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  #1  
Old 04-28-2011, 06:40 PM
Palo Verde Palo Verde is offline
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What area of the U.S. is least prone to natural disasters?

Which part of the U.S. is least prone to natural disasters?

Tornadoes, rock-slides, volcanoes, wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. I know disasters can happen anywhere, but where in the U.S. are they least likely?
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2011, 07:17 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Right here in Minnesota we're allegedly one of the top Tornado states, but not so you'd know. We generally don't get a lot of the really big mile wide ones. We don't have any volcanoes, I think the largest Earthquake is in the 2 range, not a lot of rock slides (no mountains), no coast for tsunamis, and although we have some wildfires, not anywhere near like drier areas of the country.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:29 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Upstate New York (the Albany area) has very few.

1. Tornadoes: I've been here 40 years and there has only been one confirmed tornado in the area.
2. Earthquakes: Only one, a gentle shaking that just rattled windows and caused no damage.
3. Tsunamis: We're over 100 miles inland. No chance.
4. Wildfires: Never heard of one in the area.
5. Hurricanes: too far from the ocean to get the full force; they do sometimes dump a lot of rain, but with little damage and no loss of life.
6. Volcanoes: none.
7. Rockslides: every once in awhile, but rarely in inhabited areas. The Adirondacks are old mountains; most of the rockslides happened centuries ago.
8. Snowstorms: The worst. But it's rare they they're more than an inconvenience; snow can be shoveled and will eventually melt.
9. Heat waves: the most likely, but that means temperatures in the 90s.

I'd guess Vermont has similar conditions.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:33 PM
TimeWinder TimeWinder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
Right here in Minnesota we're allegedly one of the top Tornado states, but not so you'd know. We generally don't get a lot of the really big mile wide ones. We don't have any volcanoes, I think the largest Earthquake is in the 2 range, not a lot of rock slides (no mountains), no coast for tsunamis, and although we have some wildfires, not anywhere near like drier areas of the country.
I suspect many folks would consider Minnesota blizzards a natural disaster, although perhaps not on a tsunami-level scale. They can strand you, damage infrastructure, prevent travel, and often carry a human death toll. And don't get me started on the mosquitos that can carry off children.
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  #5  
Old 04-28-2011, 07:35 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Originally Posted by TimeWinder View Post
I suspect many folks would consider Minnesota blizzards a natural disaster, although perhaps not on a tsunami-level scale. They can strand you, damage infrastructure, prevent travel, and often carry a human death toll. And don't get me started on the mosquitos that can carry off children.
But only those below average.
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  #6  
Old 04-28-2011, 07:41 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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Central Valley in California. Local flooded streets with very heavy rainfall is as bad as it gets.
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  #7  
Old 04-28-2011, 07:47 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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OKC, OK!

Tornadoes, earthquakes (minor, for now), floods (but no tsunamis), blizzards, fires, hail, extreme winds...

Hey, NO VOLCANOS! Yeay us.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:49 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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College sports joke explaining why Oklahoma is always so windy:

Because Texas sucks and Kansas blows!
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:53 PM
SeldomSeen SeldomSeen is online now
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The Intermountain Region - that zone lying between the Sierra/Cascades and the Rockies has generally been spared the worst of natural disasters. Any of the above can happen, have happened (well, except for tsunamis), but the events are mostly rare and not terribly severe when they do occur. Probably the greatest threat is drought and wildfires. The fires occur every year, but because of the way the country has developed they usually happen in unpopulated areas with minimal loss of life and property. Weather extremes like blizzards happen mostly in the higher elevations whereas the population is largely concentrated in the sheltered valleys. Flooding can occur, but the terrain has sufficient vertical relief that floods are generally limited to narrow corridors along waterways. The threat of volcanism is always there, but the worst hot spots are located well away from population centers. Overall, a fairly pleasant place to live.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:00 PM
XT XT is offline
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Anecdotal, but we don't get a lot of natural disasters in New Mexico. Fire and drought are probably our biggest concern (we are in a rather nasty drought in my area right now...wish we'd get some of the rain plaguing the rest of the country) with occasional floods if we get a really heavy monsoon (we haven't gotten any of those big ones lately so we are probably due). Nevada doesn't seem to be subject to a lot of disasters either, relatively speaking...some flooding occasionally, and fire and drought like the rest of the south west.

-XT

Last edited by XT; 04-28-2011 at 08:01 PM..
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  #11  
Old 04-28-2011, 08:02 PM
Palo Verde Palo Verde is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeldomSeen View Post
The Intermountain Region - that zone lying between the Sierra/Cascades and the Rockies has generally been spared the worst of natural disasters. Any of the above can happen, have happened (well, except for tsunamis), but the events are mostly rare and not terribly severe when they do occur. Probably the greatest threat is drought and wildfires. The fires occur every year, but because of the way the country has developed they usually happen in unpopulated areas with minimal loss of life and property. Weather extremes like blizzards happen mostly in the higher elevations whereas the population is largely concentrated in the sheltered valleys. Flooding can occur, but the terrain has sufficient vertical relief that floods are generally limited to narrow corridors along waterways. The threat of volcanism is always there, but the worst hot spots are located well away from population centers. Overall, a fairly pleasant place to live.


But with a large fault line just under Salt Lake City and a mega-volcano under Yellowstone, that are doesn't seem to safe to me!
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:08 PM
XT XT is offline
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Yeah, but if Yellowstone goes up (something that only happens every half million years or so, IIRC), we are all screwed anyway. If you live in New York you are going to be affected if Yellowstone blows it's top, so no real reason to worry about it.

-XT
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  #13  
Old 04-28-2011, 08:14 PM
Randy Seltzer Randy Seltzer is offline
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This is an interesting question. Let's take a closer look at it.

Looking at various wikipedia articles about them, here's a list of things that can be considered "natural disasters":
  • Avalanche
  • Blizzard
  • Cyclone/hurricane
  • Drought
  • Earthquake
  • Flood/landslide
  • Heat wave
  • Limnic eruption
  • Meteorite
  • Storm (non-cyclone)
  • Tornado
  • Tsunami
  • Volcano
  • Wildfire
Excluded are things like disease and famine, which, while "disasters," I personally don't consider "natural disasters," though reasonable minds may differ.

Applying this list to the United States, it's hard to think of an area that isn't particularly affected by at least one of these. (A few can be eliminated: I don't think there's ever been a notable limnic eruption in the US, and meteorites and storms are a minor phenomenon that is uniformly distributed.)

Let's break this down by state. Here's a list of states, and what natural disasters may be particularly likely there. Perhaps other posters can fill in the blanks or correct me where I'm wrong. Let's do this from West to East and from North to South...
  • AK - Avalanche, blizzard, drought, flood/landslide, tsunami, volcano, wildfire
  • HI - Cyclone/hurricane, tsunami, volcano
  • WA, OR - Avalanche, blizzard, tsunami
  • CA - Drought, earthquake, flood/landslide, heat wave, tsunami, wildfire
  • ID - Blizzard, volcano
  • NV, AZ - Drought, heat wave
  • MT, WY, ND, SD - Blizzard, earthquake, volcano
  • CO - Avalanche, blizzard, drought, earthquake, volcano
  • NM - Drought, heat wave, wildfire
  • ND, SD - Blizzard, earthquake, tornado volcano
  • NE - Blizzard, tornado, volcano
  • KS - Blizzard, tornado
  • OK - Tornado, heatwave, wildfire
  • TX - Cyclone/hurricane, drought, heatwave, tornado, wildfire
  • MN, IA - Blizzard, flood
  • WI, MI - Blizzard
  • MO, IL - Blizzard, flood, tornado
  • AR - ?
  • LA, MS, AL, GA, FL - Cyclone/hurricane, flood, heatwave
  • IN, OH, KY, TN - ?
  • SC, NC - Heatwave
  • WV, VA, MD, DC - ?
  • PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, ME - Blizzard
  • VT, NH - Avalanche, blizzard
The list presumes the Yellowstone caldera is a volcano risk, and states along the Mississippi have higher flood risks.

Last edited by Randy Seltzer; 04-28-2011 at 08:17 PM.. Reason: forgot AZ
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  #14  
Old 04-28-2011, 08:24 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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AR - Floods, being in Arkansas, severe T-storms often have a possibility for tornados, ice storms

OH, KY, TN also get floods, ice storms, recently KY had tornados

Last edited by AncientHumanoid; 04-28-2011 at 08:25 PM..
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  #15  
Old 04-28-2011, 08:37 PM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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You left earthquake off of AK OR and WA. One of the biggest quakes ever recorded was the 1964 Alaska quake. And everyone around here (Pacific Northwest) is worried about a repeat of the 1700 Cascadia quake.

OR and WA also get non-cyclonic storms. Sometimes with winds equalling those of hurricanes

AR IN OH KY and TN all get tornadoes

ETA OR and WA also have volcanoes, as does California

Last edited by dtilque; 04-28-2011 at 08:41 PM..
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  #16  
Old 04-28-2011, 08:47 PM
kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Seltzer View Post
MN, IA - Blizzard, flood
WI, MI - Blizzard
Wisconsin is on the Mississippi, as well as having several other not-insignificant rivers (Wisconsin River, Fox River). While it may not often get floods on the scale of some other areas, flooding isn't uncommon there. In fact, flooding is going on right now:
http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/...east-wisconsin

Last edited by kenobi 65; 04-28-2011 at 08:47 PM..
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2011, 08:52 PM
penultima thule penultima thule is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palo Verde View Post
Tornadoes, rock-slides, volcanoes, wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. I know disasters can happen anywhere, but where in the U.S. are they least likely?
Yucca Mountain, Nevada?
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  #18  
Old 04-28-2011, 08:53 PM
Randy Seltzer Randy Seltzer is offline
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Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
AR - Floods, being in Arkansas, severe T-storms often have a possibility for tornados, ice storms

OH, KY, TN also get floods, ice storms, recently KY had tornados
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
You left earthquake off of AK OR and WA. One of the biggest quakes ever recorded was the 1964 Alaska quake. And everyone around here (Pacific Northwest) is worried about a repeat of the 1700 Cascadia quake.

OR and WA also get non-cyclonic storms. Sometimes with winds equalling those of hurricanes

AR IN OH KY and TN all get tornadoes

ETA OR and WA also have volcanoes, as does California
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
Wisconsin is on the Mississippi, as well as having several other not-insignificant rivers (Wisconsin River, Fox River). While it may not often get floods on the scale of some other areas, flooding isn't uncommon there. In fact, flooding is going on right now:
http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/...east-wisconsin
Several good additions. But note that I was trying to list natural disasters that are particularly likely in a given state. Not just possible in a given state. I mean, Alabama is currently experiencing some of the worst tornadoes in the history of the country, but "tornado" aren't on the list for Alabama because tornadoes are an aberration there.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:58 PM
GreasyJack GreasyJack is offline
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I wouldn't necessarily agree with blizzards being a hazard in most of the midwest. You can get some very large snowfall, but they're not as lethal and debilitating as a true blizzard which is high snowfall and high winds. These are more a hazard in the plains states than the midwest proper.
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  #20  
Old 04-28-2011, 09:23 PM
Pushkin Pushkin is offline
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The thread reminds me of an episode of the X-Files or Millennium, where an odd group set up home in the place in the US least likely to suffer natural disaster, in anticipation of some sort of apocalypse.
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  #21  
Old 04-28-2011, 09:40 PM
blondebear blondebear is online now
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Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
Central Valley in California. Local flooded streets with very heavy rainfall is as bad as it gets.
1983 Coalinga Earthquake
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  #22  
Old 04-28-2011, 09:42 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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Not much happens in Southeast Michigan.
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  #23  
Old 04-28-2011, 09:50 PM
Goggles03 Goggles03 is offline
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Check these out:

http://www.globaldatavault.com/natur...hreat-maps.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/life/graphic...ters/flash.htm
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  #24  
Old 04-28-2011, 10:19 PM
SmartAlecCat SmartAlecCat is online now
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Originally Posted by Randy Seltzer View Post
  • WV, VA, MD, DC - ?
An occasional slight hurricane, slight drought, and rare small tornado.
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  #25  
Old 04-28-2011, 10:24 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Originally Posted by Randy Seltzer View Post
Several good additions. But note that I was trying to list natural disasters that are particularly likely in a given state. Not just possible in a given state. I mean, Alabama is currently experiencing some of the worst tornadoes in the history of the country, but "tornado" aren't on the list for Alabama because tornadoes are an aberration there.
Earthquakes are a daily occurrence in AK, OR and WA. There are cyclic "rolling earthquakes," unique to the Cascadia Subduction Zone that last for months. Their total energy output may exceed what recently occurred in Japan, or Indonesia a few years back. And the quake of 1700 would make the recent Japan quake a mere hippy hippy shake in comparison. The hottest volcanic activity in the Lower 48 is Mount St. Helens (WA) and the Sisters uplift (OR). AK volcanic activity is "regular," often in remote areas.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:32 PM
Fubaya Fubaya is offline
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Define "area." We actually had a bunch of tornadoes pass through last night and one last month, but I consider east Tn to be virtually disaster free. The only other tornado I have heard of is one that did light damage in the early 70s. Unless global warming is making this tornado alley, I don't expect to see another one for many years.

That USAToday link says Tn has earthquakes. The western border of Tn is on a fault line that has potential to cause a major earthquake, but hasn't done anything in 200 years and has a lack of fault movement that makes some think it's dying down and won't ever do anything. That's on the western border and could potentially wipe out Memphis, but it's 400 miles from me in east Tn. I'd never say my area is prone to earthquakes.

It also says we have ice storms. Once in my 33 year life we had an ice storm. Last winter, it rained over night and got cold and there was ice on the roads. It wasn't just black ice, everything was coated, so I'd agree it was an ice storm. There were some wrecks but it was gone by 10am. Is it a natural disaster if it only affects people who are driving and only causes a small percentage to have fender benders?

lightning and thunderstorms- I'd agree that we get more storm damage than somewhere that doesn't get storms, but not that our storms are disastrous. Ok, last night's was but hopefully that was once in a lifetime.
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  #27  
Old 04-28-2011, 10:36 PM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Seltzer View Post
[*]WV, VA, MD, DC - ?
In my lifetime, Northern Virginia/DC area has gotten clipped by a hurricane or two, usually one that did a lot more damage to some neighboring locality. DC got a really bad snowstorm (4-6 feet) in the mid-90s, but this was atypical. Floods are a bit more common, but the Potomac only goes nuts once every three or four years. Except for the DelMarVa peninsula, we're pretty immune to tsunamis (Like most of the mid-Atlantic states, we actually have very little beachfront). No serious forest fires, bee swarms or earthquakes (The last earthquake to impact us actually occurred in Indiana and we just got a gentle jostling). No nearby volcanoes, although some ash from Mt. St. Helens landed--sparsely--in Tidewater once. Drought is rare, although once the Potomac was so low that a kayaker was able to safely go down Great Falls, repeatedly (I sat and watched him).
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  #28  
Old 04-28-2011, 11:03 PM
Anticounterrevolutionary Anticounterrevolutionary is offline
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Using the criteria of the number of federally declared disasters coupled with per-capita fatality rate due to natural disasters, the 3 safest states are Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
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  #29  
Old 04-28-2011, 11:30 PM
Civil Guy Civil Guy is offline
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Not a natural disaster, exactly, but Tule fog is pretty bad.
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  #30  
Old 04-29-2011, 12:09 AM
sitchensis sitchensis is offline
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Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
Earthquakes are a daily occurrence in AK, OR and WA. There are cyclic "rolling earthquakes," unique to the Cascadia Subduction Zone that last for months. Their total energy output may exceed what recently occurred in Japan, or Indonesia a few years back. And the quake of 1700 would make the recent Japan quake a mere hippy hippy shake in comparison. The hottest volcanic activity in the Lower 48 is Mount St. Helens (WA) and the Sisters uplift (OR). AK volcanic activity is "regular," often in remote areas.
You can break it down by state if you want but eastern WA and OR along with the ID panhandle are pretty safe from disaster.
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  #31  
Old 04-29-2011, 01:28 AM
mac_bolan00 mac_bolan00 is offline
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new jersey pine barrens. just your occasional controlled forest fire that's actually a necessity to control the pine trees. also the occasional encounter with the jersey devil.
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  #32  
Old 04-29-2011, 01:29 AM
drastic_quench drastic_quench is offline
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Years ago I heard a survivalist plug Idaho as "safe". They did have a humongous fire in 1910 though.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:07 AM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Seltzer View Post
Several good additions. But note that I was trying to list natural disasters that are particularly likely in a given state. Not just possible in a given state. I mean, Alabama is currently experiencing some of the worst tornadoes in the history of the country, but "tornado" aren't on the list for Alabama because tornadoes are an aberration there.
If you look at the first link provided by Goggle03, the tornado risk map shows that parts of AL, as well as AR, KY, TN, IN, and OH are some of the highest risk areas. As far as a major earthquake in the Northwest goes, the question is when, not if.

I did say something wrong in my post. That was about the noncyclonic-storm danger in OR and WA. I was thinking of the Columbus Day storm and similar storms that we get every 10 or 15 years. It turns out those are cyclonic, although they don't call them hurricanes or cyclones.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:18 AM
Randy Seltzer Randy Seltzer is offline
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Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
If you look at the first link provided by Goggle03, the tornado risk map shows that parts of AL, as well as AR, KY, TN, IN, and OH are some of the highest risk areas.
That's very interesting. I assumed that anything outside of tornado alley would have lower-than-average tornado likelihood, but comparing the two maps (and assuming the one on the cited page is accurate), it seems that "tornado alley" is itself a bit of a misconception. (Typical tornado alley map here).
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:24 AM
eulalia eulalia is offline
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Colorado gets tornadoes and wildfires every summer. This year the fires started early, but it's still generally too cool for tornadoes.
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  #36  
Old 04-29-2011, 02:34 AM
GreasyJack GreasyJack is offline
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Originally Posted by drastic_quench View Post
Years ago I heard a survivalist plug Idaho as "safe". They did have a humongous fire in 1910 though.
They also had the strongest earthquake in the lower 48 in the last 50 years, the 7.3 magnitude Mount Borah quake of 1983. Fortunately, it was way out in the middle of nowhere so damage was confined to two tiny little towns, but if it had struck anywhere near larger population centers it would have been a very serious disaster. It is, however, part of a larger Intermountain seismic belt which runs from Montana through Idaho, Utah and Nevada. The Wasatch Front in Salt Lake City is very similar to the geologic situation at Mount Borah.

Also, yes, all the rugged survivalists love northwest Montana and the Idaho panhandle where they can hate all parts of the government not associated with wildfire suppression.
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:32 AM
Anticounterrevolutionary Anticounterrevolutionary is offline
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Also, yes, all the rugged survivalists love northwest Montana and the Idaho panhandle where they can hate all parts of the government not associated with wildfire suppression.
Can't you just call a cab to take back to wherever you came from?
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  #38  
Old 04-29-2011, 05:59 AM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is offline
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Originally Posted by Randy Seltzer View Post
Several good additions. But note that I was trying to list natural disasters that are particularly likely in a given state. Not just possible in a given state. I mean, Alabama is currently experiencing some of the worst tornadoes in the history of the country, but "tornado" aren't on the list for Alabama because tornadoes are an aberration there.
From just north of AR, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that tornado's are particularly likely in AR. For other values of likely, so are earthquakes. Ice storms are annual as well as floods and baseball size hail.

My vote is MN. The blizzards there don't have nearly as much snow as upstate NY, and they are well equipped to handle them. Tornados are not nearly as frequent as they are in OK, TX, KS, MO and AR. Chicago is pretty disaster free as well.
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  #39  
Old 04-29-2011, 08:17 AM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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What area of the U.S. is least prone to natural disasters?

FEMA tracks Presidential disaster declarations in the United States. They have produced this map which shows the number of declarations by county for the time period December 1964 to January 2010:

http://www.gismaps.fema.gov/historical.pdf

From this it looks to me like parts of the Central Plains qualify.
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  #40  
Old 04-29-2011, 08:21 AM
bouv bouv is offline
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Originally Posted by Randy Seltzer View Post
  • VT, NH - Avalanche, blizzard
Eh, I'd cross avalanche off the list. The type of mountains we have in VT (and NH) aren't really avalanch prone. I can't recall of ever hearing about a REAL avalanche the whole time I've been living here...

But I'll tack on flooding, especially in the part of VT I live in (Champlain Valley.) FULL of small mountain streams, wich flow into mountain rivers, which flow into small ponds and lakes, which then all flow into Lake Champlain. Right now there is severe flooding in several areas around the lake. A small town in eastern NY on the other side of the lake is almost completly cut off from other towns...only a couple back roads haven't been washed out.

The town I grew up in had their mountain river flood in the late 90's. It washed out a couple bridges, which cut it off from a couple nearby small towns. To get from one of those two towns to my town woul take an extra 30-40 minutes to go all the way around. At least in happened in the summer so that they didn't have to worry about bussing kids to school. They had a temp. bridge in place before the fall. But a few years later, early 2000's, the town had another flood. This time, instead of the flood coming from "underneath" from a flooding river, it came from "above." A massive storm dumped someting like 4 inches in less than an hour. It all washed down the side of the mountain my town is nestled against. Huge boulders crashed into homes, (and the elementary school at the top of a hill right near the mountain,) parts of town with a couple feet of standing water, more washed out roads, etc...

Edit: I'll add, though, that even with floods, blizards, and ice storms, I think this part of the NE is generally prety safe from natural disasters. Not very much loss of life from these, mostly just property damage and inconvience.

Last edited by bouv; 04-29-2011 at 08:22 AM..
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  #41  
Old 04-29-2011, 08:38 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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I vote for upstate NY as well. Not much affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes (even though it is technically in an earthquake zone.) Plus most places are not in flood or landslide zones, and many places do not get very bad blizzards, either. At least I'd rather have the blizzards in any place but Buffalo than the heat waves that affect the entire South for 6 months of the year.
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  #42  
Old 04-29-2011, 09:07 AM
MentalGuy MentalGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by Randy Seltzer View Post
Several good additions. But note that I was trying to list natural disasters that are particularly likely in a given state. Not just possible in a given state. I mean, Alabama is currently experiencing some of the worst tornadoes in the history of the country, but "tornado" aren't on the list for Alabama because tornadoes are an aberration there.
I don't really think tornadoes are an aberration in Alabama. There were often tornado warnings in the four years I lived there, and it seems when severe storm weather comes, it often comes through the Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia corridor. Now half-mile wide super tornadoes were not common, but they are not common anywhere.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:08 PM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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Vermont and New York are in Region 1 shown on my linked map. The most common disasters seem to be 'severe storm' and 'flood'. (IOW bouv is correct about the hazard of flood there).

According to pie chart for Region IV (includes Alabama), the risk of tornado is significant but overshadowed by 'severe storm', 'flood', and 'hurricane'. Tornadoes appear to be a significant hazard in all the Southern states, as well as the Midwest.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:00 PM
Cyberhwk Cyberhwk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Seltzer View Post
[*]WA, OR - Avalanche, blizzard, tsunami
The most an Avalanche is probably going to do is screw up your travel plans and except for some smaller towns up north blizzard conditions are nearly unheard of. Mt. St. Helens killed "only" 57.

The only major mass casualty (say 100+) natural event I could see for Washington would be The Big One.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:15 PM
Chingon Chingon is online now
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KS is pretty damn safe. Even with tornadoes, the damage done is limited by the sparseness and the loss of human life is low.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:19 PM
bump bump is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Seltzer View Post
  • AK - Avalanche, blizzard, drought, flood/landslide, tsunami, volcano, wildfire
  • HI - Cyclone/hurricane, tsunami, volcano
  • WA, OR - Avalanche, blizzard, tsunami
  • CA - Drought, earthquake, flood/landslide, heat wave, tsunami, wildfire
  • ID - Blizzard, volcano
  • NV, AZ - Drought, heat wave
  • MT, WY, ND, SD - Blizzard, earthquake, volcano
  • CO - Avalanche, blizzard, drought, earthquake, volcano
  • NM - Drought, heat wave, wildfire
  • ND, SD - Blizzard, earthquake, tornado volcano
  • NE - Blizzard, tornado, volcano
  • KS - Blizzard, tornado
  • OK - Tornado, heatwave, wildfire
  • TX - Cyclone/hurricane, drought, heatwave, tornado, wildfire
  • MN, IA - Blizzard, flood
  • WI, MI - Blizzard
  • MO, IL - Blizzard, flood, tornado
  • AR - ?
  • LA, MS, AL, GA, FL - Cyclone/hurricane, flood, heatwave
  • IN, OH, KY, TN - ?
  • SC, NC - Heatwave
  • WV, VA, MD, DC - ?
  • PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, ME - Blizzard
  • VT, NH - Avalanche, blizzard
The list presumes the Yellowstone caldera is a volcano risk, and states along the Mississippi have higher flood risks.
Pretty much anywhere along the Atlantic coast or the Gulf coast is at risk for hurricanes, with the Gulf coast states and lower Atlantic ones like SC and GA being at the most risk. Hurricanes do however occasionally go as far north as Boston though.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1938_New_England_hurricane
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:33 PM
GreasyJack GreasyJack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberhwk View Post
The most an Avalanche is probably going to do is screw up your travel plans and except for some smaller towns up north blizzard conditions are nearly unheard of. Mt. St. Helens killed "only" 57.
Well, to be fair, Mt.St.Helens was a piddling little firecracker of a volcano as far as explosive volcanic eruptions go and was situated in such a way that the mudflow damage to populated areas was minimal.

The biggest threat to the Seattle/Tacoma area is Mt. Rainier, which has bigger eruptions for one, but also has the potential for devastating lahars. These are mudflows caused when water from melting snow mixes with volcanic material that set up like concrete when they stop. A great deal of the Seattle/Tacoma metro area and their suburbs are built on top of Mt.Rainier lahars, so they certainly have the potential to reach heavily populated areas. What's worse is that the mountain doesn't even need to erupt for this to happen-- Mt. Rainier has a huge amount of water tied up in it its glaciers and is overly tall and structurally unstable from hydrothermal activity. There is potential for serious lahar events triggered by the mountain simply collapsing, perhaps in a worst-case scenario triggered by a major Cascadia earthquake. Although lahars exacerbated by severe ashfall from an eruption would be no picnic either.

Of course, the important question is that if Mt. Rainier erupts and kills many thousands, will they keep it on the license plate?
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  #48  
Old 04-29-2011, 06:34 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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OH NOES! WE HAD AN EARTHQUAKE IN MINNESOTA!!!

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/0...-rattles-minn/

A 2.5 Earthquake in north central Minnesota at 2:20am this morning.

"The USGS says the largest earthquake recorded in Minnesota was a magnitude 4.6 quake that caused minor damage to walls and foundations in Stevens County around Morris. But Chandler said the most destructive was in Staples in 1917. Its magnitude was estimated at 4.3, and it knocked over chimneys, shook items off shelves and shattered windows, he said."
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:17 PM
skdo23 skdo23 is offline
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I'll second that (I'm from central VT, which is geographically similar to the Albany area). There are just too many mountains, etc., for a tornado to gain enough momentum to do significant damage, even if the proper conditions exist for one to form (rare). Like Chuck says, hurricanes become weaker as they fly over land (I live about 200 miles from the nearest coastline in NH) so by the time they reach us they are really just heavy, long lasting rainstorms. Most injuries/deaths that can be "blamed" on mother nature occur when drivers lose control of their vehicle due to snow/ice. Occasionally, there is property damage due to flooding when a river rises due to a severe infusion of water from heavy rains or large amounts of snow and ice melting quickly in spring, but damage is usually confined to areas in the immediate vicinity of the river.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Upstate New York (the Albany area) has very few.

1. Tornadoes: I've been here 40 years and there has only been one confirmed tornado in the area.
2. Earthquakes: Only one, a gentle shaking that just rattled windows and caused no damage.
3. Tsunamis: We're over 100 miles inland. No chance.
4. Wildfires: Never heard of one in the area.
5. Hurricanes: too far from the ocean to get the full force; they do sometimes dump a lot of rain, but with little damage and no loss of life.
6. Volcanoes: none.
7. Rockslides: every once in awhile, but rarely in inhabited areas. The Adirondacks are old mountains; most of the rockslides happened centuries ago.
8. Snowstorms: The worst. But it's rare they they're more than an inconvenience; snow can be shoveled and will eventually melt.
9. Heat waves: the most likely, but that means temperatures in the 90s.

I'd guess Vermont has similar conditions.
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  #50  
Old 04-29-2011, 10:00 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquak...te_largest.php
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