When people think of Florida, they often imagine beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and never-ending sunshine. However, hurricanes can significantly threaten some parts of the state. For those considering relocating or buying a home in Florida, knowing which areas are the safest from natural disasters is essential. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the cities in Florida that are least likely to be affected by hurricanes.
Safest Cities in Florida From Hurricanes
Palatka, a small town with a population of 10,558 people, is known for being the safest city in Florida from hurricanes. It is situated inland near Jacksonville and St. Augustine, on the banks of the St. Johns River. Despite its size, Palatka has excellent locations near beaches and downtown Jacksonville. The city has a rich cultural heritage and hosts several festivals yearly. In addition, it is home to St. Johns River State College, which adds to the town’s charm.
2. Lake City
Located in North Florida, Lake City boasts a population of 12,329 and is considered one of the safest cities in the state for hurricanes. Lake City is well-protected from these natural disasters because of its distance from the ocean and low risk of flooding. The city is situated just 60 miles west of Jacksonville and has a thriving economy, with its top employers being manufacturing companies and retailers.
Leesburg, situated in central Florida, is a sought-after retiree destination owing to its low risk of being damaged by hurricanes or tropical storms. The city, with a population of 20,117, is located northeast of Orlando. Apart from being safe from hurricanes, Leesburg also has a low risk of flooding, making it an ideal place to settle down. Lake-Sumter State College and Beacon College are renowned educational institutions calling Leesburg their home.
Orlando is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Florida and is known for its safety when it comes to hurricanes, ranking fourth in the state. It’s been almost two decades since Orlando has been hit by a significant storm, making it a secure place to visit. The city is famous for its world-renowned attractions such as SeaWorld, Disney World, Universal Studios, museums, and annual conventions. With a population of 307,573, Orlando is a global city that boasts a thriving technological sector.
Located in central Florida, Sanford is a small city with a population of 61,051. One of the advantages of living in Sanford is the low risk of hurricanes and flooding. If you’re looking for things to do, you can visit popular attractions such as the Central Florid Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium, and the Annual Oktoberfest. Plus, getting around is easy with the commuter rail connecting Sanford to the rest of central Florida.
Located 20 miles south of Orlando and with a population of 79,226, Kissimmee is recognized as one of the safest cities in Florida regarding hurricanes. Located in central Florida, Kissimmee is not prone to hurricanes, tropical storms, or flooding. The city is situated on the northwest shore of Lake Tohopekaliga and is home to several wildlife sanctuaries. The Colonial Estate, the Monument of States, and the Old Town district are some of the must-visit places in Kissimmee.
7. The Villages
The Villages is a delightful community located 45 miles northwest of Orlando, across Sumter and Mario Counties. With a population of 79,077 individuals, The Villages boasts a low risk of hurricanes and flooding, attributed to its location 35 miles away from the coast and 75 meters above sea level. Geared towards adults aged 55 years and above, The Villages is a gated community that features an array of gold courses, annual marathons, and recreation centres, providing ample opportunities for leisure and recreation.
Located in the north-central region of Florida, Ocala boasts a population of 63,591. One of the city’s unique features is its distance from the coast and elevated position, which makes it relatively safe from natural disasters. Ocala is famous for its more than 400 thoroughbred horse farms and training centres, earning the title of “The Horse Capital of the World” in 2007. Visitors can also enjoy exploring the Ocala National Forest, Silver Springs State Park, and the College of Central Florida.
With a population of 339,247, Gainesville is a well-known tourist destination in the northern Florida region. Thanks to its distance from the coast, Gainesville is generally safe from hurricanes. This city boasts many attractions, including the University of Florida, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, and many more. The local economy thrives, and Gainesville is renowned for its exceptional startup culture.
10. Fernandina Beach
Located in northeast Florida within the Greater Jacksonville area is Fernandina Beach. Despite its coastal location, Fernandina Beach is at low risk from hurricanes and tropical storms. Visitors to Fernandina Beach can take in a range of historical attractions, including the renowned Fort Clinch, which played a crucial role during the Civil War. Other popular sites include the Fairbanks House, Fort Clinch State Park, and the Historic Nassau County Courthouse.