U.S. Disaster Zones: Are You Living In A Place Where Disasters Are Common?

by | Jun 15, 2018 | Headline News | 45 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This report was originally published by Sara Tipton at Tess Pennington’s ReadyNutrition.com.

    Tess is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint: How To Survive ANY Disaster.

    With constant media bombardment of fears of a nuclear war, many have begun to prepare for a disaster. But government uncertainty isn’t the only thing on the minds of the masses. Volcanic activity appears to be increasing and earthquakes seem to be getting more severe. That begs the question: do you live in a disaster zone?

    In just the past 16 years, parts of Louisiana have been struck by six hurricanes. Areas near San Diego were devastated by three particularly vicious wildfire seasons. And a town in eastern Kentucky has been pummeled by at least nine storms severe enough to warrant federal assistance. These are obvious red flag areas, but what about the rest of the country?

    The New York Times has put together a map showing which areas in the United States were subjected to the most disasters which caused monetary losses by ZIP code between 2002 – 2017.

    The statistics for living in the “red zones” in the above map are not comforting either. About 90 percent of the total losses across the United States occurred in ZIP codes that contain less than 20 percent of the national population, according to an analysis of data from the Small Business Administration.

    In the first three months of 2018, billion-dollar storms hit the United States three times. By contrast, in the first three months of an average year, just one disaster that causes more than a billion dollars in damages occurs,according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration records dating back to 1980.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) attempts to calculate the full cost of major disasters, namely those that cause more than a billion dollars in damages. It estimates that 2017 was the costliest year on record, with 16 billion-dollar disasters that together cost the United States more than $300 billion. While natural disasters are often unpredictable, the annual losses from billion-dollar disasters, which were adjusted for inflation, have increased over the last 40 years.

    Because the federal government continues to use taxpayer funds to subsidize the disaster zones, critics feel that the money is being wasted by continuing to help people live in places that they know will be hit by a hurricane or deadly storm. Christina DeConcini, the director of government affairs at the World Resources Institute, said that instead of just being responsive, the government should stress building for resilience against the disasters that continue to cost people money.

    About 4 percent of all hurricanes that make landfall globally hit the United States, said Robert Mendelsohn, an economist at Yale University who studies the damage caused by hurricanes. However, 60 percent of worldwide damage from hurricanes happens in the United States. Dr. Mendelsohn attributed this partly to federal government programs that discourage citizens and local governments from building walls to protect housing near the coast. Only in the United States do relief programs and subsidized insurance make it attractive for people to move toward disaster-prone areas, he told The New York Times.

    People continue to live in disaster areas mostly because of their financial situation, whether it be a lot or too little money. Phil Klotzbach, an atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University, said that the rise in population and wealth near the coasts was contributing to most of the increase in the destruction caused by hurricanes. Bigger and more expensive homes require more money to repair in the event of a natural disaster, and many even in the middle class are being squeezed out of coastal areas due to the cost of living. In 2016, there were more than 3.6 times as many homes in states that border the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean as in 1940, according to the Census Bureau.

    Others say that their family ties and lack of funds to support a move are keeping them in areas prone to natural disasters. Linda Lowe, the president of a historical society in flood-prone Olive Hill, Kentucky said that rather than move the town, “it’s easier to throw your hands up and say, ‘Forget it.’” Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University said rationality often goes out the window when discussing things like disasters and their destructive potential on a person’s life. “Abandoning a location and moving a city makes sense from a scientific, risk point of view, but the fact is that to get to a place culturally and psychologically where that conversation can be tolerated is a difficult thing to imagine,” said Redlener. “It’s not all that rational — but I guess a lot of these things are not really rational,” he added according to The New York Times.

    But some residents have decided to stay in disaster zones and use their time between hurricanes to prepare themselves for the next storm. It’s often the best way to protect against monetary and life losses, said one Louisiana resident. Susan McClamroch, who works at a museum in Slidell, Louisiana, said that locals joke that they “start eating everything in the freezer” this time of year because of the likelihood of a power failure after a hurricane.

    If you cannot relocate, or do not wish to relocate, consider storing some food and water in a safe place just in case disaster strikes.


    (Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

    Additional Resources:

    The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

    The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals

    Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary

    The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way

    SAS Survival Handbook, Revised Edition: For Any Climate, in Any Situation

    The Prepper's Blueprint

    Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

    Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

    Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.


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      1. HARP

        The great genius, Tesla, created a machine which was reported to have caused earthquakes. I believe this is accomplished by focusing energy upwards, causing the ionosphere to move away from earth; then when it snaps back like an elastic band it vibrates until it reaches equilibrium, resulting in an earthquake.

        Sunami is caused by earthquake.

        Fire is caused by lightening and arson. Putting out fires caused by lightening makes arson more dangerous. Forests need small fires so that they act to keep forests smaller, with natural barriers. Campers and neglect, even a cigarette thrown carelessly can result in forest fires.


        • One glance at the map, and one knows it’s all highly polished rubbish.
          Looks like a summer tropical rainfall map.
          Where I live, no blizzards, no power outages, no Noreasters, no wildfires, no floods, no riots..
          No not saying where !!!!

      2. Look around you. Look at the Demographics of where you live.

        • Centurion your right, NOAA and the New Your Times missed the biggest Disaster Zones of all times, all the states and city’s controlled by Democrats!!!!! If you live in one of those disaster zones, get out while you still can, once the SHTF you’ll have no hope of getting out alive.

        • That Hurricane Irma that hit on Sept 11 Last year kicked our butts here in Central N FL, where we had thousands of large trees uprooted and tangled and snarled and trees leaning into other large 85 tall trees caught with vines and leaners. It was dangerous after the hurricane went through. It took us a good 4 months to clear out the downed tree debris. We had piles 5 ft tall on the sides of the roads in walls of tree debris. Being prepared I had 2 good chain saws already loaded in my SUV before the storm as I would have to cut my way out. Sure enough a tall 50 Ft grand oak was uprooted right in front of my vehicle and my way out. I did hire a tree climber who climbed up 85 ft to cut a leaning tree out of another tree that was caught. Talk about dead falls.

          Then only a week of tree clearing access, we had flooding roll in, which I had no vehicle access to my property due to road washed out for a full 30 days, so I hiked up the road about 100 yards to park then hike in carrying everything I needed as my buildings were high enough not to be affected by flooding. Just wading through calf high water, and glad I prepared a few years earlier and got those water proof wading boots. You got to get all the gear before the disaster folks. Skip the Netflix get the gear.

          All in all, I cut up about 90 to 100 80 Ft tall trees up in the area, cutting trees off houses and cleaned p an entire RV Park. I got my chain saws working, had the bar oil, had the chain file to keep the teeth sharp. You got to have all the gear before hand. My neighbor’s chain saw, the fuel bulb was cracked, and it ran like shit. He got to sit and look at all his trees laying on the ground for months, as there were no supplies or gas or extra chains immediately after the disaster. IN a disaster you prepare ahead of time, fuel mix and non-ethanol gas, as least 5 Gallons for the chain saws to run great.

          Are you prepared at your camp or are you diddling thinking about it? Get busy folks get prepared for the possible disasters in your area.

          I still have a few downed trees yet to cut up on my property. Nice hearty oak trees, which I am just waiting for them to dry out and then cut off what I need for some fun camp fires. Got your cast Iron pans and Dutch oven for the camp fire cooking if all other energy sources are not available. Hunger sucks.

          • I meant tree debris on the side of the road 8 ft tall not 5. wrong button.. lol

            • TharSheBlows:

              It is like “Devine Intervention”. I planted some small fruit trees in the yard near old established shade trees. A few weeks ago, the old shade tree split and a huge branch fell to the ground. Thus we now have room for the fruit trees. And we got plenty more wood stacked neatly for winter fireplace.

              Sounds like you know a lot about survival. I’m learning as I go along. You cleared a hundred trees. Impressive. One branch was quite a bit of work. It took half the tree almost.

              We got a few things here in case the wind picks up again, and the electricity goes out. I’m with non-preppers. But they know I like to be prepared. I was surprised when one of them bought a burner for cooking without electricity in the event of another storm. I realized then that the advantage of living in an area affected by storms is that pretty much everybody is somewhat prepped.


              • Yes B of CA, and plenty of good seasoned Oak here ready to burn now. My daily lumberjack job was about a month long, and besides chainsaws we had a 2500 Kabota frontend loader to move and drag the logs with chains. I got in pretty good shape physically doing that job. And its an art to dropping trees, big tall ones within other trees. Then once dropped we started cutting up 20″ Logs and the rest of the brush we burned in huge burn piles. I have a huge burn pit on my property, wagon loads of debris, and dragged the piles in and burned it. Land of plenty.

                Always try to preserve new growth forest. Little trees become big trees. In life go with the flow, you will be much happier. Went kayaking this AM for a few hours, next to huge swamp cypress trees that lines the long canals for a couple of miles to the open river. Hawks within yards sitting on branches overhanging the canals. A few small Gators. I had the whole place to myself no other boats came by. Saw a cypress tree yesterday, the root tree trunk system had to be at least 15 to 20 ft across at the bottom. Amazing. The earth provides everything we need. And living in the deep jungle, the oxygen level is up there. Healthy living.

                **Bonus points, the pregnant doe on my property had the Fawn yesterday, as later on in the day she had an empty belly. So I will be looking for the fawn soon here on the property in a few weeks. They keep them hidden well, and I wouldn’t want to disturb them. I have walls of green canopy and vines way up in the in trees 40 feet tall in the air in the back woods, and Spanish moss hanging low. Its a neat lively environment. Perfect for a BOL.

                • ? very good


        • try looking at climate and change more than demographics. mother nature doesnt care about skin color

      3. Everywhere I have lived for a year or more has been declared a disaster area, at least once. I have lived in a lot of different places. Many of the places on that map marked in red. I prepare for natural disasters as I’ve been through so many. I also think I’m ready for man made disasters also.
        But you never cover all the bases. Best you can do is try.

      4. Any area in this country you live will have both upsides and downsides. If it’s not hurricanes or tornadoes it’s dust storms, earthquakes or volcanoes. Or long winters and severe snowstorms or long spells of sweltering heat.

        Some parts of the country have less downsides and are safer than others but nowhere is perfect and problem-free. Ironically, the most densely populated areas like the coastal areas are the worst, especially in a shtf.

      5. Everywhere will be a disaster area when those SNAP cards don’t work for more than a few days, or the power goes out and doesn’t come back on. The list is endless of potential disaster scenarios. This is why we prep. We are at least ahead of the sheeple and can weather storms much longer.

        • I always feel dread when I see the new “Now accepting EBT” sign in a shop.

          “No Needles” signs on public waste containers says a lot too.

        • Menzo, where I’m at now is a POTENTIAL disaster area because of the things you just mentioned and more. I’ll be back at the BOL before something happens.

          • Hey DepBH. How many miles do you have to drive to get to your BOL in another State? What if they close off the State Line Border for any traffic crossing? Martial law? How you gonna get to your BOL hundreds of miles away? You live on the Memphis -Madrid Fault Line and could be wiped out in minutes if the Mississippi River opens up. You got a boat or even a life jacket?

            Here is your Map of The “New Madrid” Seismic Region
            ht tp://www.showme.net/~fkeller/quake/maps4.htm

            • TSB< I already have a copy of that map but thanks anyway. I live only an hour's drive from the fault itself. I've got another trip scheduled for the BOL in 3 weeks. Every time I go I act like it may the LAST trip from Memphis I ever make. The key is for me to get out BEFORE anything happens. That's why I'm such an internet freak keeping tabs on everything and that doesn't count my LIVE sources I have. It's true that you just never know for sure.

          • I worry about our BraveHeart too.

            Memphis is a bad place on a normal day, much less a SHTF day.

            Don’t wait too long to get away!

            • Grandee, thank you for the concern but I WILL make it out on time. And yes, Memphis is bad 24/7/365.

        • Yep when the government deposits and freebees don’t happen. It will be quite the show. And if the power grid fails everywhere 100% for even as little as 30 days. It will revert to a no holds barred roothawg or die survival of the fittest and meanest. A stone age lifestyle. That will be quite the adventure. I think the 90% die off is a accurate prediction.

      6. The general map is misleading.

        Here’s why, using my (NW) corner of Oregon as an example: The Nehalem River flooded the town of Vernonia in 2007, which brought on a massive amount of FEMA money (including new schools on higher ground, since the old ones were on the floodplain). That town has since rebuilt, but this time with elevated houses and public buildings moved to ground high enough to avoid ever being flooded again. The other colored areas are almost all from forest fires, which occur maybe once every 50-100 years or so (it requires a pretty heavy drought to touch one off in this soaking-wet section of the Pacific NW). The only other disaster in the area was from a freak tornado that tore through the seaside resort town of Manzanita in 2015-16 (can’t recall which).

        All of these disasters have one thing in common: They only occur on an incredibly rare basis, with Vernonia being the exception (it also flooded in 1996 and roughly every decade or so before then, but their 2007 flood finally taught them to flood-proof their stuff.) All together, the chances of a massive disaster like the ones that caused all the incidents the NY Times counted against are now vanishingly rare.

        When it comes to preparing, I have stuff with a far-higher chance of happening to prepare against: Mt. St. Helens erupting on a day when my humble abode is downwind of it (rare, but there.) The biggest item on my natural disaster prepping plate is a chance of the Cascade earthquake fault kicking over, which has the highest probability of them all – in spite of the existence of forest fires. A means to quickly seal the house and filter incoming air (and gas-masks to get out and sweep ash off the roof), a large fire-defensible space around the house (which also opens massive fields of fire against intruders – bonus!), and seismic reinforcement of house, garden area, livestock pens, and all my ag outbuildings… these provide an excellent provision towards those disasters.

        Now man-made stuff (economic collapse, endemic civil unrest, governmental collapse, etc)? *That* has a higher chance of occurring, and those are what I put the most effort towards.

        • OQ,
          You peak my curiosity.
          Did you seal up your home against
          ash from St. Helens when it last blew?
          What did you do?
          I did not seal up my house as I had recently
          paid a fortune to insulate and make my house
          at the time, energy efficient. I sure went
          through a lot of air filters on the cars
          and the cheapie 3M face filters though.

          • Got up early to go ride a 25 mile bike ride. got to be in shape when a disaster hit, or just sit there like a helpless cripple. Healthy exercise is part of the Prepping Matrix. Are you the fatty weak link??

        • OQ, good to see you back and I also prep for those same things in your last paragraph. I also expect those to happen.

      7. I live in one of those red spots, but the main thing we have here is hurricanes. My city is high on the list of cities in the US most often hit. But we always have plenty of warning. I have never evacuated for a hurricane, but there’s always a slight chance that it might be necessary someday.

        As soon as I am able, I am having all large trees removed from anywhere near my house. Hurricane Isabel eliminated the weaker trees in my yard, but none were close enough to endanger the house. Removing trees will eliminate most of the risk of staying put during a hurricane.

        • You need to understand the forest. People think clearing out all the young brush is good. That’s actually bad, as you always need new young forest growth to replace the older trees that fall. Also trees depend on their stability by leaning into other trees for support. Like a thousand arm tree branches holding hands with other trees in a wind storm. So when there is a clump of large tree areas, leave them be and don’t thin them out. A tree standing alone after all the other trees are removed makes it venerable to falling or being uprooted in a storm. The mesh of tree root systems keeps the trees securely panted in the ground. Also animals climb from tree to tree on the braches, its their highway for travel so don’t cut connecting braches from one tree to another its like taking a bridge out. Think people and observe nature, as it will teach you a lot, and gives you everything you need if you open your minds up. Get in harmony with nature, its your best friend.

      8. I currently live in Houston which seems to have a 100 year flood every two years and 500 year hurricane every 5 years.
        How insurance companies are not allowed to charge anyone living 50 miles from the coast on the gulf coast, I do not know.
        If you live within 50 miles from the coast and a hurricane comes rolling in and you haven’t put everything valuable at least 5 feet up and are ready to head north the minute your location is given a evacuation warning, you have no one but yourself to blame.
        saving for an emergency is just like saving for a car repair, you better be ready when the time comes.
        (and I said currently because I have wised up, someone else can have these floods and hurricanes)

        • lena(sp?)
          I feel for you.
          I once had an offer to go to work at
          UT Galveston. Good money,
          very bad weather.
          I’ll take Hawaii weather
          over Texas any day.
          But you have more freedoms
          and better hunting.

      9. Would like to have seen a more detailed map or possibly a list.

      10. Well looking at the map parts of the west are almost white. But the desert certianally isn’t safe. There are droughts and dust devils. very sparse vegetation very little potable water ect. The best thing for safety is you having good common sense. Don’t build in low ground. Here in the Ozarks all the old time hill places the built on high ground down in under a hill. Usually facing south east out of the teeth of the prevailing wind. and in close proxminity to a spring. The farm my parents owned was a old place situated in the headof a valley. the spring was the head waters of a stream. We kept stuff like milk & eggs in the spring house. carried water 500 ft from the spring. When It rained a lot we had to replace the water gate because it was always getting washed out.Never had to worry about storms blowing down trees. The trees where not very old. all the large trees where cut for timber. the countinual cutting of trees for fire wood and the wood cook stove made certain no trees died of old age. We hunted and trapped the grown up fence rows. Any large tree in the fence row was lopped off just above the fence.

      11. Tropical depression entering the Gulf of Mexico. Heavy rains expected for Texas by Sunday. Possible flooding.

        • not one year after Harvey, another flood coming and if it drops on Houston or new Orleans, you’ll be paying for it thru your taxes to “rebuild”.

          the gulf coast should be the most expensive place to live because of insurance rates imo. no where else are the natural disasters associated with gulf storms so often and so costly.

      12. Lost 40 pounds and now I’m working on my leg conditioning. Do it.

        • I did. This AM went biking about 25 Miles. Beautiful country here and great wild life. Its a treat. Going kayaking tomorrow is not raining. We also get lightening, not good on the water while kayaking. Went fishing on my canal here last night. Got one good hit like it was a small mouth bass. Had a small gator hit on my line cork float. He let go after I reeled him close to shore. That was fun.

        • you can do calf raises and squats to get your legs in better shape every other day as you use your legs so much in daily life. personnaly, I have been doing 1000 calf raises and 500 squats every other day for two months now and am finanlly starting to see definition.

          but if you want to really lose wight, stay under your BMR daily calorie count and do 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily with not more than one cheat day per week and you will be in the best shape you have ever been in 1 year.

          • …”do calf raises and squats to get your legs in better shape every other day”…

            I do, every day (6pm to dark) in my garden to weed and harvest.

            Standing on tip toe raises to reach blueberries.

            Walking to push mow the yard.

            Life is good in my back yard.

            Prep your souls every day, not just on Sunday.

      13. One glance at the map, and one knows it’s all highly polished rubbish.
        Looks like a summer tropical rainfall map.
        Where I live, no blizzards, no power outages, no Noreasters, no wildfires, no floods, no riots..
        No not saying where !!!!

      14. One glance at the map, and one knows it’s all highly polished rubbish.
        Looks like a summer tropical rainfall map.
        Where I live, no blizzards, no power outages, no Noreasters, no wildfires, no floods, no riots..
        No not saying where !!!!

      15. If your knees or hips are worn out no amount of exercise is going to cure that problem. Old geezer’s like me aint going to run more than a few feet. and not walk very far also. forget riding a bike. But I can ride a horse or mule all day long if they have a easy gait.

        • Old Guy:

          Knees and joints are made of cartilage. If you don’t eat enough collagen in your diet, joints stop working. Eat pigs feet, chicken feet, and a collagen powder supplement or make your own jello with fruit and fruit juice. It works. And good for your appearance, too. Skin, hair, and nails will improve. No more wrinkles.


      16. John Casey is doing a lot of interesting work on the impact of the Grand Solar Minimum on weather and on earthquakes. If he is correct, we are in for much colder weather and earthquakes over the foreseeable future. I know a lot of attention is given to the seismic fault lines on the west coast but the San Andreas fault holds much more possible disruption. There are so many bridges, interstates, and pipelines. There have been a lot more freakish cold weather events.

      17. B of A
        This is late, but if you played sports when you were
        a kid I’m sure you had some joint damage,
        if you were any good, it takes years to show up.
        No amount of diet will fix that.
        Same with military service, things happen.
        I can eat all the stuff you recommend and
        it won’t fix a Knee or a set of shoulders.

        • rellik:
          Maybe not in your case. But, I have injuries and I swear by a collagen rich diet. I also do exercises designed to support the functioning of healthy joints.


      18. If I read the article correctly, it is based on “disasters” which caused loss (monetary?) to businesses. That leaves out personal/individual/family losses…

        I’d like to see a map of all disaster areas, but I really don’t know of any area which is really “safe” in that regard.

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