Top-3 Hazard Risk of each State

Hazard Risks | Top 3 of Each State

Top Three Hazard Risks in each State

What are the hazard risks in your state?

I found information within ready.gov where you could select any state and it would list their 3 primary hazard risks.

I went through all 50 states and captured that data. Here’s what I found:

#1 Hazard Risk | Floods

The number-one hazard risk is Flooding.

Of the 50 states, 42 listed floods as one of their three major risks.


Flood Preparedness | 4 Things You Should Do

#2 Hazard Risk | T-Storms & Lightning

A close second are Thunderstorms & Lightning.

While any state can experience thunderstorms, 37 listed that as one of their three primary risks.

Lightning Strike Risk & Safety | Facts | Tips | Dangers

#3 Hazard Risk | Snowstorms / Cold

21 states listed snowstorms and/or extreme cold as one of their three primary hazard risks.

How NOT to get a Heart Attack while Shoveling Snow

#4 Hazard Risk | Tornadoes

Tornadoes came in with 15 states on the list.

Tornadoes can happen anywhere. But there are specific states that see lots more than others!

Signs Of A Tornado – 10 Ways To Know If A Tornado Is Coming

#5 Hazard Risk | Hurricanes

Hurricanes being mostly a coastal issue, affect 12 states to the extent they’re listed as one of their Top 3 hazards.

Hurricane Preparedness List & Tips

Other Hazard Risks

#6 Wildfires (7)
#7 Extreme Heat (4)
#8 Tsunamis (3)
#9 Drought (3)
#10 Earthquakes (2)
#11 Landslides & Debris flow (2)
#12 Volcanoes (1)

Hazard Risks of Each State

Here’s a list of all 50 states and their primary hazard risks:

Alabama [ Floods | Tornadoes | Hurricanes ]
Alaska [ Floods | Snow/Cold | Tsunamis ]
Arizona [ Floods | Heat | Drought ]
Arkansas [ T-Storms | Tornadoes | Wildfires ]
California [ Wildfires | Tsunamis | Earthquakes ]
Colorado [ T-Storms | Wildfires | Drought ]
Connecticut [ Floods | Snow/Cold | Hurricanes ]
Delaware [ T-Storms | Tornadoes | Hurricanes ]
Florida [ Floods | T-Storms | Hurricanes ]
Georgia [ Floods | T-Storms | Hurricanes ]
Hawaii [ Tsunamis | Landslides | Volcanoes ]
Idaho [ Floods | Wildfires | Earthquakes ]
Illinois [ T-Storms | Tornadoes | Drought ]
Indiana [ Floods | T-Storms | Tornadoes ]
Iowa [ Floods | T-Storms | Tornadoes ]
Kansas [ Floods | T-Storms | Tornadoes ]
Kentucky [ Floods | T-Storms | Tornadoes ]
Louisiana [Floods | Hurricanes | Heat ]
Maine [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
Maryland [ T-Storms | Tornadoes | Hurricanes ]
Massachusetts [ Floods | T-Storms | Hurricanes ]
Michigan [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
Minnesota [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
Mississippi [ Floods | T-Storms ]
Missouri [ Floods | T-Storms | Tornadoes ]
Montana [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
Nebraska [ Floods | T-Storms | Tornadoes ]
Nevada [ Floods | Wildfires | Heat ]
New Hampshire [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
New Jersey [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
New Mexico [ Floods | Wildfires | Heat ]
New York [ Floods | T-Storms | Hurricanes ]
North Carolina [ Floods | T-Storms | Hurricanes ]
North Dakota [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
Ohio [ Floods | Snow/Cold | Tornadoes ]
Oklahoma [ Floods | T-Storms | Tornadoes ]
Oregon [ Floods | Snow/Cold | Landslides ]
Pennsylvania [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
Rhode Island [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
South Carolina [ Floods | T-Storms | Hurricanes ]
South Dakota [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
Tennessee [ Floods | T-Storms | Tornadoes ]
Texas [ T-Storms | Tornadoes | Wildfires ]
Utah [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
Vermont [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
Virginia [ Floods | T-Storms | Hurricanes ]
Washington [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
West Virginia [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
Wisconsin [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]
Wyoming [ Floods | T-Storms | Snow/Cold ]

While every state has more than just three risks, I wonder what you think about this list. Do you agree with your own state’s listed risks?

The data in this list is sourced from ready.gov and while there certainly are additional risks, this one focuses on the most likely to occur.

Also, it’s clear that this only encompasses ‘natural’ Geo-physical hazards.

Continue reading: Best States to Live a Preparedness Lifestyle

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33 Comments

  1. Here, and my place in Idaho? By far lightning storms.

    Forest fires.!! The smoke is terrible and all my crops, mostly hay, smell like smoke. Horses don’t like that, cows either. Plus the price goes WAY down, like half.
    1/10 of an inch of rain on my hay will drop the price by over $100 a ton.

    My Idaho property has not burned since 1903, my timber is now considered “Old Growth”. I’ve worked in fire lanes, under growth management, and limbing up to 20ft, but it’s still venerable to fire.

    Nature can be very tough on a farmer, not as bad as the Gov’t though..!!

    FYI: I’m NO longer a producer, I have quit, sold down, and am getting along much better mentally.

    1. Biggest risk in Alaska is EARTHQUAKES. The Good Friday quake was 9.2 . Then tsunamis then volcanoes.
      Cold is a nuisance as Alaskans know how to deal with it. 40 below isn’t cold if you dress for it.

  2. Here in WA hazards on the west side of the mountains differ from those on the east side. Snow/cold will only affect me if I climb several thousand feet up the mountains, otherwise not much of a hazard. Likewise thunderstorms; I’ve maybe heard thunder once a year.

    On the other hand, weather here is relatively mild. Hypothermia from being damp and cold is a risk almost 9 months of the year. In urban centers, both in big cities and smallish towns, hazard of exposure to human and medical waste is high due to large number of chronic (addicted) homeless. Seattle is #3 behind Bay Area and LA.

    Recent documentary Seattle Is Dying explains it pretty well and can be found via internet browsers.

  3. Thanks Ken
    I printed this and will be added to my travel folder. Good info to have.

  4. New Mexico [ Floods | Wildfires | Heat ];

    I guess Flooding is possible, but with an average of 7 inches of rain annually hummmmm.

    Wildfires; yeah, because we do get a bit of growth when it dose rain, than that dries out and is a tinderbox for sure.

    Heat; In my neck of the woods we get 2-3 weeks of 100deg of better, other than that, is nice.

    I’m surprised that T-storms and Lightning are not top of the list for this state.

    In all reality we get very little in the way of Natural Disasters via weather, no earthquakes over 3.1, only disaster we do get is illegals tromping through on their way to CO.

    1. NRP
      Thats like the dangers here,

      Volcano?
      That is actually a real small threat,

      Tsunami?
      Maybe, but really not that much,

      We are more flood prone than anything due to heavy rains and over development in areas that should have never been developed.
      Especially shoreline flooding from high surf, some of the places they have built are just plain stupid.

      But then again these lists were compiled by some government morons so not surprised its inaccurate

    2. Only forest fires in my neck of the woods. Being on the side of the mountain we don’t worry about floods, maybe someday a volcano might pop up.

  5. I’d say heat and cold (overheating for working in it) kill more than floods every year in Oklahoma.

    I don’t know what categories they were allowed or what parameters they were subjected to in this though.

    The floods may effect a wider group with property damage.

    I’m surprised that wildfires didn’t rank higher than floods too.

    1. Pioneer woman-Mrs. USMCBG-Anony me,

      Looks like you can add unaccompanied minors to the list.

      1. Hi Dennis

        Spent a couple years in a previous life trying to slow alien smuggling, esp of children. I can tell you that a whole lot of those “unaccompanied minors” are men in their 20s and even 30s trying to pass as teenagers.

        Guaranteed that when they get loose here they are the hands and feet of the cartels – enforcers, revengers, distributors, imprisoners, etc. Am sure you’ve seen your share of this too. Can’t change the asylum process fast enough.

  6. Mississippi Flood, T Storms, Cold/Snow

    Totally wrong. We have very little snow and just regular cold. We are a hilly state and have very little flooding. Of course, we have regular T-Storms, and we have tornadoes.

    Our biggest threat is hurricanes. Katrina worked us over as did many other hurricanes. Heat is a big problem for our state. It gets over 100 at some point each year.

    1. I know, when I saw “Snow/Cold” in the ready.gov list for Mississippi, I said to myself, “Really??”. I listed it anyway – since it was part of the data set.

      Part of the reason I’m posting the information is to get all of our real-world opinion and input.

      1. We live in Mississippi and honestly “cold” shouldn’t be on the list! Our picks would be tornadoes/thunderstorms, heat, and flooding in certain areas

    2. I know, about Mississippi: snow? Must have changed since I was there! It is a hilly state (except for the Delta, which is flooded right now), but there are lots of waterways that have low-lying land next to them, as I have been seeing while property-hunting! A 3-inch rain in south Mississippi caused me to have to take a running start to make it through the holler and up the hill on that dirt (mud) road in my 2-wheel drive truck. I agree that thunder-storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes are constant problems in Mississippi.

  7. Good informational article, Ken.

    And I would have to agree with the top three in my state.

    Except I would also include forest fires on that .gov list.

    Especially in the northern areas. Lots of jackpine that goes up like a tinderbox, set by lightning, flicked cigarettes, careless open burning.

    And we get the straight line winds….as seems to be the term now a days…that cause lots of destruction of trees and property

  8. Alaska [ Floods | Snow/Cold | Tsunamis ]

    Well depending on where you live. For me Earthquakes, I got a few new cracks on November 30th. but others fared much worse.

    I was here when Mt. Spurr erupted that was very interesting for a few days.

    Our food chain relies on 2 ships a week and last year we had one stop sailing for 3 weeks. The grocery shelves were getting bare. As for snow/cold if you live up here and aren’t prepared for it you are really dumb.

    The biggest threat now is crime almost anywhere in the state. More people are putting cameras and security systems on their homes and more are carrying.

  9. For my part of Texas, Flooding is actually #1, followed by T-storms and Tornadoes.

    Dust is really a hazard, particularly for those with respiratory issues.

    Hot and dry, yeah, we do all of that, but we are sitting out here on an old prehistoric flood plain and it doesn’t take much.

    In the winter, there’s a barbed wire fence between us and the north pole, so having heat and shelter gets important.

    Still have to tell folks to lock their doors and vehicles.
    – Papa S.

    1. – We get a lot of wildfires, too, but usually only property damage. Not too many injuries, etc.

      BTW,
      – Papa

  10. The stats for NY are incorrect. Our state has more deaths from winter storms (snow/ice) than flooding, thunderstorms or hurricanes. Snow bands blowing heavy whiteout conditions have something to do with it, but many people try to drive in blizzard conditions and have no emergency preps in their vehicles. As a matter of fact, Cuomo shut down the Interstate this year during one storms attempting to keep people from unnecessary driving.

  11. Ok Ok, I need to chuckle and say.
    Seems from all the comments so far, the “.gov stats and information” is 100% wrong….

    Any questions about people with an IQ above 10 don’t believe what the .gov says????

    1. The problem is that most don’t CARE. I have a friend who leans socialist, not because she’s stupid or doesn’t understand history, but because of what she expects to get. I have otherwise intelligent friends who voted for Hitlery, not because they felt she was best for the job (they knew she wasn’t) but because she was female. Same for the Obameister. Not because he was best for the job but because of his skin color. Direct quote: “I need to do this so my son will live in a better world.”

      Many otherwise intelligent people will do some extremely stupid things when there’s a perceived advantage. Including toeing the .gov line, right over the cliff.

  12. Illinois: Thunderstorms, lightning, oh yeah lots of that. Tornadoes, yeah. Drought, Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Have lived here many years and am sick of my yard and pasture being always muddy. Have never ever had to water the garden, and have to worry about drainage. Heck, I think we probably have more rain and cloudy days than Washington state.

    1. Drought is relative. I always think it’s funny when people think they’re in a “drought” when they haven’t had rain for a WEEK. Or “Oh, we ONLY got three inches of rain last month. We’re in a drought.” Really? Your plants are struggling and you’re using culinary water to supplement when you ONLY got three inches of rain? Astonishing (but not in the way they think)

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