A whopping number of Americans and U.S. counties have experienced at least one weather-related disaster over the last six years, according to a new report from the Environment America Research and Policy Center that uses data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Every state but South Carolina had at least one county that was declared a federal disaster area in that time period, with four out of five Americans living in one of these counties for a total of 243 million Americans affected, the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang blog reported. The numbers break down to 176 million affected by flooding, 111 million by snow and icestorms, 102 million by tropical cyclones (the term for hurricanes and tropical storms), 82 million by tornadoes, 63.5 million by drought and 30 million by wildfires. These numbers include those impacted by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which was also the hottest year on record in the United States.
The report is in part an effort by Environment America to shed light on the increasing vulnerability of Americans and U.S. infrastructure to the extreme weather events that could increase with climate change.
Read more about the report at Environment America.