I figured that leaving Los Angeles for St. Louis would trade earthquakes for tornados, but now reader JV informs me that St. Louis is on the New Madrid fault line.
Most people think that destructive earthquakes only occur in the western United States. To the contrary, St. Louis is located in the most active seismic zone east of the Rocky Mountains. In the winter of 1811-1812 the Central Mississippi Valley was struck by three of the most powerful earthquakes in U.S. history. The Great New Madrid Earthquake was actually a series of over 2000 shocks in five months, five of which were 8.0 or more in magnitude. Eighteen of these rang church bells on the Eastern seaboard. The very land itself was destroyed in the Missouri Bootheel, making it unfit for farming for many years. It was the largest burst of seismic energy east of the Rocky Mountains in the history of the U.S. and was several times larger than the San Francisco quake of 1905.
Emergency planners, engineers and seismologists believe that an upheaval equal to the Great New Madrid Earthquake of 1811-1812 only occurs every 500-600 years. Their greatest concerns are the 6.0-7.6 events, which do have significant probabilities in the near future. A 6.0 shock has a 90% chance by the year 2040. Damaging earthquakes of this magnitude are a virtual certainty within the lifetimes of our children.
Well that's nice! Gotta avoid brick houses.