Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where to Live When the Storm Hits?

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DJETH's picture
DJETH
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Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where to Live When the Storm Hits?

Reason for post:  We are looking for a community/group that has the same mindset and ideas that we do.  To this point we have not been able to find the above.  We have searched multiple websites (Transition Towns, Transition Cities ECT…) on the internet and have not come across anyone compatible yet.  Maybe someone that uses this site knows of a group or is looking themselves. It would be great to have a site, like the online dating sites, that give a compatibility test for those looking to form a group.

Background:  My wife and I were introduced to the possible failure of the 3 E’s about 7 months ago by watching the CC.  We generally do not believe information unless we do research that proves otherwise.  To this point, we cannot find fault with the data that is on this site or on the CC.  We believe that one or two of the E’s will cause catastrophic changes to our lifestyle soon.  We have actually been aware of the economy problem for a year and a half, and started a financial plan in the beginning of 2008.  We did not realize how bad the state of the economy was going to get until we saw the CC.  We also believe that there will be an economic crash before the oil crash.

Beliefs:  –noun 1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: 2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof:. 

3. confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents. 

4. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith. 

Note:  Look at your own convictions and see how hard it is to change them.  We believe that people are what their convictions are.  Most peoples’ convictions are non-negotiable just like us.

Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.  On the worst side (and way on that side) the entire country and possibly the world will collapse in chaos.  We live in Houston with a surrounding population of 5 million people.  When food and water are in short supply these people will riot.  Fact: without oil the world cannot support the population.  There has to be a reduction in population.  If I remember correctly from the CC,  2/3 of fuel used goes to food production.  Take one can of Beef Vegetable Soup.  It has two servings for 170 calories per serving for a total of 340 calories per can.  Most people need an average of 1800 calories per day (more for some, less for others) that would be a little over 5.25 cans per day multiplied by 365 days/year for a total of 1916 cans per person per year.  This totals to 9,581,250,000 cans to keep the Houston population alive & happy.  Anyone want to send us their extra cans?  Now granted people will eat more than soup, but the bottom line is the calories.  If you do not intake enough calories, then your body starts to eat its own fat, then when that is gone the muscle.  Try working your garden or being productive with not enough calories.  This is something the people that are growing gardens, or will grow gardens must consider.  You must grow or raise enough calories to sustain yourself and your community.  Basically grow or raise food with a balance of high nutrition and high calories. We have been through two hurricanes (one that did not hit us and one that did).   Most everyone tried to evacuate for Hurricane Rita that missed us by 80 miles. But by doing so, it took most people 18 hours to leave the city and get to Dallas or San Antonio… both less than 250 miles away.  It took 3 days to get enough gas back into the city to start operating again.  When Hurricane Ike hit us dead on, it took more than a week to get enough infrastructure back online to hobble along.  Before the hurricane hit the city got emptied of water, food, and fuel (among other things).  After the storm we got a small taste of what it would be like post-crash.  Thankfully, there was very little violence during these times.  We contribute this to people believing that there would be a quick re-supply, and the fact that everyone had some time to prepare (everyone believed the hurricane was coming because they could see it on their TV).  Imagine if there was no re-supply….period.  Think of the number of people that you have spoken to that are not going to be prepared for an economic or oil crash.  The best that we can hope for is no real crash, just minor inconveniences.   However, we will have to look forward to the following:  We will have to go to work to be able to buy a car that uses $5 - $10 per gallon of gas, so we can go to work to pay for that car and gas.  Kind of like chasing your tail.  When oil reached $147.00 per barrel in 2008 we had massive price increases.  How many people got a cost of living raise in their pay that covered this price increase?  We will also have the privilege of having a larger part of our hard work going to pay off our nation’s debt.  Not the world we want to live in.  But the world is changing and we must stay light on our feet.  We are sure the economic crash will fall somewhere in the middle between mass chaos and the best case, until the peak oil problem gets worse again.  Bottom Line the world is not sustainable as is, and one or two of the E’s will get us.

We Need Your Help! We have tried emailing some of the peak oil sites to try to get some leads, and the couple that responded basically said that they were focusing on larger communities and cities and not on individuals.  Because of our belief that no city will be safe, we are trying to live far away from them.  We recently took a vacation and went through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Colorado to look for any possibilities. We believe the mountains and trees would give us the best protection if things get totally out of control (hoping they don’t).  Unfortunately the cost of living in these areas is too high to make it work with one family.  This is why we are looking for a group or community.  So if anyone out there has any suggestions please post.

 

isjrb029's picture
isjrb029
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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...

If you are looking out of the country I heard Panama might be good if in the states you might lokk at Arkansas. Lost of natural resources.

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...

Hey DJETH & Family:

Here are some links you can check out.  A lot of the intentional communities/ecovillages that are out there already or in the planning stages are, IMO, a bit too "kum bay yah" (i.e., pacifist vision statement) but this'll get you started:

http://www.ic.org/

http://thefosl.org/Public/HomePage   (check their "links" page)

http://www.relocalize.net/

 

I'd also suggest a book that'll help you find/evaluate/join the right community:

http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Community-Join-Ecovillage-Intentional/dp/0...

 

Welcome to the site, and good luck.

Viva -- Sager

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jrf29
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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...

I know that Chris has not advocated living in the middle of a city, nor has he advocated moving into the middle of the wilderness, and he has never, to my knoweledge, advocated living in groups or communities which try to separate themselves from the rest of the population. 

Instead he has emphasized finding a town or community which is both socially stable and well positioned to survive steadily rising energy costs and decreasing surplus, with enough natural resources (such as water and agriculture) to sustain itself without continual imports.  Once you find such a community, Chris has always vigorously advocated forming ties in the real community: forming relationships with local farmers, carpenters, craftsmen, etc, and integrate one's self into the community and local economy.  I believe the Chris has said on more than one occasion that our greatest strength is community. 

There are many excellent communities in the United States: small towns which have existed since well before the United States existed, which will be socially stable in a crisis, and which have survived many crises including war, depression, and currency collapse.  Communities which will be likely to draw together rather than to split apart.

Much of New England was built hundreds of years before oil was used.  Many of the communities in New England are very close-knit, well laid out, with many local farmers and craftsmen, and deep traditions of strong local democratic government.  I believe that after much research, Chris eventually settled in a small town in rural Western Massachusetts where he has formed many community ties.

This is not to say that communities such as these exist only in New England, or that they couldn't be found elsewhere.  I am only suggesting that instead of looking only to the small group of people that you are going to be living with, you look also to the sustainability of the community you choose, both in terms of energy and natural resources, as well as soil quality, local agriculture, and layout.  The gigantic urban sprawl of Southern Florida, for example, with huge residential areas built 20 miles away from nowhere is not the best bet.  Neither is an area that is short of natural water, or with poor soils.  In addition, you should look at the broader structure of the local economy, with which you will certainly have to interact over the course of many years and decades.
 

JNZ's picture
JNZ
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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...

I would have to say that if you're looking for places out of the country to get settled in, then New Zealand has to be a fantastic option... as long as you don't mind the occasional earthquake, hefty winds, or less regular, volcano eruptions.  New Zealand produces about 20 times more food than it consumes (at least).  NZ is a bit isolated but generally the rest of the world views Kiwi's favorably, so they'll most likely be left alone (not attacked) if a world war breaks out. That being said, I would also say that your point about joining with people who have similiar convictions is the most important, especially in times of sudden and drastic change.  For me that community is the church.

Cheers, J

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cannotaffordit
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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...

 DJETH,  One of the really critical things to consider in re-locating is WATER.  Colorado, for example, is a water starved state, as are some others.  Next, I think, would be soil that will grow food.  Of course, community is one of the top priorities too.  I would also caution you that starting over in a totally new location is always very hard.  It takes time to get to know people and figure out where the best deals are.  Some folks have advised that figuring out how to make it work where you are might be the best thing you can do for your family, if that's possible.  My personal belief is that there are good folks, and weird folks everywhere. So, its the old story that if you found people great where you are, they will likely be great where you go, and vice versa.  On the other hand, we moved from the deep south to the far NW, and we found people here to be remarkably more tolerant, kind, accepting and open to ideas different from their own.   However, others might tell you just the opposite, and maybe part of it for us was escaping the extreme heat and mosquitos.   

Best wishes on your search.  

DJETH's picture
DJETH
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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...

We would like to thank everyone for their comments and support.  Just to clairfy we want to live in the country (rural areas away from large cities) not out of the country.  My wife and I have lived both city lives and country (rural) lives and we prefer rural.  As isjrbo29 suggested the state of Arkansas.  We made a 3 day trip there a couple of months ago to check things out and it is very Beautiful.  Maybe the links that SagerXX gave will have some communities in Arkansas or one of the other states we are looking at.  Sager, thanks for the leads I will look at them this weekend.

JRF29 you give good advice in finding a community that can support the people that live on it.  Making sure there is enough water and that the soil can grow crops.  It is my belief that there will be more people and entire families moving further away from cities as thngs get worse.  Note: During our travels there were very few places that you could not find people.  Our intent is to find a group of like minded people and live as a community.  The odds are we would still have neighbors.

Thank you BenA for the reply.  About 10 years ago my wife and I decided to move to Colorado Springs.  We were just looking for some change.  It was not as difficult as we thought it would be and we stayed there for 2 years before moving back to Houston.  Staying here is an option (one of the last options).  We would like to see if there are other opportunities first.  I still believe living in a larger city is a bad idea.

Thanks to all

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SagerXX
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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...
DJETH wrote:

We would like to thank everyone for their comments and support.  Just to clairfy we want to live in the country (rural areas away from large cities) not out of the country.  My wife and I have lived both city lives and country (rural) lives and we prefer rural.  As isjrbo29 suggested the state of Arkansas.  We made a 3 day trip there a couple of months ago to check things out and it is very Beautiful.  Maybe the links that SagerXX gave will have some communities in Arkansas or one of the other states we are looking at.  Sager, thanks for the leads I will look at them this weekend.

Here's hoping they pan out for you...

DJETH wrote:

JRF29 you give good advice in finding a community that can support the people that live on it.  Making sure there is enough water and that the soil can grow crops.  It is my belief that there will be more people and entire families moving further away from cities as thngs get worse.  Note: During our travels there were very few places that you could not find people.  Our intent is to find a group of like minded people and live as a community.  The odds are we would still have neighbors.

As long as they're the right kind of neighbors...

[quote = DJJETH]

Thank you BenA for the reply.  About 10 years ago my wife and I decided to move to Colorado Springs.  We were just looking for some change.  It was not as difficult as we thought it would be and we stayed there for 2 years before moving back to Houston.  Staying here is an option (one of the last options).  We would like to see if there are other opportunities first.  I still believe living in a larger city is a bad idea.

Thanks to all

Yes, I think when the changeover comes, the Big Cities will be a bad place to be.  Simple math.  Too many people, too few [whatever].  Making the move sooner means more time to settle in with the locals.  It can be done, and on not too long a timeline.  I moved to Hawai`i once upon a time, and people told me to be ready to feel like an outside for a looong time.  I did, but nowhere near as long as folks figgered.

Viva -- Sager

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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...

DJETH - what about rural Texas? Lots of land, lots of varieties of bio-regions, from the Pineywoods to the Gulf Coast to the Hill Country, the West Texas Desert, the Plains, the Llano Estacado, lots of lakes, rivers, cricks, etc in many parts of the state. Lots of variety in the people, too from conservative small towns to progressive cities like Austin. (OK, granted, you said no cities, but you get my meaning on that last one.) Lots of good farmland in parts. Mild winters, summers.....ok, that argument's no good. Summers here suck.

My bias is coming through. I love it here. Despite my ranting, I do think the state will remain stronger economically than other parts of the country. Lots of military spending going to happen here for some years to come. I cannot speak to the so-called secessionist movement here. I think that's all empty talk, for now.

It's like the ads say, "Texas. It's like a whole other country."

Sager - Didn't you say that out of all your travels, Texas was the most foreign?

DJETH's picture
DJETH
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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...

SagerXX - It sounds like you made an effort to break the ice in Hawaii.  We plan to do the same wherever we live.

tx_floods - we are considering Texas.  My wifes parents live in East Texas and I have a good freind that has a ranch in Southwest Texas about 60 miles from the border of Mexico.  To be honest we were looking for cooler weather as part of the wish list.  To this point my friends randh has got 8" of rain in the last 2 years.  The river behins his house is dry.  Right now a large part of texas is under a drought.  This would not be good for livestock or produce.  East Texas would be the better bet but still a little close to large populas cities.

Part of my worst case for cities (again way on one side - but prepare for the worst and hope for the best) is once food runs low or out (I don't believe there are enough cans of soup here) the people will start going further out to the ranchland (Note: Not farmland- we dont grow edible crops around here) to get their food.  True to human nature they will take or try to take what they need to survive. In the heat of the moment they do not realize that they are dooming their future.  Without cattle to have calves the domino stops there.  I picture the large cities like poking a stick in an ant hill and watching them pour out.  Just like Rita for Houston and Katrina for New Orleans did.

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...
DJETH wrote:

SagerXX - It sounds like you made an effort to break the ice in Hawaii.  We plan to do the same wherever we live.

Sure, I made the effort, although the goodness of the locals played just as large a part;  I was sort of "adopted" cuz they felt sorry for me (I was in a tough place in my life).  Of course, we can't count on the kindness of strangers in a SHTF scenario.  Then again:  people have surprised me often in my life (on the positive side of human behavior).  

I think time to settle in and let the locals see you're "good people" is probably the most important thing.  Time to settle in means you can get your act together, and show what you have to offer the local community.

Viva -- Sager

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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...

I wish you guys the best of luck. If you decide to check out Arkansas again there are some real nice places in NW Arkansas. Lots of lakes good fishing and hunting. Great land for farming and real good people. Winters are not too bad and the summers can be great or pretty hot. Check out a little town called Dardanelle just out of Russellville. Great place! Resonable hosing prices and it seems this state run 9 months behind the rest of the country.

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Full Moon
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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...

   It would be helpful if you had friends or family to help you find a place and get settled in . A foot in the door so to speak .

 As you are already in the Middle of the country you know that land is $1000-$1500 an acre  and that you can find a fixer upper or build new for less than $100 a square ft, 

   You are started in the right direction  by wondering how safe the city will be and how much opportunity  you will find to keep your family taken care of.

  There are new families moving into our county each week  but  less than 2 hours  away the large Cessna and Boeing Plants are slowing down and leaving houses abandoned.     Who can know ...  Much prayer and consideration !!    You hate to make a hasty decision but time and circumstances seems to be closing in .

 

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Full Moon
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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...

 Also I was wondering  how important would it be to check out the areas debt ... the community you are choosing to move into  ?   I do not live in town but the towns pop. of 1200 people has a debt of $20,000  .   I also do not understand Mill Levee . Sales tax is 5.9%    .  Our little homestead  acre in the woods has annual property tax of $410

 The schools are rather new .. new stadium going in now.  New county Hospital going up now. 

      There is just so much to consider in a move isn't there!!   How would one go about finding out about the employment opps.    I think we live here much better on a little  less than $100 annual income than we could in most places.     I would guess average  blue collar worker gets $10-$15 an hour   farm employees get $8 -15   .

 

 I do not know how any of these this will play into the consideration as things continue to deteriorate  

DJETH's picture
DJETH
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Re: Need Your Help! Looking for Community or Group. Where ...

Really appreciate everyones' feedback thus far...keep it coming...hopefully SagerXX's links to community websites will pan out for us...or someone else's community info.

isjrb029 - thanks for your insite on NW Arkansas, sounds like a possibility

Full Moon - Yes, it's prudent to look into a communities economic situation before committing yourself to it.  We surely were planning to make that a part of our "check list".

Wishing everyone a good weekend.

 

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