Skip to main content

Which US state has the highest risk of a natural disaster?

City skyscraper landscape

The peak season for severe weather in the United States is upon us, and residents of certain states are more susceptible to natural disasters in the US and financial consequences. Our study found that the cost of natural catastrophes in the United States is more than 80% for ten states, with the Gulf Coast absorbing most of the damage.

2022 is on track to record the most federally declared natural disasters. The 2022 ranking was already at number two by the end of April. Peak hurricane season and wildfire season are still to come. Be sure to read this post, so that you can ensure safe travels before applying for an ESTA Visa Ireland.


Texas’ long Gulf Coast coastline puts it at the highest risk for a natural disaster. The state suffered $63.4 billion in damage in 2017, primarily from Hurricane Harvey.

The Lone Star state has suffered an average of $14.1 billion annually in disaster damage over the past five years. This amounts to an average cost of $1,476 for every household each year. Texas had 321 deaths from weather-related catastrophes during the five years.

  • Proposed annual property damage cost per household: $1,476
  • $14.1B annual property damage in the state


Louisiana is located near the Gulf of Mexico, making it vulnerable to severe storms and hurricanes. On average, disaster damage cost $1,078 per household annually between 2014 and 2018. Baton Rouge and New Orleans, two of the largest cities in the state, are located along the Mississippi River Delta. They are, therefore, common flood targets.

  • Proposed annual property damage cost per household: $1,078
  • $1.87B annual property damage in the state


Florida is the state with the longest coastline in the continental United States. It’s, therefore, no surprise that it is most susceptible to severe storms. Over the past five years, the average cost of disasters for each household has been $451 annually. With $9.9 billion of damage in Florida, Hurricane Michael was a particularly costly year for Florida.

  • $451 per household annual property damage estimate
  • Property damage in the state of $3.44B annually


Californians suffer $4.14 billion annually in property damage, equivalent to $319 per household. California has the highest frequency of significant disasters, excluding hurricanes and rainstorms. California’s wildfires caused the most significant damage, especially in 2018, when the Camp- and Woolsey fires were set.

  • Proposed annual property damage cost per household: $319
  • Annual property damage in the state of $4.14B

California also has the highest number of FEMA-declared catastrophes: 16.4 per year on average between 2014-2018


On average, Colorado residents suffer $220 annually in property damage, $464 million. 2017 was Colorado’s most expensive year, mainly due to the state’s largest hailstorm. The evening commute to West Denver was May 8th when a hail of the size of a baseball struck the area, causing $2.3 Billion in automobile and home damage.

Hail damage insurance is not required by every homeowner and car owner. However, most homeowners’ policies cover hail damage and comprehensive coverage for most cars.

  • Households are expected to suffer $220 annually in property damage
  • $464M annual property damage in the state

North Carolina

Tar Heel State’s Atlantic coast is ravaged by an average of 2 hurricanes and three tropical storms per year. This has resulted in $600million of damage across the state each year. Hurricane Florence caused $2 billion in damage in 2018. Due to significant disasters, North Carolina also sees about 96 deaths yearly.

  • $153 per household annual property damage estimate
  • Annual property damage in the state of $600M


Unlike most other states on this list, Michigan is not located near an ocean. It is also not a Southern state. It still suffers an average of $586million in disaster damage yearly due to storms, flooding, and tornadoes. Storms particularly hit Michigan in 2014, which caused $1.9 billion worth of property damage and 16 deaths.

  • Proposed annual property damage cost per household: $150
  • Annual property damage in the state of $586M

New Mexico

Although New Mexico is not subject to the same coastal storms as Texas, it still experiences smaller but more costly natural disasters such as floods and wildfires. This includes the Ghost Ranch Flood in 2015. New Mexico residents suffer an average of $119 per year in property damage, which amounts to $93 million across the state.

  • $119 per household annual property damage cost
  • Annual property damage in the state of $93M


Nebraska is located near Tornado Alley’s centre and suffers an average of $87 million annually in property damage — $115 per household. According to the National Weather Service, Nebraska is visited by 53 tornadoes each year. These natural disasters can cause severe hail, wind and rain damage.

  • Proposed annual property damage cost per household: $115
  • Annual property damage in the state of $87M


Georgia’s location along the Atlantic coast and near Florida has meant that it has suffered relatively low per-household damage over the past five years. A Georgia household can expect to pay $112 annually for disaster damage. This was an expensive year for Georgia, as Tropical Storm Irma caused $1.5 billion in damage.

  • Proposed annual property damage cost per household: $112.
  • $415M annual property damage in the state

How to protect your property against natural disasters

Although it is impossible to predict when a natural catastrophe will strike, it is often possible to take steps to prevent it from happening.

A good homeowners insurance policy is the best protection, regardless of the disaster you face. Every two years, homeowners should review their coverage.

Double-check your property and dwelling coverage. If you are unable to afford replacement-cost coverage, consider it.

Next, ensure adequate insurance and check if your home may be at risk from major disasters. Although you probably know whether your home is susceptible to flooding, storms, wind, earthquakes or coastal storms, it’s worth checking. Regular insurance does not typically cover flooding, earthquakes, volcanoes, wind, and other disasters. It all depends on where you live.

Flooding is a critical topic to think about. Flood maps are constantly updated, and your home could be in greater danger than when you purchased it. Flood insurance may be required if you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area.