World War III has broken out. The most powerful countries on the planet are launching missiles at one another and sending invasion forces across the globe. It’s only a matter of time until you get caught up in the whole thing. All you want at this point is a safe place to lie low and wait for the whole thing to blow over.
Should you go to an island nation in the tropics? Or a country at the bottom of the world? Maybe there is an even safer place that you didn’t even know existed. Let’s find out which safe haven is right for you.
It is impossible to tell who exactly will instigate World War III, but we have some pretty good ideas. The most likely scenario would start with one country invading another. This would cause the allies of the country being invaded to come to their aid. Slowly more and more nations would get pulled into the conflict. At some point, the confrontation would reach critical mass, and an all-out world war would commence.
The sides are pretty easy to predict for World War III as they probably would follow the current geopolitical climate. One side would consist of the United States, the European Union, and the rest of NATO, while the other side would be made up of Russia, China, North Korea, and their Allies. There would presumably be some wild cards that we cannot predict, but one thing is for sure: World War III would be a true world war. What we mean by this is that very few people would be able to escape the carnage.
Unlike the previous World Wars, humans now have the ability to fight one another over long distances using aircraft, long-range missiles, and space warfare. Very few regions of the planet would be untouched by the events of World War III. However, this does not mean there aren’t any safe places to run to. In fact, a few countries would provide safety and peace of mind as the world falls apart around you.
If you are looking for a safe country to escape to during World War III, some of your best options are tropical islands.
The good thing about islands in the Pacific Ocean is that they are really far away from each other and the mainland. The Pacific Ocean is a vast place, and if you don’t mind warm climates, catching your own fish dinners, and white sand beaches, Fiji would not be a bad place to wait out World War III.
This island nation sits in the southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean. The closest content is Australia, which is still over 1,700 miles away. And the great thing about this is that during World War III Australia probably won’t be hotly contested over, which just adds to the allure of escaping to Fiji. Even if the fighting eventually reached the Australian continent, you would be so far away that you probably wouldn’t even notice.
Fiji itself doesn’t have much to offer in terms of wartime strategy or resources. It has a very small military of around 6,000 individuals, so it would not be seen as a threat by either side. But perhaps one of the best things Fiji has going for it in terms of remaining safe during World War III is that it doesn’t have many natural resources within its borders.
Beautiful beaches and an abundance of seafood tend not to be what the world’s superpowers are after while at war. This means Fiji would likely not be a target, making it one of the safest countries you could move to if World War III ever broke out.
While the world descended into chaos, you could be sipping Pina Coladas on a white sand beach with a fishing pole in the water. Or better yet, you could be drinking the national beverage of Fiji called Kava, which is made from the crushed root of the yaqona (pronounced yang-GO-na) and has been shown to have medicinal properties.
This is another thing that would make Fiji such a good nation to hide away in if World War III happened. Although it doesn’t have strategic significance, it does have an endless supply of food, fertile lands to grow crops, and plenty of ways to keep yourself busy. In fact, there are around 300 islands that make up the country of Fiji, so if you didn’t get along with your neighbors, you could load up your boat and cruise to a different island.
The only problem is that you would be so far removed from the fighting you might not know who was winning or even when the war came to an end until long after it was all over. During a world war, global communication would probably go down as satellites are targeted by each side to disrupt enemy transmissions.
This would mean that the only way to receive news would be by word of mouth, like in the olden days before the internet or telephones. You would have to wait until someone physically came to the island and informed you about what was going on across the ocean. Then again, if you’re trying to escape World War III, you probably don’t mind not being up to date on wartime news, so this wouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
If Fiji isn’t isolated enough for you, there is another island nation in the Pacific that could be even more appealing to hide on during World War III.
Tuvalu is a 10 square mile island chain just over 1,000 miles north of Fiji, making it even further from the mainland. There are only around 11,000 people on the islands of Tuvalu. Its remote location and lack of natural resources make it an undesirable target for either side during World War III.
If you did seek refuge in Tuvalu, it is likely that you wouldn’t see anyone new for the duration of your time in the island nation. Tuvalu is hard to get to in the best of times, so the two airlines that fly to the country probably won’t be doing so at all with a world war going on.
This means that the only other way to access the country is by boat. It is unlikely that one of the sides in World War III will divert resources to Tuvalu as it serves no strategic significance, but like Fiji, there is plenty of food and resources that can be gathered from the ocean to help sustain you throughout the war.
There is another island country that is much larger than Fiji and Tuvalu.
7. New Zealand
Although it is a little closer to the mainland, it would still provide safety during World War III. New Zealand is a beautiful nation that seems to have every type of environment crammed onto a single island. If you are looking for a safe place to hide from the carnage of World War III and still want seasons and ecological diversity, New Zealand is the country for you.
The country itself is a little over 1,000 miles from Australia, but it sits further south than both Fiji and Tuvalu, meaning that New Zealand could potentially be further away front the main fighting of World War III, which we would expect to happen in Europe, Asia, and the North American continent.
However, there are many more natural resources in New Zealand than in most other island nations. This would be beneficial if you sought refuge there during World War III, but it could also make the nation a target for invasion. However, due to where it is located, this seems highly unlikely.
There also isn’t really much strategic significance to invading the country. The nation itself has fertile land, abundant marine resources, and various landscapes that would provide protection even if war did reach the island. Around 30% of New Zealand is protected land, which means there are plenty of areas where resources can be gathered, and where you could hide away if needed.
It may sound crazy, but there is another abundant resource on the island that would help you ride out World War III. For every one person in New Zealand, there are ten sheep. This means you will have plenty of wool to make clothes and a source of protein if times get hard. The sheep also help fertilize the land and can provide milk as well, meaning that these useful creatures will be your best friends as you safely wait for the war to come to an end.
There are many benefits to living in New Zealand even when the world is not at war, but perhaps what would make this nation the ideal location to move to is that its infrastructure is highly developed and the country has been working on becoming self-sufficient for decades.
It is because of the steps that the government has taken in recent years to ensure the country remains a safe and comfortable place to live that New Zealand consistently is rated one of the top ten happiest countries in the world. So, if you are looking for a country that is isolated, safe, and provides an abundance of resources as well as beautiful land to live on during World War III, New Zealand has got you covered.
New Zealand does its best to remain a peaceful country which means it will likely stay out of World War III altogether. In fact, New Zealand is only second to Iceland on the Global Peace Index, which brings us to our next safe country if a world war breaks out.
Iceland is over a thousand miles from the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.
This means it is unlikely the country will be in any direct danger during World War III. Like many of the other island nations thus far, Iceland has tons of marine resources that would allow it to remain self-sufficient if World War III broke out.
What makes Iceland a great place to be during a global war is that the country gets 100% of its energy from renewable sources, all of which are within its borders. Iceland harnesses a massive amount of geothermal energy and converts it into electricity and heat.
While war rages across the planet, Iceland would not have to worry about procuring oil, coal, or any other forms of energy from different parts of the world. Being totally self-sufficient means Iceland could stay out of the conflict and focus on keeping the people inside of its borders safe.
Some parts of Iceland can be pretty arid and harsh, but there is abundant fresh water and seafood. If you made your way into the mountains of Iceland, you would be isolated and protected from the rest of the world. There are fewer resources in this region, but it is incredibly doubtful you would ever encounter a military force while living there.
However, the best place to be in Iceland during World War III would be along the coast so you could take advantage of the plentiful fisheries and aquatic resources. As long as you don’t mind eating seafood every day, you would have a full belly for the duration of the war.
There is plenty of land to settle down on in Iceland if you need to find a place to wait out the war.
In fact, the current population puts an average of 8 people per square mile in the country. This means there is plenty of space for refugees of World War III if they decide to relocate to Iceland. If you plan ahead you could even find a nice piece of land in a small Icelandic fishing village that is self-sufficient and safe to live in until the war is over. You might even decide to stay even after it is safe to return home.
There is one downside to Iceland, however.
The fact that it sits between Europe and North America may cause it to be a staging area to launch invasions across the Atlantic. This scenario is not very likely as both sides would probably blow each other up with nukes before they would send an invasion force across the Atlantic Ocean, but you never know.
Even though there is a chance that a fleet might sail by Iceland or even make it a stop on their way while crossing the ocean, living in northern Iceland all but guarantees your safety during World War III.
There are other island nations that would be closer to the action but could still offer some safety during World War III. One such country actually started out as a military fortress during the Crusades.
Malta sits just off the coast of Sicily in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
In World War III, this might be a good country to run to if your plan is to get out of Europe. At some point, Malta would be consumed by the war, but until then, it could serve as a way out of the region and provide refuge for escapees. The nation of Malta is only around 122 square miles and has limited resources. This means it wouldn’t be an initial target for either side at the beginning of World War III.
There are several large fortresses around the island that were built by the Hospitallers and Knights Templar during the Crusades. These could serve as safe havens as plans were made to evacuate people to safer lands. Malta has successfully fended off invasions in the past, so it is possible that they could do it again.
Maybe Malta could be an embarkation point for people trying to make it to the Azores Islands. This remote archipelago is technically part of Portugal, which would not be a safe country to be in during World War III.
But the Azores’ abundance of natural resources and its remote location in the Atlantic would definitely make it a safer place to be than many other parts of the world. The Azores have plenty of farmable land and a plethora of marine resources.
However, people from Portugal, and the rest of Western Europe, may have the same idea and head straight for the Azore Islands at the same time. This may lead to overcrowding on the archipelago, but at least it would be safe for the time being.
One part of the world that is often overlooked in end-of-the-world scenarios is South America.
World War III will likely be fought in the Northern Hemisphere. The most probable scenario would be World War III starting in Europe or Asia. And although it is doubtful that World War III will reach North America until later on, the countries near the United States would be targets at some point.
Canada is a vast country, and there would be plenty of locations that would remain untouched by World War III due to its size and untamed wilderness. However, coastal cities and certain places along the U.S. border could be attacked as a means to invade the U.S.
The same can be said about Mexico. Although there are likely regions in the highlands and jungles of the country that would remain safe, its overall proximity to the U.S. would make other parts of Mexico vulnerable to attack. However, South America is far enough away from the U.S. and any other major players in World War III that it would be an ideal place to go once the fighting broke out.
The safest country in this scenario would be Chile. Chile is the southernmost country in South America. Not only that, but the city of Puerto Williams is the southernmost city in the entire world. The country itself has tons of natural resources and numerous geological features that make it easy to escape if the war ever does reach South America.
Chile is one of the most developed nations in all of South America, meaning that there is already infrastructure in place to sustain the country if the rest of the world is at war with each other.
There are two options of where to go in Chile that would ensure your safety during World War III. The Andes Mountains stretch across the entire western part of the country. It’s in these mountains that indigenous communities have lived for hundreds of years. There are endless amounts of fresh water and fertile land that can be terraced to grow crops. The mountains offer protection and serve as a deterrent for any enemy force that might try to occupy the country.
The mountains and many other regions of Chile contain dense forests that can be used to build a cabin in the woods and a number of wild animals that can provide sustenance in extreme circumstances. Not to mention that Chile is the 4th largest exporter of wine globally, which means while the Northern Hemisphere becomes a scared battlefield of destruction and death, you could be getting tipsy off of some of the best wine in the entire world.
The other option is settling as far south as possible.
The next closest land from the southern tip of Chile is Antarctica. It is highly unlikely that any part of World War III would be fought in the frozen Antarctic waters. This means living in southern Chili would be pretty safe. The weather can be brutally cold, and storms often whip across the region, but the oceans are bountiful, and different varieties of potatoes grow pretty much everywhere in the country.
And while we’re talking about the extreme south, there is probably no safer place on the planet than Antarctica during World War III. You could theoretically take refuge in one of the science outposts there and wait for the fighting to end.
No one is going to be coming to Antarctica to wage war, but the lack of resources and the inability to resupply during that time would make it important to ration resources. Eventually, you would run out of supplies and would need to leave the continent, but if you could stay in Antarctica until peace was declared, you would be safe the entire time.
There is one other southern country that is resource-rich and would be an excellent place to escape to during World War III. You could even go on a safari while you’re there.
2. South Africa
South Africa contains around 10% of all plant, bird, and fish species in the world. It also is home to around 6% of mammal species. This makes South Africa an ideal place to hide from the turmoil of World War III. There are plenty of food sources, freshwater supplies, and fertile coasts in the country.
It also helps that South Africa is very far away from the regions of the world that would be fighting. It is conceivable that the fighting wouldn’t even reach its northernmost border, let alone the rest of the country.
South Africa also consists of many types of environments, but there is probably no safer city in this part of the world to be in during World War III than Cape Town. This is a thriving city with modern infrastructure and resources all around it.
There is plenty of fishing off the coast and the mountains that surround the city isolate it from the rest of the continent. Cape Town isn’t as far south as other cities, but its location would make it strategically undesirable. Therefore, South Africa would probably be left alone during the conflict.
Also, like Chile, South Africa is a large exporter of wine. Between the abundance of food, its protected location, and the availability of alcohol, South Africa would be a safe and not too unpleasant country to spend World War III in.
Greenland is massive. It is also freezing. But if there is any country in the world that you could find a safe place to wait for the end of World War III in, this would be it.
The tricky part would be getting to your final destination once you were within the country’s borders. There are no roads between the towns of Greenland; this is a good thing in terms of finding a safe haven.
The more difficult a region is to reach, the safer it will be during wartime. For optimal security, you would want to choose one of the more northern towns to live in like Qaanaaq, which sits just inside the Arctic Circle.
Like with Antarctica, the war will likely never reach you at this extreme latitude. You would have to learn the ways of the Inuit people and how to live off the land in a polar climate, but it would all be worth it to have a safe and secure place to live during World War III.
Due to Greenland’s location and size, there is very little reason for either side in World War III to try and invade its lands. If the war did happen to reach the part of the country you’re in, you could always hop on a boat or helicopter and head further north. At some point, you will find a town that is far enough out of the way that no military forces would find it useful.
To be fair, Greenland as a whole holds very little strategic significance, and the only World War III action it would see would be ships sailing by to invade the other side of the Atlantic Ocean or planes flying overhead. There would likely never be forces or troops stationed in the country itself.
Living in rural Greenland would be much more difficult than sipping wine in Chile or fishing off a tropical beach in Fiji. However, Greenland would provide significant protection from the carnage of World War III while also providing the resources you need to stay alive.
Depending on where you initially lived before World War III broke out, Greenland may be a much more viable option for safety than some of the other countries mentioned. For example, if you reside in the North-Eastern part of the U.S., Greenland would definitely be the closest safe haven to you. Just because it is cold and desolate doesn’t mean you should count Greenland out. In a time of war, beggers can’t be choosers.
Although the countries on this list are all good options to escape to in the event that World War III breaks out, there is something that you need to remember.
If you find yourself in any of the countries on this list when World War III starts, you will likely be safe, and the war will pose very little threat to you. However, none of that matters if each side begins launching nukes at one another.
The nuclear fallout from the blasts would be carried across the world on the planet’s natural air currents. The rain falling from the sky would be poisonous as it would carry lethal doses of radiation in every drop.
The nuclear explosions would incinerate anything in their vicinity, causing firestorms that would release massive amounts of smoke and ash into the atmosphere. This could plunge the planet into a nuclear winter where temperatures would plummet as the sun’s light is blocked by all the particulates in the atmosphere.
At this point, it wouldn’t matter if you were in Russia, the United States, or Antarctica, as there would be no escaping this global catastrophe. If this ends up being the ending of World War III, the safest place to be will not be on Earth but in space.
As the countries of the world annihilate one another and the planet using nuclear weapons, the astronauts aboard the International Space Station will look on in horror as their home is destroyed before their very eyes. For a short amount of time, they may be the last of the human species. Unfortunately, even the astronauts would run out of resources and die. This would be the end of humanity, and it would all be because we couldn’t get along with one another.
The safest thing you can do if World War III ever breaks out is to head to one of the safest countries on the list and hope that the war comes to an end before the nukes start flying. If nuclear holocaust is the fate of the planet, then your only chance for survival is to hijack a rocket ship and head for the stars.
Eventually, you will die from lack of oxygen and resources, but at least you’ll make it slightly longer than the rest of us. The alternative is to make your way to one of the countries with an abundance of wine and have a drink as the world falls apart around you.