Avoid natural disasters – consider these safe havens
If you live in southern Ontario, you saw it first hand – a “build a snowman” April that had us shaking our heads at the calendar.
We always expect some chilly, wet weather that softens the earth and eventually gets things growing. But we didn’t expect to be hit mid-month with a snow and ice storm. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the devastating ice storm of a few years ago, but it still knocked out power to many, brought down trees, and resulted in the cancellation of many events, including a Toronto Blue Jay home game when falling ice smashed a hole in the stadium roof.
And yes, the weather is indeed getting worse. According to Canadian Underwriter, the annual insured losses from large severe weather events have increased from an average of $400 million in the 1980s to almost $1 billion this decade. In 2013 alone, there were reported losses of $3.2 billion due to the Alberta floods and Toronto rainstorms.
It’s not only Canada of course – extreme weather events are increasing worldwide. Which got me to thinking: where are the safe havens in the world with the lowest risks of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other violent storms?
It sure isn’t California. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there’s a 60% chance of a 6.7 magnitude earthquake hitting Los Angeles in the next 30 years, and that probability rises to 72% for San Francisco.
For safety, we need to look further afield. While there’s no definitive pronouncement on the world’s safest countries, there are several countries that often showed up on Top 10 lists. These include countries such as:
- Saudi Arabia
For a great overview of the worst and best places to live from a natural disaster standpoint, this article from The Telegraph provides data from the 2015 World Risk Report from the United Nations University. It seems that I might be spending less time in the Philippines (3rd worst) and Costa Rica (7th worst) and more time in Barbados (3rd best) and Sweden (10th best). Fingers crossed!
Thank you for reading,