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Flood Facts

Flooding is the most common hazard here in the United States.

Flooding, even in a desert environment, is one of the most common hazards people face, no matter where they live. With climate change making more extreme rain events more significant, we can expect that trend will continue.

Here is a link to “Flood insurance facts” with some highlights called out below.

Flooding statistics

  • 90% of natural disasters in the United States involve a flood, making flooding the most frequent and the most expensive natural disaster in the country. (FEMA)
  • More than 20% of all National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims come from outside the areas of highest risk. (FEMA)
  • A single inch of water in a home can cause more than $25,000 in property damage. (FEMA)
  • Flooding can be caused by a number of things, including snow melt, heavy rains, flash floods and mudflows. (
  • While some states have a higher risk of flooding than others, data shows that all 50 states are subject to flash floods. (
  • Hurricane Katrina was the most expensive flood on record in the country. The damages resulted in roughly $16 billion in insured losses. (Triple-I)
  • In the United States, there are more than 7.5 million homes at risk of damage from a category 5 storm surge. (Triple-I)
  • In 2022 alone, there have been 76 flood-related fatalities. (
  • A majority of the flood-related deaths in 2022 have occurred at home, followed by flood-related deaths while driving. (NWS)
  • The majority of flood deaths in the country in 2022 have been among people between the ages of 60-79. (NWS)
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.