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What are the chances the weather will kill you?

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 9:07am MDT
What are the odds that a weather event will be your undoing?  Image courtesy WeatherGeekStuff.com.

What are the odds that a weather event will be your undoing? Image courtesy WeatherGeekStuff.com.

In an interesting piece from the National Safety Council, they outline many of the unnatural ways you could die and what the chances are that they would actually happen. The good news is that weather most likely won’t kill you. The bad news is there are lots of other ways that you have a better chance of dying from. 

Over your lifetime, the NSC calculates you have a 1 in 22 chance (YIKES!) that you will die from something other than natural causes. Motor vehicle accidents are probably the most common way with a 1 in 84 chance you will die in a crash. Hmmm. I think I will walk home – at least then my chances jump to 1 in 267! 

As for the weather and other disasters…
  • Your chances of being struck by lightning and dying? 1 in 81,949. Pretty slim odds there. You are more likely to drown in your own bath tub (1 in 11,079). 
  • What about earthquakes, the one natural disaster that scares me more than any? 1 in 103,004 chance you will die in a temblor. That’s about the same as dying from overexertion (1 in 119,098). I guess maybe I am relatively safe from those after all, especially since I don’t live in California anymore!
  • What about the chances of dying in a major storm? Not looking too good there – a 1 in 4,361 chance you will die that way. Talk about Mother Nature’s wrath!  That’s about the same chance as you dying from choking on your dinner (1 in 4,411). 
  • Flooding can be a concern in some areas of the nation. You have a 1 in 317,595 chance of dying that way. You have a better chance of dying from electrocution from a live power source than that (1 in 36,297). 
  • All in all, the statistics say that you have a 1 in 1,749 chance of dying from some force of nature, about the same odds of dying from assault with a sharp weapon (1 in 1,817). 
I suppose those aren’t too bad of odds, especially when contrasted with every day dangers such as driving a car like we mentioned above. Other every day dangers that give you a good chance of taking a dirt nap? You have a 1 in 1,456 chance of dying in an uncontrolled building fire. Heading to the hospital? You have a 1 in 1,437 chance of dying from medical / surgical complications. That mean, neighbor dog? You have a 1 in 115,489 chance that it or another dog will kill you. 
In the end, weather probably shouldn’t worry you too much.  Do you have a weather or natural disaster fear?  Let us know!  Leave a comment below!
This article was also posted to the Denver Weather Examiner site. Get more local news and information on Examiner.com.  Denver Weather Examiner

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