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You have to take into account how extreme weather is handled by the community, not only at the government level, but also the citizens.

Bad weather boosts cities' "secure" rating

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Three upstate New York cities rank in the top 20 most secure places to live in America.
Rochester, ranked second. Buffalo ranks as the 6th and the Albany metro area clocked in at 12th.
How did three snow-friendly upstate cities landed in the top 20? The challenging weather helped.

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Farmers Insurance Group releases its annual "most secure" list near the tail end of every year. Farmers spokesman Jerry Davies said the list helps answer people’s questions about how cities have responded since 9/11 to shore up defenses to threats against citizens, “To make them aware that today, in this fast paced world that we live in, there are so many things that go into keeping a city safe and secure that people can be more aware of all the things that need to be addressed."

Locations are ranked on a number of factors, including preparedness for a terrorist threat, cancer mortality rates, pollution, health of the housing market and risk of natural disasters.

As to how three snow-friendly upstate cities landed in the top 20, Davies singled Buffalo out as an example. He says the city performed well in the standard categories and received high marks for responding to extreme weather. "I read and I hear and I see the weather conditions there in terms of the wintertime. But you have to take into account how extreme weather is handled by the community, not only at the government level, but also the citizens, how they can get around in that weather, how the streets are cleaned and just the overall attitude of dealing with severe weather," Davies says.

Topping the list of safest large cities was Farmers Insurance’s hometown of Madison, Wisconsin.  

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