In fact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has calculated that the area is the most dangerous in the U.S. Deadline reports that FEMA determined the risk of every county in America based on 18 types of natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, volcanoes, and tsunamis. The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t considered, though Los Angeles has been dubbed “ground zero” for the virus.
After assessing over 3,000 counties, FEMA determined that Los Angeles County sits at No. 1 in the National Risk Index.
Interestingly, FEMA calculated that other places like New York City and Philadelphia are a higher risk for tornadoes than states like Oklahoma and Kansas, which sit in Tornado Alley. The agency also found that a county in Washington state has the biggest coastal flood risk even though it’s not on the ocean.
The calculations are based on an index that measures how often disasters happen, the size of the population, how much property could be damaged, how socially vulnerable the population is, and how adequately an area can go back to normal.
Los Angeles’ density makes it a primary target for disasters. FEMA’s top 10 unsafe places are rounded out by three counties in New York City—The Bronx, New York County (Manhattan), and Kings County (Brooklyn)—Miami, Philadelphia, Dallas, St. Louis, and California’s Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The safest U.S. county to live in is Loudoun County, a Washington D.C. outer suburb. The remaining lowest risk places for larger counties are three other Washington suburban counties, suburban Boston, Long Island, suburban Detroit, and Pittsburgh.