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PREP TIPS: Know What Disaster You Could Face

Jun 7, 2019

Knowing what natural disasters are common and when, given your location, is a key part of being prepared.

Earthquakes
While earthquakes can happen anywhere without warning, the highest risk areas of the United States include California, Alaska, and Mississippi River Valley. Live in those areas? Learn how to prepare for earthquakes here.

Floods
Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. You don’t need to be near a coast, river, or other body of water for flooding to be an issue. Flooding can be the result of heavy rains or melting snow. Learn your risk for flooding here. Learn how to prepare for a flood here.

Hurricanes
Hurricanes start over the ocean, but can impact areas more than 100 miles inland. Both the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines of the United States are at risk. Peak hurricane activity happens in September, but hurricane season spans from June 1 to November 30 on the east coast, and May 15 to November 30 on the west coast. Learn how to prepare for a hurricane here.

Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms can occur year-round and at any time. The powerful winds, lightning, hail, and heavy rains that can accompany thunderstorms all pose threats. Learn how to prepare here.

Tornadoes
While tornadoes can also happen anytime and anywhere, the highest risk areas in the United States are in the Midwest and the Southeast. Do you know the signs of a tornado? Learn how to prepare for a tornado here.

Tsunamis
Tsunamis can happen along any coastline of the United States, but coasts along the Pacific or Caribbean Ocean have the greatest risk. If you live on the coast, learn how to prepare for a tsunami here.

Volcanoes
The most active volcanoes in the United States are in Alaska, Hawaii, California, and Oregon, but there are others throughout the country. Are you within 100 miles of a volcano? The volcanic ash from an eruption could reach you. Sign up for notifications about volcanic activity here. Learn how to prepare for a volcanic eruption here.

Wildfires
Wildfires can happen anywhere, anytime, exacerbated by droughts and high winds. Are you in an area that experiences these conditions? Wildfires typically start in natural areas (e.g., forests), but can make their way to populated areas. Learn how to prepare yourself and your property here.

Winter Storms
Winter storms and blizzards can last hours or days. Extremely cold temperatures, ice, and snow or other precipitation can cause pose serious threats to health (e.g., hypothermia) and infrastructure (e.g., power outages).  Learn how to prepare yourself here.

START HERE: Check your community’s warning system. Type your location (e.g., town, city, county name) and the word “alerts” into Google or another search engine. Your local emergency management or public safety office’s website should be in the search results. See if you can sign up for emergency alerts from them.