Obviously this is a generalisation – the west of the USA is close to half a continent. There will be some great survival spots here and there.
But generally speaking, the West is dry, and the East is not:
According to the rainfall map, there is a clear mid-continent dividing line. The upper West coast gets a lot of rain, but that is of no use when folk flee an earthquake or volcanic eruption.
New Mexico and Arizona have numerous towns that attract new agers and survivalist types. Unfortunately the survivalists have made critical mistakes. To survive you will need food, water, shelter and a pleasant climate. Regardless of what attracts you to a desert, you won’t be able to survive for long when society can’t provide you with the basics.
From my book:
Albuquerque, New Mexico is 8-9000 feet above sea level, which some survivalists find appealing. Being so far inland, height is not a necessity, and you’ll find that the arid climate and inability to grow crops major negatives for many SHTF scenarios, such as a loss of the power grid, or a pandemic. I recommend heading farther east.
If you were surviving in the West, your crops failing, your family starving, and you come across the above map – which direction would you head?