The Top 10 Most Disaster-Prone States

01 Oct
Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy pushed New Jersey to the top of the list. Sandy was the second costliest storm in U.S. history and it took much of its wrath out on the Jersey shore.

Disasters can happen just about anywhere but the truth is that some areas are more prone to catastrophic weather. Floods, hurricanes tornadoes and fires have favorite locales that they pound over and over, putting those cities and states into a special category when it comes to experiencing disasters.

If you happen to live in one of the states listed below, reviewing your homeowners insurance to make sure that you are fully covered is key to being protected. The proper homeowners coverage can be a lifesaver after a severe weather event, allowing you to rebuild your home and life.

If you are in a state where flooding is a possibility, remember that a typical homeowners policy doesn’t cover flood damage, a separate policy is needed.

Here are the top ten states for disasters:

1. New Jersey

Hurricane Sandy pushed New Jersey to the top of the list. Sandy was the second costliest storm in U.S. history and it took much of its wrath out on the Jersey shore. Portions of the Atlantic City boardwalk was washed away and hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed. New Jersey experienced roughly $26.4 billion in damage between 2006 and 2013 as well as 87 weather related deaths.

2. Texas

The Lone Star state came in at number two largely due to tornadoes and severe thunderstorms which are quite common in Texas. Hurricanes also take their toll on coastal cities such as Houston and Galveston. Fire rounds out the triple threat to Texas, which saw over 1,500 homes burn in the Bastrop fire in 2011. Property damages between 2006-2013 hit $23.7 billion and 313 people lost their lives due to severe weather.

3. Tennessee

Flooding, tornadoes and severe storms have all taken their toll on Tennessee. Nashville experienced roughly $2 billion in flood damage in 2010 while Memphis was hit with millions of dollars worth of damage when the Mississippi River left its banks in spring 2011. A total of 224 people were killed by weather between 2006-2013 and the damaged totaled up to $5.1 billion.

4. Missouri

Missouri was home to one of the most deadly tornados on record. In 2011, the city of Joplin suffered 158 deaths from one storm. This unfortunate event pushed the state to the top of the weather related fatalities list with 346 people being killed between 2006 and 2013. The total property damage was estimated at $5.0 billion during this time period.

5. Alabama

Tornadoes are the main reason Alabama made the list, in fact Alabama ranks number two in the country when it comes to EF5 tornadoes. Twisters devastated Tuscaloosa and Birmingham in April of 2011, killing over 120 people. Property damage from 2006-2013 was $4.9 billion and 333 people lost their lives.

6. Oklahoma

Oklahoma is smack dab in the middle of Tornado alley and has suffered for it. In May of 2013 a category 5 tornado wiped out the town of Moore, followed 11 days later by the widest tornado in history in El Reno. The state suffered $4.5 billion dollars in damage between 2006 and 2013 and 162 people died.

7. Mississippi

Severe storms, tornadoes and hurricanes love to call Mississippi home. Flooding usually follows the hurricanes, which further runs up the property damage.  A total of 88 people died between 2006-2013 and property damage totaled up to $4.3 billion.

8. Louisiana

Hurricane Katrina helped put this state on the list. Katrina was the most expensive disaster in the history of the United States. Again, flooding is common after a hurricane so properly protecting your property against it is key to keeping your home and family safe. Louisiana lost 66 people due to weather between 2006-2013 and damages equaled $3.9 billion.

9. Colorado

Floods and wildfires put the Centennial State on the disaster map. The floods of 2013 killed nine people and caused millions of dollars in damage. Wildfires rampaged through the state in 2012, destroying homes and causing a massive amount of property damage. Colorado lost 70 residents to weather and suffered $3.7 billion in property damage between 2006-2013.

10. Arizona

Drought has led to wildfires in Arizona. The Wallow Fire of 2011 scorched over 500,000 acres. Severe thunderstorms and hail damage has jacked up the property damage total with Phoenix suffering $2 billion in damages.  Weather related deaths reached 93 between 2006-2013 and damages topped out at $3.5 billion.

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