Earthquakes and tsunamis and climate change, Oh My!
Risk is unevenly distributed across most systems, of whatever sort. But especially so in terms of geographic location. We all know the old real estate adage: location, location, location. Well, like many old adages; it's not wrong.
Living in the flood zone below a dam or in the fallout area downwind from a nuclear reactor or on the slopes of an active volcano, all put you at increased risk from natural (or otherwise) disasters. Considering climate change as a slow moving disaster, clearly there is greater risk from more powerful hurricanes if you live on the Gulf or Atlantic coasts. The ever increasing drought in the Southwest is a clear and present danger if you live in LA or Phoenix, Vegas or El Paso. And my home, Cascadia, is defined by the active volcanoes of the Cascade Range and is doubly threatened by the eventual 9.0 Juan de Fuca subduction zone earthquake and tsunami. (This is predicted to be Fukashima scale - 100 foot+ walls of water on the Pacific coast.) So, WHERE YOU LIVE MATTERS.
But there are also economic and social disasters which either follow natural/physical disasters or emerge on their own and those are usually easier to see coming but are even more granular. That is, little differences in location can make a big difference. I have never felt safe in any urban setting at any time; there are no monsters in the forest (or under the bed) that are even 1% as dangerous as human beings in groups.
Conversely, there is also safety in numbers. By which I mean that a cooperative group is far more resilient than a loner or a small family, no matter how well-prepared. Thus I am led to the notion that a genuine small town, ideally unincorporated and less than 5000 people (although I can see plenty of good arguments for incorporated towns up to 15,000 or so) is in the 'Sweet Spot' in terms of balancing enough people to offer mutual support and needful social organizations and services (medical clinic, fire department, sheriff, schools, churches, etc.) but not so many people that there is anonymity, or that there is a huge entrenched bureaucracy. If the small town is a safe distance from large urban areas, which to me means at least 50 miles and preferably with some natural barrier or controllable choke points: bridges, mountain passes, narrow canyons, etc. then I think you have found a really good location.
Depending on individual economic situations, a small town can be a good place to start a small, cash business. Generally those little towns have more than their share of older folks and if you have the ability to offer some kind of needful service, you will not only make a lot of friends, you might make a living too. My daughter does grocery shopping for elderly folks for example. By itself that wouldn't be enough to live on but as a side gig, it's turning out to be really good for her.
I suspect that for some folks that are unable or unwilling to leave large urban environments, there will be some scary times in the aftermath of disasters of whatever kind. Thinking about them ahead of time and talking about emergency plans with neighbors and friends now, will undoubtedly help later.
Jefferson is credited with saying, "The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance." But everyone has to sleep sometime...