Dated: 12/18/2015

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When it comes to finding the ideal environment for you and your family to live, it goes without saying that safety is a top priority. But will you be safer in the city, living among groups of people or going it alone in a rural atmosphere? Before jumping into somewhere based on your instincts, use some basic research techniques to find out the facts. Safety has many faces, from physical to financial, and each environment has its own risks and rewards. The best choice for you depends on the facts you ferret out.


All things being equal, it seems logical that it would be safer to live in the quiet countryside than in a busy city. Not true, according to a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. It states that the risk of injury death from both crime and accidents is more than 20 percent higher in the countryside than in urban areas. The risk of homicide might be greater in large cities, but dangers from auto accidents is significantly higher in the country, where people drive more often, longer distances and even drive drunk more than those in cities do. You can change these odds for your own family, though, by being smart and prepared. Living significantly apart from others can prevent you becoming a victim of violent crime, and smart habits can reduce your risk from traffic and gunfire accidents.


Financial Safety


You're subject to the same online thieves whether you live in the city or country, but the risk of identity theft may be more prevalent in the city. Purse snatching and card reading are still major methods for stealing personal information, and you're much more likely to come across these problems living in the city. Programs such as Lifelock's Online Risk Calculator can give you the odds of having your identity stolen in a given situation. The odds are generally even higher if you don't arm yourself with information and don't practice good financial habits.



Social Safety


Making yourself and your family safe is mostly about looking to the future and preventing as many disasters as possible from happening. Your living environment will inform the ways in which you have to prepare. Prepping for civil uprising such as riots is much more important in urban areas than on farms or in woodsy cabins. On the other hand, hurricanes and tornadoes threaten people both urban and country, depending on what part of the country you live. Prepping is crucial for the future safety of your family, and the first step in prepping is to figure out what to prep for.


When deciding how to prep in terms of your environment, go with your strengths. If you know a lot about gardening, livestock, and living off-grid, make the countryside your home base and stock up accordingly, using natural disasters as a template for your possible future problems. A storm shelter should be high on your priority list, as well as alternate power sources. On the other hand, if you've never lived without electricity except during blackouts and can't start a barbecue fire, it's not a smart idea to move out of the city before doing some heavy research. If you want to have a rural home base, study all necessary skills beforehand and move from the city afterward. Do your safety prepping with civil unrest in mind. Strengthen doors and windows, practice firearms training, and store supplies than can be used without power or running water.

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Janet Hull and Thomas Bush

Janet Hull and Thomas Bush are seasoned Realtors specializing in residential real estate for over 14 years. They joined forces in 2005 and have worked with some of the largest builders in Michigan. To....

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