The 25 most disaster-prone counties in the US are mapped
A new report has revealed the most disaster-prone counties in the US – exposing communities in the California and Florida as one of the most dangerous.
These findings may not come as a surprise to some, given the increased likelihood that coastal states will be stranded by natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires.
Coincidentally, these phenomena—recently represented by the raging Hurricane Ian and a slew of summer fires—serve as the two most common culprits among counties considered most dangerous for residents.
A total of 25 counties were analyzed, with 19 of them split between the Golden and Sunshine states.
The next most at-risk state in terms of the number of counties represented was Louisiana — another area known for extreme weather — with three of its southernmost counties, including New Orleans, making the top ten.
A new report has revealed the US counties most prone to catastrophic events, revealing communities in California and Florida as some of the most at risk
However, the worst offender was Los Angeles County, a region historically plagued by wildfires. Firefighters are pictured battling the 2019 Pacific Palisades Fire, one of 22 disasters in the county in the past decade
The worst offender, however, was Los Angeles County, according to Forbes, which tallied the most Federal Emergency Management Agency declarations of the past decade when tallying the results.
The county, home to affluent cities like Los Angeles and Long Beach, has had 22 weather- and climate-related disasters since 2013, according to data released Monday.
For reference, over the past 43 years, there have been $341 billion in weather and climate-related disasters nationwide, resulting in approximately $2.48 trillion in damages.
The county’s dubious reputation, however, did little to deter the estimated 9,861,224 residents who lived in the region as of last year – a population larger than the population of 40 individual US states combined.
For decades, the region has experienced a wave of wildfires each summer, a phenomenon that has been exacerbated this year by a heat wave that prompted California Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency.
The region is also prone to earthquakes – another natural disaster residents need to be wary of.
In second place were East Baton Rouge Parish and Orleans Parish in Louisiana, both tied for second place — and both are two of three counties in the top 25 from the Bayou State.
Coincidentally, the third and final Louisiana county to grace the list, Jefferson Parish, took the next top spot — tied with nearby Los Angeles, Riverside County for fourth.
Moreover, three regions of Louisiana are located on the southern side of the state, along the Atlantic, and thus are bombarded by hurricanes almost every year.
Cities within these counties include New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Jefferson – all of which are in seasonal hurricane risk areas.
Tied for sixth with another California county, Sonoma NorCal, was the only region hailing from arid Nevada, which, while not coastal, is at extreme risk for wildfires.
Located right on the state’s shared border with northern California, whose redwoods regularly fuel the flames, Washoe County is home to cities like Reno and Sparks and has seen 14 disasters in the past decade.
Meanwhile, Sonoma, located 30 miles north of San Francisco, is just over that border about 300 miles to the southwest, in one of those heavily forested areas known to be at risk of wildfires.
Rounding out the top 10 was Charleston, one of two South Carolina counties to make the list, followed by neighboring Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, and Duval County, Florida, a region that recently suffered flooding from Hurricane Ian.
Several of Yan’s other victims — all located along Florida’s east coast or the Gulf of Mexico — also appeared in areas such as Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
The three came as part of a 13-way meet between ten other Florida counties, such as Hillsborough, Pinellas, Brevard and Seminole. Over the past decade, everyone has experienced 11 disasters.