Florida, located in the Gulf of Mexico, is known for its sunny weather and warm waters, and it is a popular tourist destination all year. It is also an excellent place for older adults to spend their days, as it eliminates the worry of frigid temperatures and extreme winter weather.
However, because of its coastal location, Florida receives westerly winds from Africa, which form storms over its warm ocean waters and put it at high risk for hurricanes. Florida is the state with the most hurricane landfalls in the United States. 38 of the 121 hurricanes to hit Florida have been major disasters, the most recent being Hurricane Ian.
Although not all Florida hurricanes pose a high risk, those that do are catastrophic, causing widespread destruction and claiming both lives and livelihoods. This damage escalates during hurricane month in Florida, particularly for senior residents.
The Worst Month for Hurricanes
Certain months of the year are more vulnerable to hurricanes than others. This allows Florida residents, particularly senior citizens, to prepare for impending disasters and take the necessary steps to get to safety. Officially, hurricane season begins in June and lasts until November, with September being the peak month.
Hurricanes typically make landfall in Florida between the middle of August and the end of October. Residents must keep their eyes and ears peeled for weather warnings and evacuation zone announcements during these high-alert months.
Measuring Hurricanes on a Scale
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale categorizes the risk and damage caused by hurricanes based on peak wind speed. Hurricane Ian, which made landfall near Southwestern Florida, was a Category 4 Atlantic hurricane that caused catastrophic damage. It was known to be the deadliest hurricane to strike Florida since the Labor Day hurricane of 1935.
Regions in Florida Most Likely To be Affected
Inland Florida is less likely to be hit by hurricanes than coastal areas. Southeast Florida, particularly the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach areas, is prone to torrential rains and storms, with hurricane landfalls causing even more damage.
On the other hand, storms from the Gulf Coast are a risk in Southwest Florida, particularly in the Fort Myers-Naples area.
West Florida, the Florida Panhandle, the Central Florida Atlantic Coast and the Florida Keys are other areas that have previously been impacted by hurricanes and are at risk of being hit during hurricane season.
Effects of Hurricanes
Hurricane storm surges and tides create towering waves of water more than 20 feet tall, causing extensive damage to property and lives.
High hurricane winds, also known as storm-force winds, can uproot buildings and mobile homes, as well as fuel debris to dangerously fly around and even enter homes through small openings.
Hurricanes produce high-intensity tropical cyclones, which cause torrential rain and flooding that linger for several days after the storm.
Hurricanes can endanger lives, especially if you or a loved one is an elderly person living alone. To combat potential dangers during such disasters, it may be a good idea to consider senior living options in a retirement community ahead of hurricane season. Another way to stay one step ahead of such disasters is to keep up with the latest weather-related news and to remain vigilant during peak hurricane season.