Not all American states are created equal. This of course is part of the genius of the American way of life, but it creates difficult situations for people who may not subscribe to a particular political ideology. I mean, let’s face it, your average prepper probably isn’t going to feel at home in New York, and your average New Yorker probably doesn’t feel welcome in Arkansas.

With fifty states, curious preppers often ask, “What are the worst states for preppers?” Well, we already showed you the ten best states for preppers, so take a look at the criteria I used on choosing these worst states, and then see if you agree with the choices.

My Criteria

Naturally any list like this will be highly subjective. What I considered a reason to avoid a state might not cut it with you. I also wanted to avoid using cliched reasons for avoiding a state. Gun laws were an important factor, but not the primary one. As crappy as strict regulations on modern sporting rifles (or to use liberal double talk “assault weapons”) are, a skilled hand with a lever gun can beat a newbie shooter with an AR-15 any day – and that’s about the quality of people places like California will send to take your guns.

raft evacuation during flood

Nor were red v. blue state politics sufficient. Again, they are a factor but not a sole decision making priority. Along with allowing for Democrats gone wild, and gun laws that seem to not understand the idea of “shall not be infringed,” I also accounted for population density, weather, natural disasters, and even excessive isolation. These were all subjective choices on my part, and feel free to tell me how wrong (or right) you think I am, and we can all learn something from how you interpret these ten worst states for preppers…

California Screamin’

hey hey ho ho

You knew this state would make the list didn’t you? From insane gun laws, to a so-called “progressive” government gone wild, plus all manner of natural disasters, California is a prepper’s nightmare come true. Let’s look at just a few of the many reasons preppers should avoid (or flee) California.

  • Gun laws – Seriously. This one doesn’t even need expounded on. They suck. Hard. And are getting worse.
  • Natural disasters – Earthquakes. Forest fires. Tsunami risks. Liberals. No. Wait. That last one is an unnatural disaster. You get the point though. California is a big state, and some of the nicest places to live are also at the greatest risk of natural disaster.
  • Border security – Not only is California a popular place for all sorts of smuggling and human trafficking coming in from over the border, but the bleeding hearts in charge seem to want to welcome it. Do you really want to get shot by some MS-13 gang member in a sanctuary city where only the bad guys have guns?
  • Politics – Nanny state politics mean pretty soon you won’t be able to think for yourself, and the state is busy intruding into every little corner of your life.

Seriously. California sucks for preppers…and Americans. In fact, they should be reminded of the fact that they are a part of America, but that will probably trigger the snowflakes living there or something. There is a lot of good about California. It is a beautiful state with all manner of places that would be great for preppers – if only they weren’t in California. Sorry folks, find another place to settle down in.

Florida Gone Wild

Sure, Florida’s gun laws have taken a turn for the worse, but one might not think of the state as overall bad for preppers? I mean, in some parts of the state, being well prepared for disaster is extremely important. And that my friends, is exactly why Florida is on this list.

florida man

Florida Man is just one of the many reasons to avoid Florida. Courtesy

Think about it. We are all prepping for disaster, but in Florida, disaster can be a way of life. A big part of prepping is staying away from where you might have make use of your disaster gear. Being prepared is nice. Not having your home destroyed every couple years is nicer.

But it isn’t just the hurricanes. Or sinkholes. Or stupid gun laws. The Florida Man meme exists for a reason. The reasonable prepper wants to avoid social disruption as much as they want to avoid natural disaster. High crime, unstable people, and the occasional bomb making nutter are all things to avoid.

There are a few other reasons to keep out of Florida too.

  • Drug trafficking – Florida is a popular destination for drug traffickers. The same kind of isolated havens preppers value are also prime places for drugs to come into the country.
  • Elections fraud -This is another no-brainer. Every couple of years, somebody is showing just how unstable the democratic process in Florida is. I prefer for my vote to be counted. Once is fine please, just count it.
  • Rising big city influence – Florida’s political situation can be unstable, and the increasingly leftist big cities are making sure that the rational minded folks are marginalized.

Is Florida a nice state? Sure…to visit. I wouldn’t want to live there, and I’d prefer not to see my survival supplies relabeled “hurricane season supplies” and use them up each year. And I really don’t want to stick around and see how the political and gun rights climate goes. Find a better state to live.

New York UnSAFE

If you are familiar with New York, then you know the so-called “SAFE Act” purports to be common sense gun safety regulation, and really is just a kick to the teeth of gun owners, with a vague bit of white washing about keeping guns from the hands of the mentally unstable.

new york sucks

Maybe they should disarm their own legislature first? Anyway, between crazy NYC controlled gun control, and well, NYC controlling the state, New York isn’t a good place for your average prepper. Which is really a shame, most of the state has a lot going for it otherwise. But do you want to live in a state with…

  • Rabid gun control that registers all handguns, prohibits carry in the one city you really want to be able to carry in, limits mag size, and more?
  • New York City billionaires calling all the political shots?
  • Nasty coastal hurricanes?
  • Bitterly cold winters in the rural areas?

I really don’t. Now don’t get me wrong, most of New York State is a great place to live or prep. There are lots of rural areas, beautiful countryside, and some great mountains and forests. Unfortunately, the state is controlled by the authoritarian left politics directed from New York City. You don’t want to be settling down to live a self sufficient life in a nanny state.

Massachusetts…It Just Sucks

Take New York. Combine it with California. Add in a healthy dose of pretentious left wing holier than thou snobbery. Ban a bunch of guns for no rational reason except for how they look, or some arbitrary magazine capacity that gives the cultured classes of Boston the vapors. That’s Massachusetts for you, and now you know why folks call them “Massholes.”

If you are a prepper, why are you even thinking about this hellhole of a state, unless its to reference baked beans or a baseball team that really doesn’t matter? Massachusetts offers all these charming benefits to a prepper, and more…

  • Crazy gun laws that don’t even make sense to people who live there.
  • A liberal nanny state that is home to some of the most elite of the liberal elite.
  • Crappy weather. Who really wants to spend a winter in Massachusetts? I’d rather be miserable in a western state where you can still live like an American.
  • Homeschooling is harder in Massachusetts. It is considered one of the worst states to homeschool in.

Massachusetts is a beautiful state, with some of the prettiest places in the country to visit during the fall. It is full of historical locations crucial to the formation of the United States. But unfortunately, it isn’t a great place to live unless you drink the statist Kool-Aid.  The Founders would be ashamed.

Maryland – Not Even Once

Do you like the right to keep and bear arms? Do you like living in a state without crazy taxes, a borderline tyrannical government, insane traffic, and a fondness for violating civil rights just because it is the progressive thing to do that month? Then you’ll hate Maryland! Crazy lefties though will love it and feel right at home.

Maryland Impeachment Warning Sign

Well, not everyone in Maryland is leftist… via CBS Baltimore.

Maryland is an unamerican paradise offering the following joys and wonders…

  • Some of the highest tax rates in the United States. Maryland ranks as the fifth highest for income tax rates in the US, and is up there on other taxes.
  • Gun laws are also a problem for preppers in the state. From discretionary “shall issue” concealed carry permits, to restrictive bans on popular modern rifles like the AR-15,
  • It is also a crime ridden state. Baltimore is an unpleasant place to live, work or visit. Why risk your safety just because the liberals can’t manage crime?
  • Tiny state, fewer places to go. The chances of living off the grid, or away from Big Brother are decreased in the tiny, urban state of Maryland.

Maryland is a state notable for overhyped crab cakes, and over liberal policies. It has little to offer the prepper, save a good example of where not to live. It is the perfect place to not move to, and ideal for not spending money in. Restrictive government, restrictive gun laws, and wallet draining taxes all say “go somewhere else.”  

New Jersey Shore No…

These East Coast states keep popping up in the list. And for good reason. They are terrible places if you are into civil liberties, a self reliant way of life, truth, justice, the American way, and in the case of New Jersey, pumping your own gas.

New Jersey Sucks

New Jersey and their leftist allies brag up some of the toughest gun laws in the country. And we all know what kind of corruption goes on in New Jersey.

So what makes New Jersey unattractive to the prepper? How about…

  • Hollow Point ammo bans… Who wants to live in a state where you have to carefully consider what ammo you are going to buy and if you can even legally transport it?
  • New Jersey is the most densely populated state, with over 1,200 people per square mile. Not a good place to settle down for your prepping.
  • New Jersey has crappy gun laws in general. I don’t want to prep in a state where I have to beg permission to own a gun. Do you?
  • Bad traffic happens throughout the state. New Jersey traffic is infamous across the nation. Not a good thing to get stuck in if you have to bug out.
  • New Jersey has the highest property tax rate in the nation…‘nuff said.

Look, there are probably a lot of great things about New Jersey if you look deep enough. Like the people, beaches, and winter weather. Oh. Wait. Never mind. From winter Atlantic storms to overcrowded places everywhere, oppressive state government, insane gun laws, high taxes, and being very close to other unpleasant places to live, why bother with New Jersey?

Colorado Rocky Mountain Why?

Colorado seems like a great state for the prepper, right? Lots of rural land, plenty of mountains to hide out in. Deserts, plains, foothills,and just about any other sort of climate you might want to live in. Sure the winters are terrible, but that’s part of the allure, right? Too bad it’s gotten infested with California liberals and other social undesirables.

Sadly the natural charms of Colorado have made it a target for rich folks from out of state moving in, and promptly imposing their will on the state. Standard capacity rifle magazines? Oh the horrors! Gotta ban them. Anywhere that is pretty, and affordable has filled up with clueless liberals looking for a place nicer than where they just ruined. Why should you not live in Colorado if you are a prepper?

  • Colorado has simply stupid gun laws. Denver has home rule status that lets them pass whatever dumb gun laws they want. The rest of the state isn’t bad- as long as you like somebody telling you how many rounds you can have in your gun. Expect it to get worse as the state gets bluer.
  • The state has long winters. Depending on where you live, the winters in Colorado can be nearly crippling. If bad things happen, do you want to bug out in subarctic conditions? Because disaster never seems to strike on a pleasant summer afternoon.
  • Social changes are another problem for preppers in this state. Colorado is turning bluer, and while you might get a great prepper hideout now, how long until some environmentalist weenie comes along and decides you are raping the forests or hurting the rocks?
  • There are enough abandoned mines to create a real safety hazard in some areas – plus enough mining contamination for some real problems to happen at times.

Honestly, Colorado is a bit marginal. It’s still halfway decent if you want to live there as a prepper, but I wouldn’t move there. If you are already there, you can probably hold out a bit longer – but start shopping for a friendlier state.

Mississippi Mediocrity

What’s this you say? A solidly red state in the list? Why yes I reply. There is one. And a couple more to follow. Let’s forget about river flooding, hurricanes, and tornadoes for a minute. Mississippi literally ranks as one of the worst states in areas like jobs, economic issues, education, and health. It is also the poorest state in the nation.

But why is this all bad for the self reliant prepper? Because unless you are independently wealthy, or have long term job prospects locally that pay well, you are looking at an uphill climb for the quality of your life. And do you want to raise your kids in that kind of place?

These are why I think Mississippi is bad for preppers.

  • Crippling poverty – Mississippi has poverty that should be embarrassing to a wealthy nation like the US. And it is deeply rooted in a lot of intertwined issues. Not a good place to prep unless you are economically disconnected from where you live.
  • Poor infrastructure -Unless you are totally off the grid, the underdevelopment in Mississippi will be problematic.
  • The weather – Hot and humid is unpleasant. Ok, I’m a Northwestern boy, feel free to disregard this one.

If you are ok with the weather, Mississippi could be a great state to be a prepper. But the fact it ranks so low on economic and quality of life issues, makes it tough unless you show up already fully self reliant.  Otherwise, making a start there will be hard, regardless of your occupation. Consider someplace with more economic opportunity.

North Dakota Nothingness

North Dakota Ruins

Actually there is a lot going on in North Dakota. From mountains to plains, North Dakota really seems like a great place to be a prepper. The state is politically reasonable and stable, the gun laws aren’t oppressive, and by all accounts it seems like a great place to set up your prepper hideout and live away from it all? Well, you could – but from crippling flooding, to terrible winters, and a short growing season.

  • Warm summers, but cold winters – You have to carefully select plants and fruit trees that can survive January lows below zero.
  • Booming economy – Yup. I said it. Booms lead to busts. While North Dakota is a job creating machine right now, nothing lasts forever. Get in while the getting is good though if you want. Just don’t count on it forever.
  • Social unrest – Things like the Standing Rock protests attract the attention of social activists of all stripes from around the globe. And as the energy industry grows, so will the protests.

North Dakota is probably a decent enough state for preppers, but I prefer my state not to make national news every time some hippie loses their mind over a pipeline that will reduce our need to buy middle eastern oil.

Kansas – Dust in the Wind

Kansas, that state born of bloody sectarian rivalry before the Civil War, is an important agricultural state and a modest oil producer.


Almost defining what it means to be in America’s heartland, a prepper might logically gravitate towards the Sunflower State. Except…

  • Tornadoes – Nobody loves a twister. Especially the off the grid prepper who might see all their hard work destroyed in an afternoon.
  • Economic uncertainty – Kansas is struggling with state debt, and a reduced bond rating. Not a great place to be living unless you have a financial sure thing going.
  • It’s flat – Being a plains state might be good for some folks, but there is a lot to be said for the security of isolated forests, mountains, and maybe a few more rivers.
  • Changing political landscape -Kansas is starting to suffer from a strong divide between rural and urban areas. And we all know what that means. A few areas of large population get to pick which bleeding heart they want to ruin… err run the state.

The weather, natural disasters and somewhat shaky economy are all enough to turn me off. But the risk of Kansas turning purple – or blue is even scarier. I’m living that now, why go someplace else and watch it happen again?


There are 50 states. Picking 20 percent of them as “worst for preppers” will always be less of a precise art, and more of a subjective set of choices. I could have just done rock solid blue states and been fine. Or picked the ten poorest states in the union and had good arguments for that. You probably won’t agree with all of this list, but it is a start, and hopefully something to help you when you consider your long term prepper lifestyle goals.