20 Years of Idaho Disasters:
A history of Idaho’s major disasters from 1976-1996
Natural disasters in Idaho occur in many forms. Wildfires and flooding are the two most common natural hazards that Idaho communities face, but Idaho has also experienced damage from earthquakes, a volcanic eruption, and a man-made engineering disaster (the Teton Dam Collapse). While natural hazards impact the state every year, only a few events receive a Federal Major Disaster Declaration from the U.S. President. Federal disaster declarations began in the U.S. in the 1950s to aid states with responding to and recovering from the most devastating disasters. Since the program began, 23 major disasters have been declared in Idaho with 6 occurring between 1976 and 1996. In addition to major disasters declarations, two federal emergency and ten fire management assistance declarations have been issued for Idaho since the 1950s.
*The IOEM would especially like to thank the Boise State University Special Collections and Idaho Statesman for providing high-quality digital images and newspaper clippings of major historical disasters in Idaho.
For summaries, stories, and images from the Idaho major disasters of 1976-1996 explore the links below: