Louisiana tops list of states most at risk of disaster; MS is #5 - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Louisiana tops list of states most at risk of disaster; MS is #5

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Provided by Kiplinger.com

The Japan earthquake and tsunami has sparked conversations of catastrophic disasters of such magnitude striking the US. 

However, many believe the disasters that strike year after year, like floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and winter storms, that should concern most Americans.

A report by Kiplinger.com identified the Top 10 States Most at Risk Of Disaster. The list is composed of states that have suffered the biggest property losses from disasters over the past decade.

The 10 states are:

1. Louisiana
Types of Disasters (2001-2010): 7 hurricanes, 2 tropical storms, severe weather
Estimated Insured Property Loss: $31.9 billion

The Pelican State has the unfortunate distinction of being the most disaster-prone state in the nation, largely because of Hurricane Katrina, which was the costliest disaster in U.S. history. Many of Katrina's victims discovered they didn't have enough insurance to cover the damage from the August 2005 hurricane. 

2. Florida
Types of Disasters (2001-2010): 8 hurricanes, 5 tropical storms, severe weather
Estimated Insured Property Loss: $31.5 billion

Like Louisiana, Florida gets battered by hurricanes and tropical storms in late summer and early fall. The Sunshine State suffered through four major hurricanes (a record) in 2004 alone. It also has the highest number of tornadoes per square mile of any state (Texas has more tornadoes annually, but it is much larger in land area), and central Florida is known as the lightning capital of the U.S.  

3. Texas
Types of Disasters (2001-2010): severe weather, 4 hurricanes, 2 tropical storms
Estimated Insured Property Loss: $23.9 billion

Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are as common as tumbleweed in the Lone Star State. Cities close to the southern coast, such as Galveston and Houston, are often in the bulls-eye of destructive hurricanes that gain strength over the Gulf of Mexico, such as Hurricane Ike in 2008.

4. New York
Types of Disasters (2001-2010): terrorist attack, winter storms, severe weather, 4 hurricanes
Estimated Insured Property Loss: $21.5 billion

The horrible death toll and destruction of property in the 9/11 terrorist attack puts the Empire State in the top ten of states with the highest casualty losses of the last decade. But New York also has suffered its share of havoc wreaked from heavy snowfalls over the past two winters.

5. Mississippi
Types of Disasters (2001-2010): severe weather, 6 hurricanes, 2 tropical storms
Estimated Insured Property Loss: $14.9 billion

The Magnolia State was also hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, with the storm surge and heavy rains causing extensive flooding. Many unfortunate homeowners discovered insurance doesn't cover flood damage.

6. Oklahoma
Types of Disasters (2001-2010): severe weather, winter storms
Estimated Insured Property Loss: $5.3 billion

Two words for the Sooner State: Tornado Alley. Severe storms and twisters are so much a part of the state's weather that the National Severe Storms Laboratory and Storm Prediction Center are located here. Most Oklahomans know how to protect themselves if a cyclone has been spotted.

7. Alabama
Types of Disasters (2001-2010): 6 hurricanes, severe weather, winter storms
Estimated Insured Property Loss: $4.9 billion

When Gulf Coast hurricanes strike the Yellowhammer State, even inland areas take a hit from the wind and rain. And severe storms can be accompanied by hail and tornadoes, not just in spring but also in late fall and early winter. 

8. California
Types of Disasters (2001-2010): 3 wildfires, Santa Ana wind, severe weather, earthquakes
Estimated Insured Property Loss: $4.7 billion

The Golden State is home to more natural disaster threats than most states: floods, earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis and strong Santa Ana winds that fuel wildfires. 

9. Missouri
Types of Disasters (2001-2010): severe weather, winter storms
Estimated Insured Property Loss: $4.5 billion

Along with Texas and Oklahoma, the Show-Me State sees a lion's share of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Winters here can be bitterly cold, accompanied by hazardous snow and ice storms.

10. Ohio
Types of Disasters (2001-2010): severe weather, 2 hurricanes
Estimated Insured Property Loss: $4.1 billion

Great Lakes-effect snowstorms blanket northern Ohio regularly in winter, and spring tornadoes plague the central and southern parts of the Buckeye State. Hurricane Ike blasted the Ohio Valley in 2008. The state also had more than 30 earthquakes between 2002 and 2007. Standard homeowners policies do not cover earthquake damage.

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