How safe is that neighborhood?

Trulia has a nifty little data visualization tool available that color-codes a map to show how likely certain natural hazards are in a particular location.

For example, if you search on Virginia Beach and choose flooding, you’ll see that — not surprisingly –  a lot of the area is in danger (click to enlarge):


Ditto for hurricanes, although earthquakes aren’t high on the list of things to worry about there.

You can choose from five natural hazards: the aforementioned floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, as well as wildfires and tornados. ("Plague of locusts" is not yet on the list.)

Trulia uses Google Maps as a base, then pulls in data from — depending on the hazard in question — the US Geological Survey, the National Weather Service, FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the USDA Fire Service, and more.

It’s a cool way to see just how safe an area is… or isn’t. An option for the tornado and hurricane data is to show the tracks of recent storms, so you know exactly what was hit.

Click here to check it out — just enter a ZIP code or city name.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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