General Question

goose756's avatar

I want to move to LA - should I be afraid of natural disasters?

Asked by goose756 (655points) August 27th, 2012
21 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

I’ve been thinking lately that I would like to move to LA in the near future. I’ve heard a couple people express their concerns about natural disasters (earthquakes in particular), but is this something I should really be concerned about or do you think they are just being paranoid?

I know the possibility of earthquakes is very real and more than likely, but should I be nervous? I don’t want to live in fear, but I also don’t want to ignorant.

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SuperMouse's avatar

Well I spent over 40 years there and lived through a couple of the biggest earthquakes, some mudslides and even riots and I’m still here to tell the tale. The truth is that just about anywhere you chose to live in the United States you are going to have to deal with some kind of natural disaster.

Coloma's avatar

Every area has the potential for some sort of disaster, so no. You have zero control over what may happen. I live in the Sierras of NorCal and we live with the constant threat of wildfires.
Every part of the country has it’s own, custom blend of potential disasters from tornados and hurricanes to earthquakes and forest fires.

Shit, this year is a banner year for rattlesnakes in my area, I have killed 2 huge ones right under my deck and my cat was bitten a month ago.
You are far more likely to be killed by some random situation like a car wreck or a fall than you are to be in L.A. when the entire west coast cracks up and falls into the Pacific. lol
Infact L.A. county has a high proportion of Mtn. Lion attacks, more so than even my area which is prime habitat for the cats.
Being drug off your mountain bike on trail and cached by a big cat for it’s dinner party is a much higher probability than a natural disaster. haha

FutureMemory's avatar

LA has great weather, and very few natural disasters.

A bad earth quake hits, what, every 20–30 years, maybe? And even then, the likelihood that you would personally suffer an injury or property damage is very low.

CWOTUS's avatar

If you think that being fearful will enhance your life, then I’d say “go for it.”

On the other hand, if you want to avoid being “fearful” and “nervous” and “worried”, then you can choose instead to be informed and prepared. That would be my choice, but that may be just because I think “worry” and “fearfulness” are pretty useless.

sinscriven's avatar

We have relatively frequent earthquakes compared to other parts of the US, but they are often in the 3–4.0 scale, so they rarely do much damage. Eventually you just get used to the occasional shake. Big nasty quakes like the Northridge one are not common.

You honestly are in greater danger of getting killed by moderate rain in LA than an earthquake. Because SoCal has such such consistently good weather, we as a whole can’t drive for crap in poor conditions. Usually this is caused by people who speed as if it were dry weather and hydroplane.

Don’t let the seismic activity stop you from going to LA. If nature is going to kill you it’ll find a way no matter where you’re at so don’t keep it from doing what will make you happy.

Brian1946's avatar

I agree with @FutureMemory about LA.

However, Hell A is abound with anthropogenic disasters, such as its terminally congested roadways, ubiquitous gang activity, and overcrowding.

You should really consider Santa Barbara instead. It has all of whatever good points LA has, and almost none if its bad ones. ;-)

muppetish's avatar

This really comes down to bad luck. You really aren’t likely to be deeply affected by an earthquake (4.0? No problem. Most of us sleep through them), mudslide, or brushfire. Don’t live near a hill if you’re that worried about it, but really you don’t have much to worry about. If anything, make sure you buy natural disaster insurance for your house, but we get by just fine without it (though I do live in a suburb of LA and not the city itself.)

WestRiverrat's avatar

Where ever you live there are going to be natural disasters. You just have to pick the ones you want to deal with when selecting a place to live.

mazingerz88's avatar

Tell me where it’s safe to live and chances are it’s a boring place. LA could be an exciting home to have. Maybe that’s why you are thinking of moving. It depends on your comfort level. Just stay away from that John Cusack film 2012. Lol.

tinyfaery's avatar

There will be earthquakes.
There will be fires near the foothills.
Not so much flooding here. No tornadoes or hurricanes.

I’ve lived in L.A. my whole life. I haven’t been scared away yet.

gailcalled's avatar

I live in a relatively safe area in the NE but over the past few years we have had tornados, flooding, mud slides, serious snow falls at the wrong time of year, hail the size of golf balls, and ferocious thunder and lightening storms.

(Spell-check just tried to change “tornados” to “tomatoes.”)

ragingloli's avatar

If I am not mistaken that village is close to the san andreas fault line, which is overdue a really big and massive quake.

CWOTUS's avatar

Not having tomatoes would be its own kind of disaster, I think.

Sunny2's avatar

Earthquakes are scary until you live with them. Most are reported and it looks like they happen all the time, but most are just a funny feeling in your stomach or a quick jolt. You may wake up at night and have to check the news in the morning to see if it was a quake that woke you..
My mom worried about the quakes until she saw a newspaper picture of people grinning up at tall buildings during a mild quake.

flutherother's avatar

I wouldn’t worry about it but you can take sensible precautions. There are seismic hazard maps that show the areas most likely to be affected by earthquakes and landslips and you can order an online copy of this useful handbook.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Every place has its own risks. There is no city in America that is immune fro disasters – manmade or natural.

So move there – it’s no worse than anywhere else.

RocketGuy's avatar

I lived in LA for 9 years. Experienced several big quakes. Most buildings are built to the earthquake code, so should be safe to be in during a quake. Once there, remember to set up an emergency kit so that you will not have to beg for supplies if water or power goes out for a few days.

I find tornadoes much more scary – no homes are tornado resistant.

CWOTUS's avatar

To paraphrase from the late great Warren Zevon’s Desperados Under the Eaves:

… if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will
I predict this motel will be standing
Until I pay my bill.

Earthquakes, firestorms, mudslides and droughts all happen in California – not to mention the self-inflicted things that Californians do to themselves, each other and the rest of us via the State Assembly and their alternately self-absorbed and / or lunatic national representatives – but the population never seems to shrink much. I predict that you’ll be fine.

dabbler's avatar

The construction codes in CA/LA are good and there are very few fatalities in even the biggest of shakers.

I would worry more about the detrimental effects of being in your car constantly.

RocketGuy's avatar

My wife used to eat breakfast in her car. Then there is the hobby of finding the fastest way to get from point A to point B using side streets.

cheebdragon's avatar

Natural disasters? Thats nothing. It’s the drive by shootings that you really have to watch out for….if you see a car creeping up the street in the middle of the night, hit the fucking ground!

Im kidding….but, seriously….

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