One of the most commonly accepted misconceptions in the survival and preparedness community is that “once SHTF”, you “gotta get out of Dodge!”
It seems that not many people ask why and just accept this as an unquestionable fact, but those that do usually get a reply about cities being where most people are and therefore where problems will be worse. The logic here would be that more people=more problems. While this may be the case in some specific scenarios, those of us that have dedicated years of our lives to seriously study real disasters tend to have a different opinion, and the answer is: Its not that simple.
The best location to ride out a disaster, large or small, is directly linked to the type of disaster you are facing. In the case of war, widespread terrorism or uprisings, running to the countryside is probably the last thing you want to do.
In the case of an invading force moving across a country, both cities and more rural areas would be equally at risk. Ground troops moving forward will go through all buildings looking for enemies, scouts and spies and no survival retreat with armed occupants will present much of problem to anyone with mortar fire at their disposal. Anything that falls within the enemy occupation territory is at risk.
Different historic incidents such as the Bosnian war, involving an invading, foreign force, or the violence in South Africa, in this case a local threat, targeting farmers after the African National Congress rose to power, have shown us that the countryside isn’t always an idyllic safe place to be in when everything goes to hell.
Currently we have yet another example with Boko Haram militants:
DALORI, Nigeria — Hundreds of women and girls captured by Boko Haram have been raped, many repeatedly, in what officials and relief workers describe as a deliberate strategy to dominate rural residents and possibly even create a generation of Islamist militants in Nigeria.In this case, we see how when terrorist organizations aren’t strong enough or big enough, they will fight more of a guerrilla warfare, hiding in the countryside, taking over smaller towns and villages, and only going after bigger cities when they have enough power to defeat the forces located there.
Despite this relative calm in urban areas, Boko Haram killings and kidnappings have not diminished. Recent analysis of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker indicates that they have in fact increased.
Fighting has instead shifted to rural areas.
Boko Haram militants killed dozens of traders at a village market in northeastern Nigeria's Borno state, security sources said.
The attack Friday was the second major assault on the market in Mainok, 65 kilometers west of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, within five months.
The weekly rural market draws hundreds of people from remote and surrounding communities who come to trade their farm produce and animals.
If we think of a post SHTF world in USA where for whatever reason most of the country has collapsed, it is easy to see how most of the security and rebuilding efforts will be focused on the larger cities with the most people while smaller communities and the least populated areas will be left to fend for themselves.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.