Hey, Buddy, Wanna Buy a FEMA Camp?

OK, I don’t actually have a FEMA camp for sale. Nor do I know of one that is. But what I want us to consider is the possibility of buying the kind of facility that some say might be used as a FEMA camp.

This idea came about when my wife and I attended a family reunion, where I had an interesting talk with one of my brothers-in-law. At that time he was fairly high in the ranks of the state patrol in a state that borders the one I live in.

He told me a large state penitentiary was being abandoned in a few months, and inmates were being moved to a newly built facility. The state didn’t appear to care about the old facility, and it would likely be left to deteriorate.

The penitentiary was built to hold about 7,000, had high, thick concrete walls, and was equipped with an industrial plant for making furniture. It had gardening grounds, too.

My brother-in-law said he and another guy were daydreaming and pondering possibilities in the event the old prison could be acquired. Could it have been turned into a place to set up a community for like-minded people who want to survive catastrophe or collapse? I thought it sounded like a neat idea.

My brother-in-law is a decent guy, and I appreciate the chat we had. I don’t think he was just blowing smoke. However, eventually nothing more was said about this.

Why couldn’t such a thing happen though? The idea is appealing to me.

If you’ve looked at material online about FEMA camp facilities, you’ve seen several possibilities, in addition to building new complexes. For example, a sports stadium or a shopping mall may be appropriated and converted to an internment camp. No doubt the same is true for old prisons and military bases.

Why couldn’t a group of investors turn this thing on its head? Why not buy such places out from under the state and federal governments for the benefit of prepper communities?

Granted, more than money is necessary for creating a community of like-minded people. Significant considerations include growing food, medical care, barter and trade, security, keeping order, etc.

Books like Rebuilding a Village deal with the aftermath of a long term catastrophic scenario.

But why shouldn’t we look ahead and be proactive? This kind of thing doesn’t have to be a compound for cultists, does it?

You’ve heard of gated communities in certain areas of the country, haven’t you? Why can’t ordinary people do this kind of thing, too, perhaps with the help of certain benefactors?

If the right opportunity arose, what should we do? Should we create opportunities to make it happen? Or is this total insanity and foolishness?

Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

17 thoughts on “Hey, Buddy, Wanna Buy a FEMA Camp?”

  1. Very interesting…I’ve thought about something like that on a much smaller scale of course. It would be a huge undertaking but worth it and maybe someday even necessary. What a great opportunity!

  2. Hello, my first thought is what about a “siege”? Also, little protection from a aerial strike.

    But, IF they put it together, mail me particulars, I might still be interested…safety in numbers from marauding Looters….

  3. I think this is an interesting idea. It would take a little revamping to make it livable and/or comfortable for families. I really don’t know how to voice my concern other than it is a place that bad people and things happened and they are bound to leave a mark.

  4. I have often thought of trying something similar here in my area. If I could find the right people I would be in.

      1. Never thot of it before but if priced right one could rent it to the oppressors who would furnish food and supplies to house bad people that did not buy into the govt litenary.

        Or one could just take it if left without maintance, you know how it is done by govt NOW!!

        sorry John been under lot of stress and relatives trying to rip me off for their personal benefit. One can tell the country is about to go to h in a handbasket.

        JUst got on line again after the mess of events here took me to buy another place and hole up .. Please keep in touch now I have my puter back.

        1. It’s good to hear from you. I’m intrigued by the various thoughts and ideas that have come up with this post. I usually don’t get this many comments unless I’m running a giveaway of some kind.

  5. I’ve always thought of “condo living” as appalling, but funnily enough I would be into this! Maybe condos make me think of yuppies, where I’d rather be holed up with like-minded, self-sufficient folk instead. Singles could take a standard cell, marrieds or small families could remove a wall and have two cells, no one would need a washer/dryer, tools, lawn mowers, or most other household stuff, as everyone would be using community stuff. Eating from an institutionalized kitchen would be new (unless you’re former military).

    With a good plan in place, this is entirely doable. I’d put up low five figures to join…

  6. I think it is a awsome idea especialy if you got alot of people on the same page involved it is something that would intrest me

  7. John,

    Drop me an email. I would be curious about the entry cost structure. Maybe you have no idea.

    At any rate drop me an email.

  8. My first concerns would be that once a prison is no longer government held, that it would be assessed (with high square footage) for property taxes. (Believe me, if all else fails, property taxes will still be collected. Many municipalities are structuring how to collect in a collapse right now.) In an emergency, a large complex known to government would incur high taxes that the collective owners would have difficulty paying. A change in the tax assessment could result in near immediate tax sale and tax repossession from the governmental successor, most especially if your people looked well and they believed you had food. My secondary concern would be that your group would become a regional target.
    Perhaps the building could be acquired as a “homespun furniture or other type of factory” and could be used as a village support structure as a secondary and secret purpose.
    Such a structure would leave families open to even common illnesses which would spread very quickly in small spaces. Prisons must practice their own types of public health and many things spread in the prison population much faster than in normal public environs.
    The costs of acquisition and maintenance would have to be cheap enough to allow members to regularly put away tax money while money is being allocated to stock, maintain, and clean a facility.
    It’s not a bad idea, but issues of ownership, management, collective responsibility, conflict resolution etc. would all need to be addressed. Many churches are filled with good people who can’t agree on anything. This could be an extension of that phenomenon, but under much more pressure. Best wishes,

    1. Excellent points, Jane. I’m sure plenty of unforeseen issues would come up, should a group choose to pursue such an opportunity. That’s one reason to hash out these things ahead of time. Of course, perhaps the biggest variable in the mix is people–how they’d get along, etc.

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