Skip to main content

Nature's Wrath: The Most Dangerous U.S. Cities

Mother Nature has various ways of reminding us who is in charge. The particular threats and the extent of risk vary greatly based on where you live [See Top 10 US Threats].

While there is no easy way to gauge overall risk of disaster, researchers love to try. One recent study found that in general, the world's population is migrating to coastal areas, where the threat of hurricanes and flooding from rising seas are now well known. Another study found that Americans are following this same deadly trend.

And anyone who lives in California knows that heading for the hills doesn't solve anything, since the very ground under your feet can give way at any time. Residents of the Midwest have their own twisted concerns.

A web site called each year puts America's 50 largest cities into a natural disaster index with its Sustainable U.S. City Ranking.

At the top of the list are cities relatively immune to the brunt of nature. Near the bottom are those in the cross hairs of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis or some other force to be reckoned with.

This year's list (*=tie):

1. Mesa, AZ*

Natural Disasters: Top 10 US Threats

Robert Roy Britt
Rob was a writer and editor at starting in 1999. He served as managing editor of Live Science at its launch in 2004. He is now Chief Content Officer overseeing media properties for the sites’ parent company, Purch. Prior to joining the company, Rob was an editor at The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, and in 1998 he was founder and editor of the science news website ExploreZone. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.