Hurricanes span over large areas that cause billions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses. What parts of the country don’t have to worry about hurricanes and their damage?

The states that have not experienced direct hurricanes at hurricane status are:

AlaskaIowaMissouriNorth DakotaUtah
IllinoisMichiganNevadaSouth DakotaWyoming
IndianaMinnesotaNew MexicoTennessee

Even though a hurricane has never hit these states, many still suffer from the remnants of the storms and even experience storms combining. 

Effects of Hurricanes on States

While all the states mentioned have not been directly hit by a hurricane, that doesn’t mean that they haven’t experienced the effects of a hurricane. 

Here are things that states can experience while not directly being hit during an active hurricane or a tropical storm or depression:

  • Storm surge in coastal areas
  • Heavy rain
  • Strong winds
  • Flooding

These are just some weather occurrences that can happen as a hurricane starts passing over land. 

A hurricane will quickly lose hurricane status once it hits land because it doesn’t have warm water to fuel it. They will weaken and dissipate.

Very rarely will a hurricane maintain hurricane status while over land. One that had was Hurricane Hazel in 1954. 

Remnants of Hurricanes

While the hurricane is not an active storm that cannot even be classified as a tropical depression, the after-effects of hurricanes can cause severe damage.

Things the remnants of hurricanes can cause are

  • Heavy rainfall
  • Flooding
  • Wind damage
  • Downed trees
  • Power outages
  • Tornadoes outside of Tornado Alley

Hurricane remnants have even caused snow, such as Hurricane Lester in 1992 in Colorado.

There are no states that have not been affected in some way by remnants of hurricanes. Even states as far north as Alaska.

Remnants of hurricanes can cause more damage than hurricanes because many areas they hit are unprepared. Homes are now being built to withstand hurricanes.

Hurricane-Like Phenomena

Hurricanes, also known as tropical cyclones, are unique to the Atlantic and Eastern and Central Pacific Oceans and will have different names depending on where they originate.

Such as typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean and cyclones in the Indian Ocean.

Even though many states don’t get hit by hurricanes, some phenomena have occurred over the years that share the qualities of hurricanes.

Inland Hurricanes

Inland hurricanes, also knowns as Derechos, are nowhere near as common as hurricanes but need to be taken seriously because of the extensive damage they can cause.

Hurricanes need winds at 74 MPH to be classified as a hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. 

Derechos have winds of at least 58 MPH and have a path of at least 250 miles long. They have straight winds and form over land. They are caused by downbursts when a regular thunderstorm meets the cold air in the upper atmosphere. They can also cause green skies.

There have been Derechos in most midwestern states, including Iowa, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Hurricane Huron

“Hurricane Huron” was on September 11, 1996. 

It was a storm that started north of Lake Michigan. As it crossed over the lake, it gained tropical storm winds and had peak winds of 73 MPH.

So technically, it was just 1 MPH below the requirement, but it had the same curved wind pattern as a hurricane.

Pacific Northwest “Hurricanes”

While not a hurricane, the Columbus Day Storm of 1962 was a severe storm that hit Oregon and Washington state. Normally hurricanes don’t go that high up the Pacific coast.

This storm had hurricane-force winds recorded as high as 138 MPH!

The Pacific Northwest was also hit by the Great Coastal Gale of 2007, which was when three storms, including the remnants of two typhoons, combined. 

This was like the Pacific coast’s version of the 1991 Perfect Storm.

Natural Disasters and Phenomena Similar to Hurricanes

When it is or isn’t hurricane season, there are still many types of natural disasters United States residents need to know about and be prepared for.

Wyoming is also known for its strong wind gusts. If you drive along any major road in Wyoming, like I-80, you’ll see high wind warning signs.

What to do Before a Hurricane

If you talk to anyone who has been a victim of a hurricane and devastated by its effects, they’ll tell you to be prepared in any way possible.

  • Make sure all your insurance is up to date. This includes flood, homeowners, and auto insurance.
  • Be prepared to evacuate. Have bags packed with food, clothes, and boots ready to evacuate to a safe place. Put your stuff in waterproof bags.
  • Lift all electronics and valuables off the floor. This will hopefully prevent them from being ruined if there is flooding.
  • Board up your windows and put sandbags where water can get in. This will prevent the glass from shattering and water from entering your home.
  • Have enough food, clean water, and medicine for seven days. Also, pack a radio and flashlight.

Emergency preparedness is essential for any extreme weather, even in a state like Montana or Minnesota, with low natural disaster risk.


If you want to avoid experiencing hurricanes, or an evacuation for one, it is best to avoid any coastal state on the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean and maybe move inland.