So, you may be wondering what is a risk map? It's something that FEMA has created. To help the public understand the risks inherent to a specific area where you might live. I had no idea that these maps even existed, although logic would dictate that yes, they probably do. FEMA is pretty good at planning stuff, and they try to plan for everything. 

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FEMA has created something called the National Risk Index. According to,
The National Risk Index is a dataset and online tool to help illustrate the United States communities most at risk for 18 natural hazards. It was designed and built by FEMA in close collaboration with various stakeholders and partners in academia; local, state and federal government; and private industry.” 

Of the 18 natural hazards that they have listed, the one that is especially troubling for Washington state is earthquakes. See the map below.

When you look at the map, you'll notice that King County has the highest risk. With the second highest risk being Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties. I remember the Puget Sound earthquake of 1965. I was just getting ready to go to school and things started to shake. It was a 6.5 magnitude and freaked me out. (Kind of freaked out my parents too.) 

The map on the website is interactive so you can look at any possible problem. And you can measure things like community resilience. Check this out.

Based on this map you see that Okanogan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant and Adams counties are listed as very low community resilience. I have no idea what metrics they're using but it is a little troubling when you look at the map. 

The map on the website is interactive, so you can look at all sorts of different causes and effects and see where you might wind up. Click this link. Map | National Risk Index ( you can look anywhere in the USA, zoom in and see the risks for each area.

Needless to say, this is not a feel-good subject when you're surfing on the web, but it is good information to have at your fingertips.

Learn More | National Risk Index (
Natural Hazards | National Risk Index ( 

FEMA Just Shared Terrifying New Risk Maps for Missouri & Illinois (
Map | National Risk Index ( 

The 8 Worst Possible Disasters in Washington State

Gallery Credit: AJ Brewster

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF