The analysis culled through “more than a half century of weather patterns and destructive natural events across the contiguous United States,” the magazine report says.
From the report:
We tallied up every event in the contiguous United States that has caused death, property damage, injuries or crop damage in each county. Then we created a metric, called the disaster index, that is based on the average of each county’s events plus the events of its neighboring counties.
All events are not equally dangerous. Hurricanes have claimed over a thousand lives in the U.S. since 1996 while wildfires have taken 99 lives during the same period. That said, counties that have very few of any of the 44 events tracked by NOAA are likely to be safest in the land, while many of those that have seen hundreds of incidents over the years are in places like hurricane-damaged New Jersey and earthquake-prone California.
For Ocean County, the analysis found that its communities “are vulnerable to tidal surges and storms like Sandy.”
Five other New Jersey counties made the magazine’s top 15 “most dangerous” list, including Cape May (#3), Monmouth (#4), Burlington (#7), Atlantic (#12), and Camden (#15).
No New Jersey counties made the top 15 “safest” list.