Southerners are more like to die from the effects of the weather than people living in any other region of the US.
But for all the attention garnered by catastrophic hurricanes such as Katrina and Andrew, simple heatwaves kill far more people than all natural disasters combined, according to a newly published county-by-county map of natural hazard deaths (see the maps here).
Other extreme summer hazards, such as floods, and cold winter weather also outranked hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires, according to geographers Kevin Borden and Susan Cutter, of the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Overall, natural disasters account for less than 5% of natural hazard deaths across the US.
Large cities like San Francisco and New York are among the safest places to live, but if city living isn't for you, the odds of dying from the weather are lowest in the Midwest.
Journal reference: International Journal of Health Geographics (in press)
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(12.17.2008, Ewen Callaway) http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16287-death-map-usa-natural-disaster-hotspots-revealed-.html