There are a number of things which could cause a major change in society, from political issues (such as World War III, which our continent would not be immune to damage this time), social changes (loss of more significant freedoms than those which we have already lost), or natural disasters (which could be anything from a major earthquake, volcanic eruptions, to a major EMP from a CME). The government has been ramping up survival preparations to a new level for the last ten years, from building of underground structures, stockpiling of food stocks, to building of major retention centers. There are significantly more scientists warning that a major EMP could take out electricity, by shorting out transformers, which the government passed a bill agreeing that our electric grid needs to be protected, but refused to fund or mandate updates. Everyone has seen the recent political unrest and uncertainty with North Korea, the proof of Iranian nuclear weapons ability, and the economic uncertainty around the world. The biggest issue is that governments will not let the public know that there is a reason to stock-up because it would cause major social upheaval, riots, and food hoarding on a mass scale. If you want an example, just think about how people reacted with the Anthrax scare. Thus, as you can see, there are many reasons for preparing and moving to an off-the-grid rural location. Doing this does not mean that life has to change dramatically, just being more prepared by stocking up on food, necessary medical supplies, water, and a plan on how to get out of metropolitan areas, where to go, and where to meet up with other family members, and friends.