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Updated: August 18, 2023

Maine deemed safest haven from natural disasters

WalletHub Map of United States showing Maine with No. 50 ranking Map graphic / WalletHub Weather worriers, take heart: Maine is the U.S. state least impacted by natural disasters, according to rankings by personal finance website WalletHub.

While wildfires, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes frequently dominate the national news, Maine stands out as the least susceptible to such natural disasters, according to a WalletHub ranking released Wednesday.

Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas rank Nos. 1, 2 and 3 respectively among the states most affected by climate-related natural disasters over the past four decades. But the Pine Tree State came in dead last, at No. 50.

To determine the rankings, researchers looked at two metrics: the number of climate disasters since 1980 causing at least $1 billion in damage, and the amount lost per capita from those disasters.

Maine was near the bottom in both sub-categories, coming in third from last for the number of disasters and seventh from the bottom in the amount lost per capita.

People who have moved to Maine to escape natural disasters in other states include former California residents Peg Adams, a retired teacher, and Lea Hopkinson, a retired teacher, guidance counselor and college administrator.  

“We ran away from too many forest fires coming down the mountains and decided that wasn’t a good way to become sedentary seniors,” Hopkinson told Mainebiz earlier this year for a print feature about “Retiring to Vacationland.”

Within the New England region, Connecticut was the state most impacted by natural disasters, at No. 34 on the  WalletHub list, followed by Massachusetts (No. 41), Rhode Island (No. 42), Vermont (No. 43), New Hampshire (No. 48) and then Maine in last place.

The findings come as the death toll from wildfires in Hawaii continues to rise, more than a week after a brush fire near the historic town of Lahaina on the island of Maui exploded into the country's deadliest wildlife in more than 100 years. 

Fifteen other natural disasters nationwide have already each caused more than $1 billion in damage during 2023, with severe weather destroying homes, workplaces and lives, WalletHub researchers estimate.

Find the full WalletHub report and rankings here

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August 20, 2023

Perhaps the numbers should be calculated over area, as well as population. I'm not sure it would change things much, but if it's going to be calculated on monetary amount of damage, it might be useful to see how the size of states such as California and Texas affect their overall damage.

August 20, 2023

publication of this story dangerously tempts fate.

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