My father skyped me, because he was worried about the hurricane Harvey and the flood. After assuring me that he googled the weather at my address and it wasn’t too bad – we shall pause here to acknowledge that my Dad called me to tell me what my weather is like – he listened to my account of Harvey floods. I made the mistake of saying something along the lines of, “It wasn’t too bad in Austin. We had some trees down and some flash floods, so basically your regular tornado season weather.”
Dad: You have tornadoes and floods and the year before last Kid 1 had to hide in her bathroom, because the tornado was going to rip off the roof off her apartment.
Dad: Why do you live there? Nothing ever happens in Rostov.
And that’s true. Rostov had never had a tornado, or a major flood, or pretty much anything. We got an occasional freakishly high snowfall and that’s about it.
What is it with continental US and why does it always gets so many disasters? Now Irma is walloping poor Puerto Rico and is moving onto Florida. I tell you, this makes me rethink Florida moving plans. We didn’t get hit very hard by Harvey, but Grace Darven did. They had to evacuate with three children, older parents, and a dog. I spent roughly 24 hours worrying about her and realizing that there was zip I could do, besides donating to SA Food Bank and various charity auctions. I had this horrible moment of realizing, Grace and Patrick’s house might be completely flooded. What do you do? How do you pick up from there? I lived through a dishwasher flood and it cost us an arm and a leg to fix it. This is a whole house flood.
Turns out that her house survived. You can read her account on Facebook here. But yeah. That’s some scary crap.
You should totally move to New England – no tornadoes, no hurricanes (they are usually tropical storms when they get here), no earthquakes, wildfires, or major flooding. We get some snow but not usually life threatening. And Boston has tons of colleges – your kids could transfer here and you could all live happily ever after (Minus the cost of living of course)
Patricia Schlorke says
New England does get Nor’easters when the low pressure systems sit just right in the Atlantic ocean off the coast. The cost of living was the reason why I didn’t move out to Massachusetts (particularly Boston).
Oh I agree, but the Nor’easters I’ve lived through (30 years) the most that happens is some minor flooding, or power out for a few days – worth it to not have to worry about much else weather wise.
Although who knows with climate change- maybe we will have monster storms that come on through…
I think it’s something about fathers because mine also calls when we’re having/forecasted to have severe weather. Pretty sure he watches the Weather Channel just to keep up with my area. I’m hoping Irma calms down before it hits land, but it’s looking very unlikely. 🙁
My father called last night wanting to know our plans for Irma. We live in South Carolina now but moved here from North Texas. Last year our area was hit by Mathew. I’m ready to go back to North Texas. It seems less prone to weather disasters, even with the tornadoes (Fort Worth only had 1 in all our years there). I am so done with hurricanes…
Sorry for the rant. I’m just freaking out a little. And I have to say fathers ARE awesome
There actually are good meteorological reasons as to why we here in the continental US get walloped with such outrageous weather, I just don’t recall them at the moment! Although I would avoid hurricane prone areas I should perhaps not comment as I live in the San Fransisco area and have no intention of moving. Find somewhere you like and hope for the best. And best of luck to Grace and her family.
The Bay Area, of course, is totally free of natural disasters!
(snarks a native Seattle-ite, who has spent much of her life under similar threats)
Sara T says
I’ve lived in the Bay Area for 20 years and there have been no major earthquakes so far (**touch wood)
Hopefully 20 more without the “Big One”.
I’d lived in a particularly shakey part of New Zealand for a long time without any earthquakes (beyond the standard small ones that people were used to shrugging off) and then we had 3 major earthquakes in less than 4 years.
Bottom line is that there’s no predicting earthquakes and your best bet is to be as well prepared as possible (good walking shoes always nearby, a walking plan if it’s a tsunami strength earthquake and a bug out bag in case you need to leave in a hurry).
The middle of USA is in an area that gets moist winds from the Gulf and cold winds from the north. It is in between the Rockies to the west and the mountains in the east. So the winds go every which way. With a lot of force. And then you get the winds coming off the Sahara, gaining strength to become hurricanes
It always amazes that people chose to live in areas that are natural disaster prone. And what do we do after the disaster? Do we move away? No, we rebuild but better. Earth quake knocks down your house, rebuild it to withstand a larger earthquake. House is destroyed by flood, rebuild it on stilts so it is above flooding levels.
…Humans are weird
Is there any place free from natural disasters? No freakish storms of any kind, drought (which is just a slow moving, prolonged disaster), earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, floods, monsoons, hurricanes, landslides, sinkholes, or avalanches? And how many people can realistically move into such a small area without creating other problems like famine, violence, or pollution?
Fan in California says
My Mother moved to Norway thinking she was leaving earthquakes behind and then they had a freak earthquake there! My stepdad had no idea what was going on because that is so NOT normal for them!!! So you can’t always escape Mother Nature no matter where you move!!
Alex R. says
The awesomeness of where you live is directly proportional to the chance of a truly horrific natural disaster. Because that’s the way it is. Otherwise everyone would live in Los Angeles. Or Hawaii. Or possibly Idaho.
Naw, its about what you can tolerate. I’ll take an earthquake any day over a blizzard or tornado.
Fan in California says
I wondered if you were re-thinking Florida. Doesn’t matter where you move in the continental U.S., that area is prone to some type of natural disaster. Except perhaps New Mexico. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of New Mexico having problems. I was initially going to say Montana or Wyoming, but blizzards count as natural disasters if you’re not used to them. I suppose New Mexico might get some sandstorms like Arizona (I’m drawing a blank on the term for them, it’s an Arabic name, I think), but if they do, they don’t make the news that much. So perhaps you should check out New Mexico.
And the difference between the dishwasher flood and the whole-house flooding is that your home insurance might have paid for the dishwasher flood, but only a tiny portion of Houston homeowners have flood insurance. And even if they do, it could be years before they get reimbursed. I think they said people are still waiting for payment from Sandy.
I was looking into flood insurance last year I think when there was a rash of water mains breaking in this region. I never did get it, but I need to look into it again. I’m not in a flood zone, but a lot of Houstonians thought the same thing. The irony is that some of them survived the initial hurricane flooding but then got flooded when they had to release water from the reservoirs.
The Arabic word you’re looking for is “khamsin” or “khamaseen” – meaning “fifty” because in Egypt at least it’s supposed to last for 50 days. Another word is sirocco, derived from the word for “east” because they come out of the east.
Big dust/sand storms are called Haboob. They hit Arizona all of the time and if you have the tinniest crack in a door or window, the interior of the house is covered in grime.
Flash floods when there are storms. There is probably not a lot of mildew happening in NM though.
It’s “haboob” actually – it’s the word for dust storms. Which are, generally speaking, interesting to watch but provided you are sensible enough to avoid driving automobiles during one (or to pull off for the relatively short duration of one if you get caught out), not particularly damaging to life, limb or property.
I have to say that one of the reasons my husband and I moved to Phoenix was because Phoenix weather is not particularly prone to natural-disaster level events. We get some nasty storms during monsoon season, but nowhere near hurricane/tropical storm level nasty storms. It gets damn hot during the summer, but again if you have air conditioning and exercise even moderate common sense, it’s not a dangerous sort of thing.
Interesting. I had responded earlier saying “haboob” was the word I was looking for, but I don’t see the post. I wonder if it’s stuck in the moderator queue, because I had commented about how could I forget that word, since it has “boob” in it. (And no, I’m not a juvenile boy, but still.. Ha! Boob! How could I forget that?)
There is difference with flood insurance as to if you are living in/on a 100 year flood plain or 10 year. My father was a mechanical engineer and that was something he taught us to check out and consider when locating homes and buying used vehicles. Yes, he paid for renters and flood insurance on first apartments for first year after college as he deemed that important. He would NOT pay flood insurance for home in a 10 year flood area. There were fascinating discussions about how do you determine when there is a 100 year flood or a 10 year one. Oh yes when officials willfully release water from backed up dams had to be considered too as flood insurance considers that as uncover able. Mother had a fit when I went to UNC charlotte for college and she learned that there was a nuclear power plant in area. Dad was more concerned about dams etc.
I survived hurricane hugo while I lived in charlotte. We went for 7 days with no power and my SO got to grill out every day. Of course he was not so thrilled about having to heat water in fireplace to take a sponge bath. *grin* Nor was he happy about his car getting flooded when storm drain system was overwhelmed and car was submerged.
I think that the thing about being Americans is that we need that bit of risk or possibility of adverse conditions be it weather [hurricanes, floods, tornados, polar vortexes, dust storms…] or other natural problems such as earthquakes or land slides or rock slides or avalanches or… to bring out the best in us. After all USA was settled by immigrants from all over the planet over the course of time.
I lived in Raleigh when Hurricane Fran skimmed by. Went without power for 5 days. Had gas hot water, I think, or else I took cold showers. I remember what a pain it was cleaning everything out of the fridge at the end of 5 days. I think I had just gone shopping, too, and stocked the fridge.
So your dad wasn’t worried about burst water mains flooding the house? If I recall the explanation in my home owner’s insurance, they cover flooding originating inside the house, but not flooding originating outside the house. A burst water main in the street would count as originating outside the house.
New Mexico has drought. But, the state is so dry anyway that “drought” is a matter of degree, not a big change from what came before. And forest fires — sometimes really bad ones– are an annual occurrence.
But New Mexicans – because for centuries they’ve lived with marginal water, on marginal land– are overall much more in touch with conservation — at least the Pueblo / Navajo / Apache are (about 10% of the population), the scientists (Los Alamos has the highest concentration of PhDs. in the country, or used to)– the military (three big military bases in NM), and honestly most people I interacted with in the 30 + years I lived there….
I think no matter where you live Mother Nature can strike with deadly force. I like Mimi live in earthquake area and have no intention of moving for at least 12 to 14 years. I also think parents will always worry about their children and give them what we think is helpful advice. Which I am just a little bit guilty of doing.
I hoped the Florida move would get a new perspective. Yes Texas gets walloped sometimes (duh), but to me, Florida gets it worse, on a regular basis, than anyone. The beaches are nice until a hurricane/tropical storm sets it sights on you. And, of course the oppressive heat. But, of course you have to decide where you want to live and what it’s worth to you. It seems where ever you live in the U.S., there is some natural event to have to deal with. Some are worse than others. You’ve now lived in several different areas. What is most important to you? What can you stand to deal with? Is losing your home and memories worth being in a certain locale? IDK. It’s a tough decision. I hope you can find a balance of things you value most.
I agree, I’ve always felt Florida was on the less desirable side as they get hit year after year. Rising sea levels mean it’ll be more and more flood prone. Not to mention, if you’ve ever followed ‘Weird’ news, Florida has the highest rate of bizarre stories in the US (Though maybe for some that is a positive…).
Hurricanes are exactly why we don’t live on the south east / gulf coasts. We moved back to the states about 8 years ago and we did a lot of research about the environmental risks of various parts of the country. We decided that the Austin area is generally pretty safe. The tornadoes that land here aren’t nearly as strong as the ones further north, we’re safe from blizzards and earthquakes, and we’re far enough inland that we can avoid most of the dangers of a hurricane. You both are the only ones that know the full equation of pros & cons for your family…I’m sure whatever decision you make will be what’s best for you.
According to an uber-conservative politician, Houston’s flooding was caused by the fact that our last mayor was a lesbian. Stupid. I refuse to put her name in this post because I will not advertise her, but it was an article in the Houston Chronicle today.
I was one of the lucky people who chose a house high enough to avoid the flooding. I survived Harvey without a scratch. Ironically, I am sitting here waiting for the bleeding on my arm to stop from being run over by playing cats. Being used as the launch pad for a leap to the window sill behind the sofa can cause some impressive gouges, I have found…
Best wishes to those of my neighbors who were not as fortunate. My prayers are with you.
I find it interesting that conservative politicians only claim weather as punishment from God for things they disagree with. It’s the lesbian’s fault, not the current far right national climate or political maneuvering.
Yeah, right (cue sarcasm and doubt).
Karen W says
Of course, Houston’s former mayor has actually been out of office since January of last frickin’ year – my God is a little more efficient than that…if their God is the punishing type, they might wanna look at something more recent…feh.
As for extreme weather, the US has been notorious for it forever. The joys of the Great Plains being able to have either arctic winds blow uninterrupted from the north (thanks, Canada!) or hot, soggy air up from the Gulf (thanks, Caribbean!) and the Rockies and the Appalachians messing with the jet stream – we are a lab for weird weather!
Do you mean it might just all be nature taking it’s course!
Robin Moore says
I have wondered how people stay in FL. If a hurricane doesn’t get you, it seems a sinkhole will. At least from what hits the news. I am in Seattle, total drought this yr and forest fires. Smoke in the air Ick. I guess climate change igoing to make for a lot of sucky weather. I have been trying to imagine a hurricane proof house. Maybe an ark tethered onto very tall pilings that floats up and down? LOL Won’t flood if it floats. I was thinking you needed boats like the chinese junks that people live aboard but sturdier. Playing architecture for what if? situations is a bit weird. Good bye current ideas about what a house looks like.
Mary Jo says
As a Floridian, I can tell you that there are ways to hurricane protect your home. Structural tie downs from the rafters through the foundation, spray foam insulation will increase the strength by about another 30%, hurricane windows can withstand 125 – 150 mph winds, add a layer of 3M window shatter film to your window for added protection. build with brick, concrete block or stone for all outer walls, check flood levels for the past 100 years for the area your building on, and check the local drainage systems. This type of structure will easily hold up against a Cat 1 – 3 hurricane with little fuss. Also, keep the big trees away from the home. Live oaks cause more damage that anything else.
You could also live more than 2 blocks from the beach.
If I remember correctly, the Andrews wanted a place near a major airport. I believe they are close enough to DFW and Love to the North and San Antonio to the South to satisfy that need. That Central Texas area has several excellent universities. Other than the deadly sand storms on I-10 between Deming and the Arizona border, New Mexico West of I-25 near Albuquerque might be satisfactory. There are almost the same amount of ice and wind storms in NM and TX.
Ilona has written in the past about allergies, which a truly frightening number of Texans (native and otherwise) suffer from. The flora here is very irritating to many people. It doesn’t matter what the weather is if you feel like you can’t breathe and your nose won’t stop running.
I remember that too. My allergist recommended Arizona. So I went on vacation with sib who turned out to have a air plane phobia and toured Arizona. My allergist was correct that inhalation allergies were much better. The colors were awesome in the painted desert. But I missed the green trees everywhere which was a major con on my pros and cons list of to move to Arizona.
Anywhere on the Gulf Coast/South Atlantic is going to get hammered by hurricanes and tropical storms semi-regularly.
The Upper Midwest/Great Lakes region normally doesn’t get too many natural disasters. Just idiot politicians, but those are everywhere.
I’m in the Chicago area. We’re fairly fortunate when it comes to natural disasters – the occasional big rain or snow storm (sometimes thundersnows), depending on season, and the occasional bitterly cold snap in winter and heat wave in summer. Same goes for the rest of the Great Lakes region.
Best fortune to any/everyone who was in the way of Harvey or is in the way of Irma. Stay safe.
Regina, Saskatchewan is prairie country in Canada. I was born there and my grandparents were farmers there. Relatives still live there. No tornadoes, hurricanes, floods or earthquakes. Just a LONG, COOOOOOLLLLDDDDD winter. Not much to do there though.
My husband and I want to move to the mountains when we retire. We realize there will always be the possibility of earthquakes – that is how the mountains came about after all. Most regions have to deal with something. Might as well be where you want to be.
Here is a map of regional risks in the USA
Interesting map, but why isn’t Hawaii colored with a volcano? Don’t they have at least one active one?
And rather surprising that Alaska is marked so much for earthquake (didn’t know they get that many) but not for winter storm.
Yes, Hawaii has a constantly active volcano. You can take helicopter rides to see the lava flows, my sister and nephews did that about 4 years ago and got some cool pictures.
Wasn’t able to open map. Kilauea Volcano is located on the east side of the island of Hawaii and has been erupting since 1983. Some residents have had to evacuate when lava flows approached their homes. Some people were lucky others not. They have a webcam but l haven’t checked it in a while. The Observatories on Mauna Kea also have webcams I used them when it snows up there
Yes, Hawaii certainly does. And Sandy was not on that map. New Jersey may not be much at risk for hurricanes, but if one lands, they are still screwed.
Wendi Kiss says
So – the map proves living in Colorado along the Front Range is best 😉
Cat Lauria says
I agree! Fires and droughts aside, we’re not going to get pummeled by a hurricane, at least.
Ruth Ray says
A friend who grew up there and currently lives there is having to consider a move because of COPD. The altitude is rough on that and congestive heart disease. The humidity drops to single digits in the winter. It occasionally has level 1 tornadoes. Not a bad place to live, I lived in greater Denver for 12 years.
Anna L says
I live in Upstate NY, and its pretty good, with climate change we have had some very minor winters, people know how to drive in snow, and we mostly get tropical storms, if you end up living closer to buffalo that is a very nice airport. Buffalo is actually a very vibrant city now with lots of arts, things to do, new restaurants, due to medical industry it is really revitilizing. If you ever do a signing nearby, I can always show you around, or at least get my brother who lives in buffalo to do that. And contrary to the rumors we get a lot more sun than syracuse or other NY cities
Alex R. says
“Minor winters”. Ha-ha-ha-ha!!! That’s a good one.
Anna L says
Last 2 winters have been very mild, other than the march storm we barely had snow on the ground. The year before then, I wore a tshirt on christmas eve because it was 60 degrees, so yeah mild
This made me smile. I live in the south and when it is 60 degrees, I’m in a long-sleeved sweater!
trailing wife says
I grew up in Amherst, on the northeast side of Buffalo. Amherst always has about half as much snow as the snow belt gets to the south of the city. Snow belt numbers ar what the rest of the world hears about… I delivered newspapers during the blizzards of 1977 and ’78, which is a fabulous way to loose weight. 😉
Winter temperatures in Buffalo are inverse to snowfall in general — when it gets really cold Lake Erie freezes quickly, preventing lake effect snow formation. As far as I can tell, winter temps and snowfall cycle about every 10-15 years, like a longer El Nino/La Nina.
trailing wife says
Whoops! I forgot to ask, Anna L — was it three years ago or four that Buffalo had that humungous snowfall a few days before Thanksgiving? We were going to drive up, but my darling mother-in-law called to cancel. They were in the process of digging through the 4′ deep snow from the kitchen door to the garage with a dustpan, because both the snow shovel and the snowblower were kept in the garage. All the highways were closed until further notice, she said — I seem to recall it took a few days to get that dug out.
Anna L says
I remember that, some of my friends live near orchard park and they were shoveling up to get out of their front door, and my brother who lives closer to downtown did not get anything. I agree with you that its a very narrow snowbelt for lake effect, so unless there is a big storm you are going to be ok. Plus buffalo knows how to take care of the snow even if its drivers sometimes make dumb decisions
I am on the EAST side of Washington state. No tornadoes, little snow, few bugs, 300 Days of sun per year, 6 inches of rain a year, some wild fires, cheep living, and you can see for miles due to no trees. Portland and Seattle are a 5 hour drive. Our biggest potential is if one of the volcanoes blow (Mount St. Helens, Hood, Baker,and Rainer are just a few hours away).
Come live near us!
Ruth Ray says
I would also suggest that. It’s drier than the west side so Ilona’s sinuses might not kick up. And if you get close to Spokane your access out could be workable. It might require a commuter plane to SeaTac but I don’t know.
As a person who lived in south Miami, who lived through Hurricane Andrew, and just now happens to be in south Miami again helping my parents with Irma, I honestly feel like central to north Florida does not get damaged as much as south Florida does. Disney doesn’t usually have many problems and it’s in central Florida. Some years there’s nothing. It’s been a decade since the last major hurricane for Florida. Also, Florida has the strongest building codes in the country and one of the top in the world. It doesn’t solve everything, but it does help. Other areas get blizzards or earthquakes or tornadoes. Hurricanes are just what Florida gets.
I was dismayed to see that Florida has been considering relaxing the building codes – here’s a recent comment on that, though this discussion has been ongoing for several months (https://youtu.be/dYDNk6Rps28). I really, really hope people can learn some lessons from recent/current events and put that discussion aside. It kinda’ blew my mind that anyone would even suggest such a thing, but then I remembered it’s about money and there’s little that’s sacred or off limits when it comes to that.
My father (who died in 2004) was a weather nut. He would be glued to the Weather Channel for every storm. We used to laugh about him doing a snow dance every winter. When weather goes nuts, as it does more and more frequently these days, I think of him and how he would have been fascinated by the changing climate.
Re Florida, it’s a nice place to visit, but except for perhaps north central Florida, the weather hazards are too big for me to consider owning property there. (And north central Florida is basically lacking in most of the things that make Florida special, so what’s the point?)
Good luck to all those in the path of Irma. Please evacuate if recommended. This is a huge storm.
Patricia Schlorke says
To everyone in Florida: stay safe. At least Irma is moving and not going to just sit in Florida like Harvey did with Texas.
As someone who’s lived in Florida for 20 years: you *really* don’t want to live here. Particularly because this freakish weather year? It’s going to become the norm rather than the exception sooner than most people think. There is really no point, if you *can* choose where to live, to make such a large investment as a mortgage, in a place that’s pretty much guaranteed to be in state of emergency at least once every other summer, if not more often.
(I cannot just up and move, for a myriad reasons, or I would have already)
Why? The short answer is geography. The long answer involves a unique combination of prevailing winds and the Rocky Mountains which causes most of the world’s tornadoes to happen in the US. The same thing goes for hurricanes. A specific combination of currents in the Atlantic and the shape of North America is why we get so many.
Climate change means warmer Gulf of Mexico waters and warmer ocean waters which means more violent storm seasons. Right now there are three – Katia, Irma, Jose churning at the same time. I am not a fan of most of Florida due to the heat and humidity, rising sea levels (Florida is mostly at sea level), and sinkholes due to limestone/acidification of ocean waters as it gets warmer. But everyone has to assess what they can and cannot tolerate in terms of danger (says the girl living in earthquake prone SF Bay Area). Maybe vacation more in Florida rather than live there?
Yeah I’m not sure why anyone would want to move to Florida but I’m from the Northeast so these things puzzle me. Humidity, alligators, hurricanes, Scientology (Clearwater, Florida is their base), bugs… I know the weather is great mostly year round and that’s a huge plus and the beaches are nice but you can find both of those things in myriad other places in the US. I’m also probably the one American who has no burning desire to go to Disney World. I’m from Westchester County, NY and snowstorms don’t faze us. The worst was probably Hurricane Sandy in 2012 which caused major flooding, downed trees and wire, and we had no power for 2 weeks–fun! My hometown is located on the Long Island Sound and a lot of it is below sea level so it was to be expected.
I actually looked up today why hurricanes/cyclones never seem to hit Europe. Answer: they do, but it’s infrequent because hurricanes tend to move in a northwest direction and something to do with ocean temperatures.
Lynn G says
You left out the ever increasing python population as a major negative for FL. They are destroying the natural ecosystems in FL.
I didn’t even know about it but yeah pythons = no thanks for me. I’ll stick with the tiny garter snakes up here!
Part of it is how much coastline we have. Ocean brings whole hosts of risks. But also lots of economic opportunities. Historically being land locked is bad for growth and development.
Also we are much further south. Particularly in that stretch of latitudes where you get major current exchanges btwn the ultra cold poles and the heat of the equator. Both ends and middle are pretty constant but they launch volleys at each other regularly and that hot and cold air interacts in explosive ways and we are caught in the cross fire.
That said I know a good dozen plus families that said the hurricanes blew them out of Florida. They loved it but got sick of the storms.
Lisa Smith says
May I suggest Colorado, as you are already accustomed to occasional snowstorms? If you avoid the Eastern Plains, which don’t have much going on anyway, you dodge the tornadoes and if you don’t live in the woods/urban interface, you don’t have to sweat wildfires. Otherwise our extreme weather is like – large hail, high winds, and some snow. Occasionally. But most of the time it’s just sunny. It’s a pretty chill place to live, although we cheer when it snows at a Broncos game because it throws everyone off . . .
Shhhh! Don’t let the word get out– Colorado already has too many people!! It’s No. 1 on our post-AF retirement list for all the above reasons and more… but mortgages are already ridiculous!!
More and more I’m grateful to live in Michigan.
No hurricanes, few tornadoes, no earthquakes-we did have a small tremor last year, but I think it rated 3 or under and only lasted a minute. We do get snow in the winter, but the winters haven’t been too bad lately. My dad bemoans that because he likes to plow the snow.
We’ve got Lake Michigan, the Mackinac Bridge, nice small towns and big cities within a short drive. We typically have great weather and you can’t beat experiencing all four seasons!
Along the father lines, I have a mom who lives outside the US and when Trumpy got elected, she kept sending me these articles on Facebook on all the bad stuff he was doing and saying. I reminded her I’m LIVING IT, oh and I’m also a millenial living in the Silicon Valley, so yes I’m getting all my information on my social media feeds in real time. It took about 20 ignored articles for her to finally get it.
Every state has natural disasters, but Texas does seem to get all of the possibilities. I think volcanic activity is about the only thing TX doesn’t have, but I’m probably wrong about that.
I live on Okinawa a small island south of Japan. We live on the ring of fire for earthquakes and by extension tsunamis. We also sit in the middle of typhoon (hurricane) alley. But lucky for the past 5 years that I’ve been here we havent had any major disasters.
People here are actually praying to be hit by a typhoon which infuriates me. Look up the Okinawa Typhoon pics and information if you dont believe me. Its sickening to hear people wish for a big storm when other places are being torn apart.
In addition to natural disasters we are sitting right under North Korea, whose missles have flown over our heads a couple times. My mother will not be happy until we are back on U.S. soil where she can try to keep us safe.
We have evacuation bags ready to move us incase something does happen and we have to leave within a few hours.
As a fellow military person, and one who’s worked in South Korea (hello, Kunsan AFB!) and lived/worked in Okinawa (we lived in Ishikawa, next to Kadena AFB, for 2 years)– HANG IN THERE. Deep breaths. Reassure your parents, talk to them often and don’t focus on the news!! You are probably reasonably safe from N. Korea nukes– Oki is 1000 miles south of Tokyo– but not of course from tyhpoons….
We live on Courtney, Ishikawa is a beautiful quiet area. Okinawa has not been seriously hit by a typhoon in 3 years. Crossing my fingers that they keep on just passing by, but I know our luck may run out at some point.
The Nk missiles passed over Okinawa I think last year. We didn’t get any warnings or advisories like they did for Tokyo the other day. I don’t know which is scarier, knowing one is coming or not knowing.
I talk to my mom everyday. If i don’t call or answer she worries a lot more.
Other than those minor threats we do love it here though, we would stay for a longer period but its stressing my mom and the husband’s grandpa, so we have to go back to the U.S. soon.
You could come back to Europe… then I would be able to meet you ?
Earthquakes and volcanoes are mostly here in Italy, go somewhere else and you’ll be fine ? You already know two languages, learning a third won’t be hard and your family will see the Old World ?
(Just kidding, you can’t move around the world just like that)
I love FL and have lots of friends there. I’ve lived in the panhandle. My husband’s sister and uncle/aunt still live there. Some of my favorite family vacations have been on the beaches in/around St. Augustine.
As for South Florida– I love its multiculturalism, the Latin culture influences, and (overall) the live-let-live philosophy…
… but I would never invest in property there- or anywhere in Florida (I agree with the poster who said, “most of what makes FL so attractive isn’t in central FL” or words to that effect ;-). My husband actually said, “hey I could get a retirement job around Homestead AFB, I like working with the people down there in SOUTHCOM, its a good mission and a tightly run operation….” I went ballistic. After years of moving around the world and not owning a home, we would consider retiring someplace where our “dream” house would be prone to periodic hurricanes and devastating floods? NO WAY. !!!!!!
Too risky, with global-warming induced climate change. I mean: when the water starts to rise, where do you go? Not a lot of high ground in FL…. 🙂
Liz Bradbury says
I’m with your Dad here! Where I live in Scotland, we stress about half an inch of rain, (the river might threaten to take away our wee bridge, which has stood since Roman times), or winds of 35mph, or get snowed in once in a blue moon…
My son & family live near Seattle, so when he texted earlier this week to say it was raining ash, I immediately thought Mt Rainier had erupted, but it was ‘just’ from the West Coast wild fires – seems it’s burning from NM to BC. And then I worry about tsunamis, super volcanos, earthquakes… Not to mention being within range of a madman in N. Korea.
Madmen notwithstanding, maybe parts of the USA just weren’t meant to be inhabited ?.
Stay safe Ilona and everyone living in the path of hurricanes, tornados, volcanos and earthquakes. ?
I’m with you guys. My husband and I are in the serious relocation mindset since we’re close to retirement. We live in the Philadelphia area and always thought we’d go to the American SW to retire but the older we get the more the punishing heat become unattractive. We’re certainly not going to a colder clime and we don’t want to retire to a place that is expensive to live. Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, droughts, tornadoes, oh my. I’m starting to wonder if where we live now isn’t the “goldilocks” area of the country. We don’t really get extremes of anything.
Liz V says
Come on up to Minnesota!! We’ve got all 4 seasons and hoo boy, if you like snow we’ve got you covered!! 😀
Nita Hope says
We flooded in Georges (a French hurricane in the US, whaaat). I think maybe we wouldn’t have but it just hung out for two days, eating our food, drinking our wine, putting its feet on our furniture and generally being cold and aloof while driving water through my doors and windows. So rude. i thought it was epic at the time. Insurance paid. We cleaned up. Pretty orderly.
I didn’t actually entirely survive Katrina. I think maybe because I lost a friend and her family. Certainly our culture and our landscape and our history was destroyed. So. How do you survive? You wander around feeling hollowed out for a few hours (or weeks) and then you get the carbon masks and the gloves, go up north to goodwill or wherever to get crappy clothes (cuz all you have are the ones you’re wearing) and you dig in. And dig out. And you try to make decisions while your brain is processing the end of your world as you know it. You hope they’re not bad decisions but you only have the limited information that’s available. Insurance doesn’t pay but they didn’t pay anyone. Gotta keep those quarterly profits up, people!! ?Then, months and more trauma later, you take the kids to Disneyworld to remember what it’s like out there in the world, where people are just carrying on like it’s every day, and things work and people play and laugh and make music. And you feel like it’s almost possible that you’ll do those things too. And eventually, you do. But you never forget.
There were some moments when I was knee deep in toxic sludge while hailing broken furniture out of my house where I cursed our annoyingly persistent survival instinct. But I’m glad we have it, now.
We had a flood in Vermont back in 2012 that was pretty bad when Irene came through. it was one of those “once in a generation” type of things. Some of the damage was our own fault though since many bridges had foundations built INTO the river flows which constricted the flow and caused more bridges to be washed away than would have ordinarily.
We are still cleaning up the mess in some places, but it’s mostly long-term projects to build better bridges that don’t constrict river flow, better roads, cleaning out ditches that have filled in over the decades, and reinforcing weak embankments and mountain sides.
Before Irene and now after, though, the main issues have been and always will be heavy snowfall or the occasional ice storm. We experience occasional mild drought, but that’s pretty rare. Even when (southern) New Hampshire and Mass were experiencing significant drought (enough to effect farms in these areas), Vermont had still been fine.
Problem is… snow can kill you too, urg. Plenty of deadly accidents every year. 🙁 At least tornadoes are an almost never heard of thing here… and the rare case of one has always been laughably mild.
It’s pretty adorable that he calls you to tell you about your weather.
Fan in California says
And I love that he Skypes!!! That’s one of the things I love about technology: It’s so much easier, cheaper, and faster to stay in touch than it used to be!!
Erin Valentine says
We had a place in Destin that we gave up after the third time weather required us to do extensive repairs. My in-laws used to live in Beaumont, and the weather was a constant source of concern (but they were raised in Kansas, and those folks have tornadoes to train them to keep calm), so they finally moved to Wyoming. It’s nice and dry in Wyoming. Your only concern would be the NINE MONTHS of winter. 🙂
Ms. Kim says
I’ve lived in Florida since I was a little girl (with a stint away while in military) and gone through quite a few hurricanes. You fill the bathtub with water, make sure you have a gas stove when you buy your house, awesome lantern like flashlights. firestarter to light the pilot light on your gas stove, teapots full of water in the frig, and you’re good to go.
Jenny G says
I loved the Space Coast OF Florida Brevard County Night launches and day launches were great. We would watch the tv or listen to the radio the run out side when it got to zero to watch it.
Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones you can track Ever since Andrew the building codes are one of the best as long as you have the roll down shutters by the time I manually put all the shutters on the house it was too late to go anywhere. As long as you fill the tubs have your emergency supplies go with the flow, the worst year was 2004 Charley, France’s, Jeanne all within 4 weeks of each other.
Oh and don’t live by mobile home parks they are tornado magnates.
That’s why Texas is great Florida as a state is so skinny you got them coming and going and up the middle
Lisa Smith says
I have only one thing to say, San Diego, California!
You could consider moving to Canada. We have a great health care system 🙂
Worst problem are cold winters and sometimes too much snow and/or ice storms.
susan boone says
Lower peninsula Michigan. Safe in the arms of the Great Lakes.
I live in the southern Arizona area in a mountainous region. No Earth quakes, no floods, no tornadoes, no hurricanes. Clean air, maybe a month of heat that makes you dream of snow but that’s about it. The mountains that we are at the foot of get snow in the winter.? My oldest daughter lives in Louisiana! I listen to the Weather Channel a lot. She has multiple emergency evac bags for adults, kids, cats, and a dog. She has three irreplaceable items that are also earmarked for evac! I’ve lived in L.A. and Hawaii and I love it in Arizona! ? Oh! By the way, if we get a new sudden ice age I’m good to go!⛄
I feel so bad for the people that are going through Irma with Jose hot on her heals! We have so much support in the USA that isn’t available in other countries. It’s just heartbreaking.
I totally appreciate the daughter-father dialogue also. I try so hard not to freak out when my daughter calls and says, “So yeah, we might not be able to call for a few days but don’t worry. We’ll be fine. I have a great evac plan!” Yeah! Sure!
Regarding your having second thoughts about moving to Florida – Yay! Being a weather geek (I live in safe So Cal), I have been worried ever since you guys starting talking about it. I mean, I know that you would be wise enough to evacuate in time to escape a storm, but you’ll still return to a destroyed house. That has to be so heartbreaking.
I was going to suggest Tennessee until Ilona’s allergies came up. This is the allergy capital of the US. Everyone i know is on Flonase. If course, the reason is because of the beautiful green mountains and countryside. We do get the occasional tornado, but we are really pretty protected from weather extremes here.
You know, the guy who came up with the formula we use to predict hurricanes lives in Colorado. He knows something…
But the problem with moving somewhere safe enough that nothing happens is also the problem. Nothing happens. Like living on the Great Plains. No one comes there and remarks, “Wow! What glorious flatness in every direction! I’m excited to drive through 8+ hours of this!” Nope.
That said, I agree on the rethinking Florida move thing. Or at least live in the Panhandle instead of the Peninsula.
It is possible that Rostov has fewer natural disasters (although this summer I believe they had 2 smerches, which is Russian for tornado), but to me social disasters are still scarier. They are not as acute, but have much more long term consequences.
We’ll take you in Michigan! 🙂
the Bible Belt seems to have more floods, droughts, hurricanes, and toronados.