Monday, May 2, 2011
Dallas tops list of disaster-prone U.S. cities, according to NY Times report
(Damn Yankee survey commissioners.)
Prompted, no doubt, but the recent deadly tornado outbreak across the southern U.S., The New York Times commissioned an analysis of the relative risk of experiencing a natural disaster for 379 metro areas across the country, and ended up with this stylish map spotted with colorful dots.
You might notice the big red (maroon?) dot atop Dallas, with the little dashed line extending from it down into the Gulf of Mexico, at the end of which dashed line is the bolded text: Highest Risk: Dallas. As in Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas.
The report, which takes into account a list of specific disaster threats, was prepared by Sperling's Best Places — the same outfit that can tell you where to go if you want to live in (or visit!) the country's manliest city, thanks to a study commissioned by Mars Chocolate for a cheese-filled snack promotion. (Makes sense.)
The Times disaster report referenced historical data on tornadoes, hurricanes (and storms originating from "hurricane remnants"), earthquakes, floods, drought, hail, and "other extreme weather." Sources included the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Miami, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
You might be wondering, given the reference to earthquakes, why the dots on the map near (and atop) California's San Andreas Fault aren't just a wee bit redder in color. That's because the study considers how infrequently quakes occur, as opposed to how often severe storms and other weather-related events happen.
Given that all of the red dots (signifying the most dangerous disaster zones) are grouped in the southern and south-central U.S., a person with a longer view of natural history might think of this assessment as more of a severe weather risk map than a strictly natural disaster one. I mean, they're not even taking into account the meteor that crashed into Arizona 50,000 years ago.
Now, THAT'S a disaster.