The Most Climate-Resilient Places To Live From A Natural Disaster Perspective

CoreLogic, a property data and analytics provider, has announced the results of its “Safest Place to Live” study that details the least risky places to live in the U.S. from a natural disaster perspective. While severe thunderstorms and flooding pose risk to most homes in the U.S., McKinley County, New Mexico emerged as the least risky county to live due to its lack of hurricane and earthquake risk. Additionally, five counties in Colorado rank in the top 10 for lowest-risk areas for natural catastrophes.

CoreLogic deployed its Climate Risk Analytics: Composite Risk Score solution to identify counties that are currently at low risk and stress-tests natural disaster risks over the next 30 years across various future climate scenarios.

The climate scenarios include a base climate where conditions do not change and a progressively worsening climate noted as “Scenario 8.5.” RCP 8.5 is one of a suite of scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways) that describe several potential future scenarios. The RCP 8.5 climate change results analyzed here represent a projection of climate related risks to residential properties assuming that carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise throughout the 21st century.

CoreLogic analyzed wildfire, inland flood, severe convective storm, winter storm, earthquake and hurricane perils and applied its analytics capabilities to its extensive property datasets to provide deep insights into natural hazards, climate risks and the resulting impacts on the property landscape. As a result, the top 10 counties safest from natural disaster are:

1. McKinley County, New Mexico

2. Duchesne County, Utah

3. Conejos County, Colorado

4. Emery County, Utah

5. Summit County, Colorado

6. Pondera County, Montana

7. Saguache County, Colorado

8. Unitah County, Utah

9. Mesa County, Colorado

10. San Miguel County, Colorado

In examining a progressively worsening climate, Scenario 8.5, the safest counties in 2050 become:

1. McKinley County, New Mexico

2. Conejos County, Colorado

3. Summit County, Colorado

4. Duchesne County, Utah

5. Saguache County, Colorado

6. Spokane County, Washington

7. Emery County, Utah

8. Eagle County, Colorado

9. San Juan County, Colorado

10. Chaffee County, Colorado

Tom Larsen, senior director of insurance solutions at CoreLogic, said the corporation is focused on helping its clients anticipate and respond to weather and climate disasters, giving California as a perfect example.

“California has been subject to a series of intense storms in 2023,” he said. “Individually, these storms are not unusual in California but the staccato series of intense rain and snowfall events is rare. California rain and snowfall totals for 2023 are likely to become record years for modern tracking but there are years in the distant past that have arguably been worst – most notably the 1861-1862 winter which the U.S. Geological Survey uses as its ARKStorm disaster scenario for California flooding. In net, the severity of rain and snowfall in 2023 will undeniably be among the most severe seen. It is too soon to confidently assert that the occurrence of 2023 precipitation severity is due to climate change.”

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