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« Couldn't Wait? | Main | Depolarize Lunar Exploration »

"Vancouver, Vancouver, This Is It!"

Speaking of natural disasters, it's been a quarter of a century since Mount St. Helens blew. Just a little reminder that our single homeworld isn't always the safest place to be, and a drop in the bucket compared to what would happen if Yellowstone explodes again.

Posted by Rand Simberg at May 18, 2005 09:22 AM
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While considering spots for a potential relocation next year, I tried eliminating every state that might be afflicted with hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards and other kinds of extreme weather as well as states with earthquake, volcano or tsunami potential.

That left Arizona from, roughly, Phoenix south to the border and the comparable section of New Mexico (ignoring sandstorms and having the guy on the radio tell me it's 116 freakin' degrees).

The Oregon coast looks appealing. That way, I can be buried in an earthquake, covered with hot lava, and then washed out to sea in a tsunami. Sweet.

But, it's not flat.

Posted by billg at May 18, 2005 10:46 AM

Hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards can be ducked or otherwise ameliorated with sufficient warning and will eventually pass. Yellowstone dome on the other hand...On to the asteroids!

Posted by JSAllison at May 18, 2005 11:09 AM

Billg, I came to a similar conclusion quite a while ago when contemplating moving out of Tucson. Of course a rock from space could land anywhere, but aside from that all I could do to be much statistically safer would be to move out of the nuclear blast radius of any of the military bases in southern AZ. Which isn't that easy to do!

But I still have 3 years left at the UofA before I have to decide 'where next'.

Posted by David Mercer at May 18, 2005 11:39 AM

I think I'd be willing to trade the remote risk of being quaked, incinerated and flooded in Oregon for the rather high risk of being blown about by hurricanes and tornadoes here in Carolina. (Tornadoes here are much smaller than the one's I grew up with in the midwest, but they are surprisingly frequent.)

Re: quakes, the USGS seems to have just opened this earthquake prediction site:

Posted by billg at May 18, 2005 12:21 PM

Keep in mind that any place can have bad earthquakes, they are just more common near the ring of fire. However, there are rather strict building codes in California, so as a general rule, California buildings will be safer in an earthquake.

From a natural disaster viewpoint, Sacramento, CA is a pretty good spot. If the big one hit San Francisco, we'd be shaken a bit, but any decent building would handle it. Sacramento itself isn't much more likely to get a big earthquake as many places to the East. We're way too far in for a tsunami. Tornadoes are extremely rare (it is a very, very big deal to see a funnel cloud and even thunder is rare). Volcanic mountains are quite some distance to the North. There's no chance of a hurricane. However, I would advise someone to buy a house on high ground. I wouldn't like living below a levee.

Earthquakes don't concern me too much, except that I would not want to live in San Francisco. In a serious earthquake, it would be very difficult to get out of that city. LA wouldn't bother me nearly as much.

Posted by VR at May 18, 2005 04:37 PM

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