Missouri has more to offer for retreat potential than almost any other state in your top 19! It has a much longer growing season than Montana or Idaho. Most rural areas have an abundance of excellent soil, good rains, abundant woods, pastures and gun friendly small towns. Missouri is one of the few states with a concealed carry law. [JWR adds: Actually, 34 states now have “shall issue” CCW permit laws on the books.] Hunting potential is good, since wild game is plentiful.
If you avoid the metropolitan areas of St. Louis on the far east of the state and Kansas City on the far west of the state, you have the entire state in the middle for retreat potential. Some might consider the booming area of Columbia, smack dab between St. Louis and Kansas City, to be an area to be avoided also. That however leaves an incredibly large area with few interstate highways, but abundant county highways that crisscross the state in a maze. (OBTW, Texas has the same “Farm to Market” roads. So why was everyone parked on the interstates when Hurricane Rita was approaching?)
There are few transplanted yuppies in the rural areas (we would be considered transplanted yuppies I suppose), which means most of your neighbors have lived in the area most of their lives, but the southwestern area of Missouri near Springfield is more populated with transplants who are heading for the good life to retire. Small holders who grow a good deal of their own food, raise chickens, sheep, goats, horses, rabbits are quite abundant south of I-70. Missouri is small-agriculture friendly. Once you get away from the counties surrounding the two major cities, most of the counties have NO ZONING. That means we can put up a windmill, build two more houses on our property (sewage has to comply with houses but it is VERY minimal), raise a diverse range of animals, slap up a fence …all without the permission of some zoning and planning commission.
Drawbacks: If you ask for almost anything organic, folks will stare at you like you have two heads. You are more likely to find Wonder White bread at the store than whole wheat anything. You had better like American cheese if you live in a truly small town or be prepared to drive quite a ways. Having a Super Wal-Mart within a half hour drive for us makes living here much more tolerable as otherwise we would have to drive to one of the three metro areas to get almost anything beyond the absolute basics.
More plusses: Most families here are religious even though only about half attend church. Schools are touch and go but the home schooling laws are very favorable. The abundance of ground water , aquifers, springs, creeks, streams, ponds, lakes make this an excellent state for becoming free of government water. Most areas are windy enough to warrant windmill power and of course we have plenty of sunny days for solar electric cells. The terrain is varied and runs the gamut from perfectly flat farm fields that mimic Nebraska, to windy curvy woodsy counties that mimic the lower Appalachian region. Our area is a lovely mix of flat farm fields interspersed between woods packed with deer and wild turkey.
We have lived in several states around the country and in each we searched for homestead property without success. Many small holder farms can be purchased here—but you may need to purchase through an auction rather than a real estate listing. Most small holders in the north half of the state are sold after an elderly person passes away and the family wants their money fast. Keep your financing prearranged with a local bank and get your bidding ticket! You just found Shangri-la. - Missouri Goat Lady
Great Blog site, I look at it daily. Katrina should be a wake-up for all the sheeple, but unfortunately many will still think that it is "something that will never happen here."
A little background on myself, I am a physician in mid Missouri, have spend over eight years on active duty military, and have been preparing for the "crunch" little by little. Moving every 2-3 years with the military made it hard to accumulate to much gear, but we have settled down in mid-Missouri now. Although not ideal, we settled close to family.
Missouri has several advantages including mild weather, good crop variety, and population is mainly clustered around St Louis on the East, Kansas City on the west, and Springfield in the southwest. Columbia is in mid-Missouri and it just topped 100,000 pop mark. The Minuteman missile sites were decommissioned with the last SALT/START talks. Disadvantages include rising land prices, Whiteman AFB (home of the B2 [strategic nuclear bomber]), and Callaway Nuclear Power Plant here in mid-Missouri. Other than the population centers, MO is fairly conservative, Concealed Carry passed recently (to the dismay of the socialists in STL). Interstate 70 bisects MO in half and connects STL and KC, and is a vital route of the country. The advantage is that with 1 out of 4 semis carrying some type of food stuffs, is outweighed by the fact that the "hordes" will most likely travel these main arteries. Tactically, there are many bridges in Missouri that can be brought down or blocked. The Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are just two of the largest waterways. There are several prisons in Missouri and it is definitely something to look at when/if TSHTF, since these will probably add to the refugee crisis, except they will be the worse element. I would hope in a grid down situation that prison doors default to lock down but who knows. I saw in New Orleans that prisoners were evacuated from the city before most of the population.
Those close to STL and south of it need to be aware of the New Madrid Fault zone that extends down through Illinois, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Some predict a major quake in the next 5 to 10 years, and most experts say the most structures would not withstand much, especially in the city of St. Louis. Hope this helps your view on Missouri. If I can be of any help on specifics to Missouri please let me know, also please feel free to run any medical type questions my way. I am watching your blog closely for the "ultimate" area to set up. I have been considering moving closer to the Rockies.
Here are some good links you may want to add Virtual Naval Hospital Emergency War Surgery www.vnh.org/EWSurg/EWSTOC.html and The Borden Institute http://www.bordeninstitute.army.mil
Also do you know if 'surplus' mil vehicles are any more EMP proof that regular ones? I have been looking at a surplus CUCV 4x4 diesel truck. Mike W., MD
JWR Replies: Thanks for sharing your insight. The CUCV is a good choice, and they are still available at bargain prices. One good source for milsurp vehicles in your general region is Dave Uhrig's Military Vehicle Sales and Appraisal. For versatility, I prefer the pickup style models. I have read that CUCVs are essentially EMP proof because they have traditional glow plug (not chip controlled) and traditional fuel pumps.
JWR Adds: Boston T. Party's ranking (in Boston's Gun Bible) for Missouri on firearms freedom is only 51%.