Tom Joseph, Public News Service-PA
HARRISBURG, Pa. – A new report ranks Pennsylvania 27th in terms of safest states in which to live.
The survey from WalletHub looks at emergency preparedness, home and community stability and traffic safety.
The report also examines financial security, which WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou says has become increasingly important in recent years.
He stresses in times of trouble, having a rainy-day fund is more important than paying down debt.
"If you do not have any savings, then you are just one emergency away from starting to default, getting late fees, interest rates skyrocketing, and getting into a vicious cycle of financial destruction," he points out.
The report ranks Pennsylvania sixth for financial security, which also encompasses savings accounts, health-insurance coverage and money spent versus money earned.
In the overall list of safest states, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Minnesota took the top three spots. Nevada finished last.
According to the report, emergency preparedness is a trouble spot for Pennsylvania.
It ranks 44th among states.
Papadimitriou says building safety is an important part of emergency preparedness, and he says state leaders can look into how buildings are built in terms of the amount of concrete used and how elevated they are.
He also says it's important that homes and buildings be adjusted for weather conditions.
"It's interesting,” he says. “In some places you see, on a regular basis, a tornado passing through and just leveling homes in that area – and it's not something that happens once every seven to 10 years. It's almost on an annual basis."
He adds that the findings can help both businesses and families as they consider their priorities when relocating.