Great discussion. Most here are in agreement that the cities will have it tougher than rural areas. Freedom, I know you don’t see it the same way but the degree to which rural America is armed will make it very difficult for the govt.to control if things fall apart.
For those who see suburbia as being viable, while it is certainly a better place to be than in the cities, the population density is just too high. The suburbs for most big cities just sprawl outward seemingly forever. Permaculture was very popular where I used to live, and it is a very good thing, but in the end how much food can you possibly grow relative to the area’s population? That said, I agree with the sentiment that staying put in suburbia is likely way better than being a refugee.
Rural is best I think, and I acknowledge that pre-SHTF it could be very tough to make a living and you often don’t have much in the way of conveniences and services. If you really do believe that things are going to fall apart some day however, thinking you are going to relocate to a rural area just in time could prove to be a very dangerous gamble. The biggest problems that I think most rural dwellers will face is security if your home is too isolated and what to do with the inevitable urban/suburban dwellers fleeing to the countryside. My present full time home was initially my bug out location. When looking for a place to buy, I did not want an isolated spot because of the security issue. I bought a place in what I refer to as a hamlet in a small valley with very limited road access. The roads could be easily blocked off by dropping a few trees but even if we could organize the entire hamlet for mutual defense, anyone coming over the mountains through the forest could be tough to detect. Being able to block the roads however would be of great help in deterring most urban refugees.
On the matter of refugees, My nature is to want to help people and I know I would have a hard time turning away friends who may come looking for refuge. My extended family all live in suburban areas and I’ve long been a source of amusement to them for my prepping ways but I can’t see how I could ever turn any of them away. Who knows, Maybe the hamlet would benefit in handling the security detail if we all took in friends and family seeking refuge. As for refugees that are strangers, I can envision screening them for needed skills, and sending the rest on their way.