More Than Half Of U.S. Buildings Are In Places Prone To Disaster, Study Finds

Originally published on June 24, 2021, by Rebecca Hersher for

More than half of the buildings in the contiguous U.S. are in disaster hotspots, a new study finds. Tens of millions of homes, businesses and other buildings are concentrated in areas with the most risk from hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tornadoes and earthquakes.

The findings underscore how development patterns exacerbate damage from climate change.

"We know that every year, we lose billions of dollars [and] we lose lives to natural hazards," says Virginia Iglesias, a researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder and one of the authors of the new study. "Of course climate change has a lot to do with this because climate change is increasing the probability of extreme events. But at the same time, it also matters what is in harm's way."

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