Homestead Rescue’s biggest disasters

The homesteaders that contact the Raneys are usually pretty desperate for their help, but some homesteads are just in a worse state that others  when they arrive.

Marty Raney, his son, Matt Raney and his daughter, Misty Raney, are verified homesteading experts with several lifetimes’ worth of off-the-grid experience between them.

And so they have spent the better part of the last decade helping inexperienced and inundated homesteaders throughout the United States to make their failing remote homes into the functioning homesteads of their dreams.

Taking things to the next level

Most episodes of Homestead Rescue see this homestead rescuing family tackle one unforeseen problem after the other.

But there have been a select few episodes over the course of Homestead Rescue’s now 11 season-run which just stand out as being more disastrous than usual.

And if you are looking to fill the Homestead Rescue void between seasons, these three “biggest disaster” episodes may be just the place to start.

A rundown of the biggest disasters we have seen on Homestead Rescue

Before we start, it is important to note that for the purposes of this list, the biggest Homestead Rescue disasters mostly refer to the episodes which resulted from the biggest disasters (and not necessarily projects that resulted in disasters).

However, with all of the DIY-building, tree felling and on-the-fly construction that the Raneys get into during their homestead rescue missions, there are plenty of those types of disasters to go around too.

If you want to watch as each of our top three biggest Homestead Rescue disasters play out, you should re-watch the following episodes of the show on Discovery Go, Discovery+, Amazon Prime Video (or any of the other platforms that carry the show):

Rank Episode Initial air date
3. “Quake Shattered” January 30, 2020
2. “Rubble with a Cause” March 28, 2023
1. “Volcano’s Edge” March 19, 2020

3. Quake Shattered (season 6, episode 7)

The Raneys usually approach every new homestead rescue with an air of cautious optimism, but even Marty could not hide his concern when he first arrived at the site of the Hartleys’ log cabin in the “Quake Shattered” episode.

Once the Raneys arrived at this well-loved cabin, they quickly realized that the entire foundation had been compromised by a recent earthquake and was on the verge of collapse.

To make matters worse, the Hartleys’ greenhouse had also been rendered unusable, after it had been hit with copious amounts of snow.

Fortunately, in classic Homestead Rescue fashion, the Raneys came up with a solution for both of these alarming homesteading problems, and they even left the Hartleys with a fancy new surprise diesel engine shop when all was said and done.

2. Rubble with a Cause (season 10, episode 5)

It is certainly unusual to put a homestead with a troubling bug infestation near the top of the list for biggest disasters on a show which deals with everything from floods to hurricane winds.

But there is simply no denying that the Turos’ homestead (or, rather, plot of land) featured on the “Rubble with a Cause” episode was heartbreaking to see.

When the Raneys arrived to help Shannon and Jason Turo, who had purchased an already-established homestead on a 13-acre plot just outside of Colville, Washington, they were shocked to find that rot and a wood ant infestation had torn down this young couple’s entire A-frame home.

In fact, by the time the Raneys arrived at this homestead to help, the Turos had been forced to move into a travel trailer as their home had completely collapsed.

And if you take into account the area’s harsh weather conditions and its thriving predatory population, it makes sense why this rescue was one of the Raneys most challenging makeovers to date.

1. Volcano’s Edge (season 6, episode 12)

While Hawai’i seems like an absolutely idyllic homesteading location, the “Volcano’s Edge” episode of Homestead Rescue reveals that this island can be just as dangerous as it is beautiful.

By the start of Homestead Rescue’s sixth season, the Raneys had encountered just about everything that you could ever imagine going wrong at an off-grid home.

The only problem in this particular homestead rescue mission was that Katie and Drew Daniels no longer had a home left.

The sight of the Daniels’ beloved homestead completely buried beneath a pile of lava rock proved to be so saddening that Katie could not even return to what was left of her home for over a year.

And, with several cubic feet of lava rock to clear, and all of the emotional turmoil involved in this build, this episode is still one of the best Homestead Rescue turnarounds that we have ever seen.