The Safest US States to Move to

a kitten feeling safe in hands

Recent months have seen some of the worst natural disasters and hurricanes that ever happened in the US and that put the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk. Not surprisingly, more and more people are thinking of moving to a safer place and are actively looking for viable alternatives.


We put together the list of the safest states in the US to move to so you won’t have to search.

1. Ohio

Ash cave in Hocking Hills park, Ohio

Let’s start with Ohio, since this Midwest state houses three out of ten safest US cities, based on Trulia, a real estate research firm that conducted corresponding data analysis. Dayton, Akron and Cleveland got to the ranking as cities, which haven’t faced major natural disasters for the last 75 years.

Though in 2011 there was an earthquake with the magnitude of 4.0, it came almost unnoticed for the residents, just as most other shocks registered in the region. The state is somewhat prone to flooding, but the last significant flood occurred in 1990, and the emergency preparedness was improved since then. Also, Ohio has low risk of tornadoes and wildfires, as well as it lies out of the way of hurricanes. However, its northeastern part falls into the so-called Snowbelt, so the storms and heavy snowfalls are not uncommon in the region.

2. Maine

Lighthouse in Maine

Though sitting on the Atlantic coast, Maine cannot be compared with Florida, Georgia or North Carolina in the risk for hurricanes. That’s because of the state’s northern location that makes hurricanes rare guests on the shoreline compared with the southern parts of the country.

While Maine is located within the Appalachian region with its typical seismic activity, the earthquakes registered in the state are of small magnitude (less than 5.0), and the probability of a 7.0 shock is estimated as one per over 2500 years (but was never recorded throughout the history of scientific observations). As for tornadoes, one can meet a couple of them in the southern areas of the state, but deadly twisters are not the case.

Maine has some weather issues with wildfires, floods and storms, but actually, it faces only 20 thunderstorms a year and the last major flood happened 10 years ago.

3. Maryland

Annapolis Rocks along the train road in Maryland

Maryland is another state, boasting three of its cities among those ranked the safest from natural disaster. It seems that the area of Frederick, Rockville and Bethesda is free from tornado, earthquake or hurricane risks.

While the average number of tornadoes in Maryland makes up 10 twisters a year, most of them are weaker than EF-3, and this is a Sunday-school picnic when compared with Tornado Alley. And virtually all shocks felt in Maryland have never reached the magnitude of 4.0, with the exception of Virginia’s earthquake in 2011, when it got 5.8.

Also, Maryland is lucky to have the outer part of Delmarva Peninsula, Virginia’s Cape Charles and North Carolina’s shoreline protecting its coastal regions from violent tropical storms, so they usually lose their strength by the time they get to the state. Still, Old Line State sometimes suffers from thunderstorms and high water, which is proved by recent Ellicott City’s floods.

4. Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

Based on data reflected in Natural Disaster Risks maps presented by Alert Systems Group, Montana is quite a safe place for living and a good relocation option for those looking for a reliable shelter. Yes, it may be not so attractive from other angles, but it has mountains, plains, lakes and rivers, while it lacks hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and earthquakes.

Though there are a couple of northern regions that are abnormally dry and prone to drought, the things are not so bad as in some Southwest and Rocky Mountain states. The average annual tornado stats are on par with that for Maryland, and the inland location makes the state invulnerable to tropical cyclones.

And what about earthquakes, since Montana is known as the fourth most seismically active state?  Still, it is less active than the Pacific states, and the shocks magnitude rarely exceeds 2.5.

5. Minnesota

White Iron lake dock view in Minnesota, US

Minnesota has got to the list due to its advantageous location with regard to US regions, which suffered most from billion-dollar weather disasters, according to an analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. When exploring the maps, it is easy to notice that Minnesota is not among the top states stricken by droughts, heat waves, winter storms, flooding and wildfires. Moreover, it is definitely out of reach for earthquakes and hurricanes.

Nevertheless, tornadoes are not infrequent in the state with the average annual number up to 45 cases (out of more than 1,200 twisters registered in the country each year). In the cold season, Minnesota often suffers from severe local storms, blizzards and hail, while the hot summers bring higher risks of droughts and wildfires. And obviously, heavy rains cause flooding time and again, yet moderate severity of these disasters makes the state relatively safe.

woman looking through binoculars and pointing up
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Unfortunately, no state or territory is lucky enough to be ultimately safe against natural disasters. From active volcanoes to landslides, the country has a good portion of natural hazards, with the highest risk of major earthquakes and wildfires in California and neighboring west states, heavy snowstorms in the midwest and northeastern areas and tropic cyclones along the Gulf of Mexico and the southeast coast.

However, these five states do enjoy staying within the lowest-risk category and they are viable options to consider, if safety against the natural disasters is your priority. And when you are ready to move, just fill in the form above and we’ll find a reliable moving company to get you to a safer place!