I know what you're thinking... this is not a fun story, but the threat of nukes has been in the back of many Americans' minds since the cold war. Many of us have spent our entire life at least a little worried about it. Not to mention recent events have increased worldwide concerns about nuclear safety in Ukraine.

Atom Bomb Explosion, 3D rendering

With this threat on people's minds, 24/7 Wall St ranked different areas to determine the worst place to be during a nuclear attack on the United States. As an Iowan, I thought we'd be pretty safe, but surprisingly I was wrong.

Worst Places To Be for Nuclear Attack In The US

The top three locations on this list were as follows:

3. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA

With a high population, an Iconic name, and a rough evacuation rate, this spot finds itself in at number 3.

2. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

Again, high population, an Iconic name, and a rough evacuation rate. They do have their Emergency preparedness: "New York’s Plan Now types of terrorist attacks, including nuclear preparedness PSA"

1. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

The number one target.

The nation’s capital has more than one highly valued target, not the least of which is the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense, which was already a target of the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

Many locations in the area are also considered likely targets.

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Iowa Is On This List

Welcome to Iowa sign
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Coming in at number 9 is Omaha & Council Bluffs, NE & IA... so it's not just Iowa, but this spot gets Iowa and Nebraska on this list. Why is this location in the top 10?

Offutt Air Force Base is actually the headquarters of the U.S. Strategic Command.

In the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush, who was in Florida at the time they struck, was first flown to Barksdale AFB (No. 15), then to Offutt, where he was taken into an underground command center bunker designed to withstand a nuclear blast and as a place from which a presidential order to go to nuclear war could be issued. There he held an hours-long teleconference with his senior cabinet staff, the CIA, Pentagon, and FBI, among others.

You can see the rest of the locations here.

How They Got These Findings

These are some big claims to make, here is how they got their numbers,

To find the worst places to be if there’s a nuclear attack on America, 24/7 Wall St. constructed an index consisting of several measures to rank major U.S. cities likely to be targets based on both Schwartz’s and Redlener’s lists.


I was still surprised to see Iowa on this list.

The measures in the index include population density; city preparedness for emergency; economic significance; city preparedness plans; distance to the strategic military target; proximity to nuclear power plants; and ease of evacuation based on commute time as a proxy to congestion and the percentage of a city area that is water.

Illinois Arcade House

If you want a place to entertain or be entertained...a short drive to Bloomington will put you right!

Top 10 Adventureland Rides

I had to make this list quick since Adventureland has a lot of big plans for its future, which means a lot of new rides. Don't forget to let us know what your top 10 list would be!

we will also be sharing some of the rides history which you can learn more about here.

For this list, we are not counting any of the waterpark rides.


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