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How to determine if a city is a safe place to live

aftermath of caldor fire in grizzly flats, california
California ranks as the second most disaster-prone state after Texas US, Grizzly Flats, California, REUTERS/Fred Greaves

No city is perfect, but it’s completely reasonable to want a city that allows you to feel safe.  Whether crime statistics scare you or natural disasters do: it’s a good idea to research a city before you decide to move there.  

It would help if you considered each of these before moving and deciding how much they matter to you.

Look at the local crime rates

The local crime rates can tell you a lot about an area.  Search specifically for the violent crime rates in what neighbourhoods you’re considering to ensure there’s no history of break-ins or burglaries.  The more dense a population is, the more crimes may happen there, so it’s important to consider the population density and see if that’s skewing the numbers.  

Check to see the traffic levels

How bad is the traffic in the area?  If you have children, you don’t want to live in areas where homes are right on the street and cars are zipping by at sixty miles an hour.  Keep an eye out for houses for rent in San Antonio that have space from them and the road and are safe from the traffic.  Although this may be harder to get around in many cities, you can still find pockets with fewer people or quieter cul de sacs in most towns. 

Living in an area with less traffic also means you may get around town easier and avoid any issues with transit.  This should be the main goal, so be aware of it when city shopping.  

Pay attention to past flooding or disasters

Many cities seem to be hit time and time again with flooding or natural disasters Although there’s no way to guarantee you’ll land in a safe area: try to keep the city’s history in mind.  Is this a city or state that is constantly hit by hurricanes?  Are there multiple wildfires or earthquakes?  Do tornadoes strike at least once a year?  Learn about the area’s history and decide if it feels safe for you.

Ask those who live there

A fantastic way to decide if a city is safe or has a bad reputation is to talk to people who live there.  Do they feel safe within the town they live in or do they constantly feel like they’re in danger?  Discuss if they feel safe walking around at night or letting their kids play outside unsupervised.  If their answers aren’t to your liking, it might not be the place for you.

Visit the city and see how you feel

Every city is different, so don’t worry too much unless you’ve visited the city.  Visit when no holidays or big sports events are happening in the town, and see how it feels on a normal day.  Do you feel safe?  Would you be willing to walk down a street to pick up some groceries, or trust that if you forgot to lock your car, it wouldn’t get broken into?  Think everything over carefully before moving.

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