When deciding where to live, many factors are considered. The top considerations for most people are employment opportunities and recreational activities. The cost of living and hospital services are usually next on the list. Many retirement age Americans have the option to live in any state they choose. A natural disaster can disrupt a person’s entire life and affect their economic future. While every state is impacted by natural disasters from time to time, the following states are most at risk for major natural disasters.
Number ten: Missouri
Known for cold winters and summers that are both hot and humid, residents of the Show-Me State are at risk for natural disasters year-round. They experience severe snow and ice storms during the winter, tornadoes in the warm months, and the possibility of flooding any time of year. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there have been 53 major disaster declarations in Missouri since 1953.
Number nine: Arkansas
Although it is not a coastal state, Arkansas still feels the effects of tropical storms. In 2008, Hurricane Gustav spawned storms and tornadoes that damaged buildings and roads and left many without electricity. The state is often hit by heavy rain, severe winter storms, and flooding.
Number eight: Kentucky
Mudslides, landslides, and rock-slides seem to be more common these days than ever before. Kentuckians need natural disasters insurance for these in addition to tornadoes and winter storms. One of the 56 major disaster declarations Kentucky has had since 1953 was for a record-breaking snowstorm in 2004.
Number seven: Alabama
Being on the Gulf Coast means Alabama is subjected to severe damage from hurricanes. Many people have died over the years and the state suffered property damage of more than $1.5 billion in 2011.
Number six: Louisiana
This state is still working to recover from the 2005 Hurricane Katrina. This Gulf state experiences many storms and is also at risk of flooding disasters.
Number five: Florida
Evacuations due to tropical storms are common in the Sunshine State. The 1992 Hurricane Andrew is second only to Hurricane Katrina as the most costly natural disaster in U.S. history.
Number four: New York
The Empire State experiences everything from tropical storms to blizzards. The 2012 Superstorm Sandy caused in excess of $40 billion in damages.
Number three: Oklahoma
Monster tornadoes frequently leave wide paths of destruction across Oklahoma. The state averages 55 tornadoes a year and has had 73 major disaster declarations since 1953.
Number two: California
California has the highest number of residents and a wide variety of natural disasters. Californians must contend with landslides, flooding, drought, wildfires, winter storms, and tsunami waves, and California is primarily known for costly earthquakes.
Number one: Texas
The Lone Star State has had 86 major disasters declared since 1953. The second largest state has at least one disaster declaration every year. Texans contend with flooding, tornadoes, wildfires, and hurricanes. Hurricane Celia killed 13 people in 1970 and did millions of dollars in property damage.
Image credits: FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Victor Habbick