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Risky business: Buffalo Niagara's safety from natural disasters

In which geographies is your business, or even your employees, equipment, and building, at risk of catastrophic natural disasters?

Not in Buffalo Niagara.

Buffalo Niagara is one of the safest areas from natural disasters. The risk for a business is significantly lower and should be considered when weighing location decisions for relocations or expansions.

Trulia and CityLab named Buffalo the fourth safest city from natural disasters in 2017. The story also points out that Western New York is affordable, on top of being safe (Check out our Cost of Living Calculator to crunch the numbers yourself).

This map below from The New York Times also shows how safe from natural disasters the Buffalo Niagara region is.

The map specifically values earthquakes lower than other disasters because of their relative infrequency, which may be why the West Coast is surprisingly covered in green circles. Though they may be infrequent, when a quake does hit, damage can be lasting. Buffalo Niagara is virtually untouched by the sprawling effects of tornado, hurricane, and earthquakes.

But, what about the snow you say?

To a certain extent, that’s fair. The international image of Buffalo is one covered in snow. And we’d be lying if we told you it didn’t snow here. There’s also 205 sunny days a year, but yes, it snows a bit. However, not as much as people think and well… snow is fun. Snow creates a fourth season to enjoy. In Buffalo, snow allows outdoor enthusiasts exercise and bliss of activities like snowboarding, skiing, sledding, and ice skating. Yes, it snows a bit.

More importantly, when the snow does hit, we’re prepared for it. Buffalo Niagara is built for snow, with the infrastructure and equipment to operate almost completely unaffected. The climate in Buffalo Niagara is actually a benefit to certain companies. Large data centers often run the risk of technology overheating and food processing companies can struggle to keep required temperatures.

When Invest Buffalo Niagara helped to attract Oath (Yahoo at the time) to Western New York, one of the big reasons for their ultimate decision was the safety from risk and temperate climate that could be used to naturally cool equipment.

Our region is well-equipped to handle snow and even storms, with a large plow network and removal operation. And, most importantly, snow melts. Hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes do lasting and irreversible damage. It’s risky business.

Matthew Hubacher   |     Nov 05, 2020

Where are the growing jobs in advanced business services?

Over the past few months, Invest Buffalo Niagara undertook an extensive study of the advanced business services industry in our region. The research team interviewed and polled stakeholders and compiled qualitative and quantitative data on specific industry, subsectors, companies, occupations, education programs and training opportunities.

Matthew Hubacher   |     Dec 11, 2018

Sagent is wise for leveraging Buffalo Niagara talent

Sage wisdom. Agent of change.

Greg Pokriki   |     Nov 29, 2018


Sarah Larson   |     Nov 19, 2018

43North winner lists Buffalo’s climate as an asset

At last week’s 43North Finals, each of the eight winning companies had varying reasons and motivations for their potential move to Buffalo.

Greg Pokriki   |     Oct 08, 2018

Buffalo Niagara banking & back office round-table

Buffalo Niagara is a hub for back office operations, and the industry is only continuing to grow. There are currently 16,000 employees in back office operations in Buffalo Niagara. Companies locate and hire here because of the large talent pool, affordable cost of living, and easy lifestyle.

Greg Pokriki   |     Sep 06, 2018

By the numbers: Back office in Buffalo Niagara

During my time at Invest Buffalo Niagara, I’ve helped over two dozen companies relocate or expand to Buffalo Niagara.

Guest Author   |     Aug 24, 2018

Expanding insurance cluster in Buffalo Niagara

Buffalo Niagara’s robust and expanding insurance cluster includes several prominent and experienced companies. One of the main reasons these companies find success in Buffalo Niagara is the workforce.  

Guest Author   |     Jul 16, 2018

Buffalo Niagara insurance round-table

The insurance sector in Buffalo Niagara is strong and has the potential to grow even further. The region features 8,000 current insurance employees with a strong educational pipeline from our 21 colleges and universities. Median hourly wages are lower than comparable metro areas and cost of living is lower as well.

Greg Pokriki   |     Jul 02, 2018

Merchants Insurance turns 100 in the City of Good Neighbors

When we visited Merchants Insurance to interview Robert Zak, president & CEO of the Buffalo-based insurance provider, we found a table in large, recently renovated room. It was open and collaborative, with artifacts from the company’s history on display. Lining the outside of the room’s floor was a newly installed walking track for employees to get their steps in. The company understands that health and wellness is important to employees and encourages the self-care. It’s just one of the many ways Merchants Insurance takes care of its employees.

Greg Pokriki   |     Apr 30, 2018

Buffalo I-Day gets an A+

Yesterday, some of our team members attended Buffalo I-Day, an annual insurance conference at the Buffalo Convention Center. 

Guest Author   |     Apr 13, 2018

Buffalo Niagara: Built for technology

In a past life, the Buffalo Niagara region was the center of our nation, a bustling hub for importation and goods. Through the next century, it remained just that and advanced as a large metropolis. Somewhere in between then and now, population declined and manufacturing experienced some growing pains. However, today, Buffalo Niagara is again ascending to the nation’s forefront. Thanks to its successful past, it has the infrastructure and capabilities of a large metropolis, still with the population and recognition of a recovering region. Space is available and a wide technological breadth is in place. That combination, a small fish in a large pond, if you will, allows the Buffalo Niagara region great potential and growth opportunity. Others have seen it, choosing to be a part of the revitalization. Don’t worry, though. There’s room on the bandwagon for you too.   

Greg Pokriki   |     May 26, 2017

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    About Us

    Founded in 1999, Invest Buffalo Niagara represents the eight counties of Western New York. We are the region’s nonprofit, privately funded economic development organization focused on job creation. 

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