Natural disasters have been devastating housing for decades. California wildfires and earthquakes threaten to destroy homes, while Louisiana flooding and hurricanes tear through neighborhoods. Realtor.com's Yuqing Pan looked at 30 years of weather data on six major types of disasters: earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, wildfires, and floods, to determine which counties in the U.S. are most prone to natural disasters.
Counties in California and Florida topped the list, taking a combined total of eight out of ten top spots. Southern California accounts for six of the top 20 most disaster-prone states for the highest risk of earthquake, fire, and flooding.
Sitting on several active fault lines, this much sought-after region has withstood multiple destructive earthquakes, including a magnitude 7.3 in Kern County (No. 10) in 1952. Low levels of rainfall, high temperatures, and dry vegetation contribute to frequent wildfires. The 2003 Cedar Fire engulfed 750,000 acres and caused more than $2 billion in property damage in San Diego County (No. 20). Not enough destruction for you? Prolonged rainfall often triggers floods, which in turn can set off mudslides in the deforested terrain.
Continue reading at Realtor.com to see which other counties are at risk.