This great country of ours is the best place to live in, but we also have our share of disasters. FEMA constantly calls on a few hazards that can sometimes occur without warning. There are disaster zones everywhere and each state is hit every year by these natural calamities. Check out America’s disaster zones and learn to prepare for what’s coming.
The most common disasters hitting our country year after year are hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, blizzards and earthquakes. Some of these occur without warning, leaving destroyed properties and lives in their wake. Others can be predicted and you are being given enough time to prepare and evacuate. Regardless of how you look at things, the number one mistake you can make is living in denial. Don’t be one of those people that live in a bubble that think a natural disaster won’t affect them. You will end up on a hospital bed or resting for good at the morgue.
Preparing for natural disasters
When you live or work in one of America’s disaster zones, you should learn how to prepare, but most importantly for what to prepare. Each zone is different and you need to use your common sense when making a preparedness plan. Think of it like this; it’s unlikely to be hit by a tsunami if you live in Montana. However, if you live in Hawaii, you might want to get this natural disaster on your watch list.
Being prepared will put you ahead of the curve. You will need to make a family emergency communication plan well before any natural disaster may strike. You might be separated from your family when it hits the fan and you need to gather all your family members or know about their whereabouts.
To keep it short, part of your preparedness plan should include the following:
- Having a bug out bag for each family member.
- Having enough supplies (food, water, flashlights, etc.) when hunkering down.
- Keeping your escape vehicle fueled and having a disaster kit in it.
- Securing your property and valuables (important things such as documents, cash and other valuables should be taken with you).
- Having a bug out route mapped out that has at least two alternative routes for reaching your safe location.
The problem with making a disaster preparedness plan and acting upon it is the fact that a lot of people don’t know what to prepare for. Although the six most common natural disasters that occur in our country are sometimes well-known, Mother Nature still likes to keep us guessing and surprise us each year. No matter where you live, your area is in one of the disaster zones we will cover in this article. Don’t be complacent and think that the area you live or work in guarantees your safety.
America’s Disaster Zones and their common natural disasters
For each of the states listed here, there is a particular type of natural disaster that is most common. If you don’t want to be caught off guard, you should mainly prepare for the type of disaster that is frequent in your area.
Alabama – Tornadoes
Alaska – Wildfires
Arizona – Wildfires
California – Earthquakes and Wildfires
Colorado – Wildfires
Connecticut – Snowstorms
Delaware – Snowstorms and Hurricanes
Florida – Hurricanes
Georgia – Tornadoes
Hawaii – Hurricanes and Volcano eruptions
Idaho – Wildfires and Flooding
Illinois – Tornadoes
Indiana – Tornadoes
Iowa – Tornadoes
Kansas – Tornadoes
Kentucky – Tornadoes
Louisiana – Hurricanes
Related article: 20 Tips For Surviving A Hurricane
Main – Storms and Flash Flooding
Maryland – Hurricanes
Massachusetts – Blizzards
Michigan – Tornadoes
Mississippi – Hurricanes
Missouri – Tornadoes
Montana – Flooding
Nebraska – Tornadoes
Nevada – Earthquakes
New Hampshire – Flooding
New Jersey – Blizzards
North Carolina – Hurricanes
New Mexico – Wildfires
New York – Blizzards
North Dakota – Blizzards
Ohio – Tornadoes
Oklahoma – Tornadoes
Oregon – Flooding
Related article: How To Survive A Flood
Pennsylvania – Blizzards
Rhode Island – Hurricanes
South Carolina – Tornadoes
South Dakota – Tornadoes
Tennessee – Tornadoes
Texas – Tornadoes
Utah – Earthquakes
Vermont – Flooding
Virginia – Flooding
Washington – Wildfires
Washington, D.C. – Blizzards
West Virginia – Flooding
Wisconsin – Tornadoes
Wyoming – Landslides
Living in America’s Disaster Zones
If you live, work or travel through an area that is susceptible to natural disasters, you should take the time and prepare in advance. Start by learning everything you can about that area.
As always is in the case of preparedness, prepping can help reduce the stress, fear, panic, discomfort and damage that typically come along with a disaster. Learn how to protect yourself before it is too late, understand the dangers of disasters and act accordingly. Know how to obtain water and feed yourself and how to prevent unnecessary injury until help arrives.
One or several of the following natural disasters may be possible to strike in the region you live in. Be sure to keep up with the emergency procedures for your specific area.
When creating your plan do not forget to involve and include your family in the plan. By doing this, they will better understand the risks hence know how to prevent being caught unawares. Remember, Mother Nature is full of surprises and it loves giving them in 4 elements.
Suggested article: Know Your Region Before Disaster Strikes
After you establish your prepping priorities, the next step would be to predict the best course of action for you and your family, before disaster strikes. For example, would bugging-in be an option for your family? Will you be forced to move to a safer location? If so, which route will be the safest and do you have all the supplies to make the journey, even if there are delays?
All these questions can be answered if you know your region and it will help you reduce the “unknown” factor. If you are forced to find refuge in your local wilderness, it is important that you know what resources are available and how to find them. Even more important, you should know how to avoid the dangers within your region.
While each and every one of us prepares for a certain type of disaster scenario, some common threats follow any type of disaster. Of course that the aftermath of each disaster is specific to the situation, region and level of preparedness of an individual, but there are a few general situations to consider.
Based on various factors influencing a certain region, the disaster zones can be affected by one of the following scenarios:
- Economic instability
- Essential services shutdown
- Breakdown of the food distribution and delivery chain
- The downfall in social order
- Sanitation and Health Issues
These common threats will develop during the aftermath of any type of disaster and it’s all up to you to control their impact. How well you prepare for these common threats will dictate how much will you be able to survive. It will also tell you how much the quality of your life will be affected.
A final word
Last year, the Annual Disaster Statistical review for 2016 was published. It provided some info that should make sane people think about the future. According to the report, our country is the second on the list of countries most frequently hit by natural disaster.
That being said, and taking into account that most people still choose to be oblivious, nonchalant, or just plain irrational about emergency preparedness, it should really make us think about where we are heading.
The behavior of many, which is often said to be a normalcy bias, makes the rest of us look like nut-jobs and paranoid people. However, assuming that a disaster won’t happen in our living area, in our lifetime, is pure denial and it can be dangerous behavior.
Useful resources to check out:
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Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation
A Green Beret’s guide to combat and shooting
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This ONE THING Can Help You Terminate Your Store-Bought Dependency
5 thoughts on “America’s Disaster Zones – Are You Living In Harm’s Way?”
If you have a safe, be sure to bolt it down. Tornado alley area. wedge bolts.
Good article. Do not be misled by the list, however. Each area has more potential disaster than just the primary ones listed. And some of them are quite likely. Also do not forget some of the elements of the various disasters. Such as tornados, heavy lightning, storm surge, and loss of infrastructure during hurricanes.
Or gas leaks and explosions during earthquakes. Lahars and pyroclastic flows during volcanic eruptions. Consider each of the disasters in full, not just the primary thing that pops into your head when you hear the name.
Often times, even if the disaster itself is relatively short-lived, some of the effects can be longer term. Such as being without power and other infrastructure elements.
It has come to my attention recently that there is another whole list of potential disasters. These are some things that will not likely occur, or even be possible before a major disaster occurs. The things listed below are not only possible, but rather likely in many different scenarios.
1. Millions of abandoned pets eating food supplies needed by humans, and possibly attacking humans
2. Hundreds of thousands of swimming pools, especially in urban and suburban areas left with water in them that will breed billions of mosquitoes that could carry diseases
3. Abandoned nuclear power plants that were not safely shut down manually or automatically at the outset of the disaster that could eventually have radioactive materials escape and contaminate a locality, and possibly a larger area.
4. Abandoned dangerous chemicals (including chemical and/or biological warfare materials), the containers of which could be damaged, releasing the chemicals into residential areas, or contaminating areas to a very dangerous degree. Could be from damaged/deteriorating/flooded research facilities; manufacturing plants, transport vehicles, end-user plants, farms and farm supply facilities (in case of dangerous farm chemicals), or military storage sites.
5. Abandoned toxic/flammable waste dumps that could release their contents into the environment
6. Landfills that could catch fire and burn uncontrollably, releasing hazardous smoke, even radioactive smoke in some cases
7. Oil and gas pipelines, that once they are without constant maintenance will deteriorate and begin leaking their contents into the environment
8. Explosion risk from heavy explosive gasses in low areas and buildings (propane, methane, etc.)
9. While I do not believe Nuclear Winter will occur due to fires started by nuclear weapons, in the absence of highly trained and well equipped firefighters, there is almost a certainty that there will be huge forest fires that will burn out of control, often in the vary areas where preppers set up their facilities
10. Areas with closely spaced residential, commercial, and industrial buildings could easily be destroyed on a very large scale without benefit of modern firefighting capabilities
11. Raw sewage released from damaged/deteriorating/flooded treatment facilities/collection pipe system
12. Water and food sources contaminated from any of the above
13. Human food (plant and animal) mutated into dangerous/unhealthy types by any of the above
14. Explosion risk from heavy explosive gasses in low areas and buildings (propane, methane, etc.)
15. High risk of physical danger going into damaged/deteriorating/flooded buildings/structures/locations that have high value salvage materials/goods
16. High risk of physical danger using damaged/deteriorating/missing/flooded highway hazard crossings (bridges/over passes/etc) to avoid going around
17. Release of dangerous animals/pets from public zoos/private zoos/homes
18. The development of the ever popular MZB (Mutant Zombie Bikers) (no offense to real bikers) and other raiding type groups
19. The spread of aggressive religious groups
20. Anarchy (for a while)
21. Loss of animal/plant/human habitats due to local contaminates
22. Loss of animal/plant/human habitats due to changes in weather
Just my opinion.
Jerry D Young
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and always remember TANSTAAFL
(“There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch” Quote by Manny, from The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert A Heinlein)
There are more floods here in Missouri than tornadoes.
The biggest disaster threat in Alaska is not wild fires, it is earthquakes. The largest earthquake ever recorded in North America was the Good Friday quake at 9.2 on the Richter scale.
I see floods but I don’t see droughts and thats a real concern in many places too.