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The best and worst place to be SHTF
I was out this past weekend with my GF shopping (yeah, gag me). Since that was a 4 hour long event, my brain got to wandering.  We went to a make up store and Old Navy. While I was trying to keep myself awake waiting on her, I realized that BOTH of those locations would be a terrible place to be if a nuke hit or zombies attacked. Why? Zero resources, and full of fairly unhelpful people.   I mean, how are you going to make a shelter or any supplies in a make up store? Perhaps if I was better at chemistry I could mix up some shampoo and turn it into gasoline or something, but not holding my breath.

The ONE thing that I thought might be helpful (keep this in mind) that inside of most emergency lights and Exit signs are 6v SLA batteries. Not large capacity, but something.

So, what is the WORST place you could be SHTF, what is the BEST place you could be, and what would be the most fun.

1. Worst place: Old Navy.  No resources.
2. Best place:  Walgreens. Not many people, but they have food, water, hardware, clothes, medical supplies.  Think about it, pretty much anything you could want, you COULD find at walgreens.
3.Most fun place:   ...  I hate to say it, but I'm going to go with The Mall.   There's food there if you know where to look for it, electronics, hardware (in Sears or JCP), clothes, beds, mattresses,  and video games!   Go back to Dawn of the Dead (the original)

So, what's the best, worst and most fun place you can think to be during SHTF?
It depends on which scenario is playing out.

For zombies-Bass Pro Shop. Lots of ammo weapons and such to kill zombies along with supplies.
For an earthquake-the farm. Plenty of supplies, very few structures to collapse, lots of water and food, few people around and most are self sufficient.
Worst place to be during a zombie attack-Cardinals baseball game. 40,000 people in a small area, unarmed, no weapons, you will either get eaten or trampled to death
Worst place to be during an earthquake-St. Louis Zoo snake house, I hate snakes.
Man this is an awesome subject for a thread!  Think about it, we don't always have the luxury of picking our location when a disaster strikes and very well may have to think on the fly.

Worse places:  In no particular order

  1. An event (like an EMP) that strands you in the middle of the highway miles from any for of civilization or resources.  Particularly if you've been injured or your sick.  Only advantage may be that you're away from population centers initially.
  2. Bmeyers is spot on with the major social gatherings like ball games and concerts and other such places.  Limited or no resources and masses of panicked people.  Look at the Superbowl during Katrina.
  3. Jail or prison.  If you're an're in a hurt locker.  If you're staff you're between a rock and a hard spot.  The generators will only last a couple of days and the same with the food.  Then you've got panicked criminals to contend with.  Either let they starve/die in their cells (unless they riot and break out) or let them loose into society which is already going through issues.  Might be something to consider if any of you live near a county jail or prison.  Relief staff may not be able to get there, resources will run out quickly and let's face it...their in there for a reason.  If they get out or are let out into the area you'll have to contend with that on top of everything else.
Best places:  Again, no particular order

  1. Home.  Hopefully your castle is your best option.
  2. Bass Pro/Cabelas/Super Walmart/mall.  Lots of resources, lots of options.  Downside is that likely there's already a bunch of people as well as the place being a magnet for more people in the area.  But if you're there initially there are supplies of just about any nature and food.  Even WM has at least ammo and in some states/areas they still have shotguns and hunting rifles.  
  3. Boat.  Depending on the situation, being out on a boat initially may put you away from urban population centers and whatever the problem is.  Like the highway example above though, it's going to suck if you're sick/injured.  But if you have fishing gear you have an endless supply of food and if you can dip in to get fresh water (assuming you're at sea) you're gold for a while.  If you're on a fresh water lake/river then so much the better as long as you have a method of treating the water.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
I do agree that a sporting event would be terrible. I live in Austin, Tx and every time I drive past UT stadium I wonder what a great terror target that place would be during game day. 50-100k people all in one space, with very few exits and even fewer resources.

I would disagree about Walmart. Though it's got resources, there are way too many stupid people there. You've all seen the videos from Walmart the Day after Thanksgiving. People trampling each other for a damn TV, much less the last bottle of water.

Bass Pro/Cabellas.. .. yeah it's got guns and ammo and sleeping gear, but not too much in the way of medical supplies or food. There's some freeze dried camping food but not much.

"Fear the Walking Dead' had a whole season about them trapped in a hotel. Thats an interesting idea, but again, even if the hotel has a kitchen, I would think that long term there aren't many resources there. You'd end up raiding the other rooms, but i wouldn't expect much regarding food, water or weapons.
Come on everyone, lets get a couple more good ones in here. I have an idea for a phase 2 to this thread.. chime in!
Sometimes when I'm at Lowes or Home Depot I look at all the spots a person could hide if they wanted/needed.  A lot of that shelving really goes up high and with all the boxes and products it would be an easy thing, if you can climb up, to tuck yourself into some nook or cranny.  No, no real food/water resources but for a temporary hiding spot away from 'whatever' it may not be a bad spot.  Depending on which shelf you chose there may not be much in the way of flamable material and it may also be defendable to a point in that you have a high vantage point.

I still say the middle of the highway between cities, if you're unprepared.  Look at all the folks that freeze to death when trapped on the highway in a blizzard.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
I have been trying to think of places that I would want to be at if SHTF started.

First home and second the farm. I have a couple different friends (I know it is hard to believe, but I do have a few friends) that their houses would be decent places to hold up with resources available.

Coming up with other places that I would want to be at, the list isn't coming together. Almost any of those places provides more headaches and challenges than they are worth. Walmart, Target, Lowes, local grocery stores, Walgreens or other pharmacy all have different advantages, but the craziness that will develop, I don't want to be out in public. I would prefer to stay low key and in the areas I know best.

I wouldn't want to be in downtown St. Louis. They are already stupid over there, it is hard to imagine how much crazier they would be. Also, I would hate to be more than 30 miles from home if something happen. I would like to be able to get home relatively quickly on foot. One of the things I hate about traveling for work is going into communities where I know very little about the area. Living in the same community for 40+ years has allowed me to gain a very good understanding of the community and surrounding communities to know where to or not to go. Understanding during SHTF, safe places won't be that safe.
Home 3yrs +,BOL,5 to 10+as long as I farm correct.'08
If you look like food,you will be eaten.

I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
At one point in my life I had all the retail distribution centers in my state mapped out.  I flew over them on Google earth as well.  Some of these facilities are openly marked i.e signs, some aren't.  Many are very, very large facilities surrounded by barbwire fences in mostly rural  or semi rural areas.

My reasoning was "why fight the crowds at the retail stores when you can go to the source?"  Of course that implies one would have to take control of and hold the facility which would be impossible without a large, well organized group of people. And that also implies a complete break down in the rule of law, i.,e complete anarchy/TEOTWAWKI.
I am so urban.

Best places:
1. home
2. any underground parking structure - I am set up within the car to stay a week.

Worst places:
1. any liquor store;
2. any drug store;
3. any grocery store;
4. any mall;
5. any big box store

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