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<div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>MountainBiker wrote:</div>Trying to get back on topic here and acknowledging that I haven’t gone back to the beginning of this thread to review all that has been discussed in the past, so my apologies if this has already been covered. How much of a difference do folks here think it makes as to how large the urban setting is (NYC vs a more moderate sized city like say Charlotte, NC) or where it is (Las Vegas in the desert vs an Eastern City with ample water resources), or some other variable? Also, do you see much difference between being in the city proper vs in the suburbs?

MountainBiker, there are other things to consider as to cities. For example, if you have old people on board, they need to be close to a good hospital. It is a mistake for the elderly to go live in the boonies or stay in them. They simply must have easy and frequent access to the resources of a hospital. It has been my experience that the size population which has the barest essentials for medical care is about 3,000 people. As to other resources — repair shops, mechanics of all sorts, hardware stores and such — you need a town of about 7,000 to 10,000.

That said, there is another point: the human quality of the population. New York is hell in some ways, but, in a catastrophe, its people pull together. If, say, thousands of cars are stuck on a bridge or highway in icy weather for hours and the people just ahead of you notice that you have little children in the car, they will come to you and offer you a blanket. Good luck getting that in Los Angeles!

However, there’s another human quality that does apply to LA: Latino gang members will not loot their neighbors; they go to another part of town to do burglaries; whereas black gang members will loot you if you live next to them. Minnesotans are some of the nicest people, but they can also be awfully clannish; you may have heard an otherwise pleasant Minnesota Swede say with a sneer “THOSE people are Norwegian …”, whatever that means …

That hard-to-define human quality also counts in a survival community. It isn’t all about water supply and waste disposal.

There is another major point: cultural resources. It is awful for human beings to live in a setting in which all their effort is focused on eating and defecating. The books of Jackie Clay, for example, on food obtention, canning and cooking are wonderful; but that is all that there is in them. That wonderful woman has set up three homesteads with very hard work but, because of the hard work, she hasn’t been able to do much else. That’s fine if it satisfies you, but a lot of people need a mentally richer life. And, there, nothing beats the resources of a big city.

You are taking TEOTWAWKI as you starting point, but TEOTWAWKI is only a theoretical construct and, short of World War III, not very likely. Realistically, what we have is a nonstop tightening of the screws of the police state on a passive population. Cities will not disappear, and they will not necessarily be a greater nightmare than the country. I have known far more criminals and violence in rural areas than in several cities that I know intimately.

So, if you have a fine homestead in the country, by all means enjoy it. But consider that it is also possible to have a small homestead close to a city, camouflaged by thick, thorny vegetation — blackberry bushes and the like — and with the resources of a hospital, theaters and public libraries at hand. And take into consideration the human quality of the people of that city; you can find sterling people in the towns of Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas and many other states — pretty much anywhere you look; just so long as you avoid an out-and-out pest-hole, you’ll be fine.