15 Most Hurricane-Vulnerable Counties In 2024 | Old North State Wealth News
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15 Most Hurricane-Vulnerable Counties in 2024

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on LawnStarter.

Which U.S. counties are most likely to be impacted by hurricanes?

LawnStarter has ranked 2024’s Most Hurricane-Vulnerable Counties. We considered hurricane risk assessments and anticipated financial loss from hurricanes according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

We also included the past 10 years of historical storm data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and access to national disaster debris recovery facilities.

See where the most hurricane-vulnerable U.S. counties are in the following ranking. To learn how we ranked the counties, see our methodology at the end.

1. Broward County, FL

Hurricane Irma hits Fort Lauderdale, Florida
FotoKina / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 74.57
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 3
  • Hurricane History Rank: 26
  • Financial Impact Rank: 2
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 248

2. Palm Beach County, FL

West Palm Beach, Florida flooding
Meagan Marchant / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 73.66
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 4
  • Hurricane History Rank: 26
  • Financial Impact Rank: 3
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 268

3. Charleston County, SC

Charleston, South Carolina
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 68.04
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 9
  • Hurricane History Rank: 2
  • Financial Impact Rank: 8
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 257

4. Miami-Dade County, FL

thunderstorm lightning in Miami, Florida
gary718 / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 66.75
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 2
  • Hurricane History Rank: 86
  • Financial Impact Rank: 4
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 287

5. Horry County, SC

Myrtle Beach South Carolina beach homes
StacieStauffSmith Photos / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 66.13
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 11
  • Hurricane History Rank: 2
  • Financial Impact Rank: 11
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 212

6. Beaufort County, SC

Coligny Beach in Hilton Head, South Carolina
Helioscribe / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 64.74
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 21
  • Hurricane History Rank: 2
  • Financial Impact Rank: 18
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 186

7. Berkeley County, SC

Car crushed under tree, tree branch after a storm.
4.murat / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 62.24
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 32
  • Hurricane History Rank: 2
  • Financial Impact Rank: 31
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 223

8. Chatham County, GA

Savannah, Georgia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 61.89
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 13
  • Hurricane History Rank: 19
  • Financial Impact Rank: 12
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 260

9. Onslow County, NC

Birds flying over Pier Topsail Island Beach in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Anya Douglas / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 60.49
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 23
  • Hurricane History Rank: 19
  • Financial Impact Rank: 20
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 66

10. Dorchester County, SC

Flooded home
IrinaK / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 60.45
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 46
  • Hurricane History Rank: 2
  • Financial Impact Rank: 47
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 194

11. Brevard County, FL

Melbourne, Florida
Stephen Wood / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 60.19
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 7
  • Hurricane History Rank: 57
  • Financial Impact Rank: 7
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 205

12. Georgetown County, SC

The boardwalk along the river in Georgetown, SC with the marina in the background.
Joe Herlong / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 59.09
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 60
  • Hurricane History Rank: 2
  • Financial Impact Rank: 56
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 194

13. New Hanover County, NC

Linemen working in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence
MicheleMidnight / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 58.00
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 15
  • Hurricane History Rank: 45
  • Financial Impact Rank: 13
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 131

14. Orange County, FL

Orlando, Florida
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 56.60
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 22
  • Hurricane History Rank: 30
  • Financial Impact Rank: 24
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 257

15. Harris County, TX

Galveston Texas historical homes
Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock.com
  • Overall Score: 56.36
  • Hurricane Risk Rank: 1
  • Hurricane History Rank: 296
  • Financial Impact Rank: 1
  • Disaster Cleanup Rank: 317

Methodology

A man studies financial data at his computer
NicoElNino / Shutterstock.com

First, we determined the factors (metrics) that are most relevant to rank the Most Hurricane-Vulnerable Counties. We then assigned a weight to each factor based on its importance and grouped those factors into four categories: Hurricane Risk, Hurricane History, Financial Impact, and Disaster Cleanup. Here are the factors:

  • Hurricane Risk Score
  • Total Number of Hurricanes (Last 10 Years)
  • Number of Category 5 Hurricanes (Last 10 Years)
  • Number of Category 4 Hurricanes (Last 10 Years)
  • Number of Category 3 Hurricanes (Last 10 Years)
  • Number of Category 2 Hurricanes (Last 10 Years)
  • Number of Category 1 Hurricanes (Last 10 Years)
  • Expected Annual Loss from Hurricane
  • Number of National Disaster Debris Recovery Facilities (EPA 2023)

For each of the 317 U.S. counties with a Hurricane Risk Score determined by FEMA, we then gathered data on each factor.

Finally, we calculated scores (out of 100 points) for each county to determine its rank in each factor, each category, and overall. A county’s Overall Score is the average of its scores across all factors and categories. The highest Overall Score ranked “Best” (No. 1).

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