Infographic: How high is your family's risk in a disaster?

Publication Date: November 3, 2020


Infographic showing increased impact disasters have on familiesClick the image to see the full size.

How many disasters happen in the United States?

Since 2002, an average of 151 federally recognized disasters and emergencies strike the U.S. each year.

Do you live in a disaster zone?

The answer is yes. While some areas are more disaster-prone than others, a disaster can happen anywhere, any time. And when disasters hit, low-income families are more likely to suffer losses and injuries.

Children are 25% of the U.S. population and families with children are largely impacted by disasters.

  • Affordable housing is often in older buildings at greater risk of damage or destruction in a disaster.
  • Research shows that families with children face greater challenges recovering from disaster.
  • Disasters can shut down services that families depend on, like schools, Head Start centers, and child care.
  • Studies show that disasters can cause an increase in rates of poverty in affected areas.
  • What is the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) doing to help?
  • ACF helps families get back on their feet after a disaster by funding and working with other programs to provide emergency child care, disaster case management for each survivor, and disaster preparedness and response training.


1. U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Disaster Declarations by Year.”
2. U.S. Census Bureau, "USA QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau,"
3. Uniformed Services University School of Medicine, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, “Disaster and Poverty: Natural Disasters Disproportionately Affect the World’s Poor,”
4. United Nations Population Fund, “Urbanization and Sustainability in the 21st Century: The Katrina Disaster in New Orleans,”
5. Sadovich, J. & White, J. (2012). “Human Services in Disasters and Public Health Emergencies: Social Disruption, Individual Empowerment, and Community Resilience,” in Veenema, T.G., ed., Disaster Nursing and Emergency Preparedness for Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Terrorism and Other Hazards, 3rd ed. (New York: Springer), 79-87.
6. Cutter, S.L., Burton, C.G., & Emrich, C.T. (2010). “Disaster Resilience Indicators for Benchmarking Baseline Conditions.” Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management 7.1.