Cities Of Refuge: Why Are People Creating Hundreds Of Places Of Refuge All Over America?

Contributed by Michael Snyder – Economic Collapse Blog

Place-Of-Refuge-Public-Domain-460x307All over the United States, cities of refuge are being created.  Now when I say “cities”, I don’t mean vast areas of land that can hold hundreds of thousands or millions of people.  Rather, I am talking about much smaller places of refuge that can accommodate dozens or hundreds of people.  In a few cases, I know of places of refuge that will be able to take in thousands of people, but that is about as big as they get.  There are individuals all across America that have specifically felt called to build communities where large numbers of people will be able to gather when society totally collapses.  So why is this happening?  Why do so many people feel such an urgency to create cities of refuge that would presumably never be used if we don’t ever see full-blown societal breakdown?

In the headline, I claimed that hundreds of these “cities of refuge” are being created, but the truth is that it could easily be thousands.  I have personally talked to countless numbers of people that are like my wife and I and are planning to be able to take in members of their own extended families when things get really crazy.  But there are others that are taking things to an entirely different level.

I was recently contacted by a man in New York state that plans to convert a hotel and surrounding facilities into a place of refuge that could potentially accommodate hundreds of people for an extended period of time.  I know of a ranch in southern Idaho where the staff has been feverishly preparing to take in thousands of people when society starts completely falling apart.  And I have corresponded with so many others both inside the United States and outside the country that are creating these types of communities.

It has been estimated that there are three million preppers in America today.  But those that are creating these places of refuge are not just “prepping” for themselves.  Instead, they feel called to prepare a place of safety where others will be able to gather when times get really crazy.

Due to the wide reach of my articles, I have had a lot of people involved in these communities reach out to me over time.  Some have graciously let my wife and I know that there is a place for us if needed during a major emergency, and others have wanted for us to become personally involved in what they are doing.  I wish that I could get involved in all of them, but there is a limit to what any one of us can do.  But I always encourage people to keep pressing forward with their preparations, because without a doubt they will be needed someday.

In addition to what is happening inside the United States, there are others that have already left this country and are creating places of refuge abroad.  There are people that are doing this in South America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.

And of course every “place of refuge” looks different.  As I mentioned above, some plan on transforming existing hotels or ranches into places of refuge.  Others plan to use open land to host large numbers of RVs or to construct vast tent cities.

But there are five big things that all places of refuge need to be thinking about…

1. Food – It is going to take vast quantitites of food to even feed dozens of people.  When you are talking about hundreds or thousands of people, the amount of food required for a place of refuge will be off the charts.

2. Water – None of us can live without water, and it has been estimated that the average American uses 80 to 100 gallons of water every single day.  Of course we would all use a lot less during an emergency situation, but if your “place of refuge” does not have easy access to water that could become a major problem very rapidly.

3. Shelter – It is nice to think that you are going to take in a lot of people, but where are all of them going to sleep?  Most people don’t think of mattresses or cots as “survival items”, but the truth is that they are going to be greatly in demand when things get crazy.

4. Power – If the electricity goes off and stays off for an extended period of time, what are you going to do?  How will people stay warm, how will you cook food, and how will your community function without any artificial light whatsoever?  Having an alternative source of power for your place of refuge is very important.

5. Security – If there was a full-blown collapse of society, any place that still has ample resources is automatically going to become a target.  So it is great if you have everything that your community will need, but if you have no way to protect it you can end up losing it all very quickly.

For even more tips on preparing for what is ahead, please see my recent article entitled “70 Tips That Will Help You Survive What Is Going To Happen To America“.

There are a lot of preppers out there that are only preparing for themselves and their immediate families, and anyone else that comes looking for assistance when things get really hard will end up looking down the barrel of a shotgun.

But there are so many others that feel called by God to prepare a place for large numbers of people to gather during the coming storm.  They are doing this by faith, because such places have never been needed before in modern American history.  Perhaps if you go all the way back to the Great Depression of the 1930s you could find large groups of people that needed somewhere to go, but since that time we have generally been regarded as the wealthiest and most prosperous nation on the entire planet.

Unfortunately, things are rapidly changing in this country.  Our economy is in the process of crumbling, there is evidence of social decay all around us, natural disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity, and World War 3 could erupt in the Middle East at any time.

If I am right, the time when these cities of refuge will be needed is not that far away.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans are not preparing for what is ahead, and so most of them will be absolutely devastated by the great trials that are directly ahead of us.


  1. Great points. I would hesitate to put my family at economic risk to create an empty building for people….but I CAN get my house stocked and ready to take on several extra people, who can assist in taking guard duty….and have at least some plan for how to get the neighbors together (I notice you mentioned that in your 70 points) — so that our community can till the earth and plant crops if there is really a problem. We have multiple wells in our neighborhood to provide water…and solar power as well as well-provisioned generators provides electricity….

    The zombie TV shows are truly amazing these days — they are teaching quite a bit of “prepper” planning & needs…..perhaps people are watching the depictions of the Government taking over entire cities and putting people behind fences…and leaving them to die.

    That just MIGHT be catching some peoples’ eyes. Anyway, >20 people attended my ham radio bootcamp course!

  2. Unfortunately, living in a small house in a town, and being totally grid dependent is an issue when it comes to taking others in. If we have a major collapse, I figure it will take 2 years for things to return to any form of “new normal”. That takes up a lot of space, especially when you can’t grow anything.

    When you look at it from the outside, it looks like a lot. When you do the math, you see how adding people drops the time you can support them drastically.

    So for now our plans only include immediate family in a crowded house. Hopefully we will get that changed before anything happens.

    • Americana pacrat says:

      Is it possible to have raised bed gardens along the fence line at your place along with a hooped green house for a year long growing bed? This could possible add an extra cushion for your family, just a thought.

      • It’s just too cold. We have help others try then, and they had more land that got sun (our backyard is heavily shaded).

    • JP, when do you make the decision to leave all your preparedness behind? What is Plan B if you are no longer safe in town? I have a prepping friend who lives just off a major highway and the problem of when to leave and make their way to us is a question I often ask him. It is a question I ask myself, as well. When is staying not a good idea anymore? How much do I want to put into preparing our farm only to be forced to leave it all behind? Not planning on leaving…but when it gets bad enough, what is the plan? Honestly, we don’t have one besides staying together. How many people are we responsible for when making that decision? Scary thoughts…and here I am speaking about the lack of planning my online friends have.

      • one thing i would like people to think about is the chance that earthquake damage to bridges and mountain roads [they will break and slide downhill] will make a difference to routes chosen for leaving.
        look now for alternate routes or routes with ferries.

      • JP in MT says:


        We have a plan, of sorts, to evac for things like forest fires. Major earthquakes would mean major roads South or West for us, I don’t think East or North would be open or stay open.

  3. Americana pacrat says:

    The neighbor who remembers his folks struggling through the depression era, thinks preppers are nuts for “putting up supplies”. His wife likes the idea of using extra space for storing canned good, when he is not around I put a bug in her ear.
    Did a quick run through in my mind on the neighbors in our area I believe 4 out of 12 are self preservationist, others are normalcy biased. Not great odds, just sad!

  4. GeorgiaPeachie says:

    Being “late” getting into prepping, we are not yet even prepared enough to take care of ourselves for more than 3-4 months. I’m working hard to have enough provisions to take care of our entire family that is close. I feel that when I pray now that the Lord is whispering to me to get prepared. Praying that I haven’t heard his message too late.

    With that said, I can’t even imagine being ready to take care of more than the dozen or so in our family. My great respect goes out to those who are at the point where they can truly help others.

    • GeorgiaPeachie, I am glad that you are listening to God for preparation encouragement. I have online friends with whom I discuss prepping among other topics and they always tell me that they have no fear of what might occur because they place all trust in God; that the End Times are nigh and that God will protect them until He takes them up. What can I say to encourage them to plan for the worst if they are mistaken about God’s plans? I try to make them see that it is good to be prepared in case of supply disruption due to weather conditions or riots or …just in case the End Times aren’t so nigh as they believe. They repeat that their trust is in God and they do not have to fear. I guess I should just stop worrying about them, but I still do.

      • Hi Jeanne,
        I feel the same way. Sometimes I wonder if I’m hearing The Lord lol.
        Every one thinks I’m crazy. Am I don’t know but at least I will be ready and we will be fed and warm.
        We my husband I went to the extreme unlike most out there but,I must confess it has given us a sense of being prepared. We gave know thought to hanging on to material things. Living a simple life that has enabled so much freedom a 0 debt.
        We always have at least a year supply of every thing plus plenty of seeds to continue for years to come.
        I believe using ur wisdom and staying close to the Lord to listen to his decernment is a key factor for survival.

      • Jeanne, Like your online friends, I, too, put my trust in the Lord. But unlike them, I believe that God wants me to do my part. And my part is prepping. I have never believed that God wants me to be lazy and unproductive. He spent 40 years getting the Israelites to prepare for the Holy Land. And it took 40 years for them to get ready. I think that your online friends are going to find out what happens when they don’t listen well.

      • My trust is in our Load also, but I also believe that God helps those who help themselves. I honestly DO NOT believe God wants us to just sit haplessly by and watch until He decides to unfold hisplan. We have a brain, skills, talents, that will be needed to get through whatever will be, and I think God intends us to use the gifts he’s given us.

        • JenMar:

          I agree that God endowed us with free will and he does not expect us to do nothing. He also left us plenty of precedence in Scripture. Although we are told to trust in his justice, it is his final justice that will set everything back to where he intended it. He will use both good and evil people to bring this about.

          Also, in every instance in the Old Testament we see that when Israel is punished, both good-believers, poor-believers, and non-believers suffered. A remnant always remained, but many died or suffered. In my current organized study of Revelation, we see that there will be a lot of suffering, both for believers and non-believers before his final justice is delivered.

          Each of us has a choice. Do we take action to mitigate the coming situation, or do we sit and expect God to rescue us? Are we that important as an individual, for him to save us from what he has told us will happen, when we choose to do nothing.

          Personally, I am a pessimist that refuses to quit. I plan for the worst case, and it is never that bad, so things work out if I don’t panic. But, that is what works for me and lets me sleep well at night. Nothing I can do personally about the current and future political issues. I do keep and eye on it, and if I can do something, like vote, I do. In the mean time I try to reduce my dependence on items and services that I don’t control.

      • GeorgiaPeachie says:

        I understand you wanting to help your friend realize her folly. God did not create us to sit and do nothing. In fact he directs us many times in the Bible to prepare not only ourselves, our families, but also for strangers.

        Remind them of the parable of 3 servants being Blessed with Talents. Matthews 25 I think. God gave us all gifts. He expects us to use those gifts. By not doing anything to prepare when hard times are coming isn’t what God wants from his flock. God has always used hard times to bring wayward people to Him.

      • jeanne,
        there are many passages of Bible to deal with this.
        there is ‘they will hand you over to the torturers’ and the parable of the foolish virgins.

  5. PEOPLE ARE THE PROBLEM! Not all people, but too many (lazy) people. If they are not preparing NOW, what males you believe they will be more than a burden on the group when the [SHTF]? People consume…Most people don’t share…Many people don’t get along…and all people spread disease. If this were not true, we would not be in this [SHTF] situation.

    • GeorgiaPeachie says:

      People are the problem. But let’s pinpoint the “type” of people. Mainly we are speaking of the lazy and unGodly. These are the type who WANT government to confiscate (TAX) other citizen’s labors and give to them even though they are mentally and physically capable of taking care of themselves!

  6. When it comes, and I’m certain it will come, as far as I’m concerned it will serve as a major reset for our society which is sorely needed. I’ll take in my extended family. (I can see my 3 teenage granddaughters now. Oh boy. No internet, no television, no radio, no cars…..I hope I can put back a nice supply of valium. )
    Cranking up on the prep’s again this spring. Gotta order the hand operated pump for the well. Planning on a double action windmill pump. With that, I will have the core prep’s established. Grow my own, raise my own, shelter and water, security via extended family.

    • GeorgiaPeachie says:

      I’ve thought that exact thing. Our country, and the world it seems, needs a MAJOR reset. The elite politicians already have their bunkers and years of food, thanks to OUR TAX MONEY. What will be different is the mindset of the people who are left when they emerge from their bunkers.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      In stead of just valium consider Valerian,melatonin, chamomille, passion flower, sleepy time tea, mint teas…I am sure there are others but Chamomille tea and peppermint tea are available for uder a Dollar for a box @ wally wld. Helping keep the family calm and nurtured will give you peace..

    • Encourager says:

      Oren, put them to work. Those that do not work, do not eat (Biblical!). Set up a schedule (now) to teach them how to help you help them. Sewing, quilting, washing clothes by hand, gardening, preserving food, security detail. They will be so tired at night they will forget to complain!!

  7. GeorgiaPeachie says:

    Here is the Parable I spoke of…

    Matthew 25:14-30 ~ Three servants given talents ~ Scripture
    14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
    19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
    21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
    22 “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
    23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
    24 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
    26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
    28 “ ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.

    29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

  8. I can’t believe sanitation didn’t make the list of 5. You’re talking about having people grouped together in “cities”. Do you understand the ramifications that has in terms of cleanliness?! We take so much for granted in our modern society. What are you going to do when you can’t flush the toilet? How about when the garbage truck doesn’t dump your trash can once a week? People generate waste and trash at an alarming rate. You have to deal with that. If you don’t, you die….period. Disease from poor sanitation will kill more people in a major societal collapse than hunger or lack of shelter by an order of magnitude.

    • think of all the rodents in the garbage piles.

    • Encourager says:

      Very good point, Brian. We all need to have a sanitation plan in place. Learn how to dig a slit trench; dig an outhouse; have lime on hand for both. A tub of water with a splash of bleach should be at your door and all hands should be scrubbed before coming in the house. Shoes left outside. You can learn to take a bath in a basin of water. Hair should be washed at least once per week. Clean clothes and laundry a necessity. Kitchens cleaned after every meal and wiped down with bleach water. Sick people isolated and boxes upon boxes of masks on hand! The list goes on and on and on…

  9. JustCallMeAnn says:

    So, the logistics wonk in me reads “mattresses or cots” and races off into the future with pillows, bedding, towels, washcloths, laundry hampers, washing soap, wash buckets (and yes, you have to do your own laundry here!!!), clothesline, clothes pins, soap, shampoo, a little privacy please … I’m the one with the space in the country so, as family members upgrade their household furnishings, I take the old beds and bedding, and do my best to store them clean, dry, fresh, and pest free. Everyone who is aware of my place knows to call me first when discarding usable items.

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