This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

5 Cities Most Likely to Catch You in a Natural Disaster

BOSTON (TheStreet) — San Francisco has earthquakes, Oklahoma City has tornadoes and New Orleans has hurricanes — but here's a look at five major U.S. communities that have the highest combined risk for all three.

"Most places tend to have maybe one risk factor, but these places tend to have multiple ones," says Daren Blomquist of market watcher RealtyTrac, which recently calculated the odds of natural disasters hitting any one of more than 3,100 U.S. counties.

Blomquist says RealtyTrac found that America's riskiest locales are also some of its heavily populated ones.

He speculates that's because many scenic oceanfront communities face high hurricane dangers, while picture-perfect mountaintop locales often sit near earthquake-producing fault lines. "It turns out that a lot of people want to live in some of the most-risky places in the country," Blomquist says.

Read More: 5 Safest Cities in America

In fact, RealtyTrac found that the riskiest locales have some of America's highest home prices.

Expect to pay $377,483 for a median-priced place in the 12 major U.S. counties (those with 500,000 housing units or more) that the firm discovered have a high combined risk for all three natural disasters. That's 119.5% over the $172,000 overall U.S. median.

Read on to see which large counties RealtyTrac found have the highest combined risk for earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes. (Or, click here to see which communities enjoy the lowest natural-disaster potential.)

RealtyTrac based its projections on U.S. Geological Survey earthquake forecasts, plus hurricane and tornado projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. All locales below have 500,000 housing units or more.

Fifth-riskiest major community for natural disasters: Suburban Boston/Middlesex County, Mass.

You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see why the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's home area has high natural-disaster risks.

Located near the Atlantic Ocean, 1.5-million-population Middlesex County suffers from a "Very High Risk" rating for hurricanes. The county, which encompasses many of Boston's northern and western suburbs, also gets a "C" for earthquake hazards, although it ranks "Very Low Risk" for tornadoes.

Fourth-riskiest major community for natural disasters: Philadelphia

It may be the City of Brotherly Love, but Philadelphia shouldn't expect much kindness from Mother Nature.

That's because 1.5-million-person Philadelphia County (whose borders match those of the city) rates "Very High Risk" for hurricanes — not surprising given that it's only around 60 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean.

Philly also gets a "C-" for earthquake danger, but enjoys a "Very Low Risk" score for tornadoes.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs