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The safest cities in the United States.

Where's the safest city in the United States? Well, you can be sure it's not in Florida. You can also bet that it's not a sprawling A-list metropolitan area like Washington D.C. No, the safest cities in the nation are in places where terrorists, earthquakes, hurricanes and severe thunderstorms are least likely to strike. They are in relatively quiet places like Rochester, N.Y., Columbus, Ohio, and Phoenix, Ariz. In our analysis, Sacramento, Calif., is the safest city in the United States.

With four multibillion-dollar hurricanes making landfall within six weeks of one another this season, companies couldn't help but focus once again on catastrophe risk. Fortunately, tools are available to help companies assess and manage their potential for losses from extreme events.

Those tools are based on catastrophe modeling, a technology introduced in the mid-'80s and now widely used throughout the insurance and reinsurance industries. Increasingly, they are also being used by government, financial institutions and corporate risk managers. With the use of these tools, areas facing the highest potential losses from such threats as hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, earthquakes and terrorism can be identified with much greater accuracy, providing companies with a clear understanding of the risks they face. Yet as we close out a dismal year in terms of catastrophe losses, it occurred to us that modeling could be used to identify those areas that are at low risk from catastrophes. With this in mind, we contacted AIR Worldwide Corp., a catastrophe modeling firm based in Boston, to help identify the top 10 metropolitan areas within the United States with the lowest risk from hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, earthquakes and terrorism.

The stories that follow are a result of AIR's investigation into the safest cities in the United States. Four of the company's top research scientists contributed to the city stories in the section that follows: Peter Dailey, Ph.D., Tim Doggett, Ph.D., Atul Khanduri, Ph.D., and Mehrdad Mahdyiar, Ph.D.

As always, we welcome hearing what you think. You can e-mail us with your comments at riskletters@lrp.com. Many thanks to AIR Worldwide Corp., who made this article possible.

--The editors
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Title Annotation:The 10 Safest Cities
Publication:Risk & Insurance
Date:Dec 1, 2004
Words:357
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