Top 10 Deadliest U.S. Natural Disasters

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What is a Natural Disaster?

Natural disaster (also called natural catastrophe] refers to large-scale (usually sudden) natural events that cause significant damage or disruption, but usually not loss of human life. A flood would be classed as a 'natural disaster,' except in cases where it also resulted in many deaths.

Natural disasters are disasters that occur through processes that humans do not intentionally induce. They include wildfires, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, tsunamis, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

Effects Of Natural Disasters

Natural disasters have always been one of the significant concerns in the USA. Although there are many precautions and regulations taken by the government, these natural disasters are among the significant concerns in many developed states and developing states like the USA. They have a devastating effect on a lot of lives, both human and non-human.

The good news is that natural disasters can be prevented to a certain extent. In the past 250 years, the United States has suffered from hundreds of natural disasters. The frequency of natural disasters in the U.S. is very high. According to researchers, more than 20 types of natural disasters occur regularly in the USA.

The Causes of Natural Disasters in the USA

Natural disasters can occur worldwide at any time, and when they strike, it doesn't take long before people begin asking what caused this massive crisis. The United States is not immune to natural disasters.  With over 20 causes of natural disasters in the U.S., we can create a list of the USA's top 20 worst natural disasters with death tolls of over 100,000 people.

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These numbers are from Wikipedia and may be disputed. An interesting thing to note is how hurricanes kill many people but are not listed first.

Most times, nature is termed merciless with what it brings as disruptions to the human environment and is no longer a strange encounter on the deadliest U.S. natural disasters breakout.

Deadliest Natural Disasters in the U.S.

The deadliest natural disasters in the U.S. left the nation in peril. These were terrible in the sense that many individual lives were lost, families shattered, the economy crumbled, and people were in a state of turmoil. Natural disasters are a significant cause of destruction in the United States. Approximately 90% of the ten deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history occurred before the 1980s.

The 1900 Galveston Hurricane was the deadliest hurricane to strike the U.S., killing 8,000 to 12,000 people and inflicting $50 million in damage (1908 USD).

Other notable deadly hurricanes included a 1900 hurricane that devastated parts of Louisiana with a death toll between 2,000 and 12,000 people. In 1925, four tropical cyclones killed more than 200 people each and collectively caused at least $157 million in damage (1925). Each year, millions of dollars are donated to help victims of various natural disasters. The account of this horrible experience reckons the need for Emergency Preparedness as your survival might be at stake once a devastating cause blows without earlier notice.

Here is the top deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history ever to claim so many lives while leaving others with health issues.

Maria Hurricane

The high-end category4 hurricane struck the United States Territory of Puerto Rico in September 2017. There was an estimated 2,975 and 4,645 death toll by a George Washington University study and Harvard researchers. It had a severe impact causing the damage and destruction of 300,000+ homes while bringing down transmission lines and power poles. Also, erupting floods cleared off roads, bridges, trees, and other environmental structures. Maria is a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic Ocean formed as a tropical storm on September 15 and became a hurricane on September 19. It strengthened further to reach Category 4 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, making landfall at that intensity in Puerto Rico.

It is the tenth named storm, fourth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. The hurricane was one of only four recorded hurricanes to make landfall at Category 4 intensity in Puerto Rico since 1851.

California Firestorms

A firestorm of life-threatening temperatures, strong winds, and dangerous fire conditions may occur in the high-risk areas during a wildfire. A firestorm is a down draught that gets sucked into the flames, creating wind speeds over 60 mph. It is sporadic for a firestorm to spread rapidly enough to catch a firefighting crew by surprise. Natural disasters in the USA always spark high interest, as people wonder what to do and how to protect themselves if a disaster happens.

After a multi-year drought, these destructive but massive wildfires occurred at intervals from September 2017 -to November 2018. They consumed about 32,000 structures and 1 million acres. Most especially the northern California and paradise city were affected precisely by the campfire and car fire respectively. With the inclusion of the wildfires in Napa Sonoma counties, over 100 lives were lost, and due to high winds -the power supplies were shut down to minimize the fire spread threat through transmission-wires spark. As thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes, dozens died trying to fight the fire. Many homeowners discovered that their insurance policies did not cover damage caused by wildfires, and others found that it simply did not provide enough money for rebuilding.

If you plan to buy a home in the Sierras or anywhere else in California, you need to know how extensive the wildfire problem is. You should also know how much coverage you can expect under your homeowner's policy.

Harvey Hurricane

The 2017 hurricane season was the costliest hurricane season left in the history of the country. A number of these hurricanes resulted in severe damage and destruction. Hurricane Harvey is among one the storms that caused severe damage to Texas. It made an appearance along the Texas coast north of Corpus Christi in 2017. Extreme and widespread rainfall caused storms that affected locations that were near Port Arthur, Beaumont, and Houston metro area. An estimate of $130 billion were damages caused, which comprise the destruction of 1 million vehicles, flooding over 200,000 homes and businesses, with 39,000 people force-leaving their homes and 68 deaths cases.

Devastating much of southeastern Texas and leaving thousands displaced after devastating flooding. It is the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

Sandy Superstorm

It took place in October 2012 in New York City -Sandy Hook and, New Jersey -Bridgeport, Connecticut. High winds swept trees from North Carolina, Ohio, to New England, and power blackouts occurred. The best part about the Sandy Superstorm is it's FAST! A storm that arrives with hurricane-force winds and rain and is gone in 24 hours. This makes the beginning of the storm almost as bad as the end.

In the northeast, 72 people died during the incident, and 87 others lost their lives on exposure to power outages in cold weather after the storm. Moreover, the damage estimate was $73.5 billion.Sandy left a path of destruction, obliterating buildings and smothering the coastline. The Superstorm winds stalled the American economy, battered the stock market, and caused billions of dollars in damage. Sandy was a natural disaster of unimaginable proportions.

Tornado Springs

Within April 25-28, May 2011, the South and East were devastated by the terrible outbreak of 349 tornadoes. It was such that 321 deaths and $11.9 damages were confirmed.


Notably, 60% of these tornadoes occurred on April 27 in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and northwest Georgia, while on May 22, a strong tornado tore through Joplin -Missouri.

Michael Hurricane

It is known as the fourth category5 landfall that primarily hit Florida Panhandle in 2018. Precisely, in Mexico Beach, 93% of the buildings were damaged, having 45,000+ structures as that of Bay County alone due to the uproar of the destructive winds. Talking about the disaster in Southeast Alabama, Southwest, and central Georgia caused an estimation of over $5.7 billion damages with 99% home destruction and 3,000 residential structures inclusive.

Endless Flood

In 2019, the Winter Storm Ulmer triggered a natural disaster (a major Plains blizzard), causing floods in the Missouri and Mississippi Valleys. Over $1 billion as damage to farmlands, levees, and structures with lives were lost.


There was the destruction of a dam in Nebraska. The disaster lasting for 9months caused several locations along the Missouri River in southeast Nebraska and Missouri to be in flood.

Oklahoma Tornado

May 20, 2013, the disaster tore through Newcastle, Moore, and southern Oklahoma City. Approximately there were 31 deaths and 300 homes destroyed leading to $2 billion in damages. Notwithstanding, another tornado struck eleven days later that triggered deadly flash flooding and killed 21 people.

Carolinas Trifecta Flood

Here is flood fatigue that had multiple appearances -October 2015 and 2016, September 2018 and 2019. It has an estimate of over $24.5 billion for the destruction of things and lives. Therein, they could cause damages to 300 homes and buildings, swamping over 100,000 structures, displacement of 500 residents while that of 2015 shut down a stretch of Interstate 95 for weeks.


As of late January 2014, this winter storm rose in the Southeast. It came as snows and air froze them, causing roadblocks for vehicles, gridlock on streets and freeways alike.

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Three thousand school students were stranded; one hundred and seventy-five people sustained injuries due to over 1500 accidents relating to this road fatality.

Moreover, the disaster also set into central and northern Alabama, including the Birmingham metro area -thereby stopping travel. Knowing the deadliest U.S. natural disasters goes beyond providing an answer to the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. You don't have to wait to experience any deadliest natural disasters in the U.S. when you can prepare beforehand. Being quite aware that most of these were recent, there might be a possible re-occurrence of any disaster in the future.

Be ready with your survival supplies for any Emergency Preparedness because the proper preparation helps avoid deaths, injuries, sudden human evacuation, or other casualties since this can happen to anyone during a disaster.

Get Your SurvivalBox Now or Die!

Natural disaster emergency preparedness

Are you worried about hurricanes, blizzards, tornados, or earthquakes? Don't be. Natural disasters are scary to think about. An emergency preparedness kit is one of the most effective ways to prepare for a natural disaster and get you through it safely. Our Survival Box is designed to last you for more than 7-10 weeks. It includes all of the equipment necessary to survive many different types of disasters. 

Survival Box helps you Prepare for Natural Disasters & the Unforeseen. It gives you some tips on preparing so you can keep your family safe and handy in emergency preparedness gear.

Natural disasters can occur without warning and happen in even the most unlikely places. Natural disasters can strike without warning and have become increasingly more common. Whether it's a hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake, or even blizzard, keep yourself and your family safe with these five essential food safety tips.

  • Store at least a 4-day supply of nonperishable food and water in your home.
  • Determine how to turn off the gas and electricity if your power goes out.
  • Keep a first aid kit in your home and car containing essential medical items needed in an emergency.
  • Learn CPR, as you may be the only person who can

Get prepared for a natural disaster by having the emergency supplies and equipment you need in your home. A well-stocked emergency supply kit can help you no matter what happens, whether at home, work, or school.