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  • NICHOLAS OETKEN

The First Place Everyone Will Run to When SHTF


Have you ever wondered where everyone (or at least most people) will flee to when a major SHTF disaster strikes that forces people to evacuate?


To be clear, not every kind of an SHTF situation is going to force people to bug out and run. There will be some disasters that may seem “manageable,” such as if there’s a temporary power outage, and others where the authorities may stop people from leaving the area, such as if martial law is declared.


But there will be other kinds of SHTF disasters that will be severe enough that they will displace most people living in your area and force everybody to go on the run.


Here’s the big question: if such an SHTF disaster strikes over your area, where will everybody go?


What Will Cause People to Evacuate?


Before we answer the above question, we first need to ask what will cause people to evacuate in the first place.


People will evacuate their homes and go on the run in an SHTF situation for one of two reasons: they will either be ordered to by the authorities, or they will determine for themselves that it’s too risky to the lives of themselves and their loved ones to stay where they are.


The decision to evacuate your home, fill up your car with supplies, and take to the streets in an attempt to get out of the danger zone is a decision that no one can take lightly.


So when people decide to evacuate from where they live, they’ll be dead serious about it.


The most likely incidents that would cause everyone in your hometown to flee are:

  1. People are ordered to evacuate by the local authorities

  2. A major natural disaster, such as a hurricane, essentially forces people to evacuate

  3. There’s risk of an incoming nuclear attack or enemy invasion

  4. Major political unrest leads to mass rioting and looting and even makes neighborhoods unsafe to stay in

  5. An EMP attack or solar flare leads to a complete breakdown in society and likewise makes neighborhoods unsafe to stay in

  6. There’s a major environmental disaster or nuclear meltdown in the general vicinity

  7. A major epidemic strikes and the authorities are prepared to put the area on lockdown


Let’s say that one of the above scenarios happens and thousands upon thousands of people start to flee from the area in which you live.


Where are all of these people going to go?


Where Will People Run To During an SHTF Situation?


Ask yourself the above question and think about what you believe the most likely answer is. The nearest safe zone as designated by the authorities? The nearest water source? The next closest town or city that they believe will be safe? Refugee camps (if any are set up)?


Well, to answer this question we need to look at prior disasters and see where people moved when they were forced to abandon their homes.


The unfortunate reality is that large movements of population in the world are not exactly uncommon, and they happen all over the world in cases where natural disasters are common, such as the hurricanes that batter Florida repeatedly or the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti.


In each disaster that occurs that results in a large population movement, there is always one consistency in regards to where people move: to their friends, family, and other people they may know.


In other words, people won’t gravitate towards a specific geographical location or not even necessarily to the nearest safe town. Instead, they’ll move towards where they can find support from close family and friends who they know.


When natural disasters strike and people are forced to abandon their homes, they are usually forced to leave very quickly without much packing and therefore are tragically forced to leave most of their possessions behind.


With nowhere else to go, it’s only natural for people to want to move towards the closest friends and family (in a safe area, grants) where they can receive physical, financial, and emotional support as well as a temporary place to live.


For example, during the major Port-au-Prince, Haiti earthquake that occurred in 2010, researchers tracked over a million phone numbers of people who were displaced in conjunction with Haitian-based mobile phone operators.


The findings showed that most calls and texts people made went to their family members who were living outside of the earthquake zone, and that most people The researchers were able to track where people went based on their locations when making calls.


It was also a consistent finding that when people moved from their homes to a new location following a disaster, they stayed in that location until the disaster had subsided and things started to become safer again.


In other words, people try not to move from one location to another location to another location and to another location. Instead, people try to move from the danger zone to another location where they can find solace and support with family or other people they have strong bonds with, and then they’ll stay there for as long as they can rather than move onto another location.


When an SHTF disaster strikes and people are displaced from their homes, people will move to the closest places where they have strong social bonds.


In the event of such a disaster where you see long lines of cars inching along the highways trying to get away, most of those people are going to be going to the nearest family members or close friends they have so long as said family and close friends are living in an area that’s deemed to be safe.


It’s always important to have a strong bug out plan and to have someone close you know who you can turn to in the event that you’re ever forced to evacuate from your home.


If you have any friends or close family members who share the same survivalist mentality as you do, you’ll want to start coordinating with them in regards to how you can all support one another in the event of a cataclysmic disaster.

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