Omaha: Warnings and Dangers
Omaha is generally a safe city but, like any other city, it has bad neighborhoods. Know what dangers to look out for when visiting this city and use caution.
Midwestern Weather – It’s Not for Sissies
Midwesterners know the weather can change on a dime. Being Nebraska is one of the states in “tornado alley”, it’s a good idea to know what to do in the event of an emergency. Even if a tornado doesn’t form, weather can be brutal sometimes with heavy winds, severe thunderstorms and snow storms. Always be prepared for the worst.
Warnings and Potential Dangers
Like any fairly large city, Omaha has its pockets of trouble zones.
Downtown – Downtown is a place for tourists and stays relatively safe because of it. The Plaza and Fountain area is very pretty by day, but at night you’ll want to be careful. Once sundown arrives you will see homeless and other people hanging around. While downtown, also be careful in areas that are not well-lit; there are some pretty deserted spots. If you stay in the Old Market area, you’ll be OK, there is a lot of activity there and a pretty good police presence. Early in the night it isn’t bad at the Heartland of America Park and Gene Leahy Mall but later in the night it is known to get homeless people, panhandlers and sometimes vandals.
North and South Omaha – The area with the worst reputation is North Omaha. There are a lot of boarded-up windows, bars over windows and decaying buildings. Crime is prominent in parts of this area and it has the highest concentration of violent crime, much of it associated with gang violence. The area around Creighton University and the Qwest Center have some great shops and restaurants and is safer than the rest of North Omaha. Just use your common sense. South Omaha isn’t as bad, but there are some dangerous pockets to avoid there too, especially if you’re walking.
Panhandlers – Omaha has its share of panhandlers but most are not pushy. If you’re uncomfortable with it, just walk by or alter your path slightly to avoid contact. You should not find a problem with the panhandlers you see, but do be aware that they are about the downtown area, including the Old Market.
Travel through Omaha
The Greyhound station is at 1601 Jackson St. and layovers are about an hour. Like any bus station, during your wait be careful and aware of your surroundings. If driving, watch out for strange traffic patterns, especially on Dodge and Farnam Streets, where the flow of traffic changes during the time of day. (Look above your lane, if there is a big red X above you, you could be involved in a head-on collision). Also look for the “No Right Turn” signs that will light up at certain intersections. They are there for a reason.
As a general rule, if you feel uneasy, trust your instincts, use common sense and you should have a fun and enjoyable stay in Omaha.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Omaha.