"Death Map" Plots Where Nature Is Most Likely to Kill You

By Nina Bai | December 17, 2008 1:46 pm

lightningIf you’re not feeling lucky, don’t venture into Wyoming, Utah, or Colorado. These states have some of the highest mortality rates caused by natural disasters, according to a new “death map” that plots where Mother Nature takes her heaviest tolls.

From 1970 to 2004, natural disasters killed some 20,000 people in the U.S. Surprisingly, the deadliest events aren’t the ones that make the headlines. More people died from heat/drought (19.6 percent), sizzling summers (18.8 percent), and freezing winters (18.1 percent) than earthquakes, wildfire, and hurricanes combined (less than 5 percent). And who would’ve thought that lightning accounted for 11.3 percent of deaths from natural hazards? The strikes were especially concentrated in the New England and southeastern states.

While severe winter weather is particularly deadly in the Rocky Mountain region, the southern states are generally more dangerous, often hit by flooding along the coastlines and tornadoes in inland areas. The safest regions include the midwest and urban areas in the northeast and in California.

Though, of course, city life presents other dangers… like jaywalking.

Related Content:
DISCOVER: Science Proves that City Life Really is More Electrifying
DISCOVER: Sliced: Inside a Tornado

Image: flickr / KM Photography

  • http://www.profmustamar.com/death-map-peta-kematian-amerika-dibuat-oleh-dua-ahli-geografi/tutorial/index.html profmustamar

    i linked this post to my blog..

  • Egaeus

    You know what’s really strange, in my opinion? Arkansas. The mortality rate seems to be elevated based almost entirely on political boundaries.There doesn’t seem to be any significant extension of the statewide trend to any adjacent state, except maybe for the Mississippi valley.

  • http://www.geocities.com/maiinganikan/ Jean SmilingCoyote

    Why is this map even needed? We know what all the natural hazards are. People educated about them – and you don’t need a fancy degree – can write down the list, and what steps should be taken to reduce the chance of death from each hazard. The problems arise when the various parties who should take the steps may not have the wherewithal, authority, or education to take them. It’s more than individual responsibility contributing to risk. An example is the fact that FEMA has no legal authority to enforce the “safe room” advice in Publication 320; so you have the idiotic result that, for one example, Greensburg KS being allowed to rebuild w/o a safe room in every dwelling. The book about death from heat was literally written from the Chicago experience. But where are all the forces for making sure all who need A/C have it and can pay for it? Another thing that’s needed is education about all these hazards, starting in every elementary school. I have a B.A. in Geography and feel plenty qualified to speak advocating a more micro-, detail-oriented viewpoint.

  • Pingback: How Curious! « ThinkingShift

  • Janepatriot

    This is misleading. All three of these states are sparely populated. So 18% of 40 freakin’ people is going to sound worse than more densely populated states. Give us actual numbers not percentages! Geez people. Think.

  • Janepatriot

    This is misleading. All three of these states are sparsely populated. So 18% of 40 freakin’ people is going to sound worse than more densely populated states. Give us actual numbers not percentages! Geez people. Think.

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