10 Safest Cities in America from Natural Disasters
After the recent earthquake in Japan that triggered tsunamis from Japan’s northeastern coast to the northern coast of California, it’s no wonder that people are concerned not only about the safety of the people in Japan, but also about the safety of the area in which they live. After all, it seems that devastating natural disasters have been occurring with increasing frequency in recent years. So where are the safest cities in our own country? Here is a list of ten U.S. cities that have a low likelihood of being struck by a major natural disaster. (See also: Do You Need a Disaster Survival Kit?)
From a list of American cities with populations over 100,000, those cities that had a higher likelihood of being struck by tornadoes (in Tornado Alley) were eliminated, as were those cities that were more likely to be hit by a hurricane (Gulf Coast cities and some Atlantic Coast cities). Cities that had a higher probability of experiencing a tsunami (Pacific Coast cities) or that were located near active volcanoes (concentrated in the Pacific Northwest) were also eliminated. Finally, cities in areas most likely to experience earthquakes (according to the U.S. Geological Survey) were removed from the list.
Once the list was narrowed down from 276 to under 100, the top ten were picked based on low violent crime rates — although not a natural disaster, crime rates are also a relative measure of safety.
1. Chesapeake, Virginia
Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 158
Best Known For: The Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge, whose northeastern corner is located in the boundaries of the city. Chesapeake is also known for its location on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
2. Erie, Pennsylvania
Violent Crimes per 100,000 Residents: 219
Best Known For: Presque Isle State Park, an arc-shaped peninsula in Lake Erie that is a popular destination for hiking, swimming, fishing and boating.
3. Fort Wayne, Indiana
Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 184
Best Known For: The Fort Wayne Daisies, which is the town’s professional women’s baseball team featured in the movie A League of Their Own.
4. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 395
Best Known For: Its location on the banks of the Grand River. Grand Rapids is also known for its Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, a 132-acre attraction that hosts the largest outdoor sculpture collection in the Midwest.
5. Green Bay, Wisconsin
Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 215
Best Known For: Its location at the mouth of Fox River on Lake Michigan, and the Green Bay Packers Football Team. Green Bay is the second-oldest franchise in the NFL.
6. Henderson, Nevada
Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 111
Best Known For: Its proximity to Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as Lake Mead and Hoover Dam.
7. Phoenix, Arizona
Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 286
Best Known For: Its subtropical arid climate and near-constant sunshine.
8. Provo, Utah
Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 68
Best Known For: Brigham Young University and its conservative culture.
9. St. Paul, Minnesota
Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 341
Best Known For: Its status as one of the Twin Cities, along with Minneapolis, and its unusually cold winters. St. Paul is also known for its Winter Carnival, an event attended by over 350,000 people each year.
10. Stamford, Connecticut
Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 137
Best Known For: Its highly educated population and its status as home to several Fortune 500 companies, including WWE, Pitney Bowes and UBS.