Last year’s hurricane season was highly active, with more than twice as many named storms as average. Experts are predicting an even more severe year for 2018. Hurricanes have often been a deadly and highly damaging force. Among the most historic and damaging hurricanes in US history:

Hurricane Maria – September 16, 2017

A new report from the New England Journal of Medicine puts the death toll of this storm at nearly 5,000, making it the deadliest storm in over a century. Maria was part of a hurricane season that brought six major hurricanes. The fact that many of these storms hit the same areas led to increased damage and deaths.

The Great Galveston Storm – August 27, 1900

This 1900 storm has remained the deadliest in American history. Between 8,000 and 12,000 people lost their lives in the thriving coastal city. Survivors said that the storm formed quickly, leaving little time to prepare.

The Okeechobee Hurricane – September 6, 1928

This 1928 storm tore through Puerto Rico and then Palm Springs, Florida. Over 18 inches of rain fell in under a day. The amount was enough to flood the shores of Lake Okeechobee. Winds blew the waters further south, where they flooded homes and led to 3,000 deaths.

Hurricane Katrina – August 23, 2005

Hurricane Katrina tore through Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in 2005, leaving 1,833 dead in its wake. Much of the damage occurred after historic flooding breached the levees outside New Orleans. Massive damage and flooding from the storm led to tens of thousands of survivors seeking refuge in the Superdome, which was unable to provide adequate shelter.

The Great October Storm – October 15, 1987

Also known as the Chenière Caminada Hurricane, this 1893 storm decimated a Louisiana fishing town. It is estimated that nearly everyone living in the community died during the massive hurricane, for a total of nearly 1,400 deaths. Additionally, structures including a local resort hotel, the Post Office, a shrimp cannery and the local school were destroyed.

While storms cannot be prevented, we can keep our homes, businesses and families safe through careful preparedness efforts. More advanced weather modeling, combined with careful hurricane planning can help us prepare to weather storms safely with as little loss as possible. If you are in an area affected by hurricanes, making plans now can save money and lives later on.

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