New Hampshire preppers face many of the same threats as anyone else in America: civil collapse, EMP, natural disasters, etc. However, New Hampshirites have unique challenges than preppers in other states. What makes sense for a prepper in Maine may not make sense for a prepper in California. This applies to New Hampshire as well.

New Hampshire Overview – Prepper’s Perspective

New Hampshire is a historic and beautiful tourist destination that is nestled in the middle of New England. New Hampshire gets many visitors coming to ski and snowboard, swim, and see the colorful leaves in autumn. The White Mountains has many wonderful locations for winter activities and the state’s Lake Winnipesaukee and 13-mile coastline provides ample swimming space.

New Hampshire is the 41st most populous state. Though many people don’t consider it a large manufacturing state, New Hampshire produces a substantial amount of electrical equipment, machinery, rubber, and plastic. That leaves the state’s economy to rely largely on manufacturing and tourism.


New Hampshire noticed an increase in food security during the pandemic due to an injection of federal dollars into its food supply. This should be concerning to the preppers of that state since it took an outside entity to support them during that challenging time. Therefore, preppers should take care to have their own food supply that can be relied on during hard times. Being able to source your own food and having enough stored to last through the first 90 days is essential to survival.


The prepper that finds themselves in New Hampshire when the SHTF should count themselves extremely lucky. Not only does the state receives 46 inches of rainfall on average, but it is routinely celebrated as one of the least polluted states in America. While they also receive 68 inches of snow annually on average which can cause some issues with mobility and structures, the benefits of that water offset any sort of challenge it brings.


Wet and cold weather seems to be the primary concern for New Hampshire. The temperature primarily needs to be the top concern when it comes to disasters. Many of the disasters the state faces are not that bad, but when compounded with the extreme cold of the northeast they become deadly. Make sure you have plenty of warm clothing, some snow shovels, and plenty of stored food to ride out any periods in which you’re trapped in your home!

Coastal Life

Though New Hampshire only has a small amount of coastline, it is still subjected to many challenges of a state that lies mainly on the coast due to the small size of its coastal neighbors. Compounded with its mountains, this can be extremely challenging. With the coast comes large, dense populations as well as extreme weather.

Therefore, residents of New Hampshire enjoy the benefits of being near the coast during good times but are hammered during storms, floods, and hurricanes when the bad times come. Combining that will the dense populations both within its borders and just outside, it can be a difficult place to be a prepper.

New Hampshire Natural Disasters

Between 1953 and 2019 New Hampshire declared 52 major disasters. Severe storms and floods are the most common malady that strikes according to FEMA. Other common natural disasters that the state experiences are hurricanes, winter storms, hurricanes, wildfires, and landslides. Though they can happen, the least common natural disasters are earthquakes and tornadoes. 

1) The 1999 Ice Storm This was an epic winter storm that shaped how the state responds to winter disasters. This storm dropped inches of ice throughout the state, causing approximately $80 million in damages throughout the state. Though the residents of New Hampshire were able to recover, it took several years to get their infrastructure back to the state it was in before the storm.

2) The 2005 Alstead Flood In a rare, manmade event, the residents of New Hampshire were shocked when the Cold River burst through a culvert. It sent a wall of water was sent down Route 123 on one of the darkest days the state has had in many years. Four people were killed by the flash flood, 40 homes were destroyed, and miles of bridges and roads were simply wiped out.

3) The Mother’s Day Flood (2006) – One of the common maladies that strike the heart of New Hampshire is flooding. However, none were as disastrous as the Mother’s Day Flood of 2006. After 15” of rain fell on New Hampshire, the Merrimack River rose 6’. Floodwaters were so high in some locations that homes were essentially submerged. This flood stands as a stark reminder of how devastating floods can be and should be a word of warning to anyone living in the state.

4) The 2007 Nor’easter The most expensive disaster in New Hampshire history, causing $30.5 million in damages. Naturally, with every storm in New Hampshire, flood waters came as a natural consequence. Massive flooding caused by three days’ worth of rain made for this one affecting large swaths of the state.

A home surrounded by flood waters following the Patriot's Day Nor'easter.
A home surrounded by flood waters following the Patriot’s Day Nor’easter. Image Credit: wikimedia

5) The March 2010 Windstorm – Terrible gusts of wind caused $7 million of damages statewide and caused widespread power outages. Though this would have been just a mild inconvenience at other times of the year, this storm struck in one of the colder springs that New Hampshire has had. This lead the windstorm to pose a threat to life as the heating capability of many residents was knocked out.

6) Hurricane Irene (2011) – Many people believe that hurricanes only strike the Gulf Coast. However, this storm caused financial devastation throughout the East Coast. New Hampshire alone suffered from $21 million in damages and continues to lick its wounds to this very day.

Prepping Strategies 

Bugging In

Clear the Bottom Level

This state has a history of flooding and that should be at the forefront of the minds of residents. Most homes in New Hampshire are multi-level. If you find yourself living in a multi-level home in New Hampshire, it would be advisable to clear the bottom level of anything that you don’t want to lose during a flood. This includes survival stores, electrical items, and things of sentimental value

Self Sufficiency

When the next storm hits, you can believe that you will be cut off from the rest of modern society. This could be due to flood waters or trees brought down by ice. No matter the case, being able to heat your home, feed your family, and solve issues on your own will be essential. With the power grid jeopardized, bridges washed out, and feet of water consuming most municipalities, you simply must be able to solve your problems yourself to an extreme degree.

Multiple Heat Sources

One thing that is a consistent problem with New Hampshire disasters is the complications brought on by lack of heat. Many of their storms would have been mild inconveniences if not for the danger posed by the extreme cold that came along with it.

Having electric, gas, and wood heat sources provides a redundant approach to heating your home. Ensuring that your home is properly insulated to create a highly efficient structure that requires less fuel to heat your home is also essential to outlasting the complications of winter.

Bugging Out

One of the most important pieces of equipment for any prepper planning to bug out is to have decent maps of their state. Having an identified bug out location is crucial. All preppers in any state should begin their bug out plans with a paper map of their state. Nothing is better for all-purpose use than the DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer.


If you find yourself bugging out in New Hampshire, you can bet you are going to be braving the cold. Once temperatures drop below 70 degrees, hypothermia becomes a serious threat. Therefore, before you bug out make sure you have a solid base layer, ample insulation layers, and a shell layer that will keep out the elements. As you move, you will want to shed layers til you are slightly cold. Then when you get to camp, layer back up. In this state, the base layer and the shell layers are the most important.

Multiple Types of Fire Starting

Learn how to start a fire no matter the condition. Since this state is notoriously wet and cold, it is important that you have multiple fire sources on your person as you set out. From lighters to friction fire, Ferro rods, and the knowledge of how to spark batteries to create a fire, you will need them all in the event you begin a cross-country trek in New Hampshire.


Mobility is the name of the game when you are bugging out. Given that the state already has a lot of water and that it is very prone to flooding, you will need to be able to manage rising waters in order to bug out safely and effectively.

Consider buying a packraft if you live near lakes, ponds, and rivers. A quality packraft can collapse into a backpack and be pulled out when you need to cross a body of water. Given their extreme lightweight and versatile utility, they are well worth having as a bug out means of transportation.

Further Reading for New Hampshire Preppers

This article just scratches the surface of what New Hampshire preppers need to know. The following links could held educate you more on prepping in the state.

New Hampshire Preppers – Facebook group for preppers in New Hampshire

New Hampshire Prepper Network – Very active Meetup Group that regularly exchanges information online and in person

New Hampshire Department of Safety – Government website that publishes updates on threats and ongoing disasters

ReadyNH – Government effort to inform the public on how to be ready for New Hampshire-specific disasters

New Hampshire Outdoor Learning Center – Teaches students the ins and outs of survival including firearms and fire building

WIFM School of Survival – A school in New Hampshire that teaches basic, advanced, and specialized survival courses