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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

New book encourages people to move to Potsdam


POTSDAM - According to a recently published book, if you’re looking to escape city life or find a safe place to live should the “—- hit the fan,” the village of Potsdam is one of the nation’s 25 best “Bug Out Communities.”

The book, “Relocate! 25 Great Bug Out Communities: Safe Places To Live If Bad Things Happen - Wonderful Places To Call Home If They Don’t,” was received in the mail last week at the Potsdam Public Library.

Until receiving the book written by David Stebbins, who the book’s jacket says teaches renewable energy classes at a community college in Texas, no one associated with Potsdam had heard of it.

“This came right out of the blue,” Village Administrator David H. Fenton, Jr., said. “The library director came over and said, ‘Look what we got in the mail today.’”

Being included the book, which encourages people to move to Potsdam or 24 other communities identified by the author, is an honor, Mr. Fenton said.

“I thought it was pretty good recognition of the community and the quality of life we have here,” Mr. Fenton said. “I think it was interesting. It’s a good place to live if things go bad, but it’s a good place to live anyway.”

Potsdam Central School Superintendent Patrick H. Brady, who is also a former town supervisor ,agreed.

“It’s always great when our community is recognized in a positive light,” he said. “For those of us who have lived in Potsdam for many years, we recognize the charm of this small community.”

While Mr. Brady said he had never heard of the book, he said inclusion in it can’t be a bad thing.

“If it encourages people to come and live in Potsdam that’s great. We’re proud of our school and our community,” Mr. Brady said. “That’s what we’re fighting for and why we’re advocating for more school aid. We want to keep the quality of education we have, which helps make this an attractive place to live.”

The book’s first chapter titled, “Why You Need To Relocate” explains Mr. Stebbins’ intent in writing the book.

“It’s finally happened. The —- Has Hit The Fan: martial law, riots, disease, crime and wide spread panic. Shortages of food, fuel and clean water. Store shelves sit empty, either sold out or looted. Power blackouts make cities unlivable. Acrid smoke fills the air. Police and fire departments are overwhelmed, and hospitals are over flowing. Those sporadic popping sounds aren’t firecrackers.

“Time to head for your Bug Out Location (BOL),” Mr. Stebbins writes to kick off the book.

Potsdam was the only community from New York included in the book and one of just four from the Northeast, with Farmington, Maine; Huntington, Pa.; and St. Mary’s, Pa. also included.

Many of the communities featured in the book were from the South or Midwest with Afton, Wyo.; Alpine Texas, Batesville, Ark.; Beloit, Kan.; Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho; Cadiz, Ky.; Decorah, Iowa; Dillon, Mont.; Eagar/Springerville, Ariz.; Ephraim, Utah; Franklin, N.C.; Harrison, Ark.; Hot Springs, S.D.; La Grande, Ore.; Lander, Wyo.; Lewistown, Mont.; McCook, Neb.; Mena, Ark.; Moscow, Idaho; Salida, Colo.; and Weiser, Idaho.

Criteria used to judge communities for the book includes proximity to big cities, interstate highways, nuclear military facilities, nuclear power plants, earthquake zones and hurricane zones; as well as the village or city’s crime rate.

Other chapters in the book include advice on how to find a job and housing once you move or prior to relocating to one of Mr. Stebbins’ suggested communities.

The book closes with what Mr. Stebbins calls his “Final Word.”

“This book is a tool. It’s a guide to prepare for the worst while still maintaining what most would define as a normal life. I hope it’s been a help to you.”

The book is available on, and Potsdam Library Director Pat W. Musante said it will be placed in circulation soon.

“We’re going to buy a few copies, because we think it will be popular,” Ms. Musante said, adding she would like to see local businesses purchase copies to sell.

“While it is available on Amazon, hopefully our local bookstores will pick it up,” she said. “I think it would sell. It would be a really nice gift for people.”

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