When the apocalypse hits, Arkansas will be in pretty good shape. Not only do Arkansans tend to be rugged and self-sufficient, Arkansas has the mother lode of natural resources. We’ve got good hunting, great fishing, tons of waterways, easily defensible terrain, and we grow tons of crops here. But which exact locations in Arkansas are best? In no particular order, here are 12 towns you should head for in our very prepared state:
1. Rudy is sparsely populated and easily defensible.
If we’ve learned anything from our many apocalyptic books, movies, and TV shows, we’ve learned that rule one of the apocalypse is to get away from densely populated places. No problem there—Rudy currently only has around seventy occupants. Moreover, Rudy is set in the Ozarks, in a valley between mountains. A well-armed group could defend the area easily, and there’s a lot of good hunting and fishing up there.
2. Camden is the most religious.
Many folks will probably turn to God in the event of an apocalypse, and people of faith might tend to band together more easily, too. Really, being spiritually prepared isn’t such a bad idea anyway, is it? Well, Camden is located in Ouachita County, which has 94% more religious organizations than the rest of Arkansas.
3. Mena has the most gun stores per capita.
According to Road Snacks, it also has the second most bait and tackle shops and is in a region with the third most bars in the state. So, in the event that the self-protection goes well and you’ve got a good catfish dinner in your belly, you could always stop by one of the bars to calm your probably really ragged doomsday nerves.
4. Fort Smith has a history with outlaws.
Fort Smith is not only located right on the banks of the Arkansas River, making it a good port of call, but its biggest tourist attraction is a courthouse with a jail and a gallows. Fort Smith’s reputation as a rough-and-tumble border town was established well over a century ago when it was responsible for bringing the law to the Indian Territory, and nothing calls for law and order quite like doomsday.
True Grit indeed, Fort Smith.
5. Ponca is remote and well-prepared.
Ponca is another sparsely populated area near great natural resources. You can fish in the Buffalo, bring down elk if it comes to that, and you’d only be fighting for resources with 117 full-time residents. More than that, Ponca offers potential in plunder too—you could be pretty well prepared for an apocalyptic situation by raiding an outfitter’s shop.
6. Pine Bluff has lots of reusable weapons.
A popular TV show has proven that good old fashioned bows and arrows make for some pretty handy apocalypse weapons, and Pine Bluff produces more archery equipment than any other place in the United States. Pine Bluff has a prison, too, which is not a bad place to live if you want to keep away from other people. That’s another theme from that same popular show. Actually, if the apocalypse has anything to do with the living dead, just pack your car and head for Pine Bluff.
7. Hot Springs has a rare natural resource.
Native American tribes began frequenting the forty seven hot springs located there long before European explorers discovered them. It would follow, then, that those hot springs could become a draw in the post-apocalypse. A good plan might be to set up shop there and wait until humanity rebounds and needs a nice spa weekend. Hot Springs is also in the Ouachitas, a good shelter spot, and is surrounded by lakes.
8. Fayetteville is well-educated.
Proximity to both the refuge of the Ozarks and the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas system make Fayetteville a good place to be. Hey, if you have to re-design your civilization, it’s probably a good idea to have engineers, historians, and just generally really smart folks around, right?
9. Little Rock has a medical school.
I know I said to stay away from population centers, but the University of Arkansas Medical School, located in Little Rock, has something else you’d need in an apocalyptic situation: healthcare professionals. With schools of medicine, pharmacy, and nursing, UAMS could fix you up in a pinch.
10. Altus has wineries.
Altus is a good place to go in the event of cataclysm. The sprawling vineyards make for great places to hide, plus you can eat the grapes! Moreover, wine wouldn’t be such a bad thing to have when bartering with other post-apocalyptic communities, right?
11. The Delta has great land and tons of crops.
Okay, it’s not a city—but the delta is probably the best place to go in an apocalyptic situation. There’s lots of water there, the nearby rivers would be good for re-establishing trade routes, you could always see potential combatants coming, and, most of all, you could grow so many crops.
12. Jonesboro is well-rounded.
It’s close to the crops of the delta, but relatively safe from floods because it sits on Crowley’s Ridge. It’s not too far from the Mississippi, and you may need to trade with other states. It’s got Arkansas State University, so there are educated folks there too. It has gun stores and a big county jail. It’s also home to the world’s largest rice mill, which would be incredibly useful.
Where are you heading in the event of an apocalypse? Tell us your plan in the comments!