We lived in San Francisco near Fisherman's wharf with a 2 year old and a 3-month old. Our region is notorious for earthquakes, and as certain as night follows day, eventually, the entire freaking region is going to come tumbling down when The Big One strikes. Our family just suffered through over 50 hours without power & heat because... there was a winter storm. It is not the first time we've lost power for an extended period and it won't be the last (although I am working on a contingency for next time...).
Had the Big One hit while we were with 2 young children in the city, our plan was to take our gold coins down to the wharf and/or yacht club and seek to purchase any boat the hell out to somewhere outside the wreckage zone - and make our way to family in SoCal. With our family in tow, a five-figure one-way trip would have been inconsequential. I lived through the 1989 earthquake here, and I was trapped overnight in downtown LA during the Rodney King riots.
California can turn on a dime: I've seen it and I've lived it.
Gold coins may not solve all problems, but when the chips are down, and there's no electricity to feed ATMs, I want some for the contingencies I cannot even imagine.
There is risk of loss... and there is risk of loss.