailed and accurate view of what is going on around you. Some of it involves getting access to the right sources of news and analysis but the most important source is good judgement as directed by an active conscience. You can actually improve and enhance your ability to be sensitive to your feelings by listening to them more carefully and following good promptings when they arrive. We have two small rules which will help you and your children to develop increased sensitivity to truth and an increased ability to follow through: Never do anything you feel nervous about, as to the correctness. Always do what you know you should do, especially when you don’t feel like it.”

If you take anything away from this article, I hope that you become more determined to do what your spirit tells you to do—to listen to its subtle promptings and warnings. Though as a general rule I recommend that people abandon the cities as quickly as is feasible and reestablish themselves in rural areas, particularly in the Intermountain West, I acknowledge that for some people this might not be the right course. God might need you elsewhere. Go to Him in prayer, after having studied your options, and ask Him where He needs you. And always listen to the answers the Holy Spirit gives. They will be personal revelation for you and you will never fail if you follow them. No matter whether these whisperings tell you to live in New York City or Kalispell, Montana, Tokyo or a rural community in Idaho, you will prosper by heeding the promptings that come to you individually as a result of study and prayer. Stay close to God and may He bless you in preparing your family to weather the awful storms about to be unleashed on mankind.


Join the Discussion

  • Dustin Bingham

    Zack, I thank you for your valiant stand against the evils of our day. Most of what you say I have heard in one form or another since I was a small boy. Though I know and understand the greater majority of most of your awaken posts, I really enjoy them. They help me stay focused on the directions the Lord is giving me. I believe the Lord is pleased with your Stand for truth and liberty.
    Having served a mission in Poland, I recognize more clearly than most the perils of socialism. If only the saints would wake up.
    God bless!

  • Laura Shay Selway

    Thank you for the article. I’m looking to relocate right now, get out of So Cal. I thought Arkansas was another good state to live in. I haven’t looked into Utah, what area do you recommend looking into? God Bless, Laura

    • zastrong

      The Intermountain West is my #1 choice for relocation. You’ll find certain survivalists who only recommend a limited area, such as Montana, for instance. I think the Rocky Mountains will generally be safe. Or, put another way, they will be safer than anywhere else in the country. There will absolutely be trials, disasters, and things to survive and prepare for no matter where you go. But I think the Intermountain West – Utah in particular – will patch itself up more quickly than any other area. I’ve lived in Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Washington, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii. I’ve traveled quite a bit out West and have visited back East and down in Florida.

      I personally wouldn’t want to be anywhere near the coasts or on an island when the crap hits the fan. The farther inland you move, the better.

      Utah and Idaho, followed by Western Montana and Western Wyoming, are my top choices. But even in Utah and Idaho, you still want to avoid certain areas. I’d avoid the entire Wasatch Front area of Utah. That’s where most of Utah’s population is, and there is a huge fault line that runs through it and one or two potential nuclear targets besides. If mass disease ever broke out, which I bet it will, this area will be hit hard just like any other metropolitan area. After these areas suffer a little, though, I think they’ll get patched up fairly quickly. But there are several great areas in Utah that are even better, and where you’ll avoid some of the worse trials. The San Pete area is good. I like the Cache Valley. If you hop over into the mountains, or if you go to the eastern side of them, there are some very good areas.

      In Idaho, you’ll want to avoid the Boise area. I love the central/northern Idaho areas where you have low population and great natural resources and wonderful retreat areas in the mountains. Southeastern and eastern Idaho has a lot of farmers and low population areas that are still close enough to civilization.

      A rule of thumb is to avoid any large city. If you have to be in a city, make a “bug out” plan and have an alternate retreat location in mind well in advance of any disaster or trial. Above all, you’re going to want to pray a lot about where you should settle down and which preparations to make. I hope I helped a little. Best of luck in figuring out which location will work best for you!

  • Lupe Uribe

    Lot’s of great info, I’ve heard similar information about this from my work peers and close friends. I’ve also printed this article to keep as a reference. People need to wake up to the realities. There are dark forces at work and the signs are all around us.