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These states are at the biggest risk of disaster

These states are at the biggest risk of disaster
Source: CoreLogic2014

Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes—depending on where you live in the United States, natural disasters can be a way of life.

But some places are at greater risk than others, based on both geography and geology.

The impact is meaningful, particularly when it comes to costs like insuring a home. According to the Insurance Information Institute, at least seven natural disasters in U.S. history have led to insured losses in excess of $10 billion.

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Data analytics company CoreLogic compiled a "hazard risk score" for the continental United States, analyzing which places were at the highest risk of nine disaster types: flood, wildfire, tornado, storm surge, earthquake, straight-line winds, hurricane winds, hail and sinkholes.

(In the map at left, the areas in red are those that generally draw the largest risk scores).

These are the five states at the highest risk, according to CoreLogic.

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—By staff
First posted 11 Sept. 2014

Guy Vanderelst | Getty Images

Florida topped the list by a wide margin, with a risk score of 94.51 out of 100, almost 15 points higher than the next state.

"Florida's high level of risk is driven by the potential for hurricane winds and storm surge damage along its extensive Atlantic and Gulf coastline, as well as the added potential for sinkholes, flooding and wildfires," Howard Botts, vice president and chief scientist for CoreLogic Spatial Solutions, said in a release.

Florida was struck by some of the costliest disasters in history, including Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Hurricane Wilma in 2005.

Rhode Island
State House in Providence, Rhode Island
Yiming Chen | Moment Mobile | Getty Images

Of all the places you might expect to be at risk, Rhode Island does not usually come to mind. But the state had a risk score of 79.67 on CoreLogic's list.

The state has a record of vulnerability to hail, flood and high winds, thanks in part to its coastal proximity.

Jazz musicians help to celebrate the beginning of Mardi Gras in The French Quarter of New Orleans.
Ray Laskowitz | Lonely Planet Images | Getty Images

Louisiana rates third on the disaster list with a score of 79.23.

The state has a long history of being struck by hurricanes in particular, including 2005's Katrina, which caused $41.1 billion in insured losses.

A 6.0 earthquake shook Northern California on Aug 24, 2014 causing wide scale damage including the wine industry in Napa.
Justin Solomon | CNBC

Despite its well-known earthquake risks, California only comes in fourth on the list with a score of 75.56.

The Northridge quake in 1994 caused more than $12 billion in insured losses, though the impact was muted by the fact that most California homeowners are not insured for quake damage.

More recently, an earthquake in Northern California in August 2014 caused some damage in the state's wine-producing region.

Boston, Massachusetts
Tony Shi Photography | Moment Open | Getty Images

Massachusetts is another state that seems less obviously at risk for natural disasters, but it scores fifth at 72.12.

The state is frequently hit by tropical storms, coastal floods and even the occasional tornado, such as the highly damaging event in the western part of the state in 2011.