Arizona and (the lack of) Natural Disasters

Arizona is, in essence, a land without natural disasters.
The most dramatic natural occurances we get here are:

  • It gets really, really hot during the summer.
  • For a few months out of the year, it rains pretty hard.

The most dangerous part is that people freak out and forget how to drive in the rain, so there’s a few car crashes. The summer heat means I run my AC, so the electric bill goes up a little bit.
No major floods, no earthquakes, no hurricanes, no tornadoes, no blizzards, etc. The deserts have a lot of little scrubby plants, bushes, and cacti, but there’s not a lot of big trees (Northern Arizona is an exception) so wildfires are not a big threat.
I used to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and while earthquakes were a risk, they weren’t a huge deal: they happened infrequently (unlike a “hurricane season”, there’s no such thing as “earthquake season”), modern buildings were constructed to be seismically safe, and our house was built on bedrock. During the big 1989 earthquake, we had a picture or two fall off the shelves. No other damage. It’s easy to prepare against an earthquake, but considerably harder to prepare against things like floods.
I’m still not sure why anyone settles in low-lying, flood-and-hurricane-prone areas. I’m even more puzzled as to why people who settle in those areas don’t buy insurance to protect against the risks they face. If I lived in a hurricane area and couldn’t afford flood insurance, I’d move somewhere where floods and hurricanes were not common. Like Arizona.
On a similar note, this blog is hosted in Phoenix by an excellent hosting company. The lack of major natural disasters was one of the reasons I chose to host there, in addition to their excellent stance on free speech, affordable price, and great performance and reliability. Lack of huge storms trying to destroy your datacenter is a good thing, even if it means that employees of my hosting company will never have to camp out in the datacenter with food and armaments.

2 thoughts on “Arizona and (the lack of) Natural Disasters”

  1. well, I’m with you on the settling in flood prone areas thing. And natural disaster prone areas. Though I suspect DC is equally at risk of disaster – only its likely to take the shape of a foreign attack rather than natural disaster.
    That said, I do like to hang out at the beach. Very relaxing!

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