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The Most Disaster-Prone Cities in the US

The Most Disaster-Prone Cities in the US

The first potentially disastrous weather event of the season is powering across the Caribbean. Hurricane Beryl has strengthened into a Category 5, the earliest on record.

Over the last 20 years, the United States has seen a wide array of devastating natural disasters that have claimed numerous lives, wrecked homes, destroyed livelihoods, and altered the course of countless people’s lives. While natural disasters have existed since the beginning, FEMA’s National Index Risk gives the public a good understanding of the most disaster-prone cities in the U.S.

Being an adult means careful consideration, which is important to one’s life. Plenty of factors must be considered when choosing a place to live. Educational opportunities, the economy and cost of living, work opportunities, and more are essential aspects to consider. Another important factor is your city’s natural disaster vulnerability. While you cannot live your life based on what may happen, it is still important to measure the pros and cons of any city.

Facing a natural disaster can upend your life, and while communities have been able to bounce back numerous times after a disaster hits, being prepared is always a good idea. When considering the future for your family, career, children, and yourself, the National Risk Index can be a handy tool to help you determine the risk of living in a specific city. (Here’s a look at some wildly destructive storms that flattened entire cities.)

This index accounts for the following natural disasters:

  • Winter Weather
  • Wildfire
  • Volcanic activity
  • Tsunami
  • Tornado
  • Strong Wind
  • Riverine Flooding
  • Lightning
  • Landslide
  • Ice Storm
  • Hurricane
  • Heat Wave
  • Hail
  • Earthquake
  • Drought
  • Cold Wave
  • Coastal Flooding
  • Avalanche

If you are a planner, curious, or considering a new move, read on to learn the 50 most disaster-prone cities.

To determine the most disaster-prone cities, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on natural hazard risk for U.S. census tracts from the March 2023 FEMA National Risk Index dataset. Cities were ranked based on the average National Risk Index score – a composite risk score of 18 natural hazards: avalanche, coastal flooding, cold wave, drought, earthquake, hail, heat wave, hurricane, ice storm, landslide, lightning, riverine flooding, strong wind, tornado, tsunami, volcanic activity, wildfire, and winter weather – for all census tracts within their borders. Data were aggregated from the census tract level to the city level using spatial boundary definitions from the U.S. Census Bureau’s TIGER/Line program. Supplemental data on the total value of all owner-occupied homes and population are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Only places with at least 25,000 residents were considered. (Also See 7 Weather Records We Hope Will Never Be Broken)

50. Sebastian, FL

Source: Stephen Wood / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Stephen Wood / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +5.6%
  • Total population: 25,266

49. Vero Beach South, FL

Source: CG-Photos / Getty Images

Source: CG-Photos / Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.9 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +24.7%
  • Total population: 29,965

48. Temescal Valley, CA

Source: HadelProductions / iStock via Getty Images

Source: HadelProductions / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $5.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +11.1%
  • Total population: 28,227

47. Wright, FL

Wright. Florida. USA on a map
Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +12.5%
  • Total population: 26,272

46. Highland, CA

Source: BZK Photos / Shutterstock.com

Source: BZK Photos / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +3.8%
  • Total population: 56,789

45. Central, LA

Central. Louisiana. USA on a map
Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +3.7%
  • Total population: 29,518

44. Charleston, SC

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $21.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +14.3%
  • Total population: 149,960

43. Colton, CA

Source: David Toussaint / Moment Open via Getty Images

Source: David Toussaint / Moment Open via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -0.4%
  • Total population: 53,959

42. Gilroy, CA

Source: Sundry Photography / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Sundry Photography / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $10.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +8.4%
  • Total population: 58,696

41. Texas City, TX

Source: Art Wager / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Art Wager / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +12.3%
  • Total population: 53,084

40. Port St. Lucie, FL

Source: Anthony M. Inswasty / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Anthony M. Inswasty / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $19.9 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +17.8%
  • Total population: 210,520

39. Prairieville, LA

Aerial of barge on Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Source: Vibe Images / Shutterstock.com

Source: Vibe Images / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +12.0%
  • Total population: 34,215

38. San Jacinto, CA

Source: magaro / iStock via Getty Images

Source: magaro / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +15.2%
  • Total population: 54,077

37. Slidell, LA

Source: Brad Schinkel / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Brad Schinkel / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +3.4%
  • Total population: 28,690

36. Pleasanton, CA

Source: (c) Salil Bhatt / iStock via Getty Images

Source: (c) Salil Bhatt / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.8/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $28.2 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -0.8%
  • Total population: 78,691

35. Horizon West, FL

Tropical Cyclone | Palm trees blowing in a tropical storm
Source: ZargonDesign / E+ via Getty Images

Source: ZargonDesign / E+ via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.9/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +131.0%
  • Total population: 58,595

34. Jacksonville, NC

Source: Eifel Kreutz / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Eifel Kreutz / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 95.9/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -2.4%
  • Total population: 71,908

33. Atlantic City, NJ

Source: AUDREY SCRIPP / iStock via Getty Images

Source: AUDREY SCRIPP / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -1.5%
  • Total population: 38,487

32. Rockledge, FL

Source: Ken Badgley / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Ken Badgley / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +4.9%
  • Total population: 27,808

31. West Melbourne, FL

Highway 192 Road Sign
Source: Shellphoto / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Shellphoto / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +28.9%
  • Total population: 26,762

30. Lake Jackson, TX

Source: Chester Leeds / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Chester Leeds / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +2.3%
  • Total population: 27,954

29. Melbourne, FL

Source: JimVallee / iStock via Getty Images

Source: JimVallee / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.2 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +6.7%
  • Total population: 84,982

28. Yucaipa, CA

Source: Solidago / Getty Images

Source: Solidago / Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $5.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +2.4%
  • Total population: 54,428

27. Santa Paula, CA

Source: hlehnerer / iStock via Getty Images

Source: hlehnerer / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +1.5%
  • Total population: 30,788

26. Daphne, AL

Source: George Dodd III / Shutterstock.com

Source: George Dodd III / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +12.9%
  • Total population: 27,861

25. Houma, LA

Beautiful double Bridge in Downtown Houma
Source: Ajmal M Shah / Shutterstock.com

Source: Ajmal M Shah / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -2.0%
  • Total population: 33,094

24. Hayward, CA

Source: Sundry Photography / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Sundry Photography / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $22.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +2.3%
  • Total population: 160,602

23. North Charleston, SC

Source: digidreamgrafix / iStock via Getty Images

Source: digidreamgrafix / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +7.0%
  • Total population: 115,755

22. Crestview, FL

Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Florida | Fort Walton Beach Florida 2022 Drone Aerial
Source: WanderDrone / iStock via Getty Images

Source: WanderDrone / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.8/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +18.4%
  • Total population: 27,427

21. Dublin, CA

Source: yhelfman / iStock via Getty Images

Source: yhelfman / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.8/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $19.9 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +24.6%
  • Total population: 71,068

20. Wilmington, NC

Source: Michael Warren / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Michael Warren / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 96.8/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $9.9 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +1.5%
  • Total population: 116,933

19. Panama City, FL

Source: RobHainer / iStock via Getty Images

Source: RobHainer / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 97.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.2 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -6.6%
  • Total population: 34,254

18. Mount Pleasant, SC

Source: krblokhin / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Source: krblokhin / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 97.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $19.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +12.7%
  • Total population: 90,945

17. Hinesville, GA

Hinesville. Georgia. USA
Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 97.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.0 million
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +3.6%
  • Total population: 34,732

16. Hollister, CA

Source: Derek_Neumann / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Derek_Neumann / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 97.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +13.2%
  • Total population: 42,093

15. Banning, CA

Source: MattGush / iStock via Getty Images

Source: MattGush / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 97.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -2.9%
  • Total population: 29,929

14. Key West, FL

Source: Peter Unger / Stone via Getty Images

Source: Peter Unger / Stone via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 97.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +3.0%
  • Total population: 26,078

13. Newark, CA

Source: travelview / iStock via Getty Images

Source: travelview / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 97.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $11.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +4.2%
  • Total population: 47,470

12. Brawley, CA

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 97.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.2 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +2.1%
  • Total population: 26,509

11. Summerville, SC

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 97.9/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.2 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +3.5%
  • Total population: 50,839

10. Fort Pierce, FL

Source: GabrielPevide / iStock via Getty Images

Source: GabrielPevide / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 98.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.9 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +6.6%
  • Total population: 47,153

9. Hilton Head Island, SC

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 98.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $10.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -4.9%
  • Total population: 37,708

8. Eureka, CA

Source: Janine Moore-Williams / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Janine Moore-Williams / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 98.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -1.9%
  • Total population: 26,519

7. Beaumont, CA

Source: Aaron Echols / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Aaron Echols / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 98.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $5.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +22.7%
  • Total population: 53,544

6. New Bern, NC

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 98.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +5.8%
  • Total population: 31,373

5. El Centro, CA

  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 98.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +0.6%
  • Total population: 44,184

4. Bluffton, SC

Source: Donna Brooks / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Donna Brooks / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 98.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +71.1%
  • Total population: 29,375

3. Alvin, TX

Alvin. Texas. USA
Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 98.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +5.9%
  • Total population: 27,325

2. Galveston, TX

Source: kat-co / iStock via Getty Images

Source: kat-co / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 99.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +7.2%
  • Total population: 53,265

1. Parkland, FL

Source: TahirAbbas / Getty Images

Source: TahirAbbas / Getty Images
  • FEMA National Risk Index score: 99.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $8.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +20.5%
  • Total population: 34,832
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