New York faces several types of natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, winter storms, and occasional seismic activity. Due to its geographical location, the Empire State is particularly susceptible to coastal storms, which account for 36% of major disaster declarations in New York from 1953 to 2023.
In comparison to other states, New York ranks fifth in the nation for the total number of disaster declarations. Notable disasters include Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which affected large parts of the state, and the Blizzard of 1996, one of the most severe winter storms to hit the region.
The economic toll of natural disasters in New York is substantial. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, from 1980 to 2020, New York experienced 26 billion-dollar disasters with total costs exceeding $46 billion. Additionally, the Department of Health reports that, from 1970 to 2014, natural disasters in New York resulted in over 1,000 deaths. These statistics underscore the significant economic and human costs of natural disasters in the state.
Given this context, disaster preparedness is crucial in New York. The frequency and severity of these events necessitate effective planning and response strategies to minimize their impact.