You don’t want to learn survival lessons the hard way. When our house alarm went off at 3:00 a.m., Becky and I realized we weren’t prepared to deal with an intruder. But at that point, it was too late. We couldn’t hear each other over the shrilling sound, the kids were panic-stricken at the noise, my mind went blank trying to remember the code for the ADT rep on the other end of phone, and meanwhile someone could be in the house. That won’t happen again. As a family, we’re now far more prepared. Emergencies happen. Be ready for them, whether they’re man-made or natural.
Our latest work on self-reliance and survival ranks all 50 states on a broad array of threats. In ranking the states, we first looked at broad categories of threats, and then ranked each state on its exposure to that risk. Violence from mobs, criminals, and miscreants was first on our radar for personal security. After measuring crime, gun laws, and other data related to keeping yourself safe from violence perpetrated by your fellow man, we ranked the states according to those that gave Americans their best chance against such threats.
Next, we moved on to natural disasters. Ranking the threat posed to man by Mother Nature is one of the hardest tasks of all because climate and geology are so unpredictable. But we built a scale that we found to be representative of risk among the states and ranked them accordingly.
Finally, we focused on what can be done in the aftermath of a disaster. We considered variables like crop yields and farmland costs. What will it take for you to carve out a piece of America for you and your family to survive on, and even thrive in the chaotic period after a major catastrophe? We ranked the states on their ability to sustain your family.
Based on these three main groups of criteria, we ranked the states and found the best places for Americans to survive in a disaster situation. Remember, these are broad characterizations—like politics, most disasters are local. Use the list as a guide before you do your own analysis. Don’t let a 3:00 a.m. burglar alarm remind you that you’re unprepared.
Over the next two weeks we will countdown the ten best, and ten worst states for survival and personal security. Check back every day to see if your state makes the list.
How to read the Survival States Index: The scale for the Survival States Index stretches from 1 to 50, with 1 being the best score, and 50 the worst. The brief summaries of conditions in the survival states do not explain in exhaustive detail all the criteria used to judge the states. The summaries simply review the more critical findings.
The 10 Best and 10 Worst Survival States: #10
10th Best Survival State: Montana
Survival Score: 16.2
With its low population density, unobtrusive gun laws, low crime rates and inexpensive farmland, Montana leads off our top 10 survival states. Montana, perhaps because of its cold climate, comes in somewhat further back in the pack in farm output. That makes sustainable living in Big Sky Country a bit more difficult, but not impossible by any means.
10th Worst Survival State: Nevada
Survival Score: 30.9
Nevada is the nation’s leading state for violent crime, and spends a lot of money to control its rowdy population. Unemployment is the highest in the country, creating a tinderbox for social unrest. What little farmland there is in the Silver State is inexpensive, but output is low in the desert climate. On the bright side for Nevada, gun laws are lenient, and the population is sparse outside the few large cities.