No matter where you live, there is some kind of weather related natural disaster that can affect you and your home. For some of the country, there may actually be more than one weather risk. April typically means spring has arrived, though tell that to those that are still receiving measurable amounts of snow. With spring comes a heightened risk of spring weather, including tornadoes, hail and wind damage. As we move throughout the year, hurricanes come into play as well. Always looming in the background is the earthquake risk, which when combined with some other environmental factors, can make for elevated risks, depending on where you live. We wanted to see the areas with the highest environmental risks, including earthquakes, tornadoes, hail, high winds and hurricanes. The map below depicts these risks.
Areas with light shading have low risks across the board. Areas with dark shading have multiple environmental risks to the area. Geographically, hurricanes affect mainly the Atlantic and gulf coasts, and tornadoes are most prevalent in the Mississippi valley and to the east. Hail is an issue in most of the central United States. Wind damage is an environmental factor along the west coast, and in the mountains. Earthquake risks are highest on the west coast, along with the area south of St Louis, South Carolina and along the St. Lawrence valley in northern New England. As far as scale, earthquake, tornado and hurricane are double weighted in our modeling. Each index is classed as 0 (below average), 1 (1-2x average), 2 (2-4x average), and 3 (>4x national average).
As we look at the map, some areas of concern are apparent. The coastal region of the Carolinas is problematic due to extreme hurricane risk and an enhanced earthquake risk. California generally scores average levels due to earthquake risks, and high wind. The central Mississippi valley has a high score; they suffer from most environmental factors except for hurricanes. While it appears that most of the northern half of the country is better off, this modeling does not take into account blizzards or precipitation.
Everything is a tradeoff, and nowhere is without some sort of environmental risk. Having the data can provide you with the knowledge of the potential risks, and how to prepare for them. With spring weather on the horizon, understand what you need to do to protect yourself and your home or business in case of a weather or earthquake emergency.