Decades Of Disasters: How does your state compare?

By Knowledge Center Posted February 6, 2020 In Incident Management

In the first 20 years of this century, the United States has seen more than double the Federal Disaster Declarations when compared to the last 20 years of the previous century. 

Knowledge Center Maps L20Y

Almost every state in the U.S., along with Puerto Rico, saw an increase with the exception of Michigan, which had no increase or decrease.

The increase nationwide, when comparing 1980-1999 and 2000-2019, is 137.7%, with some states seeing significant increases, especially in the western and Midwest regions.

Wyoming leads the pack with an 800% percent jump. Following Wyoming were New Mexico, Colorado, and California, all of which had declarations more than five times the previous period. Kansas, Oklahoma, Idaho, Utah, Montana and the District of Columbia all had increases above 300%. 

There were only 15 states that didn’t have double the disasters, most of those being in the south and upper Midwest states. The remaining states all had increases that were at least double their previous numbers.

Knowledge Center Maps L10Y

The picture is rather different when comparing the previous two decades. There was an 8.1% drop in federal disaster declarations across the entire nation when comparing 2010-2019 to the previous period of 2000-2009.

Nineteen states had fewer declarations, with Indiana at the top with a 76.6% decrease. The 31 states that recorded increases are all across the map, but the ones that had the biggest increase in federal disasters are primarily in the northern and middle part of the U.S., from coast to coast. Interestingly, the states that recorded the biggest drops are also in the same region with the exception of Florida and Alabama.

Idaho had the biggest increase in declarations at 177.8%. That state was ranked seventh in the 20-year comparisons. Colorado was the only state in the top 10 increases of the 20-year comparison that ranked in the top 10 decreases of the decade comparison. Colorado went from 527.3% to -32.8%.


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