EMP Commission Report

A recent Homeland Security subcommittee report presented to Congress describing the threat and impact an EMP could have on the continental U.S. was featured in Forbes Magazine.  Anyone who follows this blog has read previous postings about an Electromagnetic Pulse detonation (EMP) and knows that this is perhaps the most talked about threat among those who have a prepper mindset.

Without rehashing the technical details and historic research of this very real threat, the most alarming statements came from Peter Vincent Pry, former Chief of Staff of the Congressional EMP Commission who holds a certificate of nuclear weapons design from the U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Lab.  In one, he contends that due to our nation’s dependence on “just in time” delivery of goods, the resulting collapse of the power grid from an EMP would result in mass starvation, disease and eventually the death of up to 90% of the population.  Sounds scary and farfetched, but the reality is that much of the food you buy in the local grocery store is grown hundreds, if not thousands of miles away.  It is transported on diesel electric trains and trucks that get their fuel from electrically operated gas pumps.  It is processed in packaging plants that run on electricity.  It is refrigerated in coolers operated on electricity.  It is scanned using electronic bar code readers and paid for in electronic debit/credit transactions.  Everything depends on electricity.

I can’t say I agree with a 90% mortality rate, but we are a technologically electronically dependent society, and without electricity for any extended length of time, life as we know it would get ugly very quickly.  That’s why many people are contacting Retreat Realty in order to acquire homesteads and land here in the mountains of Western North Carolina in order to prepare for such an event.  Hopefully, it will never be needed for such, but in the meantime, these properties can used as family retreats and playgrounds.  So call or email us today to discuss how we can help you find the right property so you and your family can be prepared and less dependent upon the power grid.


Customer Appreciation Day

Our friends at Carolina Readiness Supply are hosting their annual Customer Appreciation Day this Saturday, October 28th.  This is a great opportunity to stock up on essential supplies as they will be offering Mountain House brand goods at 20% off and $8.00 off per case of Auguson Farms products.  Jeff Motes, author of “Once Upon an Apocalypse” will be there and there will be demonstrations of various products such as the Powerspot Solar Generator.  Carolina Readiness is simply the most best in terms of disaster preparedness goods and knowledge in western North Carolina, and possibly the entire state.  I’ve yet to find a more complete retail outlet anywhere.  If you stop by, please let them know you heard about them here!

Fire On The Mountain

Fire on the mountain!  That’s a cry no one wants to hear.  But the wildfires in California bring to mind the fire storm that overtook Gatlinburg, TN last December.  I have friends in Tennessee who were seriously affected, and I was there recently where you could still see evidence everywhere of the devastation.

Wildfires are different than other natural disasters in a couple of ways.  With a hurricane, you generally have up to a week or even more to prepare.  Even after a hurricane hits, there are often still remnants to sort through, but in a fire like those in California, there is absolutely nothing left.  A tornado comes on very quickly and can likewise wipe the earth clean, but the impact isn’t typically as widespread.  Floodwaters tend to rise slowly, so there is often time to get out, and afterwards, homes that are standing can be repaired.  But again, in these wildfires, there is nothing remaining.

Another difference is that wildfires are often times started intentionally or by carelessness.  Not so with a hurricane, tornado or flooding.  Its just a different form of devastation, and the fact that it can be started by man, adds a level of mental anguish, knowing it could have been prevented.

The speed with which the California and the Gatlinburg fires spread is incredible.  Its a reminder for us to always be prepared to bug out in a hurry.  Do you have a plan for your family?  What would you grab if you only had minutes or hours?  Can you put your hand on critical documents that will help you reestablish your life once the danger has passed?

We have a three ring binder with copies of critical documents (passports, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, passwords, etc.) that we can grab in an instant.  We also have an instruction binder that tells where to find what preps we have and how to utilize them and establish communication with other family members and like minded friends.  A sudden disaster could happen to any of us.  If you live near a railroad on which chemicals are transported, would you be ready to bug out if a train derailed and spewed chlorine gas?  Watching the disaster in California is a reminder that we should all be prepared, not just for the end of the world, but natural and manmade disasters.  Here are Retreat Realty, we help folks like you find the ideal bugout property so that you can have a place to go to if needed.  Call or email us today.

152 Acre Bugout Near Asheville and Johnson City

Another of the 18 acre fields

Just listed this wonderful 152 acre bugout near Asheville and Johnson City.  This one offers total privacy, yet convenience to a good road system and day-to-day services anyone may need.  It is 55 minutes north of Asheville and only 30 minutes south of Johnson City and just 14 minutes from I-26.

The property comprises an entire cove with bottom farmland down below and rising up to wooded ridgetops all around up to 4,000′.  There are 18 acres of field, a pond, creeks, springs and a 3 bedroom house.  Perhaps one of the best features is that the owner is willing to financing a portion of the purchase price.  Click here for the complete listing package and contact us to arrange a private showing.

SOS How to Survive

The other night, I watched my first episode of the Weather Channel’s new show, “SOS How to Survive“.  Unlike so many of the staged prepper shows such as Doomsday Preppers and such, this one offers more practical situations and solutions when facing an emergency.  This particular episode focused on tips one could use when facing a hurricane.  How appropriate seeing how all that has been in the news of late is about hurricanes.

The show interjects real life stories of survivors who faced the situations, while the host goes through a series of steps and preparedness items those individuals could have used or did use to make it through.  Everything in the solutions was practical and very useful.  As much prepping as I have done, even I learned a couple of things, while at the same time, having the satisfaction of knowing I am better prepared than most.

So I encourage you to tune in to the new show.  Its entertaining and educational at the same time.  We can all stand to keep learning.


Lots Going On

Hard to believe it has been more than a month since my last post.  Have had a lot going on.  No, I wasn’t impacted much by the hurricane(s), just been busy with the showing and listing of properties and conducting due diligence for those that are under contract.  Its a good problem to have.

What is interesting is that more and more folks are looking for property here in the western North Carolina mountains as a getaway place, bugout property, or family compound.  As Hurricane Irma approached Florida, I had multiple last minute appointments with prospects from Florida fleeing the storm saying they want an escape place.  Its a trend I’ve seen over the past several years.  I had one closing recently in which the buyer had closed on the sale of her home in Houston the Tuesday before Hurricane Harvey hit.  She moved out Saturday morning as the storm approached and she’s now the proud owner of 131 acres here in our mountains.

Given the recent spat of hurricanes, it should remind us to always be prepared.  As Irma approached, we weren’t caught up in the rush to the grocery or hardware stores because we were already prepared.  Yet at the same time, it allowed us to review our preparations and make notes of ways to improve.

That’s it for now.  Thank you for the calls and emails, and stay ready!  Let us know how we can assist you in your search or sale.



Round Knob Lodge

The historic Round Knob Lodge is now available for sale.  Click here for the full information page including a 3D walkthrough tour and video.  Its an exceptional property on 29 acres with large stream and two large, stocked ponds.  Located just 15 minutes east of Black Mountain, its very convenient and an ideal spot for a family compound, event venue, corporate retreat, etc.  Has successful history as a vacation rental and now the trend is for events such as weddings.

EVERYTHING in the six bedroom lodge conveys with the property. Everything: linens, artwork, memorabilia, furniture, bedding, cookware, lamps, rugs, electronics, etc.  Its as turn-key as it gets.  Just bring your toothbrush.  Call us today for a private showing of this one-of-a-kind railroad centric property.

Keep Out!

Keep Out!  That was the message from a property owner I came across, although not necessarily directed at me.  In my line of work, I often come across some amazing properties and interesting people.  One of the things about a retreat property or bugout property is to have a certain level of privacy and security.  There are many ways to do so, but the first step is often with a “No Trespassing” sign.

The owner of the property in these photos has taken it a step further.  More than the “Keep Out” sign, she’s added several homemade signs, such as (with what I assume is intentional misspelling), “NODIS No trespasin or stealin guarded by 2 mungrl honds who hate strangers and a double barrol shot gun loaded for trouble.  Also a hillbilly owner packing a smith & Wesson who ain’t friendly.”  I especially like the sign and artistic expression in the photo below at right.  In this one, you see the sign on the tree stating “I’m a bitter gun owner clinging to my religion“, but in the background on a plastic chair, look carefully and you’ll notice a human skull.  In addition to this display, there several other items with the obvious intent to scare away passersby such as a hoodie jacket hanging from a tree with a rope around the neck.  Interestingly, there is no dwelling on this property, just vacant land.

I understand this stems from a property line dispute between two adjoining owners.  One wishes to sell, so the other is doing everything in her power (yes a lady has posted these signs) to ruin her neighbor’s chances of selling.  This property happens to be within a rural platted subdivision that has covenants and restrictions explicitly prohibiting anything other than a “for sale” sign on property in the subdivision, so I’d like to see the POA’s board of directors attempt to enforce that rule!  I must say, this is the only time I’ve come across such a display.  Most folks in these western North Carolina mountains are welcoming and friendly, so don’t think this is how we treat newcomers looking for that ideal off-the-grid survival property.  Regardless, I couldn’t help but get a laugh out of the creative signage, although I didn’t hang around long enough to get shot, just in case!

The Helical Outpost

I thank my friend and fellow broker, Billy May for introducing me to the Helical Outpost from Helical Holdings.  While the main purpose of its creation is to promote goodwill and low impact sustainability in poorly developed areas, it is a system that fits well into the prepper and homesteading demographic.  So what is it?  Click here for the full story.

Helical Holdings was founded by former MSNBC host and best selling author Dylan Ratigan and former Marine recon veteran Michael Hanes.  Ratigan reported from combat zones and together they realized the need for clean water, food and power in war torn areas.  They determined that there can be no lasting peace in these areas unless the local population has these basic necessities.  Most of these arid regions have no reliable power.  So they devised a self-contained system that is transported in a shipping container and once uncrated and set up, provides a large hydroponic based greenhouse and solar generator that is connected via satellite to the world wide web.

A Helical Outpost can produce up to 2,000 gallons of clean water per day and 10.8 kilowatt hours of electricity.  The hydroponic system uses only 20% of the water of a conventional farm, yet produces 10 times the equivalent of a three acre farm, all within a 6,000 s.f. greenhouse.  Imagine having one of these systems at your bugout property? But even if you can’t afford one, or stand to wait, you can still employ hydroponics at the 14 acre organic farm we presently have listed for sale.  Click here for details on this farm which just recently came back on the market.

Hydroponics are definitely the wave of the future for maximizing food production while requiring minimal resources to do so.  Its an ideal fit for homesteading, off-the-grid living and prepping.

What’s yours is mine

In a “What’s yours is mine” move, police and sheriff departments across the country have been seizing assets from drug dealers and other malcontents for years by using what is known as “civil forfeiture laws”.  Who could object?  Such crooks shouldn’t be allowed to keep their ill gotten gain.  Right?  But what about when they come for yours?

Sadly over the past several years, innocent citizens have been stripped of cash, cars and other assets in their possession during otherwise routine traffic stops.  Under these laws, law enforcement officers can immediately seize cash, silver and gold coins, firearms and even the car WITHOUT charging the driver with a crime or there being any indication the driver is involved in any crime.  Unfortunately, these laws are ripe for abuse as police departments have been using them as a revenue stream.

If this all sounds very draconian, or like fake news, do some research.  Just this week Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed an order expanding the ability of agencies to circumvent state laws intended to curb the abuse.  You don’t have to be charged with a crime, much less convicted in order to have your possessions taken.  To rub further salt in the wound, because this involves a civil case, the accused are not given legal counsel as in criminal cases with a public defender.  The result is that often times, the legal fees necessary to recover one’s possessions often exceed the value of the items.

On February 27th, 2016 in Muskogee County, Oklahoma, the manager of a Taiwanese Christian band was pulled over for a broken tail light.  He was carrying $53,000 cash from concerts and donations to a Thai orphanage and school in Burma.  With no criminal record and no drug paraphernalia or illegal drugs in the vehicle, the sheriff’s department questioned him for six hours before releasing him, but kept the cash citing it was obviously drug money and then charged him with a felony.  Click here to watch the video and read a full report from the nonprofit Institute for Justice.  The cases run from $500 to tens of thousands, and don’t think it can’t happen to you.

So why include this topic on a real estate web site?  Because most folks involved in prepping, homesteading or disaster preparedness keep large amounts of cash and coinage, and also own firearms.  On more than one occasion, I’ve been a little nervous driving to my shooting range with various firearms and ammunition in the back (all legally owned) as a highway patrolman passed by.  Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do if a corrupt lawman wants the goods.  As Jeff Sessions has signaled, this well intended practice is likely to only become more and more abusive.  So be careful out on the road as you drive up to our beautiful mountains to find the perfect bugout property (such as this off the grid homestead or this one with two homes on 8 acres) where you can bury all that hard earned cash and gold!