Let’s just start this off with the caveat that given a full-scale nuclear war on earth, there will probably be nowhere you can live for very long. But there are some places where you stand a better chance of surviving the initial attack, according to Realtor.com’s data team. Lance Lambert writes for Realtor.com:
America’s top cities are not terrific places to be during a nuclear attack—many of them are likely to be on the first-strike target list, especially hubs for government, finance, or corporate infrastructure, or cities that just may be internationally famous (for symbolic value). Military bases are also a great big bullseye. But hold on: The federal government also considers things like airfields, ports, refineries, and energy centers to be targets.
“There is no safe place. There are only safer places,” says Robert Vicino, CEO and founder of the Vivos Group, a group that sells bunkers throughout the world.
You may want to head to Kansas City, MO. The metro has one of the highest rates of housing listings with bunkers or fallout shelters. It also has more than its fair share of homes with basements, as well as those made out of brick—a structure that is better prepared for a nuclear blast. The metro has become something of a prepper mecca—In 2013, Vivos announced plans to build a huge bunker capable of housing around 5,000 people. Structural issues caused the group to abandon the project a year later, but there’s still no shortage of large underground shelters.
On the downside, Fort Leavenworth, an army base on more than 5,000 acres, is about 35 miles to the northwest. So stick to the southeast side of the city.
If you survive the initial blast, you’ll face a long road ahead. One of the basic needs is drinking water, so living in a city like Duluth (No. 7) is a big plus, given the high number of properties with lakes, ponds, and wells. You’ll also need some form of power—San Luis Obispo has a higher-than-average number of homes with solar panels listed on realtor.com. And a city like Manchester has plenty of health care professionals to treat any festering injuries. (And there are likely to be plenty.)
If you’re worried about a nuclear event, what type of home should you seek out?
“Some [preppers] are all about water sources. Others want to get deep into the mountains,” says Theresa Mondale, broker and owner of the United Country-Western Montana Group in Missoula, MT. Mondale specializes in survivable and sustainable properties. “My clients range from college students, retired government officials to high-ranking Silicon Valley [folks].”
After Kansas City, the best places to survive nuclear disaster are New Haven, CT, in second place, followed by Ann Arbor, MI; Hagerstown, MD; Springfield, MA; Manchester, NH; Duluth, MN; San Luis Obispo, CA; Crestview, FL; and Lincoln, NE.
OK, so what are the place to avoid like nuclear waste? Let’s take a (scary) look.
Worst cities to survive a nuclear apocalypse
People around the world hunger for a taste of the Big Apple, but if a nuke drops while you visit, it could be your last taste: New York leads the list of worst places in the United States to ride out an attack. Like most of America’s largest cities, NYC would be hit with a deadly double whammy: In addition to being a primary target, it has precious few natural resources to make post-blast survival possible. Unless you enjoy eating grilled subway rats?
Big cities usually have most of their goods (food, bottled water, medical supplies) shipped in. Once that stopped, panic would quickly set in.
Even getting out of most urban areas, which rely on public transportation and are known for clogged roadways, could be near-impossible. That’s especially true for Miami, our fifth worst-ranked metro—as thousands of people learned while fleeing Hurricane Irma in September.
“There are very few ways to get out of here during a massive evacuation—the only way to go is north,” Duarte says. “Surprisingly, there are only three major highways out of South Florida. Under normal circumstances, those arteries are already congested.”
After New York, our data crunching ranked Los Angeles as the second-worst nuclear haven, Dallas the third, and Nashville, TN, the fourth.
Rounding out the list are Atlanta, ranked sixth, followed by Washington, DC; Philadelphia; Fayetteville, NC; and Seattle.
If you call one of these urban centers home, here’s something to cheer you up: Just about everyone would be screwed during a nuclear strike. So there’s that.
“If it does happen, I don’t know if any amount of time preparing will do much difference. I’ve seen what happens in the aftermath of a simple weather event—people go into chaos,” Duarte says. “That thing we call civilization goes away quick.”
Action Line: If you’re looking for a better America, start your search with my Super States. This year’s #1 state is New Hampshire. If you’re serious about moving your family and business to a state where you are treated with respect, there’s no better time than now. If you need help getting motivated, click here to sign up for my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter, and I’ll push you each month to achieve your goals. But only if you’re serious.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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