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As Hurricane Laura Pummels the Gulf Coast, Find Out Which States Receive the Most Disaster Aid

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Hurricane Laura made landfall on Aug. 27 as a Category 4 storm with winds of 150 mph, devastating areas of Louisiana and far eastern Texas, CNN reported. Many homes and other structures were damaged by the high winds and at least four people have died. Unfortunately, hurricanes and other storms are common occurrences in Louisiana and Texas, which both made GOBankingRates’ list of states that receive the most disaster aid.

So where is the right place to live if you’re trying to avoid the sort of major emergency that can disrupt your life for weeks, even months at a time? GOBankingRates set out to answer that question by conducting a study of which states received the most federal disaster funds over the previous five fiscal years. While the disasters you have to worry about will differ from place to place, noting just how much financial support was shelled out in response is one way to see which areas might have a greater risk for you and your family over time.

Here’s a closer look at those states that have required the most disaster aid in recent history. Use the information to protect yourself from devastating natural disasters.

Last updated: Aug. 27, 2020

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Nebraska

  • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $1,000,000
  • Average disaster aid received annually: $125,000
  • Number of disasters since 1953: 72
  • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $17,000,000

jimkruger / iStock.com

Minnesota

  • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $1,000,000
  • Average disaster aid received annually: $125,000
  • Number of disasters since 1953: 74
  • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $0

EJJohnsonPhotography / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Maine

    • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $1,000,000
    • Average disaster aid received annually: $125,000
    • Number of disasters since 1953: 62
    • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $12,000,000

    tacojim / iStock.com

    Illinois

    • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $2,000,000
    • Average disaster aid received annually: $250,000
    • Number of disasters since 1953: 63
    • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $252,000,000

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    faustasyan / Shutterstock.com

    District of Columbia

    • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $4,000,000
    • Average disaster aid received annually: $500,000
    • Number of disasters since 1953: 22
    • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $56,000,000

    Delaware

    • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $8,000,000
    • Average disaster aid received annually: $1,000,000
    • Number of disasters since 1953: 23
    • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $5,000,000

    Yelantsevv / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    Kentucky

    • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $9,000,000
    • Average disaster aid received annually: $1,125,000
    • Number of disasters since 1953: 80
    • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $54,000,000

    Joesboy / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    South Dakota

      • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $12,000,000
      • Average disaster aid received annually: $1,500,000
      • Number of disasters since 1953: 81
      • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $0

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      New Hampshire

      • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $13,000,000
      • Average disaster aid received annually: $1,625,000
      • Number of disasters since 1953: 55
      • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $18,000,000

      plherrera / iStock.com

      Arkansas

        • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $14,000,000
        • Average disaster aid received annually: $1,750,000
        • Number of disasters since 1953: 76
        • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $0

        Rhode Island

        • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $25,000,000
        • Average disaster aid received annually: $3,125,000
        • Number of disasters since 1953: 25
        • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $19,000,000

        BackyardProduction / Getty Images/iStockphoto

        West Virginia

        • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $26,000,000
        • Average disaster aid received annually: $3,250,000
        • Number of disasters since 1953: 73
        • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $9,000,000

        Ohio

          • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $28,000,000
          • Average disaster aid received annually: $3,500,000
          • Number of disasters since 1953: 59
          • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $73,000,000

          LornaWu / iStock.com

          Massachusetts

          • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $29,000,000
          • Average disaster aid received annually: $3,625,000
          • Number of disasters since 1953: 54
          • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $65,000,000

          See: Here’s How Much First Responders Make in Every State

          EyeJoy / iStock.com

          Maryland

          • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $57,000,000
          • Average disaster aid received annually: $7,125,000
          • Number of disasters since 1953: 36
          • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $44,000,000

          wbritten / Getty Images/iStockphoto

          Tennessee

          • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $93,000,000
          • Average disaster aid received annually: $11,625,000
          • Number of disasters since 1953: 75
          • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $131,000,000

          William Thomas Cain / Getty Images

          Pennsylvania

            • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $128,000,000
            • Average disaster aid received annually: $16,000,000
            • Number of disasters since 1953: 62
            • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $60,000,000

            Storm / Flickr.com

            Vermont

              • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $145,000,000
              • Average disaster aid received annually: $18,125,000
              • Number of disasters since 1953: 50
              • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $8,000,000

              Rob Crandall / Shutterstock.com

              Virginia

                • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $151,000,000
                • Average disaster aid received annually: $18,875,000
                • Number of disasters since 1953: 69
                • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $176,000,000

                Spencer Platt / Getty Images

                Connecticut

                  • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $155,000,000
                  • Average disaster aid received annually: $19,375,000
                  • Number of disasters since 1953: 35
                  • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $24,000,000

                  Tom Pennington / Getty Images

                  Alabama

                  • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $167,000,000
                  • Average disaster aid received annually: $20,875,000
                  • Number of disasters since 1953: 89
                  • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $19,000,000

                  David Greedy / Getty Images

                  Iowa

                  • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $180,000,000
                  • Average disaster aid received annually: $22,500,000
                  • Number of disasters since 1953: 70
                  • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $71,000,000

                  Scott Olson / Getty Images

                  North Dakota

                  • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $186,000,000
                  • Average disaster aid received annually: $23,250,000
                  • Number of disasters since 1953: 63
                  • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $9,000,000

                  Julie Denesha / Getty Images

                  Missouri

                  • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $211,000,000
                  • Average disaster aid received annually: $26,375,000
                  • Number of disasters since 1953: 73
                  • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $26,000,000

                  erick4x4 / iStock.com

                  Colorado

                  • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $228,000,000
                  • Average disaster aid received annually: $28,500,000
                  • Number of disasters since 1953: 93
                  • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $207,000,000

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                  Barry Williams / Getty Images

                  Mississippi

                  • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $393,000,000
                  • Average disaster aid received annually: $49,125,000
                  • Number of disasters since 1953: 81
                  • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $54,000,000

                  Drew Angerer / Getty Images

                  Georgia

                    • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $760,000,000
                    • Average disaster aid received annually: $95,000,000
                    • Number of disasters since 1953: 70
                    • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $69,000,000

                    Brian Blanco / Getty Images

                    South Carolina

                      • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $810,000,000
                      • Average disaster aid received annually: $101,250,000
                      • Number of disasters since 1953: 38
                      • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $70,000,000

                      Sean Rayford / Getty Images

                      North Carolina

                        • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $2,369,000,000
                        • Average disaster aid received annually: $296,125,000
                        • Number of disasters since 1953: 69
                        • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $30,000,000

                        JPhilipson / iStock.com

                        California

                          • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $3,003,000,000
                          • Average disaster aid received annually: $375,375,000
                          • Number of disasters since 1953: 323
                          • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $996,000,000

                          Mario Tama / Getty Images

                          New Jersey

                          • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $3,776,000,000
                          • Average disaster aid received annually: $472,000,000
                          • Number of disasters since 1953: 53
                          • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $402,000,000

                          Mario Tama / Getty Images

                          Louisiana

                          • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $8,507,000,000
                          • Average disaster aid received annually: $1,063,375,000
                          • Number of disasters since 1953: 87
                          • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $139,000,000

                          Mark Wilson / Getty Images

                          Texas

                          • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $8,973,000,000
                          • Average disaster aid received annually: $1,121,625,000
                          • Number of disasters since 1953: 358
                          • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $394,000,000

                          Joe Raedle / Getty Images

                          Florida

                          • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $9,025,000,000
                          • Average disaster aid received annually: $1,128,125,000
                          • Number of disasters since 1953: 159
                          • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $106,000,000

                          Allison Joyce / Getty Images

                          New York

                            • Total aid received 2013-2020 (projected): $19,460,000,000
                            • Average disaster aid received annually: $2,432,500,000
                            • Number of disasters since 1953: 101
                            • COVID-19 aid received (through April): $1,090,000,000

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                            Erica Corbin and Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting of this article.

                            Methodology: To find the states that receive the most disaster aid every year, GOBankingRates analyzed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund reports to Congress for the fiscal years 2013-2020. GOBankingRates used full annual reports for FYs 2013-2019 and the May 2020 Report for the fiscal year 2020, which includes obligations through April and FEMA’s estimated projected spending through the end of the fiscal year. GOBankingRates found the total amount FEMA committed to each state in obligations in every fiscal year (October-September). Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia were found to have received at least $1 million in aid from FEMA in the period. These states and D.C. were then ranked by the average amount of aid they received in disaster relief fund obligations from FEMA per year. The state averaging the highest amount from FEMA each year was ranked No. 1, and the state receiving the least, No. 35. Aid obligated in relation to the COVID-19 crisis was omitted from state totals to account for the unusual nature of the disaster and considerable skew its inclusion would introduce to the final ranking. COVID-19 aid data is provided separately. GOBankingRates also provided information on the total number of disasters that have occurred in each state since record-keeping began in 1953, according to FEMA’s disaster declarations data. All data was collected on and up to date as of May 21, 2020.