World Facts

The US States Most Prone to Natural Disasters

Whether it be tornadoes, hurricanes, or earthquakes, this is a list of the states most prone to natural disasters.

In the United States of America, the natural disasters of 2017 alone cost the Federal Government a record $306 billion worth of damages. Natural disasters can include events ranging from hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme thunderstorms, drought, floods, forest fires, toxic substance leakage, and winter storms. According to FEMA, the following states have suffered the most natural disasters since 1953.

The Top 3 States Most Prone to Natural Disasters

Texas

Texas has experienced more natural disasters in recent history than any other state. The second largest state after Alaska, Texas is no stranger earthquakes, wildfires, floods, many tornadoes, and hurricanes. The state has been shaped by the 1900 Galveston hurricane, the 1953 Waco Tornado, Hurricane Carla, Tropical Storm Allison and most recently, Hurricane Harvey, the last of which had winds of 170 miles per hour and caused storm surges of 10-12 feet.

California

California is the state who is second most vulnerable to natural disasters. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, heat waves, wildfires, mudslides, and severe thunderstorms are just some of the natural disasters that have occurred in California over the latest decades. Due to its location on the San Andreas Faultline, California is particularly prone to earthquakes. In fall of 2017, California saw a terrible wildfire season which cost the state billions of dollars and claimed 46 lives.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma comes is the third most disaster-prone state. Oklahoma is most known for its location within "tornado alley". However, since 2009, earthquakes have become a more common event in Oklahoma. These earthquakes have increased in number, frequency, and magnitude. According to some sources, the shocks are due to the discarding of unwanted water produced during oil abstraction that has been deposited furthest into the ground. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded in 2016.


Conclusion

Depending on the particular disasters that each state is prone to, states take great care to ensure that there are the correct measures in place to protect its citizens. These measures may include workplace and school drills, strong regulation regarding the building of structures, and adequate funding allocated to disaster relief and prevention.

The 10 States Most Prone to Natural Disasters

RankState Number of Natural Disasters Since 1953
1Texas 254
2California 250
3Oklahoma167
4Washington132
5Florida122
6New York 93
7Colorado80
8Alabama79
9New Mexico79
10Louisiana75
11Kentucky74
12Oregon73
13Arkansas70
14Missouri 68
15Mississippi 68
16Tennessee68
17Nevada67
18West Virginia67
19Virginia64
20Arizona63
21Iowa62
22Georgia60
23Illinois60
24Kansas60
25Minnesota60
26Montana60
27Nebraska60
28Pennsylvania59
29South Dakota59
30North Carolina58
31North Dakota56
32Maine55
33Ohio54
34New Jersey 50
35Indiana48
36Massachusetts47
37New Hampshire46
38Wisconsin 46
39Alaska45
40Hawaii 45
41Vermont43
42Idaho40
43Michigan36
44Maryland32
45Utah 31
46Connecticut30
47Wyoming30
48South Carolina28
49Rhode Island22
50Delaware21

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