Perhaps the toughest job I have in recommending retreat locations is for people living in the heavily populated areas of the Northeast?particularly in New York and Boston areas. In a breakdown of the social order, it's very difficult for these people to get to the less populated areas in the Midwest through the Appalachian Mountains because of the overall population density even in rural areas and the blocking effect of large urban areas like Philadelphia and Allentown, PA, Morristown NJ, Hartford, CT, and even Albany NY to the west. The mountains tend to channel refugee flows into these valley cities that are difficult to skirt, especially when refugees are flowing out of the big cities in all directions.
While New Hampshire and Vermont are the closest northern states that provide retreat potential, I worry about their close proximity to the Boston metro area?where many Bostonians already have second homes and would be prone to flee in that direction. Thus northern Maine offers a much higher potential respite from social unrest due to its distance from Boston, its low population density and its less hospitable climate and geography. People in the New York area would not only have to worry about getting out of NY, but getting around the Boston metro area on their way north. But there are no risk free options for New Yorkers anyway.