For many real estate agents today, finding the perfect home for a client faces plenty of questions, but imagine if your market had another giant mark that had clients asking: Can I survive the apocalypse here?
While we may live in some uncertain times, there is nothing to fear today, but just in case, Realtor.com has determined the top markets for surviving a number of scenarios.
Whether it is natural disasters like hurricanes or cyber attacks, North Korea, Iran or even zombies, the location you call home could mean the difference between life and death in the face of utter disaster—but the safest place depends on what kind of disaster we’re talking about.
Large urban areas leave little area for gardening during an apocalypse. Meanwhile, a bunker or fallout shelter could save your skin during a nuclear attack—unless it’s right near a military base, making it a top target.
Richard Duarte, a Miami-based personal injury attorney and author of the book “Surviving Doomsday, ” said there are decisions to be made.
“Surviving a disaster will often have more to do with where you are than with any other factor. Finding yourself in a highly populated urban center, competing with violent crowds for dwindling resources, will usually not end well. If the scarcity doesn’t get you, the resulting chaos certainly will.”
Realtor.com looked at the 200 largest U.S. metros and only included one per state. Its criteria included the percentage of realtor.com home listings with a lake, pond, or well (for drinking water); listings with a safe room or panic room; listings with a bunker, fallout shelter, or underground shelter; listings with solar panels or hydropower (to fuel your home if the grid goes dark); population density; percentage of active military and federal government employees (nuke targets); percentage of health care workers; percentage of manufacturing workers (more nuke targets); state gun score (tracking the ability to stockpile weapons) and percentage of landmass covered by fresh water
According to the survey, Kansas City, Mo., has one of the highest rates of housing listings with bunkers or fallout shelters. It also has more than its fair share of homes with basements, as well as those made out of brick—a structure that is better prepared for a nuclear blast. On the downside, Fort Leavenworth, an army base on more than 5,000 acres, is about 35 miles to the northwest. So stick to the southeast side of the city.
If you survive the initial blast, you’ll face a long road ahead. One of the basic needs is drinking water, so living in a city like Duluth (No. 7) is a big plus, given the high number of properties with lakes, ponds, and wells.
Theresa Mondale, a broker and owner of the United Country-Western Montana Group in Missoula, Mon., who Mondale specializes in survivable and sustainable properties, said she sees a range of clients.
“Some [preppers] are all about water sources. Others want to get deep into the mountains. My clients range from college students, retired government officials to high-ranking Silicon Valley [folks].”
After Kansas City, the best places to survive nuclear disaster are New Haven, C, in second place, followed by Ann Arbor, Mich.; Hagerstown, Md,; Springfield, Mass.; Manchester, N.H.; Duluth, Minn.; San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Crestview, Fla.; and Lincoln, Neb.
The last place you’d want to live to avoid the apocalypse? New York City. In addition to being a primary target, it has precious few natural resources to make post-blast survival possible.
Getting out of urban areas during normal times is difficult. This is seen in Miami, with Realtor.com ranks the fifth worst-ranked metro—as thousands of people learned while fleeing Hurricane Irma in September.
“There are very few ways to get out of here during a massive evacuation—the only way to go is north. Surprisingly, there are only three major highways out of South Florida. Under normal circumstances, those arteries are already congested.”
According to the survey, behind New York are Los Angeles, Dallas and Nashville. Rounding out the list are Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Fayetteville, N.C., and Seattle.