America’s Death Zones: Where NOT To Be When It Hits the Fan

Mac Slavo
April 4th, 2013


As the potential for a globally destabilizing event becomes ever more probable, many concerned Americans are starting to wonder where they’d go if the worst were to happen.

To help answer that question, we can start by identifying the areas of the country to avoid.

The following map of the United States takes into account all of the gun related deaths since the Sandy Hook school shooting. You’ll likely notice that there is one common denominator. The majority of the violence has occurred in major metropolitan areas, with some incidents spreading into outlying ex-urban and rural areas. As of this writing2,244 people have been killed since December of 2012.

If this is the state of our nation during relative peacetime and perceived prosperity, imagine what it’ll look like in the midst of financial, economic or political turmoil.

Americans living east of the Mississippi River will likely experience the brunt of it. But anyone residing in and around any major U.S. city will, likewise, have a tough road ahead of them.

If you live in one of these red zones, you’d better plan accordingly:

Mapping the Dead

As you may have guessed, the overwhelming factor in determining your chances of survival during a wide-scale regional or national emergency will be population density, a topic that has been extensively covered by Strategic Relocation specialist Joel Skousen:

…every crisis that threatens, even a local crisis, can turn exponential because of close proximity to people who cannot help themselves. Even good people panic in a crisis…

Wherever we find large groups of people, when crisis strikes we will also find the worst that mankind has to offer – rioting, looting, starvation and violence.

Survival expert James Rawles refers to them as the golden horde; the thousands of people who will be desperate for supplies, shelter and safety in the aftermath of a major catastrophe:

…there is just a thin veneer of civilization on our society. What is underneath is not pretty, and it does take much to peel away that veneer. You take your average urbanite or suburbanite and get him excessively cold, wet, tired, hungry and/or thirsty and take away his television, beer, drugs, and other pacifiers, and you will soon seen the savage within. It is like peeling the skin of an onion—remove a couple of layers and it gets very smelly. (Survival Blog)

Given the probability of the United States succumbing to any number of devastating catastrophes that may include an economic collapsefood shortages,pandemicregional earthquakessolar storms, or war, there is ample motivation for those with the means to do so to get out of densely populated areas of the country. Likewise, living in locales with close proximity to major thoroughfares such as interstate highway systems could pose a danger as the ‘horde’ evacuates disaster-struck areas.

For many, relocation is not possible because of job requirements or other factors. Thus, those of us who are left with no choice but to remain in populated urban or sub-urban areas, it is strongly recommended that you consider preparedness planning for staying put, or bugging in, during an emergency. It’s not the ideal scenario, but if you plan on hunkering down then you may find it advantageous to have food stores and other long-term supplies, as well as home defense plans. And, should things get so bad that you have to leave your primary residence, be sure to have evacuation plans in place.

The U.S. government is actively preparing to deal with the aftermath of many of the possible crises cited above, namely the civil unrest that will follow. Police and military units are training to deal specifically with urban scenarios because emergency services planners understand that America’s metropolitan death zones will be completely devoid of law & order.

If you’re in one of these areas, and plan on staying during a major crisis, take steps now to prepare for the inevitability of mass chaos.


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  • trigon400

    Naturally the author of this piece is prohibited from mentioning the most direct link to danger; race.
    Notice that all of those red areas will either be flooded with illegals (like my home town of south Florida), or packed with violent Blacks in large cities.

    • robertsgt40

      Yup. I live in Texas

    • Gaiamon

      Are there not violent whites in large cities ? And just who should be afraid of whom! Why make this into an racial issue,when its about all of us the masses trying to survive any of the negatives that’s described,that may or may not happen.
      The fact that you assume the author is prohibited,rather than voicing it as a racist as you have, shows much about you.And you are one neighbor that I would hate to aline myself and family with in times of trouble.

      • jilleysorenson99

        And your post shows much about you. I live in an all white rural community where we still leave our doors unlocked at night. We wave at each other and if someones car is broken down we help them. We all have guns, gardens and livestock. No worries here. Oh and we have a Constitutional Sheriff. Good luck.

    • galen066

      A wonderful example of the ‘threat’ you perceive: The biggest threat to personal safety after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was from A) The NOPD and B) Card-carrying NRA members. Both were documented carrying out lethal reprisals based on pre-existing prejudice and acts of pre-meditated murder, as well as racially motivated white-on-black attacks.

      Grow up and leave the ‘Rambo’ fantasy behind.

      • ecb

        they were carrying NRA cards?

        • galen066

          During the investigatory part of the trial it was discovered that , yes, they were NRA members.

          • jilleysorenson99

            Do you even know what the NRA is?

      • jilleysorenson99

        Nice little made up story. Sucks to be you.

    • ????? ????

      It’s not really a race issue but a cultural one. Although they may appear to be one in the same, at times. Bad people will do bad things. Even good urbanites, black, white, or whatever, will be likely be very dangerous because of their dependence on modern conveniences and general unpreparedness.

  • AnnOnaMice

    Why does anyone think it would be “safer” to be in an rural area as opposed to urban? One only has to look at the last century to see that “ghettos” and cities are fed, as priority, over rural areas. People don’t leave ghettos because they are aware of what kinds of actions are occurring by militaries, paramilitaries, police and partisans… whole villages were wiped out without witnesses, but cities have to be controlled and kept in order.

    Rural areas are easy to disrupt, and the people are easily apprehended. Bridges are removed or blocked, forcing travel to a controlled checkpoint. The “standoffs” seen in the news will not happen… that’s just to show people that the government can control – it’s much easier to (using chemicals, electromagnetic radiation, etc) “smoke out” or just snuff those who are holed up when there are no tv cameras, press, or witnesses.

    If 3 million LDS members have the church-ordered year of provisions stored, the confiscation would provide one month of rations for 50 million people. Places that distribute food (huge fast food chains, big box stores) would be instantly nationalized and put under military guard. The government will control who gets what food, how much, and how often.

    Then work camps can be set up in rural areas with slave labor moved in from urban areas for agriculture and labor. Alternatively to that, local warlords will quickly establish fifedoms and feudal systems, which tend to be much worse than living in urban captivity.

    • connorhus

      Why? Because tyranny isn’t really about tanks, helicopters, drones or bombers. Those things can be useful in the right situation sure but they are generally machines of war and not particularly suited to keeping a population oppressed on a daily basis. The tyranny required to keep the cities from erupting into flames will be boots on the ground, on every street corner and in front of every house, the countryside will for the most part be left alone to fend for itself. Sure there will be government looting and confiscations. They may destroy some bridges and attempt to stop the flow of refugees at key locations but without the entire population behind them the government will never be able to put enough men in the field to watch the rural areas AND control the cities. It’s a game they will eventually lose as you cannot have one without the other.

    • jilleysorenson99

      The rurals will probably be worse than urban because those in the rurals will actually live a little longer. You might make it a day or two in urban zones but thats about it.

  • Ezra Pound

    How come the most “pro-gun” areas of the nation have the fewest gun deaths? I thought guns killed people? Have I been being lied to all these years? Preposterous! TV would never lie.

    • ms20

      Neither would politicians. Shocking, huh?

    • Danny Adams

      Or you could’ve just looked over those big ol’ red circles in Texas and the Deep South.

  • George Blair

    To suggest that race will play no part in a TEOTWAKI event is naive. Look at (FBI Statistics) black on white crime currently versus white on black. HInt: It’s 8:1. Which is odd because blacks comprise a minority in our country. Yes, race will play a part a very LARGE part. So will the feeling of entitlement and or “somebody owes me”. You’re talking about massive groups of people who by and large are taken care of by the federal government (read taxpayer dollars). And you think ANYONE is going to react in a civilized manner when the obama phones don’t work and the EBT card reads: $0.00

    • ????? ????

      You are correct but it’s a cultural thing. Not because minorities are inherently inferior.

  • apatriot

    The map is from the Huffington post, and is labeled as a map of gun deaths since the Sandy Hook shooting. Just another anti-gun hit piece, not reliable data for determining where the trouble will be when SHTF. Do you live in a big multicultural city? You MAY have a problem. But I do not think those of us in the rural areas will be immune, if the lights go out. In other countries such as Argentina and Zimbabwe, where the economy has failed, the rural areas suffer some severe damage due to bandits operating without fear of organized resistance. Even in Beirut, where the disaster is unbelievable, the people divide into sectors and defend their turf. How you gonna do that when your nearest neighbor is a half-mile or more away? In some ways, depending on the disaster, it could be better to be in a city. Most of the time, though, I think not. The lights go out, all bets are off- for all of us.

  • David Munro

    The suburbanites will be as ornery when the supply of cable/AC/Prozac/beer gets cut-off as the people in the cities when their cable/AC/Prozac/malt liquor gets cut-off. People dependent on others coupled with a high population density equals death. See ya in da UP, eh? That’s upper Michigan where the bulk of the population is self sufficient, hardy and comes from a northern European heritage. It’s cold and they like it that way. Kills bugs and other unwanted nasties. You must like potatoes, though.

  • Jakob Stagg

    I have a feeling that the map is not indicating a large number of law abiding citizens. I live in one of the red zones. Politicians have dealt with their problems by severely cutting public safety, watching violent crime increase, and giving themselves pay and benefit increases for their good work. King Pinocchio is having his effect.

  • AnonymousCitizen

    Weird. It seems the states with the strictest gun laws have the highest rate of gun violence.