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Where to live to avoid a natural disaster
Old 04-30-2011, 07:04 PM   #1
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Where to live to avoid a natural disaster

I just noticed this map appearing in the New York Times:

Where to Live to Avoid a Natural Disaster - Map - NYTimes.com

I found it pretty interesting, and I hope the link works (still getting used to NYT's new subscription model)
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:07 PM   #2
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Highest risk...Dallas.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:32 PM   #3
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Hmmm, very interesting. Definitely not retiring near one of the top 8.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:50 PM   #4
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Many people don't realize the high risk of earthquakes in Missouri. One of the biggest in the history of the US occured in the New Madrid area of Missouri.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:58 PM   #5
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Many people don't realize the high risk of earthquakes in Missouri. One of the biggest in the history of the US occured in the New Madrid area of Missouri.
I knew about the potential with the New Madrid fault (have to, I'm in the midwest), but I was rather surprised to see that South Carolina seems to have a non-negligible risk of earthquakes! Wonder what that's due to...
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:03 PM   #6
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I knew about the potential with the New Madrid fault (have to, I'm in the midwest), but I was rather surprised to see that South Carolina seems to have a non-negligible risk of earthquakes! Wonder what that's due to...
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:29 PM   #7
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Highest risk...Dallas.
Yeah, better move to New Orleans where you'll be safe from natural disasters.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:44 PM   #8
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Many people don't realize the high risk of earthquakes in Missouri. One of the biggest in the history of the US occured in the New Madrid area of Missouri.
Yes....that area is where I'm from and where most of my family lives.

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Yeah, better move to New Orleans where you'll be safe from natural disasters.
I would but the fire ants keep me held hostage in my house....
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:01 PM   #9
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I live & work near Houston M-Thurs & then drive to the Shreveport area every weekend for 3 days. My wife, son & daughter live there full-time. When I retire, it'll most likely be in or very near Shreveport. So...looks like I need to double up on my insurance coverage. Also...wife's family is near Austin, and my family (mom, sisters, other daughter etc) all live on the eastern seaboard in NC, so maybe I better QUADRUPLE my coverage, since I spend time in all those disastrous places! yikes!!!
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:03 PM   #10
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I'm heartened to see the green "safe" globule adorning Honolulu. But I don't really believe it. We get earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis out here, and I guess the fact that none of those which struck in Hawaii recently happened to hurt Honolulu is a lucky coincidence.
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:39 PM   #11
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I wonder how they calculate this. On an 'area', or your individual chance of being affected by the disaster?

For example, tornadoes are extreme, but generally very, very localized (often one house leveled, the house two doors down has minor/no damage). Tornadoes don't generally take out a lot of the surrounding infrastructure, so even if you are in the path, others can get to you and help, or you can go to a hotel 5 miles away. There won't be a mass exodus like you can get with a hurricane or an earthquake.

IOW, would they say Illinois has an X number of a tornado events in a year, or would they say X thousand people were affected by tornadoes in that year?

If the Midwest gets hit by tornadoes just as the New Madrid fault makes a major correction, we are in a whole heap of trouble!

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Old 04-30-2011, 10:30 PM   #12
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I'm not so much concerned about the actual danger, as I am of the jacked up home insurance rates in such areas.
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:42 AM   #13
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Northern New England's pretty much disaster proof. By the time the hurricanes get up there they're a mere stiff breeze. There's an occasional blizzard and ice storm but that's more of a nuisance than a disaster.
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:10 AM   #14
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Arizona doesn't have much in the way of natural disasters, just man made ones.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:04 AM   #15
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Hint: stay away from Sendai...and Tokyo...or in the case of yours truly, find a way to accelerate one's departure.

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Old 05-01-2011, 08:21 AM   #16
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Go to the moon. No tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, forest fires, hail storms, volcanos (not sure about that last one). No poisonous snakes, scorpions, infected mosquitoes. No cholera, diphtheria, etc. You get the point.

Of course, you do have to live under an air shield that was made by a government contractor.

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Arizona doesn't have much in the way of natural disasters, just man made ones.
I'll take natural disaster over human risk any day. At least with natural disaster there is a limit to the damage, we know what that is, there are things we can do to protect ourselves from danger and we can buy insurance to limit our financial risk. Einstein said human stupidity is infinite - that means no limit to man-made risk. And that was before investment banking, collateralized debt and derivatives.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:07 AM   #17
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You could move to the UK. They don't seem to get much in the way of earthquakes, hurricanes, or tornadoes; in fact we lived there for 3 years and hardly ever heard thunder. Perhaps that's the origin of the nickname "The Fortunate Isle." They do get serious flooding in the lower-lying areas.

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Old 05-01-2011, 09:55 AM   #18
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This doesn't pass my smell test/experience. I just moved to Bellingham, WA and , for the first time, carry earthquake insurance in addition to house insurance. The earthquake map shows why. The lowest list is mystifying (Bellingham is the 3rd lowest [along with 7 out of 8 lowest nearby]).
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:12 AM   #19
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The more I look at the map, the more I wonder if it's accurate too. How on earth could the CA coast be among the safest areas? And Dallas #1? My family has lived in Texas for the past 35 years, including one sibling in Dallas itself, without a problem to speak of.

If you look at the individual tornado, hurricane and earthquake maps at the bottom of the NYT link - compare Dallas (tornado is the only risk, and it's not high) to coastal SC (high hurricane, high earthquake and med tornado risk). And then look at the overall map?

And wonder why they didn't include fires? They seem to hit CA almost every year and do considerable damage.
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:19 PM   #20
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I knew about the potential with the New Madrid fault (have to, I'm in the midwest), but I was rather surprised to see that South Carolina seems to have a non-negligible risk of earthquakes! Wonder what that's due to...
1886 Charleston earthquake (M ~7).

The 3 largest known earthquakes in the eastern US are the 1811/1812 New Madrid events (a series of large M 7-8 events over a 2-3 month period), the 1886 Charleston earthquake, and the 1755 Boston earthquake (M ~6).

Of the 3 represented natural disasters, earthquakes are the most uncertain. Earthquakes can occur anywhere in the United States, whereas a hurricane is never going to hit Wyoming. The seismic risk estimates are primarily based on known earthquakes (except in the Pacific NW). There is really nothing preventing a "New Madrid" size earthquake from occurring in Iowa, for example.
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