From the 2008 SustainLane US City Rankings:
SustainLane examined the 50 largest US cities, assessing natural disaster risk. This ranking was devised with SustainLane primary research as well as with information from Risk Management Solutions. We looked at hurricanes, major flooding, catastrophic hail, tornado super-outbreaks, and earthquakes, taking into consideration potential frequency of disaster as well as the extent of damage.
Natural disasters can have significant environmental and economic impacts on cities, as evidenced by the destruction Katrina caused in New Orleans. SustainLane did not analyze drought in this category, as this natural phenomenon may be mitigated by water importation and conservation. (See: Water Supply.) Urban wildfires were also excluded from this study, as wildfire damage in modern cities typically affects only limited areas — the Oakland, California firestorm of 1991 being one tragic exception.
The cities above were ranked by risk of natural disasters that could change the landscape of a city in a short period of time, affecting most city structures, water and energy supplies, in addition to the widespread loss of life.
So which cities are at least risk for natural disasters?
1. Mesa, AZ
3. Phoenix, AZ
3. Tucson, AZ
3. El Paso, TX
8. Detroit, MI