The riskiest U.S. county is Los Angeles, but New Yorkers should be careful of tornadoes

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The New Fema Index finds East Coast exposure to natural disasters more susceptible than Oklahoma to tornado damage.

According to a new Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) index that considers 18 kinds of natural hazards, from earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes to flooding, volcanoes and tsunamis, Los Angeles County is the riskiest county in the U.S. ‘Too late to save it’: the future of California depends on dealing with megafiresContinue readingThe National Risk Index highlights areas such as Los Angeles that have long been recognized as hot spots, but some highlighted places are contrary to expectations. Eastern cities such as New York and Philadelphia, for example, rank much higher in tornado danger than Oklahoma and Kansas, where hurricanes are part of local lore, although the county with the highest risk of coastal flooding is one that is not oceanfront in Washington state, although its river is tidal. The index measures how frequently disasters occur, how many people are at risk and how much property is at risk, how perceived This leads to a high risk ranking for large cities with many poor people and expensive properties that are ill-prepared for once-in-a-lifetime disasters. The degree of risk is not only how much a form of natural disaster affects a location, but how bad the toll will be, said Fema official Mike Grimm. Therefore, two New York City counties, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Hudson County, New Jersey, are Fema’s top Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, which has witnessed over 120 tornadoes since 1950, ranks 120th, including one that killed 36 individuals in 1999. A tornado in the top 5 will be “a low-frequency, potentially high-consequence event because there is a lot of property in the area,” said Susan Cutter, Director of the University of South Carolina Hazards and Risk Research Institute, on whose work most of the estimates of Fema are focused. In New York, people are much less risk-aware and less organized,” said Grimm, who spoke the day before the New York tornado watch.”

Days later, the National Weather Service tweeted that many towns, mainly on the East Coast, had more tornadoes in 2020 than Wichita, Kansas. Oklahoma is half as likely to get tornadoes as New York City, but in New York the risk for damage is much greater because there are 20 times as many residents and almost 20 times the amount of land. The latest Fema index will open our eyes to the differences in what we feel and what we are,’ Ropeik said. In addition to Los Angeles, the Bronx, New York (Manhattan) and Kings (Brooklyn), Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas, St. Louis, and California’s Riverside and San Bernardino are Fema’s top 10 riskiest counties. Loudoun County, a suburb of Washington DC, has the lowest risk of all.

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