Find your Northwest safe haven
Hereâ€™s a place in PEMCO country that First Snowflake Freakout Lady could really warm up to: Sherman County, Ore. Home to 1,765 people and nestled along the Columbia east of The Dalles, the county ranked fourth safest out of 3,114 counties in the United States for natural disasters. Thatâ€™s according to research from NOAA, which has tracked destructive events â€“ like big storms, earthquakes, floods, lightning, wildfires, tornadoes, heat, and cold â€“ since the 1950s. Mother Natureâ€™s wrath has claimed nary a penny in property or crop damage among the folks living in Sherman County.
Turns out, the No. 1, 2, and 3 safest counties also are Northwest neighbors. Sweet Grass County, Mont., is the safest of all, followed by Washington County, Idaho, and Wheatland County, Mont. Malheur County, Ore., home to Ontario near the Idaho border, comes in at a tranquil No. 10.
Itâ€™s no surprise to see that earthquake-prone California has five of Americaâ€™s 15 most dangerous counties. Ocean County, New Jersey, ranks as most menacing, with its vulnerabilities to tidal surges and storms like Hurricane Sandy.
Wondering how your county stacks up? Click it on this map, courtesy of time.com.