Living in a rural area presents a number of challenges on a daily basis, as well as in the wake of disasters or emergencies. Some of the tribulations that you will experience can be solved by a short drive to the closest city. However, what happens when the weather turns in the winter, making mountain roads and trails impassable, or an unlikely event occurs such as a flood or a fallen tree that blocks the highway? Preparing yourself for living in a rural area takes a fair amount of personal investment, understanding and time.
Moving to the country can be a great way to get some space and fresh air while also saving money — as long as you take proper precautions. It’s important to consider how your land may be zoned in relation to nearby city codes, natural resources, and areas that may be susceptible to flooding. The allure of purchasing a home that is less expensive than a comparable home in a nearby city, but sits in a flood zone, will cost you heavily in monthly flood insurance fees. Thus , defeating the purpose of relocating for inexpensive housing costs. You may also end up paying much more in homeowners insurance based on how far you are from emergency services or how many livestock that you have. Do yourself a favor and pay your due diligence by researching potential properties and investments before relocating to a rural area.
Many people living in rural areas are underserved when it comes to receiving medical treatment and preventive care. Choosing to live a life in a rural area requires you to make peace with being a long distance from large healthcare facilities. If you have a chronic illness or medical condition, it is wise to consider your healthcare options before permanently relocating to a rural area.
It may take much longer to receive medical help in rural areas due to the lack of availability of medical professionals; it’s important to train as many people in your household as possible how to respond to a medical emergency. Emergency medical trainings are available to any paying participant and are offered widely throughout communities, although it may require you to travel to a neighboring town or city. Enlist one of your family members or housemates to take a wilderness emergency medical training course to act as the first responder for your family’s medical care needs. Knowing how to address the situation at hand to serve the injured or medically ill until they can be transferred to a medical professional may be the difference between a loved one living or dying.
Living in a rural area removes the certain risks that are typically reserved for the city, such as muggings and sexual assault. However, the rate of auto accidents is higher in rural areas due to a number of factors, such as roads that curve and weave through more dynamic landscapes and the presence of wildlife. Knowing how to mitigate these issues are valuable lessons in rural living. For example, install brighter high beams to better see wildlife at night and drive slowly around steep curves.
Depending on where you are located, you are bound to find yourself facing a variety of challenges. If you choose to live in a remote, high-elevation area, managing snow removal on the roads and your roof becomes a full-time job in the winter. Most rural communities have to be on the lookout for wildlife for the sake of protecting themselves and their livestock from potential attacks. One of the best ways to learn about daily threats to your area is to talk with the old timers in the area. They can offer a number of tips and tricks that may get you out of a bind down the road.
A valuable tool for living in rural communities is learning how to rely on your neighbors. Rural communities are small and recognize the value that people, rather than corporations, have on survival. Learning new skills and trades from those who know how and where to find local resources could be what helps you thrive in your rural life.
Rural living can provide plenty of challenges. Knowing what aspects of your lifestyle should take priority when acquiring skills to add to your rural living toolkit is important. When in doubt, ensure that your hierarchy of needs are met — know how to maintain and repair your home, provide yourself with food and water, and keep yourself clothed throughout the year. The rest are simply challenges to be met and conquered as you enjoy the fresh air of rural country living.
Brooke Faulkner writes and raises her sons in the Pacific Northwest. She is always looking for ways to make healthy living an accessible part of every day life. Find more of her writing on twitter, @faulknercreek