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Is Florida Prone To Natural Disasters?

Is Florida Prone To Natural Disasters?

If You’re Thinking About Moving To Florida Or Visiting The State, Read This First. 

Florida is the state in the US farthest to the Southeast. A coastal state that is hundreds of miles long, Florida borders the Atlantic ocean and the states of Alabama to the West and Georgia to the East. Florida is famous for its diverse and flat terrain, with the state containing large freshwater lakes, swamps, and beaches. The state is also known for its high production of oranges and as the location of Walt Disney World and the famous Kennedy Space Center. Whether you’re going for the climate, the landscape, or the attractions, there are plenty of reasons to visit or move to Florida.

However, Florida’s flat terrain and warm climate make it susceptible to several forms of natural disasters. In this article, we’ll cover the different types of natural disasters that often occur in Florida so that you’ll know what to be prepared for if you visit the state or move there long-term.

Florida’s Hurricanes 

Florida’s climate and its coastal location make the state highly prone to hurricanes. A hurricane forms over the ocean when certain weather conditions create a large, fast-moving storm. If this storm reaches the shore, it can bring enough heavy rain to quickly cause flooding, as well as fast and destructive winds. Tropical storms are common in Florida, and they occasionally become hurricanes when a storm’s winds reach 74 miles per hour and higher. 

If you find yourself in the midst of a hurricane, seek shelter either in your home or in a public evacuation center. In many circumstances, staying in your home is a safer option than seeking shelter elsewhere. If you are seeking shelter in your home during a hurricane, the safest place to go is a central room away from windows, which can be broken by debris thrown around by high winds. If your home is flooding due to a hurricane, seek the safest, highest point possible while still maintaining an exit route. 

In the aftermath of a hurricane, emergency supplies can help you and your family recover. Make sure your emergency preparedness kit includes masks and work gloves, which are both necessary for protecting yourself from debris left behind by the hurricane. Stay away from flooded areas as much as possible, and prioritize your own safety and the safety of others over preserving your property. 

Tornadoes In Florida 

Because Florida’s terrain is extremely flat, the state is also prone to tornadoes. Tornadoes can either form on land or over water, and they typically result from the high winds and mix of cold and warm air that occur in thunderstorms. Tornadoes normally occur in Florida during the Spring and Summer. 

When a tornado hits, the safest place to go in your home is a basement or other windowless room that is far away from windows. As with hurricanes, the high winds caused by a tornado can pick up and throw debris, down trees, and cause significant damage to homes. If a window breaks during a tornado, always wait until you know the tornado has passed, and you’re safe to attempt to make a repair. For making quick repairs in the aftermath of a tornado, stash a roll of duct tape in your home’s emergency kit. Duct tape can be applied to holes and leaks to patch them up until you have access to the resources needed to make long-term repairs.

Florida’s Wildfires 

In addition to being highly susceptible to hurricanes and tornadoes, the state of Florida also experiences wildfires yearly. Wildfires often necessitate home evacuation and can quickly overtake thousands of acres of land. A wildfire may be started by an instance of human negligence and carelessness, or by natural causes like a lightning strike. 

Wildfires are most common in Florida in the spring and summer months. In these seasons, the weather is especially hot, and droughts can occur easily. The more dry brush there is on the ground, the quicker a wildfire can spread, and in the past Florida, has been dramatically affected by the fast-moving spread of wildfires through its forests.

If a wildfire forces you to evacuate your home, it’s essential to have emergency supplies pre-packed and ready in an easy-to-carry bag. Your emergency kit should be able to sustain you and your family for up to 72 hours if you are forced to evacuate your home. Stock your emergency kit with non-perishable food and water, medical supplies, power-free sources of light, and wearable items to keep you warm and dry.

How To Build An Emergency Kit For Florida’s Natural Disasters

If you live in Florida, it’s extremely important to be prepared for the state’s frequent natural disasters. This means having both a well-practiced evacuation plan for leaving your home in a hurry and a well-stocked emergency preparedness kit to take with you or make use of in your home. Your emergency kit can come in handy in dealing with everyday household injuries and accidents, as well as in larger-scale crises like natural disasters. 

One of the important items to pack in your emergency preparedness kit is a reliable source of food that won’t go bad. If you live in Florida, you may experience a situation where you need to quickly evacuate your home and can only take a few things with you. In these times, it’s essential to have food ready that won’t go bad or require refrigeration. Opt for something high in calories that is small and lightweight, easy to store in even a small emergency bag

In addition to backup food, your emergency kit needs to be stocked with supplies to protect you and your family from rain and cold. Since tornadoes and hurricanes are common in Florida, you’ll want to make sure you have ponchos packed with your emergency supplies so that you can stay dry if heavy rain is falling during a storm. Along with ponchos, stock your emergency kit with heat-reflecting emergency blankets, which are lightweight and easy to wrap around yourself in a pinch to help your body retain warmth. 

Make sure your emergency preparedness kit also contains supplies to keep you and your family germ-free if you end up needing to seek shelter in a public shelter. N95-style masks are extremely helpful for filtering out germs and for avoiding breathing in smoke and dust that might be produced by fires or other emergencies. In addition to masks, you’ll want to pack hand sanitizer and wet wipes to keep your hands clean if you don’t have access to soap and water. If you need to seek shelter in a public place with many strangers, it’s important to practice good personal hygiene, keeping your hands clean, and wearing a mask if possible to avoid the spread of germs. Packing these items in your emergency kit ensures you’ll have them ready if you need them.

If you’re thinking of visiting Florida or moving to the state, or if you already live there, you’ll benefit greatly from keeping an emergency kit on standby. Your kit can come in handy in many circumstances, not just natural disasters, and it’s worth taking with you when you travel to the state of Florida or, if you’re a local, keeping ready in your home. Stock your emergency kit with everything you and your family need to stay safe and healthy and ride out a crisis, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be ready if the worst happens.

Sources:

https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-are-hurricanes-k4.html

https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

https://www.tampabay.com/weather/2020/05/22/better-sit-down-florida-were-more-prone-to-tornadoes-than-you-think/

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