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Hurricanes and Florida?

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by prominence, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. prominence

    prominence Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 19, 2001
    i am looking into some fellowships within the "sunshine state", but i have never been there before.

    does anyone know which parts/cities within the state of florida have the lowest relative risk of "hurricane exposure"?
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  3. zippa

    zippa 7+ Year Member

    Mar 18, 2007
    Probably the panhandle, but there is always a risk all over Florida.
  4. Dr.McNinja

    Dr.McNinja Nobel War Prize Winner Moderator Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    Uh, none. Every part shares a risk. I'm sure you could get some statistics on where has been hit most, but that wouldn't mean anything for the future. If you want to avoid hurricanes, avoid Florida.

    Also, you can't insure for hurricanes there anymore, and even flood insurance is getting harder.
  5. medgator

    medgator Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Sep 20, 2004
    Yeah--- but even they've been hit the last few years (Ivan in 2004, Dennis in 2005). Middle of the state is probably safest (i.e. the hurricane might weaken to a tropical storm and/or you're far away from the water to avoid the risk of flooding)
  6. Blue Dog

    Blue Dog Fides et ratio. Physician Gold Donor SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Let's see...floods, fires, mudslides, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, droughts...if you can locate a place to live that's 100% free from the potential for natural disasters, let me know. ;)
  7. NoleRad


    Mar 8, 2007

    as a florida native, the safest city from hurricanes is Jacksonville. The area north of Melbourne up to South Carolina has never been directly hit by a hurricane in recorded history*. if you look at a map, Florida juts out into the atlantic up to about Melbourne, then it cuts inward. it isn't until you get to SC that the coast starts to jut back out into the ocean and therefore be a hurricane risk again. don't need a direct hit to suffer hurricane damage. Daytona (in that Melbourne to Jax "safe" zone) suffered a lot of damage from Hurricane Charlie (which landed on the west coast around Pounta Gorda).

    so no area is technically SAFE from hurricanes in FL. but Jacksonville is the safest coastal city. other than that...the inland areas (Orlando) tend to be safer than the coasts.

    I hope that helps.

    *if you want to call BS on this you better tell me a hurricane name and year, i am certain that these areas have not been directly hit. the burden of proof is on the person who calls BS, not on me.
  8. pacinonme

    pacinonme 2+ Year Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Jacksonville: safe from hurricanes, but a tornado went through the northside about 2 years. I think Gainesville might be the safest due to the high altitude.
  9. dawg44

    dawg44 Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Are there any high end residencies in North Dakota?:laugh:
  10. Dr.McNinja

    Dr.McNinja Nobel War Prize Winner Moderator Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    Ok, so this guy says that all of North Florida and Georga have never been hit by a hurricane (directly, whatever that means). Maybe they meant landfall. Either way, they are wrong. Now, if only there were somewhere to look this data up. Hell, maybe they could make it easier so you wouldn't have to look at all of the hurricanes.
    Now, I guess the 1800s weren't technically recorded history in Georgia, but other parts of the US were writing things at that point.
    However, just because they haven't happened recently doesn't mean they won't happen again. I would tend to think the opposite, because hurricanes aren't predictable.

    Actually, that is a pretty asinine statement. If you state something, you had better back it up. Or at least not be so wrong that you look like a complete buffoon.
  11. Samoa

    Samoa Physician Pharmacist 10+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2002
    However, if the poster had said that the coastline from northern Florida to South Carolina, "hasn't been hit by a hurricane in over a hundred years," that would have been almost as good an argument.

    It looks like hurricanes used to hit there with some regularity over a century ago. I wonder why they don't now?
  12. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Aug 15, 2003
    i'm in tampa and we rarely get hit - i think it's been about 20 years since a direct hit. although we do tend to get the skirtings of stuff that comes in other parts of the state. i would agree with the poster who said jax is probably safest - gainesville is pretty safe too because it's inland, but g'ville is definately prone to tornadoes.
  13. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    I've lived in Florida for nearly 25 years. For the first 21, I was hit by 2 hurricanes. Admittedly in the last 4 years, I've been hit by 4, but this is an anomaly. Hurricanes aren't like earthquakes. You can see them coming for a week. If one is coming that really scares you, just leave. It really shouldn't be a determining factor when selecting a rotation. Also, no major city in Florida is below sea level like New Orleans, so even when a significant hurricane hits (Like Wilma did here at the end of '05, you're perfectly safe in a structurally sound hospital. Don't let hurricanes make your decision. Besides, if you're really freaked out by them, you'd have to avoid the entire eastern seaboard and gulf coast.

    Mortality in Florida is usually VERY LOW during hurricanes. I'd even wager that it drops vs. normal, as people aren't driving or shooting each other (much more dangerous in Florida than hurricanes). Even during Andrew, the death toll was around 20. Most of the deaths are also related to stupid people picking up live powerlines or cutting off limbs with chainsaws. If you don't engage in these activities, you'll be fine.
  14. hilseb

    hilseb 10+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    Edge of the Everglades
    Jacksonville would be my guess, too. Lifetime resident here.

    The insurance issue is only a problem if you are a homeowner (like me). If you are going to rent while you are a resident, you won't have to deal with it unless it makes your rent go up. Rents are high here anyway, but they are in many other places that are pretty to live in, like San Francisco. Must be the earthquake insurance;)

    I prefer the hurricane as far as natural disasters go, only because you get some decent warning. If you are a resident, my guess is you won't be evacuating. Hospitals are pretty safe buildings, however, as long as no Katrina situation happens.
  15. Dr.McNinja

    Dr.McNinja Nobel War Prize Winner Moderator Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    Not really. They just haven't made landfall there. They have crossed over and hit inland, which doesn't cause a storm surge but can cause wind damage.

    If you asked this in the Lounge, Speter would say "GEORGE BUSH". Honestly, nobody knows. There hasn't been an earthquake near Memphis in over a hundred years either. Just makes one statistically more likely.
  16. Trepp

    Trepp Living the dream 2+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2006
    I am curious how they tracked hurricanes in the 1800's... Seems a bit imprecise at best!
  17. NewHope

    NewHope 2+ Year Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    I have a place in Palm Coast just 70 mi South of J-ville. So far so good. There was a touch by "Wilma" in 2005. But Flagler county except for the immediate beach areas didn't do too bad, IMHO. but I'm a New Yorker, and don't live in FL all the time.
    Good Luck wit your search
  18. Pox in a box

    Pox in a box 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I agree with previous poster that Jacksonville is a safe(r) city regarding hurricanes. It is based on an inlet body of water/rivers (St. John's River I believe) which protects the city center from the worst devastation of most hurricanes.
  19. anonymousEM

    anonymousEM Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2002
    Jax is regarded as a safer city vs. hurricanes...something about the way the land mass juts in and out along the coast at that area is what I'd heard...anyway during my residency there was some significant wind damage due to Hurricane Jeanne but it was the 4th hurricane to hit FL that year so no one took a whole lot of notice, but some flights were cancelled for a couple of days and there were about 20,000 people without power for a few days. Interestingly, after Katrina, the city put up poles all over town showing the projected water depth if each of the categories of hurricanes hit...a bit of a reality check to see these 20ft poles and in some of the inland areas near the St. John's river.
  20. Bitsy3221

    Bitsy3221 5+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    The Hub
    Tampa has been pretty lucky, but some say that means its "overdue" to be hit by a major storm (take that for what its worth, but its not like Mother Nature is keeping score). Storms seem to cross the peninsula south of the Tampa area or hit the panhandle. I don't know how scientific the method is for determining the stats, but here is a website that calculates the risk of FL costal cities: According to this, (as previous posters have said) Jax seems to be the safest. The more inland you go, the safer you will be from the surge (for every three miles of land a hurricane has to pass over the storm surge will decrease by one foot)
    If you want to move to FL for fellowship, I would not let hurricane probability be a major determinant in your decision making. Go to the best fellowship for your career, and just watch the weather closely. I bookmark this site in the hurricane season (June 1 - Nov 1):
  21. prominence

    prominence Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 19, 2001
    compared to other major cities in florida, how safe is orlando, florida (generally speaking), from a hurricane vulnerability perspective?
  22. Miami_med

    Miami_med Moving Far Away Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    It is relatively safe, though Charlie did some pretty good damage there a few years ago. It's inland, which protects it from storm surge and most flooding. Also when Charlie hit, the miles of land it had to cross to hit near Orlando slowed it from a Cat IV to a Cat II. That makes a HUGE difference.
  23. terzian

    terzian MS4 7+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2004
    The Sunshine State
    There are no hurricane-safe areas in Florida. That said, I believe Orlando has had a lower incidence than most places due to the giant invisible weather-proof bubble surrounding Disney World. (Or maybe it's because it's so far inland.) Either way, though, I really believe that people who live anywhere in the state need to be prepared for evacuation, stocked up on essentials, etc. Regardless of where you live in FL, I recommend keeping a 24-pack of bottled water, non-perishable snack bars, and dry pet food (if you have pets) in your trunk all year round. You'll probably never need it, but it cuts down on the visceral panic you'll feel the first time you hear a newscaster say the words 'mandatory evacuation' and the name of your city in the same sentence. Plus, the water bottles come in handy when you forget to bring one to the hospital.
  24. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me 7+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Tally/Willkillya County
    It really isn't something to worry about. They are generally inconvienent...but the chances of having your house swept away is pretty low everywhere. Now, replacing screens sure. I live on the water south of Tallahassee. We have never really had a direct hit, but we had a HUGE storm surge that ripped out our lower level once. Nobody saw it coming....but rebuilding was pretty quick.

    If anything I'd be less worried about hurricanes here than some of the other east coast areas. Florida building codes are not too bad ever since hurricane andrew. New York City is at risk for a much much much more serious hurricane in terms of loss of life and destruction than many areas here. I know someone doubts that...but those north atlantic hurricanes are fierce and fast when they happen....Check out the long island express...that was when barely anybody lived there compared to now.

    I'd say Jacksonville and any of that area would be the safest in terms that many of the storms come from west to east and it'd be just a nice tropical storm by the time it gets there. I'd take that chance over driving on icey roads everyday though....which I've done.
  25. Petechiae

    Petechiae 2+ Year Member

    Jul 24, 2007
    I second that but word to the wise-if you end up eating/using up your hurricane kit, be sure to replenish it every now and then :eek:
  26. DrQuinn

    DrQuinn My name is Neo Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 6, 2000
    I did medical school in Ft. Lauderdale then my rotaitons/residency in Tampa, so had lived in FL for a total of 7 years. Moved up to DC a year ago....

    In Ft. Lauderdale there would be 2-3 hurricane "worries" a year. Basically, the schools shut down, traffic dies down for a day, and people get wasted at "hurricane parties." No major damage while I was down there (however, read up on hurricane andrew on wikipedia).

    In Tampa, there were a lot of "scares" but no major hits. One hurricane hit south of Tampa (near Ft. Myers I think) and it blew apart some nursing homes and of course some trailer parks. Then one hit Pensacola pretty hard and then of course there was Katrina.

    I really wouldn't let hurricanes scare you. I doubt you'd be buying a place in residency anyways. Plus, it is nice to live in FL atleast for some time in your life. That being said, I couldn'tw ait to get out of there.... but.

    FYI, one of my fellow classmates in med school moved to Orlando for residency. He had the roof blown off his house during a hurricane. So no place is "safe" in FL.

  27. Joy123

    Joy123 2+ Year Member

    Jul 16, 2007
    I'm in Ft. Lauderdale and in the 2 yrs. we have been there we only had one hurricane that caused damage - Hurricane Wilma. We were without power at home for 8 days. It gave us a great opportunity to learn urban camping. BTW cold showers are not great!!
  28. PharmDFisher

    PharmDFisher 2+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    ok... we can stop this discussion with my answer of jacksonville... I live here and every major hurricane or even small hurricane has always missed us. Now check the news theres one heading strait for jacksonville right? i new i jinxed it

    oh and we have the best hospitals in florida, got a big choice... mayo, st lukes, shans, or you can do military medicine with nas

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