User Tools

Site Tools

Cumberland Redoubt
Cumberland Redoubt's MD Creekmore of

See Tennessee

Strategic relocation American Redoubt Conservative Tennessee Kentucky

Survival Tips & Prepping Advice at The Survivalist

One of the top Survival Blogs along with James Wesley Rawles', Jack Spirko's Survival Podcast and Lisa Bedford's Survival Mom.

For those who are more attached to the East Coast and can't easily migrate to the American Redoubt in the Intermountain-West, we recommend the blog of the inspirational M.D. Creekmore who posted Joel M. Skousen, Author, Strategic Relocation North American Guide to Safe Places, on the Tennessee Cumberland Plateau solution to the “The East Coast Retreat Dilemma”:

“As a relocation specialist and designer, I found safe retreat locations and helped clients develop high security homes in every state of the union and you can too. The concept that anyone caught East of the Mississippi River is doomed is only partially valid and highly exaggerated. You can achieve a significantly higher level of safety going beyond the Appalachians to the high plateau regions of Tennessee and Kentucky. This massive and relatively unpopulated area is called the Cumberland Plateau—most of which falls within the state of Tennessee.” Joel M. Skousen ( is a relocation specialist and author of “Strategic Relocation North American Guide to Safe Places.”

Tennessee as a survival retreat location

by M.D. Creekmore on August 25, 2011

Rocky Top you’ll always be Home sweet home to me Good ol’ Rocky Top Rocky Top Tennessee. (Rocky top written by Boudleax and Felice Bryant.)

Tennessee as a survival retreat location: What you should know and things to consider before making the move:

Are you looking for that perfect survival retreat area but can’t make up your mind on where to go? You’ve read the books and blog posts and considered the recommendations given, you’ve spent hours peering over maps of different areas, you’ve searched on-line for statistics for Redoubt crime rates, Redoubt employment, Redoubt climate, Redoubt car insurance rates, Redoubt home insurance rates, Redoubt gun freedom ratings, Redoubt home schooling laws, Redoubt sales tax, Redoubt property tax, Redoubt location of military bases and other factors that are important to you.

But for some reason you still can’t find that perfect place that will guarantee your safety after a major wide-reaching disaster. But you keep looking… and that’s a good thing, but if you keep looking for the perfect retreat area you’ll never find it or actually make the move.

And to be honest, I don’t think we have a lot of time left – as much as I hate to say it; there simply may not be not enough time left for you and your family to relocate to a “safer area” and you may have to make a goal of it where you are now, no matter how grim your chances of survival may seem.

Remember, people will survive even in major population areas – just because you find yourself trapped in the city when the balloon goes up, doesn’t guarantee your demise. You just have to plan to meet the needs of survival in your location. If you’re trapped in the city with no way out, I recommend you read my post on urban survival asap.

Okay, with that said, let’s get on with the topic of today’s post - Tennessee as a retreat location.

I’ve lived in Tennessee for most of my adult life so I feel more qualified and better able to provide an accurate assessment of the state and the surviving in the east in general, than let’s say, some novelist living in Idaho who has completely discounted every state east of the Mississippi as unfit for survival.

Wiki Commentary: M.D. Creekmore is perhaps speaking about James Wesley Rawles, who is not just a survival novelist, but in fact has much more years of experience with survival retreats and off-grid.

I’ve mentioned Joel Skousen’s book “Strategic Relocation” before and think it is a great place to start for anyone interested in relocating for survival purposes, because it details each state with specific locations in each based on his extensive research.

Wiki Commentary: We also recommend James Wesley Rawles book Rawles on Relocation.

In his book, Mr. Skousen gives Tennessee an overall rating of three and a half stars (the highest rank given to any state in the east) out of a possible five with my area in the Cumberland Plateau as his number one choice for a retreat area within the state of Tennessee. For comparison, he ranks Tennessee as the sixth best state in the nation for a retreat location, ranking the state higher than many western states such as Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, North Dakota, Texas, Oregon, New Mexico, California etc.

(Note) he ranks Florida, Hawaii and New Jersey as the worst states with no stars given…

I have to agree with Mr. Skousens assessment – Tennessee is better than many other areas for setting up a survival retreat, but like any location it isn’t perfect with a number of negatives and positives that should be weighed before making the move. However, I’m afraid most of the negatives that I’m about to list are pretty much universal across the country and would likely be issues you would have to deal with regardless of your chosen location…

The Bad about Tennessee

Drug Use

Drug use…

Tennessee has ranked No. 1 in the use of prescription drugs and these are being abused on an increasing level. Prescription pain killers and anxiety medications are the number one substances in this category with users taking more than what is prescribed by their health care provider or taking the medications in other ways such as crushing the pills into powder and snorting.

There are also many who buy these “medications” illegally off the street without a prescription with the guys usually resorting to stealing to support their habit and the girls resorting to trading sex for their fix. In my area prescription drugs are the number one misused substance, even more so than any alcoholic beverage.

Coincidentally, todays headline in our local newspaper read “Four Arrested in Meth Lab Bust” the saddest thing about it is that they’re probably out of jail already. In March of 2011 Fox News reported that Tennessee had taken Missouri’s place as the number one state for methamphetamine lab busts and seizures.

In the past all we had to worry about were booze and marijuana, now you hear little about either, it seems most users have graduated to harder drugs with a more intense and longer lasting “high”.

At first glance this all sounds worse than what it is - at least when comparing states and locations for survival relocation, but like I said earlier; much of this is universal across the country. How many states have no substance or illegal drug use / abuse issues? No matter where you go you’ll find it. I don’t like it but that’s just the way it is.

I should add, that there are many locals here who do not abuse or use any type of drug be it prescription or off the street. I would say that the percentage of drug abusers is relatively small compared to the overall population and on par with the rest of the country.

Welfare use and abuse

There is a rather larger welfare dependent underclass here, especially in my county and many of the surrounding counties that make up the Cumberland Plateau with many being third or fourth generation welfare dependents. Most have no drive or ambition to grow or do anything else, they have found their niche in life and happy to live off the government dole permanently.

Getting social security disability is the goal of many here even if they’re not disabled – I personally know of several who fake being disabled to keep the checks coming in. This is much more common than you would think, one guy I know gets disability payments for his ”bad back” yet he works a full-time job for cash (and sells his prescription meds on the side) and this isn’t an isolated incident with many of the drug dealers receiving the monthly government check.

And to make matters worse many of those drugs are bought with welfare money… So essentially these people are getting paid to do nothing but sleep and drug it up…

On a more positive note, most of the drug and welfare addicts stay to themselves, and if not for reading about those arrested in the local paper you probably would never know they’re around. But let the checks stop coming and they would probably change into zombies very quickly. Good thing they’ve spent all their money buying dope and not guns and ammo thus giving the decent people a fighting chance… :-D


Unemployment is comparatively high over the Cumberland Plateau and particularly within the Appalachians – jobs are few and far between with the jobs that are available going to a local that is blood related to another local that is doing the hiring. If you plan on moving here, it’s best to be self-employed and bring your job with you when you move.

I suggest you get a copy of “Small Time Operator” it will give you a lot of information and tips on running a small business from home.

The Good of Tennessee

Natural Resources

Unlike many areas in the west, Tennessee has an abundance of natural resources available to survivors, fertile soil and farm land, timber, coal, plenty of water, a long growing season, comparatively short winters, a multitude of eatable wild plants, and various wild game animals including white tail deer, elk, wild hog, black bear, beaver, rabbit, gray squirrel etc. And let’s not forget rivers and lakes with catfish, large and small mouth bass, sunfish and bull frogs to name a few.

Yes, Tennessee has a larger population than many western states with my area having a population density of 40 people per square mile compared to say, Elko County, Nevada with a population density of 3 people per square mile, but my area has many more resources available to support that population.

Cost of living

Tennessee ranks as the least expensive state to live in the nation and is ranked in the top six for the least tax burden – Tennessee has no income tax but on the downside Tennessee is ranked 34th highest in the nation when it comes to property taxes. I live close enough to the Kentucky state line that it’s no problem to cross over into Kentucky for shopping where there is no tax on food.

So I have to pay no state income tax or taxes on the food that I buy across the state line - life is good. :-D

Every weekend during the spring, summer and fall dozens of people park at pull off spots along the road side to sell everything from garden produce, tools, cloths, DVD’s and even guns and most of the time you can get this stuff for nearly nothing. For example, several weeks I picked up eight military contract AR-15 magazines and mag pouch for $60 – that’s less than $10 each for the magazines.

Gun liberty and self-defense law

No permit or waiting is required to purchase firearms but of course you must be of age (18 for rifles and shotguns and 21 for handguns) and pass a background check. Tennessee is a “shall issue” state for concealed carry and open carry is permitted with a license.

In 1989, the General Assembly of Tennessee added a “no duty to retreat” rule to the law of self-defense. … With this enactment, Tennessee joined the majority of jurisdictions which adhere to the “true man” doctrine. …

Under the “true man” doctrine, one need not retreat from the threatened attack of another even though one may safely do so. Neither must one pause and consider whether a reasonable person might think it possible to safely flee rather than to attack and disable or kill the assailant.

Individual Freedom…

In his book “Strategic Relocation” Joel Skousen gives Tennessee a freedom ranking of 5 out of a possible five. While I’m not sure if I would give Tennessee a top score here, it is by comparison on par with the rest of the country. I think the state falls short on educational freedom, with mandatory kindergarten, mandatory registration of private schools, and burdensome notification requirements for home schoolers.

Well that’s all I can think of at the moment…what do you think – is Tennessee a great retreat location ?:-)

Fair Use Source:

see GunBlast

Fair Use Disclaimer Sources

All Rights Reserved without Prejudice

cumberland_redoubt.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:33 (external edit)