Over 21 million individuals reside in Florida. Many of those Floridians have skilled pure disasters akin to hurricanes and flooding firsthand. Nonetheless, many Florida residents don’t understand simply what number of completely different pure disasters can happen within the state or how the danger for some disasters is growing.

Right here we are going to go over what pure disasters happen in Florida, the worst pure disasters to hit the state since 2000, and what may be finished to organize.

Is Florida At Threat of Pure Disasters?

In comparison with the remainder of the nation, Florida has a medium-high threat of pure disasters. Excluding COVID, there have been 93 catastrophe declarations in Florida State since 2000. Of those, 32 have been Main Catastrophe Declarations. There have been 50 catastrophe occasions affecting Florida, which triggered greater than $1 billion in damages.

Since 2000:

  • 93 catastrophe declarations
  • 32 Main Catastrophe Declarations
  • 50 occasions that triggered $1 billion or extra in damages

Worst Pure Disasters in Florida Since 2000

Since 2000, the worst pure disasters in Florida have been hurricanes. The most expensive ones have been hurricanes Katrina, Ian, and Ida. Along with hurricanes, Florida typically has extreme storms. 

Worst Pure Disasters in Florida By Price (Since 2000)

  1. Hurricane Katrina 2005: $190 billion
  2. Hurricane Ian 2022: $112.9 billion
  3. Hurricane Ida 2021: $80.2 billion
  4. Hurricane Irma 2017: $60.5 billion
  5. Hurricane Ivan 2004: $32.2 billion

Worst Pure Disasters in Florida By Deaths (Since 2000)

  1. Hurricane Katrina 2005: 1,833 deaths
  2. Hurricane Ian 2022: 152 deaths
  3. 2000 Drought and Warmth Wave: 140 deaths
  4. Hurricane Rita 2005: 119 deaths
  5. Hurricane Irma 2017: 97 deaths

*Price and demise tolls are for your entire catastrophe, together with in different states affected.

What Pure Disasters Happen in Florida?

1. Hurricanes/Tropical Storms

Florida is among the most at-risk states for hurricanes. Since 2000, there have been 24 billion-dollar hurricanes which have affected Florida. Throughout this era, Florida has declared catastrophe 17 instances due to hurricanes.

The coastal space within the south of the state is most at-risk of hurricanes, however even individuals dwelling within the inland components of Florida can have their properties destroyed, face energy outages, and different injury from hurricanes. Due to local weather change, hurricanes in Florida are solely prone to get stronger and happen extra incessantly.

Current Hurricanes and Tropical Storms in Florida ($1 billion occasions):

  1. Hurricane Nicole: November 2022
  2. Hurricane Ian: September 2022
  3. Hurricane Nicholas: September 2021
  4. Hurricane Ida: August 2021
  5. Tropical Storm Fred: August 2021

Worst Hurricanes in Florida Historical past

  1. Hurricane Katrina 2005: $190 billion in damages and 1,833 deaths
  2. Hurricane Ian 2022: $112.9 billion in damages and 152 deaths
  3. Hurricane Ida 2021: $78.7 billion in damages and 96 deaths
  4. Hurricane Irma 2017: $59.5 billion in damages and 97 deaths
  5. Hurricane Ivan 2004: $32.2 billion in damages and 57 deaths

For extra, learn: Methods to Survive a Hurricane

2. Floods

Florida has solely had one $1 billion flood occasion since 2000. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply Florida isn’t prone to flooding. Floods incessantly happen in Florida as a consequence of hurricanes, heavy rainfall, and coastal surge.

The 2020 First Nationwide Flood Threat Evaluation estimated that over 1.8 million properties – or 20.5% of all properties — in Florida are at substantial threat of flooding. With local weather change, this quantity is anticipated to extend to 24.3% by 2050.

Which areas in Florida are prone to flooding?

Virtually all areas of Florida are at high-risk for flooding. Nonetheless, there are some areas within the state the place practically all properties are in danger. These embrace:

  • Lighthouse Level
  • Heat Mineral Springs
  • Whiskey Creek
  • South Patrick Shores
  • Naples Park
  • Siesta Key
  • McGregor
  • Wilton Manors
  • Charlotte Park
  • Cortez

Even inland locations in Florida, akin to Orlando and Gainesville, have 1000’s of properties prone to flooding. Each a part of Florida is in a flood zone; just a few are low or reasonable threat. 

Additionally Learn: Methods to Put together for Floods

3. Tornados

Tornadoes in Florida are quite common. The state averages over 60 tornadoes yearly, making it one of many prime states for twister frequency. Fortunately, most of those tornadoes are weak. Florida has by no means had an F5 twister and solely two F4 tornadoes in recorded historical past.

Even the F2 and F3 tornadoes in Florida may cause huge injury. Dozens of individuals have died, together with 21, throughout a single occasion in February 2002. Tornadoes in Florida additionally trigger billions in collective property injury and crop injury.

Tornadoes in Florida can happen in all components of the state and through any season. They’re most typical in spring and summer season. Spring tornadoes in Florida are typically the strongest and most harmful.

As a result of Floridians aren’t prone to have a basement to make use of as a shelter, they need to have an aboveground storm shelter to remain secure.

4. Wildfires

Florida is at very excessive threat in terms of wildfire disasters. Yearly, the state has roughly 4,000 wildfires. This makes it one of many prime states for variety of wildfires per 12 months. Nonetheless, wildfires in Florida solely burn about 200,000 acres per 12 months, a lot decrease than in different high-risk wildfire states.

Florida is so high-risk for wildfires as a result of practically 47% of the state is roofed with forests. When circumstances are dry, the forests can simply ignite. Particles, akin to fallen timber from hurricanes, additionally creates numerous gasoline for wildfires. 

Due to local weather change – which implies extra drought and hurricanes – wildfires are anticipated to worsen in Florida. Fortunately, nonetheless, the state has began training prescribed burns in an try and preserve wildfires below management.

Not solely do these wildfires trigger in depth property injury and typically fatalities, however additionally they have an effect on the air high quality.

The height wildfire season in Florida is from mid-January and lasts about 17 weeks. Nonetheless, wildfires in Florida can happen at any time of the 12 months. Residents ought to guarantee an evacuation plan, preserve valuables and paperwork in a fireproof secure, and have N95 masks to guard themselves in opposition to wildfire smoke.

5. Warmth Waves and Drought

Warmth waves are frequent in Florida. Due to its excessive share of aged residents, these warmth waves may be notably lethal: roughly 20 individuals die yearly due to warmth waves.  

The warmth waves may also trigger drought circumstances, growing the danger of wildfires, damaging crops, and stressing cattle. Excessive temperatures even have many different hostile results, akin to lowering tourism and the state’s total financial system.

Due to local weather change, issues are solely going to worsen. Florida will see essentially the most vital improve in days with a warmth index over 100 levels than some other state.    

Additionally Learn: Warmth Wave Security Suggestions

6. Winter Storms and Freeze Occasions

Winter storms and ice are rare in Florida. Nonetheless, the state does typically see snow and ice. When it does happen, it typically catches the state unprepared, which might flip it right into a catastrophe.  

Energy outages can happen, and car accidents are extra possible when roads are icy. Due to this, Floridians ought to guarantee they’ve an emergency heater and important emergency provides of their car.

7. Sinkholes

The bottom below Florida is made up of limestone. This limestone can erode, inflicting sinkholes to type within the floor instantly. Sinkholes can happen anyplace however are most typical within the southern and central components of the state.

Whereas accidents from sinkholes are usually not frequent in Florida, residents nonetheless should be cautious. If not addressed rapidly, sinkholes can swallow autos and even total properties. Lawsuits from sinkhole damages are additionally a risk.

8. Lightning

The tropical warmth and humidity mixed with sea breezes make Florida a hotspot for lightning. The state ranks within the prime 10 for the variety of lightning strikes annually and lightning density.

Due to how frequent lightning is, Florida leads the nation in lightning fatalities.

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