Your home: What outweighs the natural disaster potential?

Pretty much every place on earth has the potential for some sort of natural disaster. California and Japan are famous for earthquakes; many southern states and the Caribbean are highly vulnerable to hurricanes; there’s Tornado Alley; etc.

I live in Colorado Springs. We are not as prone as some areas to natural disasters; however, we do sometimes get awe-inspiring hail storms that leave roofers, window companies, and insurance adjusters over-worked for weeks if not months afterward. We also have a risk for wildfires.

But I have no plans to move. For one thing, those disasters are not terribly common; we often go for several years at a time between truly major events. Also, I like the atmosphere of the city. I like the many parks, walking trails, etc. I like the local art scene. I like the scenery and having the mountains just a few minutes away.

What sort of natural disaster is your home prone to, and what outweighs the risk for you?

Do tourists and politics count?

Barcelona sees heavy rains in the fall. All of Spain is subject to occasional earthquakes. My house in the mountains is subject to occasional light snowfalls at any time during the year. Other than that…

San Diego.
Natural disaster potential: Wild fires. (earthquakes do happen, but they’re as much of a “concern” as meteor strikes. You just don’t spend any time/energy worrying about them).

In the 30 years I’ve lived here, I’ve been evacuated once, and was being “prepared to be evacuated” a 2nd time. It is really scary, and when all you see and smell is the smoke, it is very freaky. But I live in a pretty densely housed neighborhood, and I know the firefighters focus on minimizing the damage to such places. It seems the places they’re not able to save in such neighborhoods is due to shake roofs, or too much brush nearby.

With the possible exception of the traffic, everything else about living here makes it worth the “risk”.

I pay for earthquake insurance here in Western Washington. Required by my mortgage company. They also wanted me to have flood insurance, my house is about a quarter mile from a river that has flooded in the past. My house is also about 125 feet in elevation above the river, the odds of flooding are between zero and nada. I don’t pay for that. My brother lives in a valley downstream from Mt. Rainier. He has coverage for a lahar if the mountain ever blows.

Nelson County, Virginia.

Had my wife and I lived here in 1969 then we might well have died. Our home is perched close to steep hills and a stream. Davis Creek is one ridge over.

But it is beautiful here and such storms are rare.

Hurricanes and tropical storms are not uncommon where I live. About once every 2-3 years or so we get something scary enough to warrant battening down the hatches. But over the past 12 years that I’ve been here, I personally haven’t been impacted by any natural disasters. That’s not to say a tree won’t fall on my house one day, but I’m not one to constantly worry about what could happen.

Most of the bad stuff that happens here in western Massachusetts is just normal. Like, um, winter.

California was a different story.

Why worry about natural disasters when there’s a much bigger chance of dying from a missile or a suicide bombing?

The thing that makes life in New England worthwhile is the relative absence of natural disasters. :stuck_out_tongue:
I’ve never faced a mandatory evacuation because of Maine’s weather.

Arkansas. Wind and tornado events. Living through one right now. We mitigate with generators. Fllooding has been problematic all around me.

Same for me in Saskatchewan. About the only natural disaster that could destroy my house is a tornado.

If we get a blizzard, we just hunker down.

Yeah, where I live there’s a tiny chance of tornados, a tiny chance of an earthquake, a modest chance that a spent hurricane will drop a tree on my house, and a likelihood that I’ll be trapped near my home for a day or two due to snow. None of those is likely to kill me, and I buy insurance. So natural disasters are not a reason to move away.

Detroit. typically the rare tornado was the biggest threat, but over the past several years flooding has become a more frequent problem. we had the big one in August 2014, several smaller ones in subsequent years, and this year due to heavy rainfall we’ve had persistent lakeshore flood warnings all spring. I was just up by the mouth of the Clinton River and at a couple of the marinas the water level has now crested the wall.

Illinois has tornadoes and, in fact, my home was along the path of the 1990 Plainfield Tornado that caused significant damage. But I also figure it’s not likely to happen twice in my lifetime and tornado damage is relatively localized compared to earthquakes and hurricanes.

Southern California, so the biggest concern is earthquake. Especially since my house sits just about dead above the San Andreas fault. When the Big One hits, I’ll know it first.

This quiet city in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains–with its chicken and turkey ranches–sits atop the most complicated set of faults emanating from the most notorious of them all–the San Andreas.

Eastern Kansas, so at the north end of “tornado alley”. Plenty of severe thunderstorms. We’re also situated where extreme ice storms are likely, as well as heavy wet snow. And, while not quite disasters, dangerous heat and humidity in the summer and plenty of days of single digit and -teen temperatures in the winter.

On Friday I had a big elm in my back yard pruned back drastically and a big limb from a neighbor’s tree that projected over my bedroom removed. It was only a matter of time before a storm of some sort blew down a limb that took out my power line at best, or my bedroom with us in it at worst.

What makes living here worth staying? Well, pretty much nothing. My wife’s job is awesome and there’s no equivalent that’s not on one of the coasts, and the kids are rooted here. But once I retire and the kids are gone, so are we.

I’m in the Bay Area. Earthquakes and fires are the two issues where I am. Of those, fires pose the greater threat. I’m where I am for family and health reasons.

In Missouri, the risk was tornados. I got directly hit by 2 of the bastards in the 2 years I was there. Some parts of tornado alley are really busy I guess. I was glad to leave, but every once in a while I do miss the place.

People often lump all of California together, but actually the Sacramento region is pretty seismically stable. It’s mostly just the coastal part of the state that’s prone to earthquakes. I still pay for earthquake insurance though, just in case.

Here, fires are probably the biggest concern. Not so much directly where I am, in the middle of a fairly urban area, or the surrounding farmland, but the heavily forested Sierra Nevada foothills just to the east of me.

I think the last natural disaster that happened in Scandinavia was an ice age, so I would guess I’m relatively safe.

If I were living where I am now 10,000 years ago, I would be under 1 mile of glacier ice. It would make commuting to work a trifle difficult, you bet. Since the Earth is in a brief warming period of a longer cold period, it’s very likely to happen again. With any luck, I will die first.

More immediately, if Lake Michigan were to rise enough, my house would be uninhabitable and my valuable lakefront property, worthless. It is on a rising trend right now, and if it increases more than a foot, will exceed the 100 year maximum reached in 1986.

Note that this is unrelated to the global warming trend that is sure to inundate Florida due to rising sea levels. The Great Lakes have no direct tie to the melting in Greenland or Antarctica, although global warming trends could have an indirect, secondary effect if North American precipitation were greatly increased by it.

My insurance is currently paid up.