Wildfires and drought in California, hurricanes and floods in Florida, and power outages in Texas have made these three states significantly less livable in recent years.
People still flock to Florida and Texas, attracted by the low tax rates and warmth. (California, Not really.) But climate change is on everyone’s mind, and dire news about fires and floods dominates the daily news cycle.
“Data really shows that some of the fastest growing cities are some of the cities most at risk of disaster,” says Primal Survivor, a popular “prepper” website. said Diane Vuković, a disaster preparedness expert at
Recent Census Bureau List 15 fastest growing cities Texas and Florida contain three each.
But climate change has brought new ideas to American culture. That means parts of America may not be habitable for much longer.
“I don’t know if you can say that there are places that are fundamentally unsafe, but I would say that there are places that are fundamentally unsustainable,” said Jessica Hellman, professor and executive director of the Institute at the University of Minnesota. says. environment.
According to a recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, Florida real estate is overvalued by $50 billion In the “unpriced climate risk” of future floods. California and Texas sit second and her third on the list of states with overvalued home prices.
During the Trump Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency Quietly Ranks U.S. counties for ‘climate resilience’, Measure your ability to cope with climate change.
According to Linda Shi, assistant professor of urban and regional planning at Cornell University, the study found that the most climate-tolerant counties in the country are “basically either Maine or Alaska.” . Both are bundled up states. “But that doesn’t mean everyone suddenly moved to Maine or Alaska.”
Here is a study of five states with the highest and lowest disaster rates.the list is 2022 Wallet Hub State Rankings Due to the overall and per capita economic impact of natural disasters. a 2023 analysis of disaster risk by state By Vuković on the Primal Survivor site.and 2022 Disaster Prone Countries Report From MoneyWise, a personal finance site. We also considered Nature Climate Change’s research on overrated traits and the EPA’s Climate Resilience Report.
The five most disaster-prone states:
People walk through the flooded waters of Hurricane Harvey on Telephone Road. in Houston on August 27, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Thomas B. Shea)
Hurricanes, Fires, Tornadoes, Blizzards: The people of Texas have endured nearly every type of natural disaster imaginable, with the exception of earthquakes. oh wait a minute they also experienced an earthquake.
According to MoneyWise, Texas has witnessed 368 major disasters from 1953 to 2022, more than any other state.
The most recent notable event was Hurricane Harvey in 2017, which caused more than $125 billion in damages, much of it due to catastrophic flooding in Texas. Harvey took his 103 Texan lives.
According to WalletHub, Texas ranks with the most billion-dollar climate disasters of any state since 1980, but the state is so populous that the damage per capita is taken into account. Then the rank drops to 8th place.
Hurricanes and floods regularly wreak havoc in Mississippi. WalletHub ranks it as the most disaster-prone state in the country.
Mississippi’s flood risk is legendary. The 1927 Mississippi Flood was the most devastating river flood in U.S. history, inundating more than 23,000 square miles, killing hundreds and displacing hundreds of thousands.
According to Bukovich’s analysis, Mississippi has endured 50 disaster declarations since 2000. They include Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Harvey in 2017, and Hurricane Ida in 2021.
According to Vuković, FEMA has recorded more than one million flood damage claims in the state since 2000. Mississippi also ranks highly for tornado risk, with 50 tornadoes occurring each year.
With more than 217 major disasters since 1953, Oklahoma ranks third among disaster-prone states in MoneyWise analysis. Vuković also ranks the province third in disaster risk after him. WalletHub ranks his sixth.
Oklahoma is located on Tornado Alley. A federal investigation tagged Pontotoc County in southeastern Oklahoma as a single region. Where tornadoes are most likely all over the country. The infamous Woodward Tornado of 1947 killed at least 116 Oklahoma citizens.a 2013 twister It killed 24 people and caused $2 billion in damage.
According to MoneyWise, the state is prone to flooding and can withstand both wildfires and ice storms.
California Department of Corrections firefighters cut a containment line while battling a fire at the CZU August Lightning Complex in Bonny Doone, California on August 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Perhaps no state has witnessed as many high-profile disasters recently as California, which has recorded 285 disaster declarations since 2000.
California is famous for its earthquakes, but Californians have avoided the proverbial big one in recent years. famous earthquakes The 1994 Northridge earthquake killed 57 people and caused inflation-adjusted losses of $35 billion, while the 1989 Loma Prieta “World Series” earthquake killed 63 people.
Much of the talk about disasters today focuses on wildfires, droughts and heatwaves, all of which are becoming more frequent due to climate change.
In 2018 alone, wildfires killed 103 people and caused $26 billion in damage.
The bridge leading from Fort Myers to Pine Island, Florida is seen severely damaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, which struck Pine Island, Florida on October 1, 2022. Property Insurance and Property Tax Relief Affected by Hurricane Ian. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
This fifth spot on our list is a toss-up. According to MoneyWise, Washington has suffered more major disasters than Florida since 1953, and WalletHub’s disaster ranking puts him eight higher.
But Florida faces a unique set of future challenges, both in terms of its vulnerability to hurricanes and its unique propensity to flooding.
Miami-Dade officials hope rising sea level 10 to 17 inches between 2000 and 2040.miami beach floods occur regularly A New Yorker writer said tourists could “plan their visits around the flood.”
The most damaging and deadliest hurricanes in Florida were Ian in 2022, which killed at least 160 people, and Monster Andrew in 1992, which killed 65 people.
The 5 states least prone to disasters:
With 50 to 70 inches of annual snowfall, Maine enjoys good weather. But not miserable weather.
WalletHub ranks Maine lowest among states for the overall impact of natural disasters. Only Alaska and Hawaii have fewer multi-billion dollar disasters since 1980.
Did I mention snow? A March 2018 storm dropped 21 inches on Bangor.
Rocio Franco clears snow from his driveway in Bellow Falls, Windham County, Vermont, March 4. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP).
Vermont has trailed Maine as the state with the fewest natural disasters since 2000, according to Vucović’s calculations. Again, the big concern is snow. Vermont gets about as much snow as Maine.
However, the disaster declaration grow more often In recent years, climate change has increased precipitation in Vermont, increasing the risk of flooding. Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 claimed six lives in her and flooded facilities and public water systems.
WalletHub ranks New Hampshire third in its list of states least affected by disasters, behind Maine and Alaska.a government website Large-scale disasters occur once or twice a year, mainly due to storms and floods.
Again, snow is a definite downside.one Epic No Easter Dumped 98 inches in part of New Hampshire for 100 hours in 1969.
OK: Floridians seeking climate change relief probably won’t be traveling as far north as Alaska. However, this state ranks him second on his WalletHub list of states least affected by disasters.
Alaska has survived some of the most powerful earthquakes on Earth. The 1964 magnitude 9.2 earthquake in Prince William Sound killed more than 100 people and is one of the strongest earthquakes on record.
However, an EPA study identified the Kodiak Island Borough as the most climate-resilient county in the United States. With ice-cold average temperatures, Alaska is uniquely positioned to climate change.
Tiny Delaware ranks among the least disaster-prone states in both WalletHub and Vuković’s analyses, with only 10 major disaster declarations since 2000.
Delaware is dealing with its share of downgraded hurricanes, with rain and flooding being a greater threat than wind damage. In 2021 Hurricane He Ida flooded hundreds of people. However, very few people in Delaware actually died in the hurricane.
And where do our experts go to escape the worst effects of natural disasters and climate change?
Herman, Minnesota, prefers the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region, which boasts cool weather and abundant water. “It will be extreme heat in the summer,” she said.
And Vukovic? “I would love to live in Vermont,” she said. “If you can prepare for a blizzard, you’re basically fine.”
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