10 States Most at Risk Of Disaster

History is punctuated with disasters. Vesuvius, the China floods, the San Francisco earthquake, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and countless other catastrophes dot the timeline with damage, loss and destruction. The United States has yet to witness death tolls comparable to those caused by disasters in, for example, China and India, but that’s not to say we don’t see our share of destruction here. Recently Kiplinger.com worked with ISO, a leading source of insurance risk information, to identify the states that have suffered the biggest property losses from disasters over the past decade, based on loss of insured property. Here are their results:

10. Ohio

Types of Disasters (2001-2010): Severe weather, 2 hurricanes

Estimated Insured Property Loss: $4.1 billion

• Great Lakes-effect snowstorms blanket northern Ohio regularly in winter.

• Spring tornadoes plague the central and southern parts of the Buckeye State.

• Hurricane Ike blasted the Ohio Valley in 2008.

• The state also had more than 30 earthquakes between 2002 and 2007.

9. Missouri

Types of Disasters (2001-2010): Severe weather, winter storms

Estimated Insured Property Loss: $4.5 billion

• Missouri sees numerous tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

• Flooding is a risk with two major rivers in the state — the Missouri and Mississippi.

• Winters here can be bitterly cold, accompanied by hazardous snow and ice storms.

8. California

Types of Disasters (2001-2010): 3 wildfires, Santa Ana wind, severe weather, earthquakes

Estimated Insured Property Loss: $4.7 billion

• Home to more natural disaster threats than most states: floods, earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis and strong Santa Ana winds that fuel wildfires.

7. Alabama

Types of Disasters (2001-2010): 6 hurricanes, severe weather, winter storms

Estimated Insured Property Loss: $4.9 billion

• When Gulf Coast hurricanes strike the state, even inland areas take a hit from the wind and rain.

• Severe storms can be accompanied by hail and tornadoes, not just in spring but also in late fall and early winter.

6. Oklahoma

Types of Disasters (2001-2010): Severe weather, winter storms

Estimated Insured Property Loss: $5.3 billion

• Severe storms and twisters are so much a part of the state’s weather that the National Severe Storms Laboratory and Storm Prediction Center are located here.

5. Mississippi

Types of Disasters (2001-2010): Severe weather, 6 hurricanes, 2 tropical storms

Estimated Insured Property Loss: $14.9 billion

• Hurricane Katrina, with the storm surge and heavy rains causing extensive flooding, nudged Mississippi into the top ten.

 

4. New York

Types of Disasters (2001-2010): Terrorist attack, winter storms, severe weather, 4 hurricanes

Estimated Insured Property Loss: $21.5 billion

• The death toll and destruction of property in the 9/11 terrorist attack puts the Empire State in the top ten of states with the highest casualty losses of the last decade.

• New York also has suffered its share of havoc wreaked from heavy snowfalls over the past two winters.

 

3. Texas

Types of Disasters (2001-2010): Severe weather, 4 hurricanes, 2 tropical storms

Estimated Insured Property Loss: $23.9 billion

• Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are as common.

• Cities close to the southern coast, such as Galveston and Houston, are often in the bulls-eye of destructive hurricanes that gain strength over the Gulf of Mexico, such as Hurricane Ike in 2008.

 

2. Florida

Types of Disasters (2001-2010): 8 hurricanes, 5 tropical storms, severe weather

Estimated Insured Property Loss: $31.5 billion

• Florida gets battered by hurricanes and tropical storms in late summer and early fall.

• The state suffered through four major hurricanes (a record) in 2004 alone.

• Has the highest number of tornadoes per square mile of any state (Texas has more tornadoes annually, but it is much larger in land area).

• Central Florida is known as the lightning capital of the U.S.

 

1. Louisiana

Types of Disasters (2001-2010): 7 hurricanes, 2 tropical storms, severe weather

Estimated Insured Property Loss: $31.9 billion

• Louisianna has the unfortunate distinction of being the most disaster-prone state in the nation, largely because of Hurricane Katrina, which was the costliest disaster in U.S. history.

Related:
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10 Riskiest Nuclear Power Plants in America
Disaster Preparation for Pets

427 comments

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Kathryn M.
Kathryn M.about a year ago

I was living near Jackson, MS, when Katrina came through. I saw the forecast for an "inland hurricane" and wondered, "What's that - an INLAND hurricane???" I'm from Louisiana and thought I knew all about hurricanes. Turns out I had a lot to learn and I found out what an "inland hurricane" is about.

John Mikeska
John M.about a year ago

I helped in the cleanup of central Florida after hurricane Charley and have never seen such widespread damage and destruction.The high heat and humidity did not help one bit in the cleanup.These natural disasters are unforgettable.

Judith C.
Judith C.1 years ago

Noted

Shirley Plowman
Shirley P.1 years ago

Terrifying weather these citizens of these states have endured. It would be so difficult to experiences of such force and damages and death.

Ruth R.
Ruth R.1 years ago

Noted.

Nancy Gizuk
Nancy Gizuk1 years ago

Living in Texas... Tornados terrify me.

Nancy Gizuk
Nancy Gizuk1 years ago

Living in Texas... Tornados terrify me.

Nancy Gizuk
Nancy Gizuk1 years ago

Living in Texas... Tornados terrify me.