Emergency Flooding Statistics, Facts and Trends for 2022

With climate change as a predominant theme and clear evidence of more severe weather related disasters across the globe than ever before, this report shares insights into Emergency Flooding Statistics, Facts and Trends.

What is a flooding disaster?

Flooding may be explained as a temporary water overflow onto an area of land that would usually be dry and is often caused by heavy rainfall, snowmelt, or a storm surge involving a tropical cyclone or tsunami. According to evidence, 90 percent of all US natural disasters involve flooding making this the most common natural disaster in America. The following is an in-depth analysis of current emergency flooding statistics, facts, and trends.

14 Emergency Flooding Statistics, Facts and Trends for 2022:


1.  Most Common American Natural Disaster

As per the coastal environment, experts say South Florida is most likely to flood due to rising sea levels; however, due to America’s climate, it may be assumed that all 50 states are subject to flash and major floods. Approximately 75 percent of all presidentially-declared US natural disasters involve flooding in recent years.

2.  Top Causes of Floods

  • Storm surges: these surges may be explained as large domes of water that sweep coastlines on hurricane landfalls and are a significant threat to property and life along coastal regions. 
  • Flash floods: flash floods are caused by intense rainfall within brief periods; this rainfall leaves more water than the ground is able to absorb, causing massive floods with little to no warning.
  • Construction: recent studies indicate that new construction, paving, and land development may alter the land’s natural ability to drain water from rainfall properly. As a result, this affects natural run-offs and can increase flood risks.

3.  Flooding Possibilities

A recent study that was conducted gathered that homeowners with a 30-year mortgage are likely to experience a 26 percent chance of floods and water damage as opposed to a 9 percent chance of fire-related destruction. 

4.  A Changing Climate 

Research insinuates that over the last 50 years, Americans have experienced a 20 percent increase in heavy rains and storms. This data may indicate that with the changing climate, the nation’s floodplains are expected to grow by approximately 45 percent, putting more people in harm’s way.  


5.  100 Year Floodplains

Approximately 17 percent of all urban land in the US is located in 100-year floodplains. The term “100-year floodplain” refers to a statistical probability and describes a flood that has a 1 percent probability of hitting a specific area in any given year. Land that has a 1 percent chance of flood is on the 100-year floodplain. 

6.  Deep Waters

According to a study, 6 inches of fast-moving water is enough to knock a person down and cause severe injury. As recommended by the World Health Organization, individuals should not walk through floodwaters since they may be deep and contain dangerous debris.

7.  Texas: Hurricane Harvey

After the disastrous after-effects of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, around 1 in 3 people now buy flood insurance in Texas.

8.  Wetlands Save Lives

A wetland by nature acts as natural sponges and has the innate capacity to absorb and store excess water; as a result, flood water cannot remain still. In the US, statistics show that wetlands keep people out of harm’s way and have saved more than 30 billion dollars in damage and repair. 

9.  Flood Fatalities

While fatalities can vary and differ dramatically with weather conditions and natural disasters from year to year, the US national 30-year average for flood deaths is 88, and 66 percent of flood-related deaths are due to drivers attempting to drive through deep waters. 

10.  Recent Research on Land Development Increasing Flood Risks 

Research suggests that new land development may increase the risk of flooding since construction may change natural runoff patterns on land. This implies that land that has not previously flooded may likely increase its flood risk after new construction. 

11.  Lack of Transparency in Real Estate

In recent years, it has been disclosed that real-estate websites and services like Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia have declined sharing information about flood risks with regards to a property with buyers. However, some states are implementing transparency regulations regarding property to let residents know about potential flood risk and how climate change is expected to impact that risk in the future. 


12.  Are Floods Expensive? 

As per the latest research, it may be gathered that floods are potentially one of the more expensive natural disasters in the US. Over recent years damages from flood losses have increased to approximately $10 billion dollars per annum.

13.  Flood Damage Claims

Throughout recent years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has seen a fair share of flood damage claims accounting for approximately 2.4 million claims in the past 50 years, which amounts to an approximate figure of 70 billion dollars worth of payments. 

14.  Flood Insurance

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the US. However, market research suggests that 9 out of 10 US homes do not have flood insurance. When compared to other states, Minnesota and Utah have the lowest rate in terms of flood insurance; however, the number of flood-insured homes in these states are low. 

Sources and References


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