safest place to live in americaNatural disasters have been brutal this year. The flood waters in Memphis come right on the heels of the devastating tornadoes in Alabama and the wildfires in Texas. While we discuss updating a house in the highly likely event of an earthquake, I find myself looking around for somewhere -- anywhere -- that doesn’t require purchasing extra insurance in the event of an act of god.

I've lived in multiple areas that are marked for destruction, so it's actually kind of amazing that I haven't given more thought to this. I've been through tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas, a hurricane in New York (not to mention that whole terrorist attack thing), a tsunami watch in California, an evacuation due to fire in that same state, and now am bracing myself and my family for the big one. Because it’s coming, oh it’s coming.

If I were a smarter lady, I’d probably be looking at real estate in the safest place in America.

And then I'd move my butt to Storrs, Connecticut. The moderate temperature, non-hurricane area of calm makes this town a safe bet for worriers. Weather-wise, that is. Since the University of Connecticut is there, who knows what happens after dark.

Slate did some scientific and some unscientific research to identify the safest place -- natural disaster-wise -- in the United States. States with bad reputations for weather (looking at you California, Louisiana) were automatically knocked out. Then the crew checked for presidential declarations of natural disasters from the years 1995 until 2004. We’re talking hurricanes, floods, fires, blizzards, tornadoes, earthquakes, heat waves, mudslides, and even volcanoes. States that had more than their fair share did not make the cut, and the final three states turned out to be Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. The winning city, of course, had to be inland and away from any hurricane damage.

I don’t have a hankering to move to any of these states, although they’re all perfectly lovely, so I guess I’ll go on living in my triple-threat zone of Los Angeles. I do realize people think those of us who stay here knowing the big one is coming in the next 30 years are crazy. I think that too. But gee the weather’s nice. (It also, apparently, melts your brain to live in such SoCal grooviness.) But I do have a plan to beat the big one: If I wind up here 29 years from now and my home has yet to be rocked by a massive earthquake, I’m moving before my luck runs out. I’m no dummy.

Do you live in a natural disaster zone? Why, god, why?


Image via Seansie/Flickr