Since natural disasters are everywhere and unavoidable, if you had to choose where to live, based solely on the ability to escape the catastrophes prone to that geographic region, where would you choose?
Hurricanes do a heck of a lot of damage on a very wide scale, but due to technology, they no longer “sneak” up on us. We know they’re coming and prepare. So, one might choose to live on the southern coast of the United States as the odds are pretty good that these monster storms can be avoided. Flooding and wildfires provide less advance notice yet they impact a smaller region, ergo the odds of being affected are lessened; maybe you therefore opt for the upper Midwest or Rockies.
What prompted this sullen query was a stand-up comic who concluded that Californians take the prize for scariest place to live — based on the sheer unpredictability of earthquakes. As he pointed out, as life-altering as a major nor’easter might be, it’s not like you’re walking down the street on a clear day and suddenly 15 feet of snow get dumped on your noggin. Earthquakes are stealthful; exploding without warning while inflicting the full power of Mother Nature in seconds.
As frightening as they are however, I would be terrified to live in “tornado alley,” as we recently witnessed with horror as the largest tornado in history ripped apart Oklahoma. To study and track these monster whirlwinds, we rely in part on the skills of “storm chasers,” (crazy? brave?) men and women who pursue twisters. Of course, with such a dangerous occupation, sometimes “stuff happens.” Such was the case when a truck carrying one of these men was lifted by a cyclone and hurled several hundred feet. Amazingly, the driver survived intact.