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Mother Nature’s Bullseye's: 10 Places Where Living Can Be Dangerous

by Steve Scearcy

            You’re probably in danger from a natural disaster and did not even know it!  Need an example? New York City is overdue for an earthquake that will kill scores of people and cause half a trillion dollars in damage.  New York?  That’s too far away from me you say!  Ok then, did you know that due to tornados, hurricane remnants, hail, wind and flooding, the Dallas area is Mother Nature’s biggest bulls eye. If you live in or around Dallas you should expect some form of natural disaster. Now, I hope I have your attention.  Here is a list of 10 cities and the perils they are exposed to:

 

¬  Dallas-Plano-Irvine, TX: People in these areas should keep an eye to the sky as they can get hit with just about anything except quakes. A total of 6,524 weather extremes events were recorded from 1950 to 2010 within 50 miles of Dallas, TX.  That’s over 100 every year!                                                                                                               

¬  Jonesboro, AR: Since 1950 there have been 134 tornados in the area. In fact, one of the largest tornados in the state’s history hit Jonesboro in 1973. The largest funnel from that storm was almost a mile wide. And then there’s that little thing called the New Madrid Seismic Zone, the most active seismic area in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.  Nine historical earthquake events over 3.5 have been recorded since 1976.           

                                                                                                                 

¬  Corpus Christi, TX: Hurricanes and tropical storms are the culprits here. In fact, Corpus was hit by the fourth most intense and deadly storm of the 20th century killing nearly 300 people. Hurricanes have hit Corpus on such a regular bases over the last 100 years that they can statistically predict about when the next one is due.  Look out if you live there in 2015!                                                                              

¬  Houston, TX: The Texans in Houston must be accustomed to a good blow! Since 1950 the area has experienced 94 tornados, 6 hurricanes, and 8 tropical storms.  In the early part of the twentieth century the city became the sight of the deadliest hurricane in our country’s history. Over 8000 people lost their lives.

                                         

¬  Kansas City, MO:  The state of Missouri ranks 10th on the list of the major disaster declaration. Since 1953 there have been 53 declarations. Kansas City is holding up its end of the state with over 6000 weather extreme events since 1950. The area has experienced over 600 floods and 130 tornados in the last seventy years.

¬  Shreveport, LA. The Shreveport area has been visited, on average, by at least one tornado every year for the past 60 years.  Not to mention 2077 hail storms, 334 floods, 2135 incidents of high thunderstorm winds and 8 tropical storms. We stop there.

¬  Austin, TX:  In addition to the occasional F5 tornado that visits the area, wild fires are not an uncommon event.  About every decade or so a wildfire event occurs. In 2011 hundreds of homes were destroyed from a wildfire.

¬  Little Rock, AR: It is surprising to learn that Little Rock is rocking and rolling. In the last 30 years Little Rock has had more than 14 earthquakes that were rated at 3.5 or higher. Since 1950 the area has averaged two tornado events per year.

¬  Atlanta, GA: Since 1950 there have been over 5000 weather extremes.  They include 4 hurricanes, 14 tropical storms, 101 tornados, 236 floods and over 2204 incidents of strong thunderstorm winds. These numbers lend a whole new meaning to gone with the wind.

¬  Oklahoma City, OK: This city has the dubious distinction of being hit by more tornados than any other city in America! According to records the city has been hit 140 times. Dorothy we’re not in Kansas any more…I think its Oklahoma.

            Then there are places like Seattle, Washington. Not much of a risk from tornados but there is a greater risk from earthquakes and the possibility that Mt. Rainier could awaken and spew ashes and hot mud on all those coffee drinkers.  So why bring all this up? Because no matter where you live there are perils you need to be aware of and plan for unless you want to move to Corvallis, Oregon.  That little city is considered the spot least likely to attract ANY of Mother Nature’s wrath.  But that is probably not practical.  So regardless of where you live and the perils you face here are four things you need to do:

Stock up on emergency supplies: In most situations you will need to have a supply of bottled water, non-perishable food, prescription and non prescription medication, extra clothing for all family members, flashlights and batteries.  A battery powered or crank powered radio will help you understand your situation. A credit card and some cash should also be included in these supplies.

Have an emergency family plan.  You may or may not have advanced warning of an upcoming disaster. That’s why it is important to have a family plan. In some situations certain parts of a house can serve as protection. Make sure every family member knows when and where to take shelter in your home.  They should also know where to go if a house will not offer protection.  And, there should be a plan of communication should the family be separated. What phone numbers to call and where to leave messages.

Have emergency names and numbers on-hand.  Have a list of important names and numbers.  Here is a partial list: police, sheriff, highway patrol, fire department, ambulance, your insurance agent, your insurance companies claim number, various relatives.   It is advisable to have this list in several locations.

Manage your resources. One of your most important resources after a calamity will be your insurance company.  Depending on your coverage, an insurance company can move quickly to protect your family and your property. Know your policy! The typical homeowner’s insurance covers damage from tornadoes. But other natural disasters, like floods and earthquakes, are often not covered under standard policies.  Regardless of the disaster, it is believed that over half of the homes in America are undervalued for insurance purposes. Meaning, that if they were destroyed, the insurance settlement would not be sufficient to pay for rebuilding. So it is important to understand your coverage and get the right coverage before a natural disaster. An easy way to do this is to use the services of einsurance.com. This company provides you with reliable insurance information and can help you get competing quotes from various companies. 

 

            So, there you have it! Just when you thought you were safe you find out your area could be Mother Nature’s next bull’s eye. Natural disasters will occur. We can’t run from them but we can prepare. So get a plan…carry on and remain calm.

 

 

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“Where to Live To Avoid A Natural Disaster,” The New York Times, April 30, 2011

“ The Top Ten Tornado Cities,” The Weather Channel

“ Natural Disasters and  Extremes,”  USA.com   ( looked up threat to each city)

Could an earthquake hit New York City? History says yes, but not like 9.0 magnitude Japan earthquake

 

 Info on New York Earthquake : http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/earthquake-hit-new-york-city-history-yes-9-0-magnitude-japan-earthquake-article-1.124761#ixzz2nfe2Z4U4

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