20 Best Places to Be in the U.S. During a National Emergency

Written By Jill Taylor

National emergencies can start anytime, so knowing where to go during these times is essential for your well-being. Here are 20 locations across the U.S. with strong advantages during crises, looking at factors like resources, geography, and infrastructure.

Boulder, Colorado

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Boulder, located in the Rockies, offers natural flood protection and a culture of resource conservation, which are helpful traits in case of an emergency. According to Boulder Weekly, “ Boulder County has offered some level of emergency preparedness training for many years.” The city’s focus on sustainability also gives it an edge when supplies are limited.

San Antonio, Texas

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San Antonio is well-prepared to handle various crisis scenarios, making it a really smart choice for emergency situations. Its warm climate is an advantage during power outages, and it has a strong military presence, excellent medical facilities, and a robust economy.

Bozeman, Montana

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Bozeman’s out-of-the-way location keeps it nicely separated from crowded areas, limiting some of the emergencies that occur due to high population densities. There’s also plenty of wilderness around, packed with useful resources if needed. The Montana State University also brings smart folks and knowledge to the table, which means plenty of brainpower for dealing with tough times.

Asheville, North Carolina

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Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers natural protection and plenty of local farms. The artsy crowd also brings fresh ideas for tackling tough situations. This cool mix of mountain safety and creative thinking makes Asheville stand out when it comes to handling crises.

Honolulu, Hawaii

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As an island city, Honolulu is naturally isolated from mainland issues. Years of dealing with natural disasters have strengthened the city’s emergency protocols, and add in the year-round growing conditions, you’ve got a well-prepared location for many emergency scenarios.

Burlington, Vermont

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Burlington’s green mindset builds toughness, and its small size means resources can be managed well. The nearby Lake Champlain is also a great constant water source, and Vermonters are known to look out for each other when times get tough. It’s a place where being eco-friendly meets small-town efficiency and community support.

Huntsville, Alabama

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Thanks to a strong economy and great research facilities, Huntsville is well-equipped to handle emergencies using brainpower and new ideas. Its smart rocket scientists develop clever solutions and attract many skilled workers. The area’s mountains and water resources are also a bonus, enabling self-sufficiency if needed.

Missoula, Montana

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Missoula is surrounded by national forests, which give it fantastic natural cover. The University of Montana also brings valuable knowledge and skills. The residents are outdoors-savvy and adept at handling unexpected situations, a great combination for an emergency.

Rochester, Minnesota

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With the famous Mayo Clinic in town, Rochester’s got healthcare covered. In addition, cold weather helps by reducing some disaster risks, and the focus on learning and research means smart crisis planning. It’s a place where health, weather, and smarts create a safety trio.

Corvallis, Oregon

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Sitting in the rich Willamette Valley, Corvallis has plenty of natural resources. With the mountains, nearby coast, and a tight-knit community, Corvallis mixes natural goods with teamwork for great emergency preparedness.

Madison, Wisconsin

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Madison has an advantage in emergencies because it’s situated between two lakes, providing water and a natural food source. The city also encourages local food production, which could help if regular food supplies are disrupted. Madison combines natural resources, academic knowledge, and locally grown food to create a safety net for its residents.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Santa Fe’s location in the high desert means it’s less likely to face natural disasters. The people here also have a long tradition of self-reliance, which is useful in tough times. Santa Fe combines traditional wisdom, creative problem-solving skills, and a smart location to prepare for crises in unique ways.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Ann Arbor is located near the Great Lakes, which ensures a reliable water supply. The University of Michigan brings valuable research and resources to the community, and the city’s thriving tech scene helps keep everyone connected and organized when emergencies strike. Together, these factors make Ann Arbor well-prepared for challenges.

Fargo, North Dakota

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Fargo has a few aces up its sleeve when it comes to facing challenges, including years of battling floods, which have improved the city’s emergency response skills. Add to that North Dakota State University’s expertise in agriculture and engineering, and you’ve got a city well-equipped to handle tough situations.

Juneau, Alaska

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As Alaska’s capital, Juneau’s got solid government backing. Being isolated means people here know how to take care of themselves, and there are plenty of natural resources. Locals are used to tough conditions, making the city even stronger. It’s where wild nature, good governance, and tough people come together.

Bend, Oregon

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This high desert gem is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, and thanks to their rock climbing, kayaking, and backcountry skiing skills, Bend’s residents are natural survivors. The nearby Cascade Mountains offer fresh water and game, while the city’s booming craft beer scene might just help keep spirits high during tough times.

Boise, Idaho

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Known as the ‘City of Trees,’ Boise offers both urban comfort and rugged charm. Its residents are a mix of tech-savvy professionals and down-to-earth farmers, creating a perfect balance of innovation and practicality. The surrounding Boise National Forest provides plenty of resources, and the city’s extensive park system could easily be converted to community gardens in a pinch.

Duluth, Minnesota

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Perched on Lake Superior, Duluth is no stranger to harsh conditions. Its residents are tough as nails, weathering brutal winters with a smile. This would make them great in an emergency. The lake also provides an endless water supply, while the city’s proud shipping heritage means there’s always a way to move goods. Plus, who wouldn’t want to ride out an emergency with a view of the northern lights?

Chattanooga, Tennessee

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Once an industrial powerhouse, Chattanooga has reinvented itself as a tech hub with a green twist. Its lightning-fast internet could keep you connected when other cities go dark. The surrounding Appalachian Mountains also offer protection and resources, while the Tennessee River could serve as a vital transportation route.

Portland, Maine

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This charming port city is more than just lobster rolls and lighthouses. Portland’s resourceful locals know how to weather any storm, literal or figurative. The city’s thriving arts scene also fosters creative problem-solving, while its working waterfront ensures access to the ocean’s bounty.

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