5 Cities to Avoid Natural Disasters
From tornadoes to earthquakes, from floods to blizzards – almost nowhere in North America is safe from the blight of natural disasters. That being said, if you’re tired of boarding up windows, or hunkering down in a storm shelter, it may be time to consider your options in another part of the country. Check out these five cities that have been out of the path of most major disasters, while still boasting great amenities.
Situated in the center of the picturesque Willamette Valley, Corvallis offers boundless access to the outdoors and world-class wineries just 90 minutes outside the Portland metro area. The valley, along with its location on the eastern edge of the Oregon Coast Range, protects the city from extreme weather. Rated the safest city to avoid natural disasters in 2011, Corvallis residents only face a very small earthquake and drought risk, and enjoy mild temperatures year round.
While eastern Colorado faces the risk of tornadoes, western Colorado lies in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and is subject to semi-frequent earthquakes. However, a small swath of land on the eastern side of the state faces little risk from either, while similarly avoiding any other natural disasters, including flooding. Just one hour south of Denver, Colorado Springs has a myriad of jobs in tourism and the tech industry – this city welcomes over five million tourists every year. What’s more, residents enjoy 243 days of sunshine per year. One warning however – the number one killer of all weather hazards in the state is, believe it or not, lightning strikes.
With a population of just over 100,000, Billings is the largest city in Montana. The city has been experiencing a boom that weathered the recent economic crisis and shows little signs of slowing. Like Colorado Springs, Billings sits in a “Goldilocks Zone” that’s north of earthquake risk, west of areas with major flooding, and has a relatively low blizzard risk. Billings boasts a diverse economy, with fingers in everything from oil prospecting to sugar beet refining.
Sitting in the same safe zone as Billings, Bismarck faces few threats from tornadoes or earthquakes. Winters in Bismarck can be painfully cold, but snowfall is comparatively mild and the blizzards that regularly slam Fargo to the east hit Bismarck less frequently. An outdoorsy dream, Bismarck has a huge park system along with nearby woods and dammed lakes, which are all open for recreation. The city’s proximity to open lands also makes it a favorite for hunting and fishing.
5. Bend, Oregon
No stranger to best-of city lists, Bend enjoys one often-overlooked benefit – it is nearly immune from natural disaster and extreme weather. All told, the biggest danger Bend faces is from volcanoes, and even that is minimal. The former resort town has surged in popularity recently, in no small part due to its famously mild climate. If you love the outdoors, beer, and not putting chains on your tires, Bend is an excellent place to live.
The wide range of tornadoes and hurricanes puts much of the eastern and southern United States in the danger zone. Add to that the earthquake risk that stretches from California to Colorado and flooding that starts in the Great Plains, and the continent starts looking really risky. Luckily, in most areas the time between these major disasters is considerable. But if you don’t want to wait for the next big storm to carry off your home, consider finding a safe haven elsewhere.