The Most Hurricane-Prone U.S. States

If you’re planning on traveling, you should know where hurricanes hit most often

Depending on where you live, your experience with hurricanes might be confined to movie screens, but for people that live in the southeast and along the east coast; these deadly storms are an unfortunate reality. [slideshow:79779]

Many people think that hurricanes only affect places along the Gulf of Mexico, but in reality hurricanes can reach as far north as Maine. In recent history, Americans have seen the destruction of hurricanes like Katrina and Sandy first-hand and the scope of these storms is alarming. Katrina caused destruction, not only in Louisiana, but in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, too. Meanwhile Hurricane Sandy hit states up the east coast, as far north as New England, and left major damage in its wake.

We’re right at the peak of hurricane season—a period from June 1 to Nov. 30 where most hurricanes hit—and late August through September tends to see the most activity. If you’re planning on traveling, it’s best to know where hurricanes hit and to be prepared. These are the most hurricane-prone U.S. states, according to data from the National Weather Service.

#10 Virginia

Farther north than most other states threatened by hurricanes, Virginia isn’t out of reach for destructive storms. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), from 1851 to 2004, 12 hurricanes directly hit Virginia and one of those hurricanes was considered major (Category 3). “Hurricanes come close enough to produce hurricane force winds approximately three times every 20 years,” reads a document from the National Weather Service, on hurricanes in Virginia. “Two or three times a century winds and tides produce considerable damage and significantly threaten life. Three known storms have been powerful enough to alter coastal features.”

#9 New York

Another northern state not typically recognized for its susceptibility to hurricanes, New York has suffered 12 direct hurricane hits, five of which were rated Category 3, according to the NWS. In particular, when New York City gets hit by even minor hurricanes, the damage can be disastrous. With a huge population and at-risk infrastructure (high rises, suspension bridges and underground tunnels), storms touching down in NYC tend to be costly and recent storms have even caused public transit shut-downs.

8 Other Hurricane Prone States

More Reading:
How to Survive a Hurricane
Earthquakes, Hurricanes and 8 Other Natural Disasters Everyone Should Be Prepared For
How to Survive a Rip Current