As climate change drives weather to greater extremes, and devastating hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, and blizzards preoccupy an increasing number of Americans, it is hard to avoid comparing the reality of everyday news coverage to the computer-generated images seen in disaster movies.

Over the last 50 years, natural disasters have become five times more common due to climate change, according to the World Meteorological Organization. They’ve also become more economically debilitating—the five most expensive climate disasters in American history have all taken place over the last two decades.

The increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters means that the need for emergency evacuation and shelter plans has never been greater. According to the Federal Emergency Management Association, understanding your climate risk, or proximity to probable natural disaster, is an important first step for making a plan. Tools like the Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation allow you to assess your risk by location.

Knowing where nearby emergency shelters are located is another way to prepare for the worst. In the event of flooding, hurricane-level winds, or other disasters, emergency shelters offer a place to sleep, and also often provide food, water, and first aid services.

Stacker examined the Department of Homeland Security’s National Shelter System Facilities database to identify the counties with the most emergency shelters in Rhode Island. Counties are ranked by emergency shelters per 100K people, with total capacity per 100K people serving as a tiebreaker.

Rhode Island Attorney General // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Kent County

– Emergency shelters per 100K people: 11.2 (19 shelters in database)
– Emergency shelter capacity per 100K: 3,881,790 people (6,573,617 total capacity)
– Shelters with generators: 5
– Shelters in 100-year floodplain: 0

Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Providence County

– Emergency shelters per 100K people: 13.1 (86 shelters in database)
– Emergency shelter capacity per 100K: 4,542,683 people (29,830,529 total capacity)
– Shelters with generators: 20
– Shelters in 100-year floodplain: 3

Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Bristol County

– Emergency shelters per 100K people: 13.8 (7 shelters in database)
– Emergency shelter capacity per 100K: 4,754,002 people (2,408,948 total capacity)
– Shelters with generators: 4
– Shelters in 100-year floodplain: 0

Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Newport County

– Emergency shelters per 100K people: 25.7 (22 shelters in database)
– Emergency shelter capacity per 100K: 8,963,351 people (7,665,906 total capacity)
– Shelters with generators: 4
– Shelters in 100-year floodplain: 0

Marcbela (Marc N. Belanger) // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Washington County

– Emergency shelters per 100K people: 26.2 (34 shelters in database)
– Emergency shelter capacity per 100K: 9,120,842 people (11,832,925 total capacity)
– Shelters with generators: 7
– Shelters in 100-year floodplain: 0

This story was written by Stacker and has been re-published pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

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Stacker

This story was written by Stacker and has been re-published pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License. Founded in 2017, Stacker combines data analysis with rich editorial context, drawing on authoritative...