How to Prep for Natural Disasters Based on U.S. Region

Natural disasters have many faces, patterns, and forms ― and your prepping should be just as diverse and versatile. You need to be able to adapt to whatever natural disaster you’ll be facing.

Now, you might be thinking, “Well, that’s easier said than done.” And indeed, we can’t agree more. The art of prepping, with all the planning and all, can be quite complicated let alone prepping to fit all types of natural disasters. But the thing is, it really doesn’t have to be. Luckily, you only have to worry about the types of disasters that occur in the area you live.

The point is, no matter how hard you try, you can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to prepping. Just like with a dress code ― what’s good during the freezing winter (like a thick wool sweater) might suck during scorching summer (help yourself and go for a summer outfit). Thus, you need to adapt and tailor your prepping to what suits you best.

We’ll go over some undeniable truths and what to expect when it comes to different types of natural disasters. And most importantly, you’ll know how to simplify (without losing the essentials) your prepping and what to focus on. In the end, you’ll be able to define what prepping approach suits you best based on the region of the U.S. you live in.

Let’s get to it!

The Power of Natural Disasters

According to the World Health Organization, natural disasters kill around 90,000 people and affect close to 160 million people worldwide every year. In the United States, the most dangerous natural disasters that occur yearly in different parts of the country include hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and earthquakes.

Tragic. But if there’s something we can learn from these numbers it’s the fact that nature can’t be trifled with. Throughout history, it has been one of the worst doom bringers for humanity. And just like this planet that we live in, they’ve been around way before us and most likely even after us. So, instead of ignoring it, let’s learn how to adapt and live with it.

It’s indisputable that natural disasters are here to stay whether we like it or not. But mind you, suffering doesn’t have to. For as long as we respect the power of nature and learn how not to be helpless in the face of a disaster, we’ll not only survive but above all, thrive!

Having a Tailored Prepping is Key

Now that you understand how serious natural disasters can be, let’s learn how to tailor your prepping ― from planning to implementing. It’s time you realize that prepping for a flood (if you’re in a coastal or sea-level area) hugely differs from prepping for an avalanche (if you’re high in the icy mountains). Similarly, people in the desert have an entirely different way of planning and surviving than those affected by hurricanes.

In other words, prepping is subjective depending on your lifestyle and where you find yourself.

Key Points to be aware of:

1) Your geographic location

This comes down to where you live. So, first, think about where you live in the country. Do you live above or at sea level? Are you surrounded by bodies of water or mountain range? Do you live in the plains where tornadoes are a threat?

2) Your environment’s temperature and climate

After knowing your location, familiarize yourself with the average temperature and its cycle. How hot do your summers get and how cold do your winters get? Does it rain often or is it dry almost the entire year?

3) Your area’s natural disaster history

Now that you understand how everyday life plays out in your respective area or location, time to take it one step further. It’s time to move on to the extremes. Recall, or if you’re new to the place, ask around and research the previous natural disasters ― what specific type of disaster it is, when does it usually occur, and when is the next one expected to happen. For unpredictable ones like earthquakes, at least you now know that it’s highly possible in your locality.

In the United States, the typical breakdown of natural disasters in various regions is as follows:

West (Pacific)

  • Earthquakes
  • Wildfires
  • Tsunami
  • Landslides
  • Hurricanes (Hawaii)

West (Mountain)

  • Earthquakes
  • Wildfires
  • Winter Storms


  • Tornadoes
  • Winter Storms
  • Earthquakes (Illinois, Missouri)
  • Wildfires (North Dakota, South Dakota)


  • Hurricanes/Flood
  • Tornadoes
  • Landslides (Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia)
  • Earthquakes (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana)

Mid-Atlantic/New England

  • Hurricanes
  • Winter Storms

What to Prioritize

Now you understand what your situation is and what type of natural disaster you are most likely to encounter. You have a location, a lifestyle, and a natural disaster. Here’s what you need to do next. Imagine yourself experiencing such a predicament right now. And let’s say hours or days have already passed yet it’s still ongoing. Ask yourself this question:

“What resource is highly in demand or most likely gone by now?”

For earthquakes, avalanches, or wildfires; it would be fire, shelter, plus security. During such disasters, it’s most likely that buildings are ravaged to pieces or burnt to ashes. Either way, having a means to start a fire (infinite uses like boosting morale other than the obvious) plus an alternative shelter like a tent, hammock, or even just a sleeping bag will make a big difference for your survival. And since people will be out there wandering in the open, having security items like guns (train and know your laws) and knives (learn how not to cut yourself) will give you more ease of mind. Just don’t be the menacing, paranoid type of person.

For floods and storms, it would be electricity. Power lines are shut down proactively for safety purposes but could also be damaged due to the strong wind and heavy rain. Either way, having a back-up power source like generators or extra batteries should be your priority.

For extreme temperatures resulting in frost, drought, or heatwaves; it would be shelter as a means of protection from the harsh environment. On top of that, for drought or heat waves, you’ll need more water than usual so stockpile while you can.

Now, these are some examples of the possibilities to get you into thinking how you should anticipate and prepare for any disaster you’ll have to deal in the future.

Here is a link to prepackaged survival kits based on typical natural disasters you may encounter. Consider what region of the United States you live in and base your preparation on what is most likely to impact you.

Additional resources:

Keep in Mind

Whatever disaster you’re preparing for, don’t neglect your basic physiological needs (water, food, shelter). Having these items should be logical and should go without saying. The difference of prepping based on the type of disaster mainly lies in which supplies you should have more of to meet the demand that might arise without discarding the other essentials.

Final Thoughts

Our world is full of all sorts of natural disasters. And they show us just how small we are in this vast land we call earth and that nature always reigns supreme. It’s up to us to stay humble and respect its ravaging power. But that doesn’t mean we have to be complacent and helpless. For if we can learn how to adapt, know how to anticipate, and always hone our prepping and survival skills; nature is here for us, not against us.

Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. ―Joseph Campbell

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