It can be revealed that the ten most vulnerable counties in the US most at risk of a climate disaster are in the South, with some even admitting they “aren’t prepared at all” for what’s to come. We reveal the states most at risk of climate change. Is yours on the list?
Most Vulnerable Neighborhoods
A highly detailed map revealing the US neighborhoods most vulnerable to climate-related risks like fire, floods, and pollution was launched by the Environmental Defense Fund and Texas A&M University.
Spanning over 70,000 counties that contain roughly 4,000 people, this map looks at the environmental risks in the area along with its capacity to prevent the hazard.
When clicked on via the interactive map, each county unveiled critical information about heat, wildfire, smoke, and drought in the area.
Once you click on an area, you’ll also see the specific details that could contribute to extreme weather conditions in the county, such as income levels, healthcare accessibility, and transportation.
President Joe Biden pledged that at least 40% of federal investments in climate and clean energy programs would benefit “disadvantaged communities.”
The infrastructure law has already allocated substantial funds for critical upgrades and replacements in some areas.
Grace Tee Lewis, a health scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, stressed the need for strategic investments, “The Biden Administration has made a historic level of funding available to build toward climate justice and equity, but the right investments need to flow to the right places for the biggest impact,” so where are the areas most in need?
Louisiana Will Hit Hard
The data revealed that the ten most vulnerable US counties are situated in the South, especially along the Gulf Coast, where poverty rates and health issues are notably high.
Half of these counties are in Louisiana, making the state by far the most vulnerable to human-induced climate disasters.
St. John the Baptist Parish in Louisiana emerged as the most vulnerable county due to a range of challenges, including floods, child and maternal health issues, toxic air pollutants, and high disaster-related mortality rates.
Jo Banner, a community activist in St. John the Baptist, expressed concerns about the lack of preparedness at the community and federal levels, “We know that our community is not prepared at all for emergencies, the federal government is not prepared, the local parish is not prepared.”
Future Disaster Protection
Even in cities with relatively low climate risk, such as Seattle, the data exposed a vast difference in vulnerability between census tracts.
When compared to North Seattle, South Seattle is in danger of climate-related disasters due to air pollution, flood risk, and inadequate infrastructure.
The states most at risk of climate disasters, including economic ones, are Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia, Mississippi, New Jersey and New Mexico.
It’s up to these states to use Biden’s funding to spread awareness and protect themselves from any future disaster.
Is your state on the list of most vulnerable to climate change? Maybe you’re worried about your county? Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / AfriramPOE