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U.S. geographers researched patterns of mortality (death) within the United States. High profile disasters such as Hurricane Katrina aren’t the deadliest. Overall, risk is highest for extreme cold and hot temperatures.


The December 17, 2008 article by Susan L. Cutter and Kevin A. Borden, both from the University of South Carolina (Columbia), appears in the International Journal of Health Geographics. It is entitled “Spatial patterns of natural hazards mortality in the United States.”

They state in the abstract to their paper, “Studies on natural hazard mortality are most often hazard-specific (e.g. floods, earthquakes, heat), event specific (e.g. Hurricane Katrina), or lack adequate temporal or geographic coverage. This makes it difficult to assess mortality from natural hazards in any systematic way.”

The Cutter-Borden team examined the patterns of U.S. natural disasters and their effect on human mortality (death) from the years 1970 to 2004

The December 17, 2008 New Scientist article “Death map USA: Natural disaster hotspots revealed” states that, “For all the attention garnered by catastrophic hurricanes such as Katrina, they aren't the most dangerous type of weather in America.”

The article contains maps that plot areas from lowest to highest risk of death from natural disasters in the United States.

Writer Ewen Callaway, of New Scientist, reports, “Overall, natural disasters account for less than 5% of natural hazard deaths across the US.”

Page two talks about differences in various regions of the United States.

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University

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