The statistics by Cutter and Boren state that deaths from natural disasters occur primarily because of:
- severe weather 18.8%
- winter weather 18.1%
- flooding 14.0%
- tornado 11.6%
- lightning 11.3%
Fewer deaths occur from these natural disaster conditions:
- coastal 2.3%
- hurricane and tropical storm 1.5%
- geophysical 1.5%
- mass movement 1.9%
- wildfire 0.4%
They also found that patterns exist on a county-basis that shows higher risk of death. For instance, county blocks in the lower Mississippi Valley, upper Great Plains, and Mountain West showed higher mortality rates.
In addition, areas in west Texas and the Florida panhandle also showed higher than average death rates.
However, clusters of low mortality rates exist in the Midwest and the urbanized Northeast.
The researchers conclude, “There is no consistent source of hazard mortality data, yet improvements in existing databases can produce quality data that can be incorporated into spatial epidemiological studies as demonstrated in this paper.”
“It is important to view natural hazard mortality through a geographic lens so as to better inform the public living in such hazard prone areas, but more importantly to inform local emergency practitioners who must plan for and respond to disasters in their community.”