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Author says he’s never been to Potsdam, but would love to visit


POTSDAM - The author of a recently published book that identifies Potsdam as one of the nation’s top “Bug Out Communities” said he has no ties to Potsdam and has never been here, although he would love to visit.

David Stebbins, who wrote, “Relocate! 25 Great Bug Out Communities: Safe Places To Live If Bad Things Happen - Wonderful Places To Call Home If They Don’t,” said Potsdam ended up in the book simply because his research indicated it met his criteria for being a good Bug Out Community.

“Potsdam has a unique combination of assets that make it a great place to live , in good times and bad,” he said before reciting a list of what he considers to be the village’s top qualities.

“An exemplary public education system that out performs most other schools in the U.S., access to higher education at SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson, exceptional access to hunting and fishing opportunities, a low crime rate, a reasonable cost of housing, and despite extremely cold winters, the area is able to produce a variety of fruits and vegetables.”

Mr. Stebbins added, “It is not near an interstate or large U.S. metro area, making it less vulnerable to being overrun by refugees.”

Acknowledging that statement might sound crazy to some, Mr. Stebbins said, “That statement would not seem ludicrous to residents of communities near New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.”

He said he was aware that Potsdam was located within 100 miles of both Ottawa and Montreal, but he felt the border and St. Lawrence River provided an adequate barrier to prevent an influx of refugees.

Mr. Stebbins said he’s actually only been to seven of the communities in the book, living and working in one of them for four years.

The bulk of the communities mentioned in the book were in the Midwest, and he said there was a reason for their selection.

“Most of the communities cited in the book are located in the U.S. midsection. This is mostly a matter of population density. The eastern U.S. in particular is home to many large metro areas. If things go bad in a heavily populated area, it will severely strain available resources and make outside relief more problematic due to the shear number of people needing help,” he said.

Contrary to one what might think, Mr. Stebbins said he does not think the world is coming to an end or even that the American empire is crumbling.

“I do not believe our society is on the verge of collapse. But in the same spirit of people who know their house will never burn down, but still buy fire insurance, I believe in personal responsibility,” he said.

“This means preparedness for the unexpected; blizzards, power outages, pandemics, earthquakes, floods and financial downturns..

And should any of those things happen, Mr. Stebbins Potsdam would be a good place to be.

“Potsdam is positioned to weather calamity better than most places. And should life continue as we know it, calamity-free, Potsdam is a great place to live and raise a family.”

Mr. Stebbins said he wrote it to dispel the notion that some day we will all be living in a “Mad Max dystopian future.

“My intent was to dispel that notion and provide a realistic alternative. The idea of living and working in an existing community with a good education system, low crime rate, outdoor centric lifestyle and a place to find rewarding employment appealed to me,” he said. “Do those communities exist? I think they do, and Potsdam is one of them.”

Mr. Stebbins book may be purchased on-line at and is also available at the Potsdam Public Library.

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