Odds Of Being Hit By A Hurricane 1 In 2.18
January 19, 2012 by staff
Odds Of Being Hit By A Hurricane 1 In 2.18, It has been almost five years since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the US, and legions are still feeling the effects. Approximately a million people were uprooted by the storm, and hundreds of thousands have never returned to the areas hardest hit. Texas alone took in over 250,000 evacuees, a population surge expected to bring the Lone Star State four additional Congressional seats in the 2010 Census count.
Those without the means to leave ended up in temporary housing provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). At the height of the crisis, 143,000 people were being sheltered, mostly in trailers. The program was slated to be phased out in 2007, but it was extended for another two years. Finally, in the summer of 2009, the government announced that the 3,450 people still living in trailers would be able to purchase them for five dollars or less. They were also promised priority status in receiving vouchers for permanent housing.
The displacement goes beyond being torn from homes and neighborhoods-it is also psychological, financial, and emotional. There is lingering trauma for those who bore the brunt of the storm, with children among the hardest hit. Not only have many exhibited signs of severe stress, thousands have been set back academically. According to Marian Wright Edelman, approximately 50,000 children missed a year of school because of the hurricane, and as many as 15,000 missed the following year as well.
It is worth remembering that Hurricane Katrina, which struck at the end of August, was the second major hurricane of 2005. It was preceded in July by Hurricane Dennis, a Category 4 storm, and followed in September by another Category 5 storm, Hurricane Rita.
Statistically, hurricanes are most likely to strike the continental United States in September. The odds are 1 in 2.18, the same odds that a hurricane will cause damages of $1 billion or more. A hurricane in September is about 1.5 times more likely than one in August, 11 times more likely than one in July, and 22 times more likely than one in June. Even by October, the odds drop to 1 in 6.
Geography plays a substantial role in hurricane risk. The odds Florida will be hit by a hurricane in a year are 1 in 2.09, whereas the odds for Pennsylvania are 1 in 155. This geographic distribution is mirrored in the risk of especially strong hurricanes: there is a 1 in 77.5 chance that Florida will be struck by a Category 5 hurricane in a year, while the odds of a hurricane of that intensity reaching all the way into landlocked Pennsylvania in a year are nearly zero.
The odds of a hurricane that hits the continental US causing 1,000 or more deaths are 1 in 55.8. Hurricane Katrina is credited with causing at least 1,300 deaths, as well as $75 billion worth of damage to the city of New Orleans and the Mississippi coast. Though one of the most devastating storms in US history, it is sadly not the deadliest. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 caused an estimated 8,000 deaths, and the San Felipe-Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928 killed 1,836 people in Florida alone.
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