Best Areas in U.S. to Live to Avoid Natural Disasters

By | October 26, 2017

  • October 26, 2017 at 9:10 am
    NC P&C Agent says:
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    Great list, until the big one hits the San Andreas. I’m in the Western NC / Upstate SC region and except for occasional snowstorms, a rare flood and even rarer earthquake, we are exceptionally safe (and comfy!)

    • October 28, 2017 at 9:58 am
      Jax Agent says:
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      There is a reason that there is a mountain range there……just sayin.

      • October 30, 2017 at 12:38 pm
        Agent says:
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        California has enough reasons not to live there other than their numerous disasters.

        • October 30, 2017 at 2:04 pm
          Captain Planet says:
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          Disaster in DC right now, huh Agent? Yuuuuuuuge disaster!

          • October 30, 2017 at 5:09 pm
            The Night of the Living ACA Death Spiral says:
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            Explain what you mean.

          • November 1, 2017 at 9:57 am
            The Night of the Living ACA Death Spiral says:
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            Let me guess; you must mean disaster for liberals/ Socialists/ Democrats. Please correct me by explaining what disaster exists in DC now.

        • January 18, 2019 at 4:10 pm
          Emrid Atla says:
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          You’re talking about the crappy tasting tap water, aren’t you? Yeah, it’s bad. Like, really, really bad.

    • January 18, 2019 at 4:08 pm
      Emrid Atla says:
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      The San Andreas is a bush league fault line. There’s a seismic zone in Missouri that’s scarier than the SA! But the lurking threat that no one seems to remember is the Cascadia subduction zone that has a must higher potential for destruction than the SA line. If the Juan de Fuca plate ever slips than everything west of the I-5 in Oregon is gone either by the quake or by tsunami and the cities of Portland and Seattle would be hard hit.

      I assume that Western NC is at a slightly higher than average risk for a violent tornado considering that nearby Tennessee and Alabama have high tornado death rates and NC has had more tornado deaths in the past ten years than all of Texas has, but otherwise, it seems safely tucked between high disaster areas.

  • October 26, 2017 at 9:20 am
    PolarBeaRepeal says:
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    The southward floating icebergs on which I travel rarely collide with anything to create anything close to a natural disaster. But a distant ancient relative once saw a big boat hit an iceberg next to one on which he rode, back in ’14.

    That said, I support legislation for mitigation that requires real estate sales ads to disclose proximity to fault lines, rivers, streams, flood plains, or damns constructed prior to engineering methods designed to withstand significantly larger volumes of water than typically the case.

    Cigarette packages require warnings on potential hazard. Alcohol products require warnings to pregnant women, etc. Paint, and other petro-chemical based products require warnings for safe and unsafe use of such products. Why not warn consumers of Nat Hazs for property for sale?

    • October 26, 2017 at 9:51 am
      Correction! says:
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      Titanic sank in 1912, not 1914.

      • October 26, 2017 at 2:04 pm
        Captain Planet says:
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        Hey, c’mon, since when did facts matter to Yogi?

      • November 1, 2017 at 9:58 am
        PolarBeaRepeal says:
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        That is correct. I recalled the DATE in April; i.e. 14th, in lieu of the year. Bear culpa.

    • October 26, 2017 at 10:29 am
      Confused says:
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      Your analogy is faulty – buying a home does not actually cause flood, earthquakes, or anything else you say should be disclosed to consumers while cigarettes and alcohol have been proven to cause the issues that the warning is all about.

      • October 26, 2017 at 11:00 am
        PolarBeaRepeal says:
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        Did you read my post, word by word? I think not. But I don’t know for sure because I’m not you.

        ‘Proven to cause’ in the absolute cause & effect manner? Are you claiming ALL smokers get cancer and die young?

        • October 26, 2017 at 11:47 am
          Confused says:
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          Of course I’m not saying ALL smokers die young of lung cancer. Some die of old age and lived with lung cancer or weren’t diagnosed with it before they died. Some smokers die young in car accidents or by terrorists that has nothing to do with their smoking.

          Are you claiming smoking has NOT been ‘proven to cause’ lung cancer?

        • October 26, 2017 at 2:33 pm
          Agent says:
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          Polar, did you read the latest NASA report that said that seas are now receding, not rising as the Global Warming hoaxers have been reciting ad nauseum. Miami and NY have nothing to fear from receding oceans and you will have plenty of iceberg to float around on.

          • October 26, 2017 at 3:08 pm
            Confused says:
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            From that NASA report

            July 12, 2017 – 86.2mm
            July 21, 2017 – 84.8mm

            Yup. It decreased slightly. No sarcasm here. But wait. Doesn’t the data go back further than last week? Yup.

            June 9, 1995 – 6.9mm
            June 4, 2000 – 23.5mm
            June 12, 2005 – 44.7mm
            July 30, 2010 – 50.1mm
            July 2, 2017 – 86.5mm
            July 12, 2017 – 86.2mm
            July 21, 2017 – 84.8mm

            If we look at the trend over multiple years, the data tells totally a different story. Remember kids:

            CLIMATE = long term
            WEATHER = short term

          • October 26, 2017 at 7:10 pm
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            Your choice of dates is irrelevant and may be biased.

            Recession must be measured through rolling averages over a few years.

            You don’t understand statistical variance or the Law of Large Numbers / aka The Central Limit Theorem. I’ve taught it over and over again to my subordinates over the years. They now know not to use irrelevant stats and to explain why individual stats are useless when the incremental values relative to the long run variance is miniscule.

          • October 27, 2017 at 8:17 am
            Confused says:
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            You disagree with how I presented the data. That’s all well and good. Let’s discuss that further.

            Please post what you think is the “right” way to consume the data from the NASA report Agent brought up as the source which he felt proved the seas were receding.

            Please make sure to include actual numbers to prove your argument just as I did. I will be happy to discuss the data further if you can present something contrary to my findings.

            Ready…steady…GO!!!!

          • October 27, 2017 at 9:12 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            I already dismissed your analysis as invalid, based on the high volatility of individual years stats. There is NOTHING left to refute. Calculate the values as I described or don’t participate any further in this sub-thread. Ready, steady, … GO!

          • October 27, 2017 at 10:05 am
            Confused says:
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            You claim my analysis was wrong yet haven’t provided any data to prove your argument holds water (pun intended). There is nothing to debate because you refuse to support your argument with data. If you want to actually refute my analysis, provide the data to support your stance.

          • October 30, 2017 at 8:20 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            @Confused: statistical variance is well within most people’s ability to calculate. Ask a friend, if need be. The stat variance over a year is one value to find, and that should be repeated over a decade, century, millenium, etc. Report back on what you find. Ready, steady, … GO!

          • October 30, 2017 at 8:28 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            @Confused: YOU supplied the data above, so YOU do the math.
            I’ll assume you don’t know how to calculate variances in the data over multiple periods of time until you post such numbers in reply in this sub-thread.

          • October 30, 2017 at 9:04 am
            Confused says:
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            So I should provide the data to support your argument? What kind of nonsense is that debate tactic called?

            Me: “The northern lights are caused by the suns rays and the magnetosphere. Here’s proof …”

            You: “No they’re not. You’re wrong.”

            Me: “Please support your argument with data”

            You: “No. You’re wrong. Everyone knows it”

            Me: “Please support your argument with data”

            You: “No. YOU need to provide the data to prove I’m right.”

            Come on pal. At least try to have some semblance of rationality and logic every now and again in your arguments.

          • October 30, 2017 at 10:16 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

          • October 30, 2017 at 10:57 am
            Confused says:
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            Your intelligent repudiation of my data-driven post has caused me to re-evaluate my position — sea levels are definitely receding based on that NASA report. Great talk. (end sarcasm)

          • October 31, 2017 at 8:59 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            Still can’t figure out the variances over a year, decade, century, millenium?

          • October 31, 2017 at 11:17 am
            Confused says:
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            Still not willing to do your own analysis to prove your argument?

          • October 31, 2017 at 3:01 pm
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            It’s not MY argument, it’s YOURS!

            See:

            Confused says:
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            From that NASA report

            July 12, 2017 – 86.2mm
            July 21, 2017 – 84.8mm

            Yup. It decreased slightly. No sarcasm here. But wait. Doesn’t the data go back further than last week? Yup.

            June 9, 1995 – 6.9mm
            June 4, 2000 – 23.5mm
            June 12, 2005 – 44.7mm
            July 30, 2010 – 50.1mm
            July 2, 2017 – 86.5mm
            July 12, 2017 – 86.2mm
            July 21, 2017 – 84.8mm

            If we look at the trend over multiple years, the data tells totally a different story. Remember kids:

            CLIMATE = long term
            WEATHER = short term

  • October 26, 2017 at 11:33 am
    Observor says:
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    I guess the list assumes that brush fires and earthquakes are not natural disasters.

    • October 31, 2017 at 3:20 pm
      Agent says:
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      Polar, it is hard to argue with one of those “Science is Settled” guys when they are so married to their false agenda. I think poor Confused still thinks the Polar Ice Cap melted in 2014 like his prophet Gore proclaimed it would. Your ice berg re-froze during the past several years so you have no fear of it melting and having to swim for it.

  • October 26, 2017 at 12:01 pm
    Jax Agent says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
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    This article is pretty lame. Obviously the authors had run out of meaningful work to do……or they never had any to begin with.
    I live where I do because I like it very much as do many folks. The threat of a hurricane is there, but not by much and at least with a hurricane I have a week or more advance notice to prepare. And while a hurricane can do a lot of damage in terms of $$$ dollars, there is typically very little loss of life.
    Should the San Andres fault decide to ‘slip’ a dozen feet or more the loss of life will be catastrophic. Should the magma chamber that lies beneath Yellowstone National Park choose to let off some additional pressure…..
    And the recent fires in California killed far more people than do most hurricanes.
    I suppose I could live in a bunker in the Midwest somewhere, but I wouldn’t have any of the surroundings that bring pleasure to my life, so methinks I’ll take the risk and stay here.

    • October 26, 2017 at 12:30 pm
      UW says:
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      The level of knowledge, and not only lack of understanding of measuring risk but active dislike and even hatred of it by agents here is pretty surprising and disturbing.

      • October 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm
        Jax Agent says:
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        You replied to my comment and I don’t have the foggiest idea what you are talking about….and I don’t think you do either.
        You either live where you do because you have to or because you want to. Every place has it’s risks and drawbacks so no one is immune from that.
        “….active dislike and even hatred of (sic: risk)it by agents…” Really ?
        People flock to California because so much of it is beautiful, yet it is fraught with risk.
        Get over yourself, UW, you’re not nearly as smart as you think you are.

        • October 26, 2017 at 4:21 pm
          Agent says:
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          Good one Jax. Good luck to your Jags as well. I don’t watch the NFL anymore, but I do notice the records in the paper.

          • October 26, 2017 at 6:11 pm
            UW says:
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            Good one, if you ignore that or misses the point and parts border on incomprehensible.

          • October 27, 2017 at 9:13 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            You continue to TRY to discredit people by simply stating they don’t know anything about risk. Yet you put nothing forth that demonstrates that claim or that you know what risk is and how it should be defined. Troll.

          • October 27, 2017 at 9:17 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            Risk loads are part of rate filings, and any agent or other marketing staff member would find them in the background material with the rate manuals they receive, whether in hardcopy or pdf form. What value is it to an agent to know the risk load separate from the loss cost component mean value? How does that influence how they do their job or who they sell their products to on behalf of insurers they represent? The risk loads level the risks with different riskyness, so the premiums should all yield equal profits over a long time period.

            What’s you gripe about people now knowing about risk?

            Can you actually define it here, in words?

          • October 27, 2017 at 9:18 am
            PolarBeaRepeal says:
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            ‘could’ is a better word than ‘would’ in my post above, but both are appropriate. Bear near-culpa.

      • October 26, 2017 at 7:13 pm
        PolarBeaRepeal says:
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        Too many insurance pros think they understand risk. So, explain it to us.

        • October 27, 2017 at 3:42 pm
          PolarBeaRepeal says:
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          I wasn’t talking to you. Pardon me if it seemed so. I was directing my point at UW, who commented that ‘Agent’ or someone else didn’t understand risk.

          As I said, risk loads are often found in rate filings and perhaps in rate tables, so as to provide beneficial insight to agents who are so inclined to learn which risks are… riskier… than others.

          I agree agents need not understand all details of risk as contrasted with underwriters and actuaries, and perhaps finance pros, who should well understand it.

          • October 30, 2017 at 12:42 pm
            Agent says:
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            Polar, agents know risk and they also know reality. Climate Change hoaxers are not much on common sense. They are just married to a flawed ideology.

      • October 27, 2017 at 12:38 pm
        CL PM says:
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        As a product manager, I am not much concerned with the degree to which agents understand risk. It’s my job to set up rules, processes and prices that allow my company to effectively match price to risk. I want agents to find new business, collect accurate rating and underwriting information, develop/manage customer relationships and follow the rules I have established for my products. If they do that, risk will be properly managed and we’ll grow a great book together. It’s a team effort and we all have our assignments.

        • October 27, 2017 at 3:43 pm
          PolarBeaRepeal says:
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          See my reply directly above your post. I’m not sure why it ended up there…. I think I clicked the wrong ‘reply’ button.
          Bear culpa.

          • October 31, 2017 at 12:38 pm
            CL PM says:
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            No problem…

  • October 27, 2017 at 10:40 am
    Yes says:
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    Is anyone else surprised that there really aren’t more from the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast? DE, NJ, NY, PA – really all the way up until you reach the severe winter weather parts of the country.

  • October 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm
    Dave says:
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    The Great Lakes and Upper Plains States are about as insulated from natural disasters as it gets.

    I can’t imagine why any city in CA would be on the Safest List at all.

    • November 1, 2017 at 10:02 am
      PolarBeaRepeal says:
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      Winter Freezes? Microbursts?

      • November 8, 2017 at 2:47 pm
        Agent says:
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        Solar Flares affecting Climate???? Volcanic eruptions affecting Climate?

  • October 27, 2017 at 2:39 pm
    mrbob says:
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    Having lived in Phoenix for the last 30 plus years other than heat and the occasional thunderstorm I have never seen what I would consider a natural disaster here. Where did the writer of the report find data that would put Phoenix in 9th place?

    • November 1, 2017 at 10:04 am
      PolarBeaRepeal says:
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      tornadoes? I’ve not looked at tornado data or reports for years, so I’m making a guess for the sake of discussion. Tornadoes aren’t sensationalized by the news or weather media, and their path of destruction is much smaller than tropical cyclones, but they qualify as Nat Cats in my book.

      • November 1, 2017 at 5:13 pm
        Chris says:
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        Phoenix doesn’t have tornadoes that I have heard of.

      • November 6, 2017 at 4:50 pm
        MrBob says:
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        Chris is correct that tornedos are extremely rare in AZ, have they happened yes but compared to some of the other cities on the list with Providence dealing with Nor’easters and the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 38 I have a hard time with the analysis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1938_New_England_hurricane#Rhode_Island

        I attempted to review the study but unfortunately could not find any detail from the study published on line.

  • October 30, 2017 at 10:36 am
    Will says:
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    The petty chirping and name calling that is common in the IJ comments section doesn’t speak well of this profession. Why do we have to conduct ourselves in such a coarse manner and escalate arguments at the slightest provocation? Is it too much to ask to keep discussions on-topic and civil? We are capable of that, I hope.

    • October 30, 2017 at 11:17 am
      Andrew G. Simpson says:
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      Thank you.

    • October 30, 2017 at 12:06 pm
      Confused says:
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      Hear! Hear!
      +1

    • October 30, 2017 at 3:41 pm
      Retro Man says:
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      Unfortunately Will, the petty chirping, name calling, and escalating arguments are symptoms of society at large and are not limited to the IJ comments section.

    • October 31, 2017 at 3:05 pm
      PolarBeaRepeal says:
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      No, Retro Man; they’re much worse here than the average website comment board. The main reason is Climate Change Hoax debates where one side wants to secretly debate ‘Climate Change’ and the other wants to debate ‘Climate Change Significantly Influenced / Caused by Man’. Then, there’s political issues involving the legitimacy of the TrumPresidency.

      • October 31, 2017 at 3:21 pm
        thedownvoter says:
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        …then there’s the fact that you and Agent feel the need to interject politics into absolutely every discussion and belittle others who either don’t share your opinion or dare to question it. Prove me wrong…Ready, steady, GO!

        • November 1, 2017 at 10:19 am
          PolarBeaRepeal says:
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          I will often respond to flamers who mis-state /lie about what I wrote. New commenters have flamed this board since 11/8-9/16. Your frustration has increased since your BOTs were neutralized by IJ. So, multiple screen names from multiple accounts arise to show you haven’t learned IJ’s rules of conduct for their PRIVATELY OWNED comment boards.

          • November 1, 2017 at 10:58 am
            the downvoter says:
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            how many monikers have you used, exactly?

            BOTs have never been used on this board, at least not by this poster, and I doubt anyone would actually go through the trouble of doing it on an insurance forum. If I downvote you for something, it’s for being either political in a situation that doesn’t warrant it (in this case, an article about natural disasters which tend to affect both liberals AND conservatives), insulting to either individual posters or making broad generalization about people you’ve never met, or long, rambling posts.

            Believe it or not, I have actually upvoted many of your posts when they’re witty or prove a good point.

      • November 9, 2017 at 12:57 pm
        Agent says:
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        Look out Polar, the Global Cooling is now beginning with a massive amount of cold air descending on northern states with record lows in the offing. Add that to the NASA article declaring the seas are now receding according to their measurements. The Warming hoaxers are going crazy now.

  • October 30, 2017 at 12:29 pm
    John Williams says:
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    I think this article is ridiculous and borderline irresponsible. Many natural hazards have long return periods and 30 years isn’t nearly long enough from which to draw conclusions. This Sperling guy clearly has not understanding of natural hazards – he’s just processing data and trying to great a sensational headline. Earthquake risk is real, even if there hasn’t been a huge one lately.

    • November 1, 2017 at 9:05 am
      PolarBeaRepeal says:
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      … and wildfires. Of course, one could defend their inclusion of SF and Oak by saying they only meant to convey the downtown areas. Not all buildings in the US are in large cities, surrounded by fire impervious walls.

      The cost of the recent CA wildfires, which are now 100% contained, has tripled from the earlier estimate of $1B to $3B as of last night, per the CA Insurance Commissioners office.

  • October 30, 2017 at 1:48 pm
    Greg Cummings says:
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    Oakland and San Francisco?????
    Really?????
    There have been major earthquakes here in the past. Don’t be surprised if another one doesn’t strike in the very near future!!!

  • November 1, 2017 at 3:35 pm
    Perplexed says:
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    I grew up in the Round Rock, Austin, Tx area and in 40 years of living there can’t think of one natural disaster that would have resulted in making this list. The only disaster I see now is the fact that Austin has been destroyed by the liberals that live there and govern. No longer the beautiful city it used to be. It looks like a huge slum. High taxes that are shutting down businesses that had been there for 50+ years. Downtown lost all it’s character to the “loft” living style.

  • November 28, 2017 at 1:44 pm
    Don Vana says:
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    This article is a bit questionable. San Francisco is identified as the 4th safest place in the USA. It just happened to have one of the largest earthquake in the last century. It appears the author was more concerned about frequency than severity in their decision making process.

    https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/events/1906calif/18april/

  • January 10, 2018 at 12:46 am
    cassie says:
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    I live in an area with no natural disasters. Unless you count the one earthquake in 2011 which is the only one we’ve had in my 60 years in Northern VA, We get snow but it doesn’t take out 50 houses or every one on your block. Due to underground wires, we never loose our Electric service. I live in Fairfax Virginia.

  • March 20, 2018 at 4:15 pm
    Rokey says:
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    I don’t know what they’re playing at putting Portland at #1 – we’re sitting smack on the Cascadia Fault line, which could cause a major earthquake now, or 75 years from now: that’s the fun! And Portland is utterly unprepared, so…there’s that.

    • January 18, 2019 at 4:10 pm
      Emrid Atla says:
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      This guy knows what he’s talking about.

  • November 24, 2019 at 7:35 am
    Jonathan Thomas says:
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    San Francisco? Did have a big earthquake in the 90’s.
    And, I expect California to have another big one soon.

  • September 14, 2020 at 7:18 pm
    Liz says:
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    Wildfires are out of control on the west coast, and have become a regular and worsening crises. Top 6 picks are not at all safe from yearly firestorms.

  • September 16, 2020 at 4:21 pm
    flower Gardener says:
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    Here in California will all end up as California climate refugees soon.



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