Top 10 states for natural disasters (and Florida is not one of them)

Mobile homes destroyed by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida.
Felix Mizuzhnikov/Shutterstock

With memories of Hurricane Ian still fresh in our minds, some Americans may be grateful they don’t live in Florida.

But as it turns out, the Sunshine State isn’t a bad place if you’re trying to avoid natural disasters.

For starters, it’s not necessarily true that climate change is likely to increase the number of hurricanes. In fact, there have been fewer tornadoes as the Earth warms, although some of the storms that do occur appear to be more intense.

Additionally, Florida ranks very low on the list of states most vulnerable to natural disasters, according to an analysis of events from 2011 to 2021 by the nonprofit organization Rebuild By Design. It doesn’t even rank 25th, though it does rank 9th in cost to the federal government in disaster relief.

The truth is, it’s hard to escape natural disasters, no matter where you live. About 90% of US counties experienced a federal climate disaster between 2011 and 2021, according to the analysis. Some provinces experienced as many as a dozen disasters during that period.

Here are the states where you are most at risk of a natural disaster.


A huge fire is approaching a house
David A. Littman /

Disaster ads in this case are between 2011-2021: 25

These days, it’s hard to think of California without conjuring up images of wildfires. About 2.04 million properties in the Golden State are at risk from wildfires, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

State No. 2 – Texas – has 717,800 properties at risk, less than half the number in California.

Mississippi (tie)

Hurricane Katrina bridge damage near Biloxi, Mississippi
Robert A. Mansker /

Disaster ads in this case are between 2011-2021: 22

Mississippi is at risk of hurricanes on the Gulf Coast and flooding along the Mississippi and other rivers. Tornadoes can also strike the Magnolia State.

Learn more about natural disaster risk in “10 US Counties With Highest Natural Disaster Risk.”

Oklahoma (tie)

Two tornadoes struck farmlands in northern Oklahoma near the Cherokee.
Eugene R Thissen /

Disaster ads in this case are between 2011-2021: 22

Oklahoma is part of Tornado Alley, an area of ​​the country in the central United States where tornadoes are particularly common. The urgent state was part of a week-long outbreak of 147 confirmed tornadoes in May 2008.

Winter storms – including ice storms – and floods happen here, too.

The rest of the top ten

Flooding in Davenport, Iowa

Here are the remaining 10 countries most vulnerable to natural disasters:

  • Yes: 21
  • Tennessee: 20
  • Louisiana: 18
  • Alabama: 17
  • Texas: 17
  • Vermont: 17
  • West Virginia: 17