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Which States Have the Most Homes at Risk of Flooding and Wildfires?

Wildfire

Since 1990, natural disasters in the U.S. have resulted in trillions of dollars in damages, including hundreds of billions due to wildfires and flooding. These disasters are not distributed evenly—certain regions are particularly vulnerable to climate hazards in the coming years.

As a continuation of BPC’s recent state-by-state analysis of America’s housing stock, this blog highlights which states have the most housing units at risk of floods and wildfires. The data show that both red and blue states face severe climate threats that will require adapting existing housing stock, as well as strategic planning to minimize any risks to new development.

As the graph above shows, about 6.9 million homes are located in zip codes with a major risk of wildfires, meaning they have at least a 7% chance of burning over the next 30 years. Based on a comprehensive risk model by the First Street Foundation, incorporating both the likelihood and potential depth of flooding, 3.7 million homes are located in zip codes with a major flood risk. This does not necessarily indicate that wildfires are a greater threat overall—in fact, flooding has been both more costly and deadly over the past couple of decades.

See the top five states with the most homes at risk of floods and wildfires below, both as a percentage of the state’s overall housing stock and in absolute terms.

The tables below provide a state-by-stake breakdown of all homes located in zip codes at risk of floods and wildfires.

Download the full data set and methodology here.

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