Strategic Relocation: A Review

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I suppose there have been millions of people who have second guessed their choice of residence location as they watched flood waters rise, wildfires approach, or stood flat-footed, facing a tsunami.  Noah’s neighbors, no doubt, had similar thoughts.  ‘Maybe we should have built on the mountaintop instead of the valley.’

In typical times, we usually choose our home based on factors like convenience, scenery, affordability, and square footage.  Only recently have families started to think about survival when it comes to location.  Joel Skousen has made a career of helping families relocate to areas that are survival-friendly, and he’s written about this in his book, Strategic Relocation.

I purchased this book earlier this year as part of my own research into safer locations for our family.  We haven’t decided to move quite yet, but when you live in a city of some 3-4 million people, and you’re surrounded by hundreds of miles of desert, well, you start thinking that maybe relocating would be a smart idea, and so began the research.

Strategic Relocation is a hefty, over-sized book of 340 pages.  It can be purchased from Skousen’s website for $35, which is more than I normally pay for a book, but within just a few pages, I realized my money had been well spent.

A well organized book

The book is divided into four sections:

  • Selecting a safe country
  • North American analysis
  • Strategies
  • Regional and state ratings

I zeroed in, first, on my own state of Arizona and turned to page 166 to read the analysis.  As a native, I figured I would be able to evaluate whether or not Skousen was accurate in his report or just blowing smoke to sell books.  He correctly advised Phoenicians to live north of the 101 freeway and to avoid southern Arizona due to the high level of drug trafficking and military installations.  I was surprised at the accuracy and up-to-date information.  If his assessment and rating of my state were accurate then, I figured, so was the rest of his information.

The portion of the book in which I spent most of my time was Section Four: Regional and State Ratings.  I wanted to see how my state stacked up to others we had considered.  His ratings are based on numerous factors, including population density, food production, taxes, and gun liberty.  I really appreciated his statement that most people will have to continue living right where they are, and he takes this into consideration, by state.  For example, if you live in a state that has received just one or two stars, in his 5 star rating system, he gives suggestions for making the best of it.

Practical, sensible advice

His advice is down to earth.  He doesn’t try to entice people to make radical or panic-based decisions.  In fact, following a family camping trip in Idaho and Wyoming, I was ready to pack up and move to the forest of my dreams.  But in Chapter 12, he brought me back down to earth with these five questions:

  1. How long will it take to be firmly reestablished in a new and safer location before things get worse?
  2. Do I have a fallback position, in terms of job, talents, skills, funds, reserves, etc. in the new location?
  3. Will there exist a need for my fallback talents in the area I am presently living, or do I have to move to find an area with more potential clients in a crisis?
  4. Does my location allow for total self sufficiency, if I have to revert back that far?
  5. What will my network be after the move?  How long will it take to build it up?

These questions helped us realize that we weren’t yet ready for the move.  Skousen cites a cautionary example of helping families move just prior to Y2K.  They moved to safe areas, for sure, but within a short time they returned to him, now asking for help in finding a place to live where they could actually earn a living!

In addition to analyzing the survive-ability of each state and offering advice to those who live there, Strategic Relocation also includes tips for economic survival and the author’s view of how future crises will play out.

For those who may be contemplating a lifestyle of an expatriated American, you’ll find assessments for virtually every region and country of the world.  Some in Central America even have programs that offer discounts and other benefits to attract “rich”Americans.

The only downside is…

There is one downside to this book.  Skousen makes no secret of his own personal political leanings, which appear to be conservative with a definite Ron Paul bent.  Some readers may find that off-putting.  He appears to be a so-called “9-11 truther,” evident by his statement regarding the attacks on the Pentgon and World Trade Center, “…our research indicates that this was, in fact, a carefully crafted US operation, using terrorists trained under the false flag of al Qaeda – itself a creation of US and Saudi black operations.”

Now, I have no idea whether or not this is true, but this, and a handful of other views expressed in the book are considered “out there” by most Americans, and it would be a shame if any readers, or potential readers, discarded his advice because of these views.

Strategic Relocation is a valuable resource for just about any survivalist or prepper.  Even if you’re not considering moving, it contains good advice and assessments that may come in handy in the difficult times ahead.

It can be purchased at


13 thoughts on “Strategic Relocation: A Review”

    1. That darn Skill of the Month!!! Once summer hit and our family was traveling almost every month, I lost my own focus on trying new skills and the feature died, temporarily. Starting in December, I\’ll have new skills each month through 2012. They were popular and I\’m sorry I dropped the ball.

  1. Thanks for this post. I live in the midwest, my family has for generations. I'm not sure I see us going anywhere, at least by choice. However there are 'safer' areas even here and I have been thinking about that. My mom lives in Texas on the border and I have been cautioning her that she may want to take a few steps back from there. And she is starting to look around for other areas.

  2. From my standpoint, Skousen's reference to 9-11 as being an inside job further bolsters his credibility.

    It is impossible for me to look at the physical evidence of Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon without coming to the conclusion that we have not been told the truth. If interested, Google to find Pentagon damage photos.

    The photos indicate an airliner with a 100 ft wingspan made a 25ft hole into the building and then all the debris, evaporated. There was no damage to the building outside of the 25 ft "punch-through" hole.

    I think it is time that we all examine the evidence for ourselves instead of relying on what the media tells us.

      1. I’m also an Arizonian and was curious how Arizona rated. We live in Prescott. Can you tell us any more about what states rated better than Arizona?

  3. Hi SurvivalMom!

    I would expect Joel Skousen to have libertarian leanings. I find no fault in that. Why? Because, by definition, a left-leaning big city nanny-state liberal would never ever have the gumption to author a book on Strategic Relocation!

    In their minds, this entire subject matter is silly, paranoid, and stupid. FEMA will take care of everyone. No need to plan, prepare, or lift a finger to help yourself or your neighbor. It's not your place. Let the government take care of everything.

    Sounds preposterous, I know. Just take a gander at the comments of the liberal blogs and new sites.

  4. Thank you so much! I've had this book on my Amazon short list and had pretty much decided to buy it in the next few days. Your review has confirmed this is a book my family will get plenty of use out of. 🙂

  5. The down side of "prepping" has always been the # of people "out there". I think most of us are SHTF types, not EOTWAWKI. I leave my politics at home. We all should.

  6. So I am going out on a limb to even ask but where does Cali fit in? Obviously this is NOT the place to be when SHTF however I have no other option at this point. I am in the high desert about 100 miles outside of LA and 180 miles from Vegas. Not feeling very comfortable about this……

  7. California does not rank well in his book. It’s got too many people, strict gun control laws, plenty of militar bases and it’s hard to exit. He mentions that there are some very nice retreat locations in the state, if it wasn’t for the politics.

    In short, if you love in California, you should probably be trying to relocate.

    1. The Survival Mom

      There are some fantastic places in California to live and/or bug out, but the biggest problem is the state government, and it’s a real pity.

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