People in these 16 states are woefully unprepared for the next natural disaster

You never know when disaster might strike.

caption
You never know when disaster might strike.
source
Getty Images – WilliamThomas Cain

  • Fires, hurricanes, floods, tornados, and other natural disasters are becoming increasingly common in the US.
  • But only three in ten American families have an emergency preparedness kit, while 42% of Americans say they’re not at all prepared for disaster, a recent poll from Business Insider partner MSN found.
  • In these 16 states, a significant portion of the population are woefully unprepared.

The vast majority of Americans are unprepared or underprepared for a natural disaster.

At least that’s what they said in a recent poll from Business Insider partner MSN found.

MSN surveyed Americans on their emergency preparedness. It then used machine learning and big data, such as the census, to model how a representative sample of the US would have responded. It’s as accurate as a traditional scientific survey, MSN said.

According to the poll, only three in ten Americans say they have an emergency preparedness kit, 42% of Americans say they’re not at all prepared for a disaster, and 46% say they’re only prepared a little.

What’s perhaps more troubling, some parts of America are even less prepared than this.

In 16 states, 25% or fewer residents said they have an emergency preparedness kit. In those same states, almost half of the population said they’re not at all prepared for disaster, while more than 40% said they’re a little prepared.

States prone to disasters tend to be more concerned about disasters. The majority of South Carolinians, for example, say they understand the need to prepare for hurricanes. Unsurprisingly, South Carolina is also one of the most prepared states.

But this isn’t always the case. Families in Washington, DC – which is considered a high-risk area for natural disasters – are the least likely to have an emergency kit or to report being prepared for a disaster.

While flooding, hurricanes, and other disasters are less likely in certain areas, scientists say that climate change will destabilize the weather patterns we’ve come to expect.

A climate change report by scientists from 13 federal agencies concluded that the hurricanes will increase in the Atlantic, Pacific, and eastern North Pacific. A hotter, drier climate is also starting to exacerbate wildfires, like the destructive ones in California last year.

The costliest year on record for natural disasters was 2017, with $306 billion spent nationwide to provide aid and relief and recuperate weather-related damage

And rising sea levels could flood Facebook’s headquarters, Harvard Business School, New Orleans, and other major US cities and institutions.

Here’s where preparation for “the new normal” is lacking the most across the US.


Connecticut

Percent with an emergency kit: 25%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 46%


Washington, DC

source
REUTERS/ Kevin Lamarque

Percent with an emergency kit: 23%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 50%


Delaware

source
Michele Dorsey Walfred/Flickr

Percent with an emergency kit: 24%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 49%


Illinois

source
NOAA/Wikimedia Commons

Percent with an emergency kit: 24%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 48%


Indiana

source
Reuters

Percent with an emergency kit: 25%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 47%


Massachusetts

source
Courtesy Steven McAlpine/First Street Foundation

Percent with an emergency kit: 25%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 47%


Maryland

source
Twitter/Libby Solomon

Percent with an emergency kit: 24%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 49%


Maine

source
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Percent with an emergency kit: 25%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 46%


Michigan

source
Dan Yorgason / YouTube

Percent with an emergency kit: 25%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 47%


New Jersey

source
(Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen) New Jersey Governor’s Office

Percent with an emergency kit: 24%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 49%


New York

source
MTA

Percent with an emergency kit: 24%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 49%


Ohio

source
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Percent with an emergency kit: 24%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 47%


Pennsylvania

source
REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Percent with an emergency kit: 24%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 48%


Rhode Island

source
Julie Denesha / Stringer / Getty Images

Percent with an emergency kit: 24%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 48%


Vermont

source
Mario Tama / Getty Images

Percent with an emergency kit: 25%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 47%


Wisconsin

source
Twitter via @viciousweater

Percent with an emergency kit: 25%

Percent who say they’re “not at all” prepared for a natural disaster: 46%