10 Safest Cities in America from Natural Disasters

by Janey Osterlind on 28 March 2011 71 comments
Photo: tbucha

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?)

The Methodology

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

Population: 222,455
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

Population: 103,571
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

Population: 255,890
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

Population: 193,710
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

Population: 101,412
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

Population: 256,445
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

Population: 1,593,659
Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 286
Best Known For: Its subtropical arid climate and near-constant sunshine.

8. Provo, Utah

Population: 119,775
Violent Crime per 100,000 Residents: 68
Best Known For: Brigham Young University and its conservative culture.

9. St. Paul, Minnesota

Population: 281,253
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

Population: 121,026
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.

3.05769
Average: 3.1 (52 votes)
Your rating: None
ShareThis

comments

71 discussions

Add New Comment

CAPTCHA
This test helps prevent automated spam submissions.
Guest's picture
Guest

The photo representing Phoenix is a picture of Superstition Mountain...not located in Phoenix at all. It is due east of Apache Junction...which is due east of Mesa, which is due east of Tempe, which is...next to Phoenix.
Just saying.

Lynn Truong's picture

True, but the mountain is a popular recreation destination for Phoenix residents. It's less than an hour's drive.

Guest's picture
Guest

I disagree. I live in central phoenix and superstition mountains are over an hour drive for me. Mostly all phoenix residents would go to Camelback, Phoenix Mountain Preserves (Squaw/Piestewa peak) or South Mountain. Even McDowell Mountain and Pinnacle Peak (in Scottsdale) are way closer than Superstition.

Guest's picture
nate

You know Stamford was destroyed at the start of Marvel's Civil War cross over a few years back ;)

Guest's picture

i would say that makes it unsafe

Guest's picture
Guest

I would argue against Chesapeake VA being at the top of this list. I lived there for 8 years with a constant threat of hurricanes and their resultant storm surge flooding the town's low lying areas (most of the town is near sea level). Hurricane Isabel caused extensive damage throughout the city, and could have easily been worse if the hurricane had not lost energy just prior to landfall.

Guest's picture
Guest

Wow, it appears you were right on two fronts: Hurricane Irene and Earthquake.

Guest's picture
Aelx

I agree 100%. This doesn't make any sense at all. I know folks who've lived there and the damage from hurricanes could be substantial.

Guest's picture
NH Scott

I hate to say this, but I live in Chesapeake Virginia and half the trees in our yard have been knocked down by hurricanes over the years. We aren't technically on the coastline, but we're only about 15 miles away from it. Every time the Outer Banks/Virginia Beach gets hit, we get hit. I would not advise the weather-phobic to move here.

Guest's picture
John

It is very surprising that Chesapeake VA made the top of the list, considering their vulnerability to hurricanes and flooding. In 2003, Hurricane Isabel wreaked havoc on the city. "The storm surge assailed much of southeastern Virginia, peaking at an estimated 9 feet along the James River; the surge caused significant damage to homes along river ways, especially along the middle reaches of the James River basin. The strong storm surge surpassed the floodgate to the Midtown Tunnel in nearby Norfolk; about 44 million gallons of water flooded the tunnel entirely in just 40 minutes. Winds from the hurricane destroyed over 1,000 houses and damaged 9,000 more; damage in the state totaled about $1.85 billion (2003 USD, $2.21 billion 2011 USD), among the costliest tropical cyclones in Virginia history. The passage of Isabel also resulted in 32 deaths in the state, 10 directly from the storm's effects and 22 indirectly related."

Guest's picture
Guest

The TOTAL damage you are referring to did occur, but not in Chesapeake..... as you stated the flooding primarily took place in other "local" cities. The majority of the major flooding that impacted homes was quite a bit north of Chesapeake.

Guest's picture
Guest

The picture for St. Paul is of the Minneapolis City Hall. Granted, Minneapolis is mentioned below, but it's very amusing to us because of the friendly rivalry between the two cities. Minneapolis is larger but St. Paul has the capital. To list St. Paul but show Minneapolis is just wrong.

Guest's picture
ElleKC

The previous poster about St Paul is not correct. The picture is of the Landmark Center in St Paul, right next to the Rice Park and the Xcel Energy Center. I pass by there at least twice a week. (Although in that person's defense, Landmark Center does look a lot like the Minneapolis City Hall - or vice versa.)

St Paul is a great place to live. It is small enough to be livable, and just big enough to have plenty of amenities. And I believe we have great emergency response systems at the state and local level, as well as some of the highest volunteer rates in the country. Those should not be overlooked when looking at safe cities.

Guest's picture
Carol

Wow no Texas towns. As large as Texas is you would think atleast one area would have been considered safe. Aside from Space Shuttle shrapnal Lufkin is very safe.

Guest's picture
Guest

You may want to look up incenerators. There are three in Texas, not to mention proximity to the mexican drug lords.

Guest's picture
Guest

The Mexican drug lords are several hours away from and hundreds of miles south of Lufkin that Carol is talking about. (or the distance of 3 or 4 of the puny-er states) ; ) But we do have tornadoes. And don't forget the wildfires. Oh, and softball sized hail. Oh, and hurricanes near the Gulf. That's probably why Texas isn't on the list.

Guest's picture
Guest

Interesting topic, but the methodology seems a bit lacking. There are plenty of safe areas that aren't cities, certainly. Northwest New Jersey is well placed for being away from natural disasters. No tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, forest fires, locusts or landslides. And minimal risk from hurricanes and floods in the western part of the state.

Of course we have our share of nuclear power. I'd suggest and such survey should consider that.

Guest's picture
Carrie

I agree. Although I really like the topic I felt that flooding and drought were the glaring omissions. Global warming is causing rising oceans and less snowfall. Water or lack of it will be the big news in the coming years.

Guest's picture
Guest

We visited St. Paul / Minneapolis in September about 5 years ago. After a day of sightseeing we noticed a very ominous, dark storm-front approaching from the west, so we headed east on Rte.36. Pretty soon tornado sightings and warnings were being broadcast. We didn't encounter the tornado, because it stayed a bit north of our route, but it did do some damage. Come to think of it, there was a bridge collapse in the twin cities about a year later .

Guest's picture
indio

Stamford, CT might be "safe" from natural disasters, but it is within the 20 mile blast radius for a nuclear reactor that is considered to be the most at risk for failure in the US by the NRC. The winds from the 2 reactors in Buchanan, NY 15 miles away would blow right over Stamford. If you consider the uranium and plutonium at the power station a naturally occurring chemically element, it wouldn't fit the criteria of being safe from a natural disaster. If you consider a nuclear meltdown, a manmade disaster then it surely fits. I wonder how many of the other safest cities are located near nuclear power plants?

Guest's picture
Guest

I definitely do not agree with Chesapeake being one of the safest cities. Major flooding occurs every time there is a storm and as other have said it is under the threat of a hurricane every season

Guest's picture
DOTTI DONAHUE

ERIE,PENNA. IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE. BEING HERE ALL MY LIFE, OTHER THEN SOME PRETTY BAD SNOWSTORMS OFF INTERSTATES 90 AND 79, THE AREA IS LOVELY.YES, WE DO LIVE NOT SO FAR FROM PERRY NUCLEAR POWER PLANT.,IT SO FAR HAS NOT POSED A THREAT TO OUR RESIDENTS. GO ERIE!!!!!!

Guest's picture
Guest

I'm from erie too and its a good place with horrible weather. I love the atmosphere and night life. Just wish people like you wouldn't be posting illiterately in all caps to make the rest of the nation think were uneducated.

Guest's picture
Guest

I too have lived here all my 70 yrs. of life and would not even consider living any where else and the snow doesn't bother me either I love it always did.Beautiful place to live.GO ERIE!!!

Guest's picture
Paula Ries

Hi Dotti,
I too have lived here most of my life, with the exception of 10 years of military life which placed me near the twin cities, the bay, and out west, as well as a couple of overseas locations to include Japan. Although all of these other places were wonderful to visit, I couldn't wait to come back home and wouldn't trade living in Erie, Pa. for all the wealth in the world. I can see where you would be so excited that you would use all CAPS. :~)

Guest's picture
Guest

Krispy Kreme to me doesn't compare to Mighty Fine Doughnuts...... I've been all around the world and Smith's hotdogs are still the best....... Oh and I cant forget the pepperoni and cheese balls. I guess I love the food. Although I will never live in Erie again I will always come back once a year to visit. The crime is getting higher as of late.

Guest's picture
Guest

Erie PA is my hometown; I returned here after 14 years in Baltimore and have to agree that it is one of the Top Ten safest cities -- well insulated from natural disasters by virtue of geography and luck. Sure, we get snow but many of us like winter....you can shovel snow and eventually it melts. Plus, global warming has been good to our part of the world... excessive snowfall is rare (the city doesn't miss a beat with even a 2' overnight snowfall), ice storms are exceedingly rare and the summers are warmer. In fact, our summers are spectacular with plenty of free events/concerns almost every night of the week in various locations: downtown, the beaches, 8 Great Tuesdays etc. But I have to disagree with one of the previous Erie writers: the best donuts in town are Jack Frost Donuts on Buffalo Road!

I gotta agree: GO Erie!

Guest's picture
Guest

So a crippling economic recession isnt a natural disaster? Back in college we used to call that place the armpit of America. It's almost a shame that this place isn't in the way of a hurricane, earthquake, and flood because they really need to just start over...

Guest's picture
Ray

Guest wrote:
"So a crippling economic recession isnt a natural disaster?" Well, Erie faired far biter than most places in the recession and is recovering strongly. Yes, young people leave for greener pastures after school, but it's amazing how many come back after being out in the rest of the big bad world. For most of us, Erie has it all.

Guest's picture
Guest

Most of the comments are typical of Erie's attitude. They forgot about the tornado that leveled Albion, the earthquake with the epicenter in Lake Erie. Of course, most are to young to remember the Millcreek flood! My brother was in town visiting our mother when they were stuck in her house after the deluge that flooded SW Erie. We just made it to my mother's house the year they set another record for annual snowfall. We were snowed in from Sunday to Thursday (Thanksgiving). Yes, when I grew up there it was a great place to raise a family, but over the years it has gone down hill. My one son lives in the downtown area. He says you take your life in your hands going out at night. My iteration-in-law lives in SE Erie and she and her husband now pack guns to protect against break-ins. Most major industry left Erie. GE still remains, but not much longer they are going to layoff mot of their remaining Erie employees as they move locomotives to Texas (and, eventually, to Mexico and/China). Many years ago, Erie was No. 1 in diversity of products manufactured. Today, most of the jobs are in the service industry (Welcome to Wal Mart). I notice the comments of those who claim to live elsewhere are all glowing about how great it is! If it is that great why haven't they gone back already. Yes, compared to Detroit, it is a better place to live. But if you love short summers, long cold snowy winters and somewhat high crime rate (higher than indicated here) then by all means move there. The one big plus is the peninsula. Growing we used to ride out there on bikes or take the ferry from the Public Dock to Waterworks beach. As far as Italian food, it is mediocre. One has to go to Buffalo or Pittsburgh to find good Italian food. I will give aplus to Romolos, Stefanellis or Pulakos for their chocolates. I used to love Ox Roast sandwiches, but quality hs gone down hill. Also, a big plus for Smith hotdogs. However, in North Carolina, Krispy Kreme donuts have Might Fine donuts beat by a mile. Of course, the "kitchen police" had problem because KK donuts were using a shortening that was too fattening.

Personally, who ever put this list together must be from an alternate universe. While I can't speak for every city, but having spent time in few of them, no way would I rank some of them in the top 10 (or even 100) and I am not addressing the crime rate.

Guest's picture
Erik

Honestly, I'm surprised some of those midwest cities are on there given the snow storms they had this past winter...and every few years it seems like. I'd take the small chance of a volcano that may or may not reach the Seattle area, with zero threat of hurricane or tornado which are fairly regular occurrences in other parts of the country, and minimal chance of tsunami as the Olympic Mountain range would prevent it from reaching 9/10 of the state, and a "huge" snowstorm for us amounts to about 5" which sticks around for maybe 4 or 5 days if we're lucky

Guest's picture
Guest

I have also lived in Erie all my life and have always appreciated that we do not have so many of the things that plague the rest of the world. For one thing, we do not have any dangerous, maneating creatures here, either on land or in the water. The meanest we got are black bears and you have to go to the mtns to find those and they're mostly elusive and of course, the lovely brown recluse spider--again, a rather elusive critter unless you're working in or around woodpiles.
Secondly, we do not ever have hurricanes--ever. We have had the occasional tornado with only one very serious touchdown several years ago in Albion, an area about what...30-40 minutes from Erie? We also have had earthquakes-2 minor little temblors that I myself felt and the one most recently that occurred in Canada but was felt here. The biggest was a 5.2 and that was back in 1998. Big deal. Could there be a tsunami on Lake Erie? I'd hate to think of what would have to happen in order for that to occur. We are not that close to nuclear reactors--Perry is in Ohio, about 40 miles NE of Cleveland. It is a type 6 boiling water reactor and is stronger than the ones in Japan--thicker walls and containment system and the backup cooling system and generators are underground, unlike those in Japan which got washed away by the tsunami, forcing them to use seawater to cool the reactors. The Shippingport reactor near Pittsburgh (3hrs from Erie) has been decommissioned.
Ok, so no deadly critters (really), weather is fairly safe, save for the blinding snowstorms and accumulation of snow each winter-but hey, Buffalo always gets it worse, small to miniscule nuclear plant threat, no volcanoes nearby, not earthquake-prone, let's talk crime rate statistics. Our crime rate has been steadily increasing-but there are very few areas of the city itself that I feel unsafe in--even at night. We just aren't a huge crime capital here. We get our fair share of thugs, I'm sure there is some organized crime-but ok, the Gottis don't live here, aight?
Some great things about Erie besides the above-mentioned:
we live right on Lake Erie, which provides for many activities year-round. People love to go ice fishing here in the winter, we have world-class steelhead fishing that ppl come from all over the world for, the lake effect doesn't just give us 100 inches of snow a year (or more) it also gives us excellent fruit growing and that includes GRAPES! In my little town of North East (15 miles East of Erie) we have what, about 20 wineries? It's amazing. The Cherry Festival, Wine Festival--and all the ethnic festivals we have from our Greek, Polish, Italian and German folks who immigrated here a few generations ago. We have the international institute which has helped settle thousands of refugees from all over including Sudan, Nepal, Iraq, Serbia, Croatia, Armenia, Lebanon, etc. We have quite a wonderful international flavour here with great markets reflecting that. We have farmers-tons of farmers selling fresh produce at roadside stands and in the park in downtown Erie. We have a thriving downtown nightlife, a huge shopping corridor along Peach Street, many hospitals with 2 of them being highly ranked in various specialties. We have the benefits of a big city without the crowding and long commutes-it takes me roughly 20 minutes to drive the 15 miles to my job. The cost of living is relatively low compared to the rest of the country. We do have Presque Isle which has wonderful trails and activities year-round. You can waterski, bike, skate, jog, rent pedal buggies and paddle boats in the summer-enjoying the soft sand beaches and world-class sunsets (we are spoiled by the spectacular sunsets here night after night) and in the winter you can rent snowshoes, cross country skiis--there is birdwatching year-round and deer and other wildlife to be seen. We have a gorgeous bayfront with a new convention center, great family-owned, non-chain restaurants, our own microbrewerie and excellent local beers, Smith's hot dogs, green grass, rolling hills, beautiful trees and many forests abound. In fall, our foliage is aflame and probably unrivalled save for the views in New England states. Matter of fact, our spring, summer and fall are incredible. It's just the winters everyone laments and the reason so many leave--and then come back! Because I can't tell you how many ppl come back--it's alot, trust me. Thank you for letting me go on and on--I'm just tickled and proud that Erie made this list! We've been called Dreary Erie and the Mistake on the Lake--well, I beg to differ!

Guest's picture
Guest

I agree wholeheartedly! The fact that we get four seasons of weather makes Erie a great place to live. I think we appreciate warm, sunny days more than people in areas where they are the norm.

Guest's picture
Guest

I'm a born and raised Erieite and your opinion of this city is completely based on how you perceive it. I'm a huge hunter and fisherman and people travel from hundreds of miles to fish the uncountable creeks for trout and spend hundreds of dollars on getting both hunting and fishing licenses. Yea the winters can be rough but as a 17 year snowboarder, i look forward to the 2-3' of snow we get at a time. It's unfortunate that the crime rate has been rising drastically but it's usually in the same crappy part of town, so don't live in that area, pretty simple. To call Erie the armpit of America is unfair to us. You ever been to Jersey city??? I sure have and couldn't wait to get back to Erie. Erie is a great all around place and I love calling it home.

Guest's picture
CherieM

Your description makes me want to live in Erie. Good thing I already DO! Yep Erie and the surrounding area is a unique and wonderful place. I remember when I was coming back home to Erie, and on the ride in which I was a passenger, I noticed the scenery getting prettier and prettier and that's when I knew we were getting close to Erie.

Guest's picture

I was going to say i'd be extremely surprised if a Utah city wasn't on this list! Provo made is which makes sense haha

Guest's picture
Guest

I gerew up in Chesapeake, VA and have lived in Erie, PA for the last 50 years! How lucky can a person be! Mimi

Guest's picture
Guest

This list is frustratingly disjointed since you insisted on factoring crime rates into the equation. What do they have to do with natural disasters?

Guest's picture
Guest

We moved (job related) from Erie eight years ago and go back every chance we get. I miss the roadside fruit and vegetable stands - McIntosh apples. We always pick up Smith's hot dogs and ox-roast to bring home with us.

It is a wonderful town to raise a family - great small zoo - fabulous local playhouse - wonderful athletic facilities - YMCA, Family First- Spectacular Presque Isle, 12 miles of public beaches and sunsets. Hockey, baseball, and basketball that you can afford to take your families too.

I have to stop. I am getting homesick for Erie.

C;ose enough to Cleveland and Pittsburgh if you need a big city.

Guest's picture
Guest

This list isn't as accurate as you think. I have grown up in Provo, UT and yes it is a very nice place to live. Good people, low crime. But what many people don't know is that it literally sits right beside the giant Wasatch Fault line. A fault that experiences 2-3 minor (can't feel them) earth quakes per day. But the bad part is that Utah is long overdue for an 8 point earth quake. Plus, it's close enough to Yellowstone that once that blows you're dead anyway. Yellowstone is the largest volcano in the world. Ash from it's last eruption has been found by archaeologists in southern Texas. I'd say that if you really want to avoid natural disasters, you should just avoid the west altogether. Maybe parts of AZ are safe, but take it from me, I've lived in southern CA, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, and PA for most of my life. If you want to be in a disaster free zone, the north east is the best. You'll die in the west. There's no escaping the powers that are out here.

Guest's picture

Interesting list of cities that come up. Glad to see St Paul, Minnesota on there. Having lived there or near there much of my life, I agree that it's a really good place to live & you dont have to worry about natural disasters unless you count the way the Twins and Vikings played this year. :)

Michael

Guest's picture
Guest

Any location where there is Ocean that touches the shoreline is not safe. The Eastern Seaboard is also waaaaay to overcrowded. Rising sea levels, hurricanes, overpopulation, possible nuclear attacks? I would never live on the East Coast. This includes the West coast as well. The safest area in the Midwest in my opinion is WI. Wisconsin itself is on rock solid ground, no earthquakes, hurricanes, not much flooding, no volcano's. Last time a tornado hit was 30 years ago. If any "Major flooding occured, ice caps melt it would go straight down Lake Michigan and flood to the Gulf of Mexico, as predicted by Edgar Cayce in the future. Virginia??? Come on. NV, UT, ID? What if the volcano in Wyoming erupts? Every state around it to Iowa would probably lead to death.

Guest's picture
Melissa W

These concerns are valid. Everyone should just move to Grand Rapids, MI. It's getting nicer here all the time. I'm smitten with the mitten.

Guest's picture

Well put together article. My dad use to tell me when he was in Ohio, where he grew up that he would go to Pennsylvania from time to time. I am curious about it now. Thanks for the information. I think I will look into some of these places out of curiousity. I love CA born and raised. I do like the pictures you have included. The article short and to the point is more enjoyable that way then if it was overloaded with too much information on these places.

Guest's picture

Maybe I should consider moving again because none of my past residential areas are in theses areas! I'm currently a Floridian and with hurricane season being such a series time it seems I've become an expert in coping with Natural Disasters. It is so sad that not only does the earth bring such destruction to an area, but afterwards the crime rate is so much higher. I'm really hoping this year's hurricane season isn't damaging...if it is them I'll definitely be moving to a location on this list!!

Guest's picture
Miiockm

I would rather take the risk of living near the water than in the middle of nowhere.

Guest's picture
Karen

Me, too! I live right just north of Wilmington, NC and I'll take my hurricanes any day over tornados, wildfires, earthquakes, etc. At least we have plenty of warning!

Guest's picture
Ray

Well, move to Erie then. It's on beautiful, clean, fresh water Lake Erie - Presque Isle State Park has many lovely beaches. And you don't have to get that sticky salt water feeling. And, while we are no New York or Orlando, Erie is by no means in the middle of no-where. We have just about everything. Want to visit an even bigger city - we're just 2 hour drive from Pittsburgh, Cleveland or Buffalo, three hours from Toronto, and equidistant between Chicago and New York. We put up with and get used to the snows, which just help us to enjoy even more our great summers.

Guest's picture
ABMO

Aside from crime & harsh winters, I've always thought of my city, Boston, as a place safe from natural disasters, BUT in the past 12 months, I have personally witnessed: a 48-hour blackout (Mar '12), a blizzard in October ('11), a massive hurricane (Irene, Aug '11), an earthquake (Aug '11), and a tornado (Jun '11 - in Western Mass, but I'm counting it).

Guest's picture
Guest

After living in SC my whole life, I moved to Chesapeake,Va and was traumatized by all the crime I saw. I wasn't there anytime before the police put a picture of a rapist on my door warning of a rapist in the area that had raped many women. I then saw the action after the police killed a woman's husband that was threatening her(she did not want him dead). After this, I saw a man tackled to the ground outside the supermarket after he had grabbed a purse from an elderly woman inside the store. I then woke up to a shooting above me in my apartment(lakes of greenbriar) The ex navy man shot his friend in his apt above mine and then went to his girl friends home and killed her. I don't know if the man died or not. All of this in only a few months. I had never been so close to so much crime in my whole life and still haven't. I was terrified. So funny to see it made number 1.

Guest's picture
Guest

Hate to live in Phoenix when the power goes out in the summer 110 degrees++

Guest's picture
Guest

What is bad about kentucky ot tennessee. I am looking for an area that is more moderate in climate, has water for growing food, not prone to natural disasters or man made for that matter. I live on the pacific coast and want to get away from the Japan continual radiation contamination. Any insite ob these two states?

Guest's picture
Guest

was supposed to say safew from natural disaster.........not crime! lol But thank you for the info.

Guest's picture
Katrina C.

Heck yeah! Didn't feel nothing from Irene or Sandy! Chesapeake is definitely number 1!!!

Guest's picture
AOwens

I'd like to mention Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Guest's picture
Guest

A bit confused, I was raised in Central Utah (Provo area) and we lived under the constant threat of Earthquakes due to the Wasatch Fault Line. I also have personal memories of an earthquake when I was a teenager. We also experienced a whole town being flooded that no longer exists due to a mountain moving and blocking a river (it also closed interstate 70 for quite some time). We also lived with the threats of flash floods from the winter run off coming down the canyons. The crime rate piece was nice to see.

Guest's picture
Jesse C.

Laredo, Texas should've been #1.
I live in laredo; never in my 16 years have I seen tornados, earthquakes etc.
Only 1hurricane, but it was so small that you could take your baby for a stroll in the park lol

Guest's picture
Guest

My vote is Phoenix AZ. It may be hot however natural disastures are at a minimum.

Guest's picture
Guest

Who in the heck thought this up? Albuquerque NM? HELLO? 274 average days of sunshine, no tornados or hurricanes.. hmm

Guest's picture
Guest

One of the things I would like to mention is that they didn't take in consideration the smaller cities or town nearby. Westfield, NY - 20 miles from Erie, PA. Great place to live, grape farms, fruit farms, antique shops, small hometown Main Street. Excellent school system. Located on Lake Erie, we have easy access to Interstate 90, 20 min drive to Erie Airport. An hour or so drive to Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh airports. We have very light snowfall, as we are on the lake and we enjoy green grass, colorful foliage and beautiful snow. Love the small towns around the Erie, PA area. Come check us out!

Guest's picture

All of these places are beautiful. I am originally from Pittsburgh and have learned a lot about Erie growing up. I'd definitely agree it is a safe place to live.

Guest's picture
CherieM

I am an Erieite from birth and this is no news to us. It is one of the best things about our fine city. Another good thing is that Erie has everything you could want to buy. I have lived for a year or two here and there for awhile before moving back to Erie for good. None of the cities I lived in had the diversity of people and products that you find in Erie. I guess maybe NYC, but outside of NY, Erie has it all! PS You would probably be surprised to find out all of the famous people who come from the Erie area, and the huge part we have played in the history of our country. Join us on Saturday the 25th of May for the (Commodore Oliver Hazard) Perry 200 year celebration!

Guest's picture
Ray

I would think being near the ocean with potential hurricanes would disqualify Chesapeake, leaving Erie, PA as No.1. We have often commented on the safety of our community from natural disasters. The closest we have come was a tornado in the small town of Albion, about 45 min. drive, in the 1980s. I see there are many advocates for Erie posting here enumerating our many wonderful amenities, so I won't go into it, other than to mention a few things that weren't mentions, like the century-old, top of the line Erie Philharmonic Orchestra, Erie Playhouse, etc. - lots of culture (we are a college town with four universities and a medical school). Also the reconstructed Brig Niagara, Perry's ship in winning the battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812, the Erie maritime Museum, and lots more history. Shopping is huge - it's hard to find a national chain store we don't have in our huge suburban mall and many large plazas. Eating out - not only almost every chain, but many fabulous local restaurants. People travel from all over to visit Presque Isle State Park and its many beautiful, clean fresh water beaches - 4 million visitors a year - more than Yellowstone National Park - yet never crowded. It's even a bird sanctuary with over 325 species having been sited. Yes we have big winter snows, but we're used to and are equipped for them. While some places are paralyzed with a few inches of snow, we can have two feet and the schools not be closed. Snowy winters are beautiful and make our lovely other seasons something to look forward to. We had the rust-belt loss of a lot of manufacturing years ago, but now hold our own very well compared with other places economically. Cost of living is comparatively reasonable. Like many places we have seen some crime increase, but still low and mostly limited to the bad neighborhoods (which every city has). Oops, and I wasn't going to talk much about Erie since others did. I moved here from NYC 35 years ago, and love it. My wife moved here from a town of 400 in northern Minnesota, and she loves it. And yes, natural disasters are unheard of around here.

Guest's picture
Guest

i love erie

Guest's picture
Michele Payment

I live in A suburb of Syracuse NY and feel it is safe from disasters and violence. Where are we on your list??

Guest's picture
Guest

Ironic! A couple of days after this article, Edinboro, just a few miles outside of Erie, was hit by a tornado. Edinboro is not far from Albion, also hit by a tornado a few years back. Both are in Erie county.

Guest's picture
Ray

Yes, ironic indeed! But the truth is they are extremely rare in our area. The Albion tornado was 1985, almost 30 years ago. That one was devastating. A friend lost a baby in that one. Latest one north of Edinboro was fairy minor in terms of damage. So yes, they can happen here, but not a regular concern like in the Midwest.

Guest's picture

I live about a half hour NW of Grand Rapids, MI, and I would have to say about the worst we get in terms of natural disasters is the occasional blizzard, but even those have been minor in the past several years. Very limited number of recorded tornadoes, no hurricanes, no earthquakes, no monsoons, no volcanos, no sunshine - wait! Did I say that? Haha. Okay, so we're not sunny California, and our winters can be cold and cloudy.

STILL...Michigan is a wonderful place to live! And I should know. I've been her for almost 65 years.

Guest's picture
Marina G.

Nobody ever mentioned El Paso, Texas! It is a safe place in which there has not been a disaster my whole life, 25 year. Yes, we had a flood in 2006, but not the kind that is nature's fault. It was the city's fault for not being prepared for a good rainy day. The streets were not prepared with proper drainage, which is why it flooded. If you know about rain, you would have enjoyed that day, if the streets were ready.

Guest's picture
V Hebert

I have lived all of my 65 yrs. in south Louisiana in Lafourche parish. We have regular hurricanes (Katrina), flooding from heavy rains and some tornados. We don't have snow, at least very rarely. I can count on one hand how many times I've seen snow here. I have never experienced an earthquake. We have long, hot humid summers and short winters. Our insurance for flooding is getting to the point we may not be able to afford it After Katrina our premiums tripled and Our coverage went from $500 deductible to $2,500. Plus we are still paying on our energy bill extra to cover the cost of reestablishing our electricity! That was 8 yrs. ago. Now our premiums may ride up to tens of thousands of dollars. If we get another Katrina we are done for!!!

Guest's picture
pam

what about factoring in nuclear events, such as testing and waste? i live in colorado, and am looking for another pace to live due to fracking and nuclear bomb testing sites, and waste dumping. and evidentally, my daughter, who is constantly online researching says that fukushima HAS affected denver (the geological bowl) , and has the highest score for radioactive readings. i am looking for a healthy place to live geographically, meteorlogically, and radioactively. i am originally from hawaii, but it is so crowded and expensive. i kin of wnat a neat house to live in with a yard, like the older west coast homes in oregon and washngton, and cali, but reasonably easy to find a job and cost of living is good. thanks