I haven't posted much about choosing a place to *be*. Most people would prefer to be where they have *connections*---family and friends.
But if you are considering a move, for the sake of survivability , here are some things to consider:
First and foremost, you have to ensure you have a water supply that cannot be interrupted, easily contaminated and is easily accessed. It may be a stream, a well or a spring. In any instance, you do not want to be dependent on a civic/city water supply that is pumped from miles away. Also consider the laws regulating water usage in the area/region you plan to move to. In some places rain barrels are illegal because they "divert the natural course of the water"! In some places you have to buy "water shares" in order to water your garden or keep your livestock watered.
Are you a *desert rat* or a *snow bunny*? Does the heat of summer make you miserable or are you the type that bundles up in a down jacket when the temperature drops below 60 degrees? Even if your homestead has everything you dreamed of, if the climate makes you miserable, it is not a good choice.
If you plan to homestead, it will be difficult if you settle where the land in all rock and stone or is all sand. Of course, raised bed gardening, composting and other techniques can help beef up bad soil, but if you want to jump into gardening fast, look for soil that is *good to go*.
Local and State Laws:
Do you home-school? Do you want to have your kids delivered by a nurse-midwife? Do you own firearms? Check the laws of the state you are considering on these, or any other issue that is important to you.
Does the area get hit with hurricanes? Frequently flood? Blizzards every winter that shut down roads, power and other services you need? Earthquake zone? Tornado Alley? Check the frequency of such natural disasters in your proposed area.
Now we get into considerations that are a little different...
If you are into being a *survivalist*, and suspect that the world has been flushed and is now *circling the bowl*, these considerations may be paramount.
Proximity to Population Centers:
Your homestead should be at least three hours driving time from the nearest city of 50,000 or more. If something happens in the population centers ---*dirty bomb*, pandemic, riots or other civil unrest, terrorist attack, nuclear attack, etc, you do NOT want to be close to a large city.
Important Cultural Considerations:
"Birds of a feather flock together." Remember that old saying? Well, like many old sayings, there is truth in it. If you are a Christian Fundamentalist, you will find it more comfortable living in a community that shares the same values. If you are a Vegan, you will be *odd man out* in a community of hunters and livestock farmers. Living in a black inner city neighborhood would be a bad choice if you are white---you will become a target, not a neighbor. If you are Heathen, having other Heathens near-by can be an important consideration when it comes to celebrations, rituals and other cultural experiences.
A lot of people have not heard this term, so I will briefly explain it:
If a disaster occurs in a major population center the population evacuating the city will travel on the path of least resistance, especially if it takes them through or to an area with resources they need. Interstates, major roads, rivers and other avenues that provide ease of travel will be utilized by city refugees to evacuate.
If, say, civil unrest breaks out in New York City, refugees from that city will flood into New Jersey and other nearby states. The majority will follow the interstates and major highways for ease of travel. Some will be able to get boats and follow the coastline south or north looking for sanctuary. If in winter, most will try to travel south.
Look for properties 10+ miles from any major highway or interstate. If you must buy closer than that, make sure your property is not able to be seen from the interstate/highway/river.
Industrial Centers/Pollution Considerations:
When looking for a homestead property, consider the proximity of nuclear power plants, chemical plants and industrial plants. That beautiful field will not be good for your dairy cow to graze in if the stream running through contains pollution from the chemical plant 2 miles upriver.
If society collapses, who will run that *clean* nuclear plant? Will it go *China Syndrome* or *Chernobyl* if there are no technicians to run it? Try to be a MINIMUM of 100 miles from any nuclear plant and 50 from any industrial/chemical plant (upstream!).
These are targets. Targets of other governments and targets of those that may wish to try to plunder the weapons and other assets contained there. Also, in cases of civil unrest, troops will fan out and the closer you are to the base, the more likely you will come under repeated scrutiny. Be at least 100 miles away from any military base, 300 from missile sites or major bases, if possible.
A good book---- if you can find it!----- is *Strategic Relocation-- North American Guide to Safe Places* by Joel M. Skousen published in 1998. Although some of the information is a bit out of date, it is an excellent resource when you are considering relocating for survivability.