I'm in the process of locating/purchasing a retreat home. My family (wife and four kids) and I live in [deleted for OPSEC] Florida and are looking for a place in the mountains. I've followed a lot of the guidance online for research, but I find the information between sites differ. If you have time, could you review the assumptions I'm using and add/subtract if needed? To help give some background, I'm a 40 year old USAF retiree with a background in disaster prep, manpower, deployment planning, and beddown/field feeding (I was a Services planner). I've got a master's in mental health and am working as a director of social services at a large nursing home/assisted living facility. So, I do have the basics of what to do when I get there but need to find the right place. I have kits and BoBs for every contingency, but know that in a TEOTWAWKI situation it's critical to get out of this state and off of the I-95/I -75 corridors.
Currently, we are looking at places in Graham County, North Carolina based on the elevation (2599-5500 ft), area population (27 per sq mile), and proximity to my home (11 hrs by vehicle, best case scenario). It's a further distance than I want, but the safety of the mountains is hard to ignore. Unfortunately, teh South Carolina mountains have too many nuclear plants nearby and Georgia's mountain are only accessible to us through Atlanta (no way). I know you are opposed to east coast locations, but do you know anyone that has scoped out this side of the United States?
Here is some of my criteria:
Inland: 60 miles from coast
Elevation: above 2000 ft
Remote: no city of 3,000 or more within 50 miles
House 5-10 mi out of town
5-10 acres of land
Hill and flatland
CBS or rock home preferred
Streams, pond on property
JWR Replies: From your list of requirements, I think that Eastern Tennessee might appeal to you. Stay tuned. I've been promised an article about that region from a local resident. I hope to post that piece sometime in the next two weeks. I'd also appreciate seeing comments from readers on the retreat potential either of the Carolinas.