How Vulnerable Are You to Natural Disasters in New York State?
With the catastrophic damage left behind by Hurricane Ian in Florida and the Carolinas, it may make you wonder how vulnerable you may be to natural disasters like this. Could it happen here in the Hudson Valley, or in the rest of New York?
New York has certainly had its share of major disasters through the years, from Hurricane Sandy to the Blizzard of 1993. But just how much as the state been impacted by natural disasters? A new study has put together some interesting figures.
WalletHub compared the numbers state by state using two key metrics; the number of climate disasters causing at least $1 billion in damage since 1980, as well as the loss amount per capita of those disasters. Southern states, which are often affected by hurricanes ranked at the top of the list, with Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas being the top three.
How Safe is New York?
New York ranked right in the middle of the list at 25th. New Jersey was right behind at the 26th spot. Pennsylvania was 24th, Connecticut 34th, Massachusetts 40th, and Vermont 44th. it appears Maine is the safest state in the nation for major disasters, as they ranked 50th.
It's a bit of morbid thought, but have you ever wondered what is the top cause of weather-related fatalities here in New York state? It actually varies from some parts of the state to the next, but the information compiled in a recent study may surprise you. New York isn't just known for just blizzards. But what sort of weather could actually kill you living in New York state?
How is the Weather Killing People?
According to NOAA, the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the entire United States each year is extreme heat, followed by flash floods, and then tornadoes. So, how does this look for New York state?
According to the map, in parts of the Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island, the leading cause of death is also extreme heat. This makes sense if you think about it, for a lot of structures in the region are very old, and not all buildings or homes have any sort of air-conditioning. For most of New York state, the leading cause of death-by-weather is actually flash floods.
Rest of New York
For the most northern and western parts of New York, it is the wind. Considering the extreme cold these parts of the state endure during the winter, the wind chill could easily lead to death for those who are exposed. Some other parts of the country may not necessarily see a lot of weather-related deaths, so other phenomena like rip current, rough surf, or lightning are the top causes.
The data was collected over a 20-year period (1999-2018) from NOAA's Storm Events Database. Ian Livingston, a meteorologist and co-founder of UStornadoes.com, compiled this map of the country's worst weather.