Who hasn’t daydreamed, at least a few times, about how they would survive in an apocalyptic scenario? Well, that’s just what I spent today doing. I am by no means a scientist, so rest assured this list is all in good fun. Have a laugh and maybe a thoughtful head scratch. Oh, and if you’re really interested in how to best prepare for disaster, check out this
very official webpage.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
The best place to be in the event of a large-scale disaster is away from as many people as possible. You'll be vying for supplies in the upcoming weeks or months, and high population density can lead to faster spread of disease and quicker depletion of resources, not to mention more conflict in general. Emporium might be equipped to survive a doomsday-like scenario because it is incredibly remote. The closest town is 40 minutes away and it's surrounded by Elk State Forest to the east and State Game Lands on all other sides.
Pennsylvania is known as one of the more gun-friendly states, and Washington is one of Pennsylvania's towns with the most licensed gun holders than anywhere else in the state, per capita. Chances are a cataclysmic scenario would require citizens to defend themselves against attacking forces or to fight for resources. In this case, you'd probably want to have more firepower at your back.
Allenwood makes our list for its bizarre compound of 149 abandoned bunkers. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government seized the formerly populated town of Alvira and replaced it with a military facility. The bunkers were built to store dynamite. You can bet, then, that they'd make for safe lodgings in case of emergency, if not kind of claustrophobic.
4. Blue Ridge Summit
An underground military complex near Blue Ridge Summit would make even better shelter than the Alvira bunkers, if you could get in. The government built this massive underground bunker during the Cold War to serve as a replacement Pentagon in case of nuclear attack. In case of nuclear war or other apocalyptic conditions, perhaps nearby residents would be able to take shelter here.
Erie's main advantage is its proximity to Lake Erie, a huge body of water. Many doomsday scenarios would render taking to water a smart course of action: disease, war, or even natural disasters like earthquakes. You could set sail on Lake Erie and wait out the disaster, or possibly find safer conditions in Canada or another state, depending on the disaster's trajectory.
Another advantage to Erie is that the western side of Pennsylvania would be safer than the east for a number of reasons. The Eastern side of the state is more susceptible to earthquakes, and its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean means it's more susceptible to tsunamis and hurricanes, also. More nuclear reactors are located on the east side of Pennsylvania, so your nuclear fallout risk is heightened there. Finally, eastern PA is located closer to big cities such as New York and Philadelphia. All odds say... go west!
Look, I'm not telling you to take shelter in Centralia. The ground is unstable and even though it's fairly remote, you don't want to have to worry about falling into a fiery sinkhole when you're already trying to avoid plague/nuclear fallout/whatever this doomsday brings. I'm just saying that the existing residents of Centralia... all, nine or so of them, are particularly well-equipped for doomsday. They've been dealing with their own local doomsday for over fifty years. What's one more disaster?
This one would take some ingenuity, but you know what they say: necessity is the mother of invention. Those living near Downingtown could take shelter in the two abandoned turnpike tunnels. A vertical shaft from above lets air and light into the tunnels, so if you blockaded either end, you wouldn't have to worry about suffocation. This is probably not the best place in the world to take shelter, but in a pinch, it might just work.
8. One of the towns in Union County
Union County includes Winfield, Mifflinburg, New Berlin, and a slew of other towns. It makes our list because it's the healthiest county in Pennsylvania, giving its residents a head-start in survival. Being more physically active and sickness-free than the state average, those living in Union County would be able to dedicate the most energy toward survival.
9. Elk Lick Township
The highest-altitude point in Pennsylvania can be found near Elk Lick Township; the top of Mount Davis, which is at a 3,213 foot elevation. Not only would you have the advantage of height, in case of flooding, but you would be able to see what's coming toward you from miles around. Plus, you're in a remote location in Forbes State Forest.
10. St. Marys
If you're religious, then the apocalypse signals the ultimate judgment day. St. Mary's is one of the most religious communities in the state, with 88.75% of residents claiming to practice religion of some sort, mainly Christianity. It's also home to Decker's Chapel, which some say is the smallest chapel in the country (pictured above) and the first Benedictine convent in the country. Though the residents of St. Marys might not be better suited from a secular point of view, they might receive some Divine protection. Oh, and Straub Brewery is there, which might be a nice touch for coping with the end times.