Cleveland: the Safest City of the Apocalypse?


When the zombie-shit finally hits the proverbial fan (do zombies even take dumps?  Where do all those man-wiches go?), or other earth-shaking disasters rock society as we know it, where will you and your fellow survivors run to?  Chaos theorists suggest Cleveland.

Yes, that’s right bitches.  My little “Mistake on the Lake” hometown would kick SO MUCH ASS in the apocalypse.

Pro # 1: No natural disasters.

When most of my friends in Cincinnati start complaining about Cleveland, two main issues always seem to come up: 1. the crime rate (ranked 34th most dangerous city in the U.S.) and 2. even worse, the long, cold, snowy winters.  Now personally, I’d have to say I’ve been scared for my life infinitely more times during my four years in Cinci than I ever was in my EIGHTEEN years of being a Clevelander, but that’s just me.  [read Surviving the End of the World Part II: Defending Against the Other for basic self defense tips].  Or maybe everyone down in here’s just a big sissy because they can’t handle more than two inches of snow in one winter.  If they could look past the wet weather to see the big picture, they’d realize that Northeast Ohio is blessedly free from most tornados (and those annoying Cincinnati tornado sirens that sounds eerily like alien music at two in the morning), thanks to our comfy spot in the Appalachian Foothills.

A typical cleveland winter. No biggie.

And speaking of precipitation, Cleveland’s snow-belt, lake-effect snow coupled with our ever-present chance for rain means that we have no serious droughts, no wildfires- and surprisingly, very little in the way of flooding.  Situated on the southern shore of Lake Erie at a comfortable 653 ft. above sea-level, the most flooding we get comes from the large amount of rainfall during late spring, hardly a comparison next to the constantly ravaged floodplains of the Mississippi.  Hurricanes and tsunamis are also highly unlikely on any of the Great Lakes, since the leftovers from tropical storms and earthquakes in these areas are usually small-scale and happen infrequently.  The worst we get on our waters are seiches, huge fluctuations in water levels caused by thunderstorms or sudden changes in air pressure and wind speed.  While this causes a large standing wave, truly destructive ones are extremely rare and cause only a fraction of the damage to shoreline properties that tsunamis do.

Pro # 2: Proximity to fresh water.

All those water shortages you hear about on the news?  People think it’s bad enough when Nevadans have to give up green lawns and buy bottled water, but can you imagine living in Death Valley with no air conditioning, ice cream, or earth’s favorite life-sustaining beverage?  I sure wouldn’t want to be in competition for something so scarce with other apocalypse survivors.  Between Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie, we wouldn’t have the same struggle to procure clean drinking water like our country’s desert or southern states.  Some politicians even want to divert water from the Great Lakes in order to supply golf greens in places where grass has no business being grown.  Sorry, but I wouldn’t trade hot showers and cold drinks for perpetual beach weather any day of the week.

Pro #3: Resiliency.

Proving, once again, the “Rust Belt’s” reliability in dangerous times, Jeff Opperman, senior adviser at the Nature Conservancy, recently ranked Cleveland number one among U.S. cities’ ability to bounce back from significant climate change.

He also ranked Miami number 50.  If the bathsalts don’t get ya, a fiery asteroid the size of Arizona will.

Fred smells delicious.

Whether it’s caused by supervolcano, an asteroid, or global warming, Northeast Ohio would not be as highly affected as other regions of the country.  But if Cleveland seems to be getting rather crowded at that point, one of the other top five safe zones in the country: Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, or Minneapolis, are good second picks.

Well, okay, we may get screwed by a supervolcano.

So, in case of a second dinosaur-killing meteorite scare, the ice caps melting, or your neighbors suddenly acquiring the taste for human flesh, your best bet for survival lies in high-tailin’ it over to the city of snow.

And yes, you’ll have to help us shovel.

[related links: Surviving the End of the World Part I: Getting out of Dodge means being Prepared]

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3 thoughts on “Cleveland: the Safest City of the Apocalypse?

  1. Loved this Brianna! I’m sending to our 3 newly transplanted residents from San Francisco ;D

  2. Cara says:

    Very fun to read bri! I love the sassitude style of writing 🙂

    Now get back to cle so we can survive together!

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