17 US States Where Natural Disasters Are Rare

Natural disasters occur with greater intensity and are more frequent than they used to be in America, with billion-dollar natural disasters being an annual feature. However, not all states are prone to these costly disasters; in these 17 states, they are rarer.


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Connecticut’s geographic location partially shields it from extreme weather events that are more common in other areas of the country. The Constitution State has strict building codes and regulations that help minimize damage when natural disasters strike, but its coastal areas are at risk of flooding and erosion.

Rhode Island

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Rhode Island, America’s smallest state, has a location that generally limits its exposure to large-scale natural disasters. The Ocean State’s coastal management program, the Rhode Island Coastal Management Program, helps mitigate the impact of rising sea levels and potential coastal storms.


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Director of the Center for Conservation Innovation Dr. Lindsay Dreiss notes that while natural disasters are “relatively infrequent” in Maine, “certain areas of the state are more prone to experience natural disasters than others.” The Pine Tree State does occasionally experience earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and landslides, but it’s generally safe and offers abundant natural landscapes.


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Pennsylyvania’s location in the mid-Atlantic generally contributes to a lower risk of severe natural disasters. Flooding is the state’s most common natural disaster, typically occurring in the center near rivers.


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The Buckeye State’s location and topography offer some natural protection against the brunt of natural disasters, but it does suffer from storms and floods. However, the state has a solid disaster response framework, with early warning systems and community preparedness programs.


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Maryland’s geological structure results in a very low risk of significant earthquakes. Maryland.gov notes that “seismic activity is unusual in Maryland,” but several minor quakes have hit the mid-Atlantic state.


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Indiana is known for its low likelihood of severe natural disasters. Although it does experience some floods and storms, its Emergency Management and Preparedness Division and community preparedness initiatives are effective at educating and training citizens on disaster response.


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Despite being in the Midwest, Iowa is known for its effective tornado risk management and early warning systems. It also has ongoing flood mitigation efforts, levee improvements, and water management.


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The Minnesota Department of Administration explains that the Land of 10,000 Lakes’s inland location protects it from the threat of tidal waves and hurricanes. The state is also located in the lowest-risk seismic category.

North Dakota

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The Peace Garden State’s geography makes it less prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, and other severe natural disasters than others in the nation. Its bitter winters have also left it well-prepared for blizzards.

South Dakota

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The Mount Rushmore State is geologically stable, lowering the risk of dangerous earthquakes. The state also has effective weather monitoring and early warning systems that mitigate the impact of severe weather events.


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WOODTV explains that the Great Lakes provide Michigan with a severe weather buffer and that cold lake temperatures in the spring can “knock down the strength of thunderstorms and sometimes eliminate them altogether.” The Great Lakes State also has a very low occurrence of earthquakes.


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Nebraska’s advanced weather monitoring and alert systems provide early warnings, helping it prepare and respond to disasters and avoid the devastation of floods and tornadoes of the 20th century. The state also encourages community engagement in disaster preparedness through education and training programs.

New Hampshire

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The Granite State is positioned away from the common paths of major hurricanes and has minimal seismic activity. Crisis Equipped notes that while “powerful hurricanes don’t reach the New England region often,” they can cause millions of dollars in damages.

New Jersey

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The Garden State is known for rarely experiencing earthquakes, and when they do strike, they are of low magnitude. However, New Jersey is known for its flooding, which can occur year-round, and is at risk of rising sea levels.


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This Mountain West state is generally safe from earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes, but it does experience occasional flooding. Only five floods in the past century have been considered significant for their damage.


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Wisconsin’s geographic location and climate conditions, especially in the south of the state, make it out of reach of hurricanes and the destructive winds and storm surges they produce. The Encyclopedia of Milwaukee also writes that tsunamis are a non-threat, and that its “rolling landscape prevents landslides.”

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