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A different take on coming to the Islands

labjr2
December 17, 2015 12:15AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 8

I've lurked hear for a while reading all the reasons people love and hate the islands. Most people who move to the islands leave, a few make it a permanent home, all talk about the high cost of living, lack of reliable electricity, crime, corruption,... All very valid concerns.

My wife and I want to relocate to St. John as we have been coming to the USVI for years and have fallen in love with the Islands. We actually spent last week on St. John viewing homes and neighborhoods. We love the Islands and the ability to Island hop. We love a relaxed pace and we actually love the lower level of dependency that people have on technologies.

Our move to the Islands will be our early retirement. No pressure for jobs, no worries about money or the high cost of living. Any house we buy will have a whole house generator to alleviate the worries about electrical interruptions (powered by propane presumably). It will be built to withstand most major hurricanes and will be high enough off the water to not worry about storm surge. Most likely it will be in an upscale guarded/gated community to help with security concerns as well. We are fortunate enough to have a nice boat that will allow us to Island Hop or even evacuate ahead of a major hurricane and that can convert salt water to drinkable water at a rate of 1500 gallons a day to survive drought conditions if they arise. If necessary we can live on the boat for an extended period of time while the islands recover from hurricane damages.

Other than retiring in paradise, we want to live in a place that can survive better than the major metropolitan areas of the US in the event of a major financial meltdown, solar flare taking out a power grid or even mass chaos from political tensions. While we are not "preppers" we feel like we would much rather be on an isolated island than in the midst of the US in the event of any major catastrophe. Seeing the riots that developed in New Orleans 2 years ago when the EBT credit card system went down for a few hours gives us cause for concern. Imagine a real crisis in a major metropolitan area in the states and the impact it would have when grocery stores run out of food in 3 days or less. We know the islands would not be chaos free, but you have an ocean full of food, year round growing seasons and much smaller populations. You also have a population of people that pull together in emergencies and who are used to having to live (at least occasionally) without power, water or Internet connectivity. The Islands do not yet have a population that is dependent upon 2 hour Amazon delivery and the need to satisfy every need "immediately".

We plan to keep our place in Nashville so that we can fly back and visit family regularly as well as avoid Island fever if it ever sets in. We also know that as we age and our health fails, we may have to move back to the states for health care depending on our conditions.

I've not read any other posts about people relocating in part because of the survivability capabilities of the islands vs. the states. Has anyone on this board use that as a parameter when determining to make the move to the islands? Perhaps it is just another "perceived justification" we are imagining in order to move away from family and friends but it seems to make sense to us. I would love to hear other perspectives around this approach and why it will or will not work.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/2015 12:27AM by labjr2.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

Scubadoo
December 17, 2015 01:05AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,788

Ocean or not I would expect the food supply in the VI to dry up rather quickly if the import flow were to be turned off. There is limited local food production, especially on STT and STJ. Propane and other fuel reserves can only hold out but so long. The islands are very dependent on the external food supply chain and aren't prepared to be self sufficient (except for Mangoes in Mango seasonhappy). I was in the Food Town recently when the entire deli counter cooler was empty, the delivery hadn't come in yet.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

AandA2VI
December 17, 2015 01:11AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 2,102

Exactly. ^ & VERY quickly. Ask the people here for Hugo how rioting went. Absolutely no different from the mainland, maybe worse as resources are so limited. If that's a deciding factor then I wouldn't advise moving here. If it's not a deciding factor - come on down! Don't forget our banks use plastic and if you plan on having a stateside account (like I do) you're limited also when power goes down and you can't withdraw cash - like in a hurricane situation. Always have a stash of cash on hand as part of hurricane supply prep. Sounds like you're rich and that'll work well for u in STJ.

Lastly you say you haven't read many posts on relocating but you should... ALL of them. smiling

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

labjr2
December 17, 2015 01:28AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 8

I would expect that all commercial food sources would run out of food quickly - potentially world wide. Keeping a 90+ day secret supply of food on hand would get most people past the major chaos and the ability to fish and garden can make for longer term sustainability although how far out from the islands you would need to go to reach waters not "fished out" will become a challenge. There is a desperation curve you would have to survive anywhere while populations thin and adjust.

Does most of the commercial food for the Islands come from the states? We've looked at the Dominican Republic as well as Costa Rica but much prefer the USVI. Long term sustainability would be better in CR but the USVI offers a more attractive mix of the good life with some penchant of survivability in the rare event of a major catastrophe.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

AandA2VI
December 17, 2015 01:40AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 2,102

Well if the zombie thing happened yes it would take some time to get to us. We do have our own issues - chickengyuna (I never can spell that) and now Zika - they're watching but hopefully is stays away - dengue and malaria to a much lesser extent. 90 days of food will only get u... Well 90 days. I guess if push came to shove and you have guns and ammo to protect your assets - a stash of food and seeds - a sailboat with fishing gear - you'd be pretty set. You could self sustain here. It wouldn't be easy but you totally could. In STT I had a huge garden and 90% of my veggies came from it - avocado, mango, banana and papaya and spear fished. I did go to the bars for a beer thou wink can't brew beer without having a fridge here lol.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

labjr2
December 17, 2015 01:58AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 8

Quote
AandA2VI
Exactly. ^ & VERY quickly. Ask the people here for Hugo how rioting went. Absolutely no different from the mainland, maybe worse as resources are so limited. If that's a deciding factor then I wouldn't advise moving here. If it's not a deciding factor - come on down! Don't forget our banks use plastic and if you plan on having a stateside account (like I do) you're limited also when power goes down and you can't withdraw cash - like in a hurricane situation. Always have a stash of cash on hand as part of hurricane supply prep. Sounds like you're rich and that'll work well for u in STJ.

Lastly you say you haven't read many posts on relocating but you should... ALL of them. smiling

Thanks for the advice on cash - great point. Cash along with a bit of gold would make perfect sense. I have read the relocation forums for a couple of years and my ideas (or justifications) may be way off but is it something to consider. While I would never call myself rich, we do very well and can afford to live where we want. I am currently living in a high-rise in downtown Nashville and I know we would not last long if chaos ensued. With more than 1M people in the metro area scrambling for food at any cost, the chances of survival are negligible.

Worst case scenario I guess I could spend a month or two at sea away from everyone until the chaos subsides somewhat and subsistance becomes the new way of life.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

stjohnjulie
December 17, 2015 05:45AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 609

There were a few years there where I was reading tons of apocalyptic books and I was pretty engrossed by them. Got me thinking along the lines you are. I always said if the poo really hit the fan I would rather be here, for some of the reasons you are saying, but also because St. John has such a small population, and a very tight knit community. If you come to St. John, and don't make a real effort to be part of this community, and things fell apart, you are going to have problems.

The recent thread on racism prompted me to have some discussions with my West Indian family and friends. Overwhelmingly, the feedback I got is that it wasn't about race, it was about transplants with an elitist attitude. I've learned a lot of things in the past couple of weeks since opening this discussion with family/friends. What I'm trying to get at is that if you come to St. John and separate yourself from the community, stay behind the gate, have wealth that others can see, you are going to be a target whether the $hit hits the fan or not.

I'm not trying to discourage you from coming here, I'm trying to tell you to come here and be one with us. You will not experience the best part about living here if you don't.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

stjohnjulie
December 17, 2015 05:45AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 609

There were a few years there where I was reading tons of apocalyptic books and I was pretty engrossed by them. Got me thinking along the lines you are. I always said if the poo really hit the fan I would rather be here, for some of the reasons you are saying, but also because St. John has such a small population, and a very tight knit community. If you come to St. John, and don't make a real effort to be part of this community, and things fell apart, you are going to have problems.

The recent thread on racism prompted me to have some discussions with my West Indian family and friends. Overwhelmingly, the feedback I got is that it wasn't about race, it was about transplants with an elitist attitude. I've learned a lot of things in the past couple of weeks since opening this discussion with family/friends. What I'm trying to get at is that if you come to St. John and separate yourself from the community, stay behind the gate, have wealth that others can see, you are going to be a target whether the $hit hits the fan or not.

I'm not trying to discourage you from coming here, I'm trying to tell you to come here and be one with us. You will not experience the best part about living here if you don't.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

speee1dy
December 17, 2015 07:47AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,282

lower level of electronics dependency -not hardly. that is just as it is on the mainland

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

speee1dy
December 17, 2015 07:55AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,282

as far as post apocalyptic world, like stjohnjulie, i too read a ton of books about the subject.

if that type of thing were to happen. this area does have limited resources -could they be replenished fast enough? the waters would surely be fished out in no time. gardening here has its challenges to say the least.we would be last on the line for any sort of comeback.

i would think someplace deep in the woods away from any major city that has plenty of animals for hunting, near a lake so you can fish. a great growing season so you can can what you grow for the future. watching those shows on alaska-they seem to do just fine?

i know that alaska would not be the place for me in that type of situation.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

JahRustyFerrari
December 17, 2015 08:37AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 240

The Caribbean will be one of the safer places for Black people in the event the scenarios envisioned by the 'preppers ' come true. The OP brings up many things that make living here an attractive option for 'preppers', things that most people don't think about.

In some states, it is illegal to catch rainwater from your roof, much less store 40,000 gallons of it in a cistern.

As far as locally growing food, St. Croix used to be called 'the breadbasket of the Caribbean'...big agribusiness has no interest in promoting local growing of food. Corporations prefer that you sit in front of your TV and watch the dumb shows, fake news, and professional sports...they have us exactly where they want us,

The level of 'unknowing' by the general public is astounding. While Black people here continue to kill themselves off or run to the mainland, others with a longer view are looking at the Caribbean as a potential refuge from the wild sh*t storm that is coming. We're busy running to the places that many are running from, because we want 24-hour conveniences.

In the event of a doomsday scenario, every Black person in America would become a target. Other tribes are organizing and prepping while Black people continue to hate themselves, wear other people's hair, and kill each other off.

At least in the islands we're a majority...for now.

Yes, it is all about race...



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/2015 08:46AM by JahRustyFerrari.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

mtdoramike
December 17, 2015 08:49AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 923

Oh great, another "Different take on coming to the Islands". Your take is nothing different than most any other take and every one has their own take. But welcome to the Islands and enjoy.


mike

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

OldTart
December 17, 2015 09:16AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

I'm just shaking my head in bewilderment that someone thinking of moving here is so hung up on an apocalyptic meltdown. I would think there are a lot more important issues to worry about.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

speee1dy
December 17, 2015 10:06AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,282

jahrusty-i would think in the event envisioned-those laws would be out the window because there would not be anyone actually coming around to enforce them

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

Finatic
December 17, 2015 10:09AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 91

Quote
OldTart
I'm just shaking my head in bewilderment that someone thinking of moving here is so hung up on an apocalyptic meltdown. I would think there are a lot more important issues to worry about.

Agreed.

This is not a different take on coming to the islands. This is the same take we see most often, with your personal spin. A desire for isolationism, a perceived simpler lifestyle, more personal freedom from other humans, and abundant natural resources. If you come to the USVI seeking these items as have many others, there are very good odds you will be disappointed.

There is often a perception that the USVI is a small-town lifestyle. It is, yet it is not. stjohnjulie summed it up well in her posting. It is not small-town as you experience it in the states. It is a community of people sharing a small piece of real estate in the form of an island. In that regard the USVI is just as figuratively crowded as living in a large metropolitan city.

It is true that there are natural resources available here. Yet the population would quickly outstrip them in a matter of weeks at most. Food and other necessary goods that currently are shipped here would be depleted in days. Weapons are plentiful, as are people. You do well to heed the words of some posters here and consider them very thoughtfully in regards to what the USVI would look like if the armageddon that you fear were to arrive.

If you desire to live behind a gate both physically and figuratively, you will not find your nirvana, no matter where you settle. No man and no place is ever truly an island.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

Alana33
December 17, 2015 11:04AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,609

This year we went thru a prolonged drought here in the islands lasting from mid February thru the end of September into October. It was bad. The land was dry and parched. Everything was brown and dry.
I don't recall such a drought in all my years here.

This greatly impacted locally grown produce as well as the animals. There are a few wells on private property on STT. I believe STX has a better ground water table and more wells. Even with this, it was not enough to keep crops and animals from dying. I'm not aware of any wells on STJ. Not saying there aren't any, but there may not be.

The majority of people depend on cisterns to collect rain water for use. No rain, no water. Water must be purchased when cistern runs dry. We have no rivers or lakes, very few brackish water ponds.

The Virgin Islands produces very little of its own food which is not enough to sustain the population in event of catastrophic or apocalyptic meltdown. If you're looking for somewhere to survive such as you describe, I'd suggest you keep on looking.

What is with everyone wanting to live in gated communities?
It seems rather elitist to me. If you wish to isolate yourself from the commoners/locals/natives, then please, do us and yourself a favor and stay where you are now. Everyone will be much happier.

I've lived here for most of my life and never in a gated community.
I've been perfectly safe.
I've never had a burglary or robbery or break in.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

STXBob
December 17, 2015 11:07AM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 2,119

Ted Koppel's latest book predicts that the US electric grid will be knocked out at some point.
[www.amazon.com]

If that happens, the USVI would stop getting shipments and chaos would ensue. Have a nice day!

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

Finatic
December 17, 2015 11:19AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 91

Quote
labjr2
Other than retiring in paradise, we want to live in a place that can survive better than the major metropolitan areas of the US in the event of a major financial meltdown, solar flare taking out a power grid or even mass chaos from political tensions. While we are not "preppers" we feel like we would much rather be on an isolated island than in the midst of the US in the event of any major catastrophe. Seeing the riots that developed in New Orleans 2 years ago when the EBT credit card system went down for a few hours gives us cause for concern. Imagine a real crisis in a major metropolitan area in the states and the impact it would have when grocery stores run out of food in 3 days or less. We know the islands would not be chaos free, but you have an ocean full of food, year round growing seasons and much smaller populations. You also have a population of people that pull together in emergencies and who are used to having to live (at least occasionally) without power, water or Internet connectivity. The Islands do not yet have a population that is dependent upon 2 hour Amazon delivery and the need to satisfy every need "immediately".

This paragraph is rife with inaccuracies.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

labjr2
December 17, 2015 11:25AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 8

Thank you for the very insightful responses. It is much appreciated.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

JahRustyFerrari
December 17, 2015 01:40PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 240

Quote
Finatic
Quote
OldTart
I'm just shaking my head in bewilderment that someone thinking of moving here is so hung up on an apocalyptic meltdown. I would think there are a lot more important issues to worry about.

Agreed.

This is not a different take on coming to the islands. This is the same take we see most often, with your personal spin. A desire for isolationism, a perceived simpler lifestyle, more personal freedom from other humans, and abundant natural resources. If you come to the USVI seeking these items as have many others, there are very good odds you will be disappointed.

There is often a perception that the USVI is a small-town lifestyle. It is, yet it is not. stjohnjulie summed it up well in her posting. It is not small-town as you experience it in the states. It is a community of people sharing a small piece of real estate in the form of an island. In that regard the USVI is just as figuratively crowded as living in a large metropolitan city.

It is true that there are natural resources available here. Yet the population would quickly outstrip them in a matter of weeks at most. Food and other necessary goods that currently are shipped here would be depleted in days. Weapons are plentiful, as are people. You do well to heed the words of some posters here and consider them very thoughtfully in regards to what the USVI would look like if the armageddon that you fear were to arrive.

If you desire to live behind a gate both physically and figuratively, you will not find your nirvana, no matter where you settle. No man and no place is ever truly an island.

Excellent post.

Also, any Armageddon scenario would rapidly become a race war...imagine having the opportunity to shoot and kill random minorities that would be considered undesirable in a 'brave new world'. Now imagine yourself in a community where those same minorities are the dominant group, and are probably not taking kindly to news of their groups being targeted for extermination on the mainland...

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

cre
December 17, 2015 01:53PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 67

I'm pretty sure this was a serious post but I read the OP and seen Leonardo DiCaprio throwing money off the boat in "Wolves of Wallstreet" replaying in my head.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

monogram
December 17, 2015 02:19PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 446

Quote
stjohnjulie
Overwhelmingly, the feedback I got is that it wasn't about race, it was about transplants with an elitist attitude. I've learned a lot of things in the past couple of weeks since opening this discussion with family/friends.

thumbs upthumbs upthumbs up

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

monogram
December 17, 2015 02:26PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 446

Quote
STXBob
Ted Koppel's latest book predicts that the US electric grid will be knocked out at some point.
[www.amazon.com]

If that happens, the USVI would stop getting shipments and chaos would ensue. Have a nice day!
It'll make the Baltimore/New Orleans/Watts riots look like child's play! Can you imagine if all the guns were pointed at the rich transplants (STX's East End, most of STJ, parts of STT, etc) instead of the fellow locals? LOL That is EXACTLY what would happen, and individuals like OP would be perhaps even more of a target here than in the states.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

Scubadoo
December 17, 2015 02:28PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,788

Quote
Alana33
I'm not aware of any wells on STJ. Not saying there aren't any, but there may not be.

It's been a while since I've been to STJ but I remember seeing several well heads along the side of the road in the national park property. Doesn't make a lot of sense but they were there.

Re: A different take on coming to the Islands

Alana33
December 17, 2015 02:29PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,609

Not sure that particular scenario is true. There are lots of law abiding folks here even tho it seems otherwise.

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