Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   Relocation to southern beach areas.Any safe from hurricanes?? (

Nancy Jun 18th, 2002 07:01 PM

Relocation to southern beach areas.Any safe from hurricanes??
Looking to move near beach area. Any suggestions (Hilton Head,Wilmington NC,Florida,etc.) that have excellent school systems,below average crime,yet safe from disasterous storms?Thanks for your replies.

Michelle Jun 18th, 2002 09:11 PM

An area of Florida that has never gotten a direct hit by a hurricane and is not as likely to is Florida's First Coast. This are includes Jacksonville. If you look at a map you will see why this area avoids storms. It is recessed from the rest of the eastern seaboard. One thing you will want to consider is the building code. Here is South Florida where I live we have a very strict building code. When and if a huge hurricane hits we are prepared and will not suffer the loss of life that most coastal areas will suffer from. Houses and Buildings in Broward,Dade,Palm Beach, and Monroe County must be made of concrete/block. There can be no wood construction, unlike rural NC,SC, and the rest of Florida. Houses cannot even have eaves. Eaves are a major cause of the damage suffered in South Miami-Dade during Andrew. Although your fear of storms is a good one, you want to consider the preparedness of the area when it comes to storms as well. As for crime and schools. Those are two hot words in Florida. Schools depend on the area you are in. Each county has there good ones along with their bad ones. Crime is similar. Each city has its safe areas and unsafe areas for the most part. A few places in coastal FL with decent schools and lower crime are Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach, Tamarac, Weston, Royal Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Sunrise, Plantation, and Davie. Even in these cities it may matter what area you are in for the crime/school issue. Also what type of work are you in? Many rural coastal towns do not have much of an economy besides tourism. That may be a factor as well. And regarding cost of living?.... Here's a link for more info on Hurricanes in Florida.<BR><BR>

new Jun 18th, 2002 09:20 PM

Since some people seem to be up in arms about relocation questions I have created an ezboard Online Community for relocation issues. It's called Relocation Central.<BR><BR>Here is a link to the ezboard:<BR><BR><BR><BR>

Dan Jun 19th, 2002 08:31 AM

Relocation Central??? You're charging a fee? There are no posts there!!! How can anyone receive any info when no one posts??? Lousy site.

Sandy Jun 19th, 2002 04:52 PM

Don't even bother with that Relocation Central,it's crap.

Florida Boy Jun 19th, 2002 06:14 PM

I grew up on the panhandle of Florida and was there for several direct hits, the largest being Hurricane Opal in 1995 (a Category 3 at landfall). The news media blows hurricane damage well out of proportion. We remained in our house for all storms and suffered no major damage (our house is about one mile from the Gulf). Unless you purchase a home directly on the coast where a hurricane might flood it, you have little to worry about. The wind from hurricanes is not the significant threat, it is the storm surge. The storm surge only affects the immediate coast. So, to sum up, I would give hurricanes little or no considerations when choosing a place to live.

Bart Jun 19th, 2002 06:52 PM

Florida Boy, I thought the panhandle area was one of the most dangerous;storms up from the Gulf.If you read the Pensacola newspaper,they have an entire section devoted to hurricanes.

joy Jun 19th, 2002 07:06 PM

The media blows the devastation out of proportion??!! Opal caused 3 billion dollars worth of damage!

floridagirl Jun 20th, 2002 03:55 AM

I was raised in the southwest portion of Florida, near Venice, Port Charlotte, and Punta Gorda. We NEVER had a direct hit while I was there (20 years). WE had the occasional bands from hurricanes hitting Miami or Naples, but never a direct hit. The beaches are awesome around the Venice and Nokomis areas. I can thank the teachers there too for correct grammar and usage in this paragraph!

TawHeel Jun 20th, 2002 05:55 AM

1. If the post had been titled "1 year sabbatical in southern beach areas. Any safe from hurricanes?" would any of the anti-relo people have balked? This is a non-controversy. Questions like this are of interest to people thinking about vacationing in those areas, and people who have familiarity with those areas have something to offer travelers.<BR><BR>2. Nancy, you can look up statistics re:how many hurricanes have hit various areas _in the past_ but I'm not sure that will ever give you prediction ability. In the 50s, New England was buffeted by hurricane after hurricane. They have had relatively few since then compared to Florida and the Carolinas, but on the other hand, they've had some killer winter storms (not blizzards, either) _and_ some incredibly mild winters. <BR><BR>It had been a long time since NC had anything other than a brush of the Outer Banks when we started to get hit with several during the 90s. <BR><BR>You are not going to find wonderful school systems near resort-beach areas -- think about it: most of the income is seasonal the tax base isn't from industry that requires lots of highly educated people to live there year round. So the schools tend to be underfunded at the least. Wilmington, NC, however, has UNCW and "Hollywood East" and is beginning to come up in the world, at least economically. And you could argue that having been hit 3-4 times or more by hurricanes in the last few years is its "quota," although that is hardly a scientific argument.<BR><BR>The Titusville schools near Cape Canaveral have some strong schools, predictably enough.<BR><BR>3. Hurricanes at least give you more warning than just about any other natural disaster. The media, emphatically, DO NOT overstate the devastation, though. And it isn't always confined to the 10-15 miles along landfall, either. <BR><BR>If anything, the media underplay the real problems because they just show a few shots of luxury beach homes going into the drink, and everyone thinks the $xx millions or billions is just what rich people lose when those houses go.<BR>Hurricanes can and do go further inland, and along the way they do take out businesses and plenty of working stiffs who live there year-round, as well as the infrastructure of power grids, water treatment, telephones, etc. all of which have to be replaced.<BR>Just one statistic: after Hurricane Fran, there were (according to State Farm) 50,000 people looking to replace cars damaged in the storm. <BR><BR>Good luck, Nancy. There are some lovely areas in the southeast, but don't expect insulation from all problems. I'd go with your positive priorities first (good schools, low crime) and let the negative priority take care of itself over the years you'll be living there.

mag Jun 20th, 2002 06:06 AM

We moved to the Jacksonville area this past year, and I teach here. We love it! If you are seriously considering Jacksonville, I would look into the Mandarin area of Duval, mostly older homes, or The Northwest St. Johns County section. The best schools in the area are in St. Johns County, and a great residential area here is Julington Creek Plantation. New homes, VERY family oriented, fabulous schools, and within 20 minutes of the beach. The website is The cost of living here is so low, it's great! You get a lot for your money, house wise. Good luck!

xxxxx Jun 20th, 2002 10:18 AM

Every location on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are vulnerable to hurricanes.

Florida Boy Jun 20th, 2002 10:36 AM

Once again, hurricanes are NOT as big of a threat as people from other areas perceive. I witnessed first-hand the damage caused by Opal in Destin, FL. Yes, there was significant damage to property directly on the water. However, inland the damage was minor. Our church conducted a releif effort, and could not find enough people who needed the food, water, and appliances we were trying to give out. The media does overstate the damage. They repeatedly show the same footage of a couple of miles of coastal damage, and people are lead to believe the whole area is devastated just like the immediate coast. This is NOT true. Huriicanes might be powerful, but are much less of a problem than many other disasters, such as tornadoes and earthquakes. This is because hurricanes can be tracked, and you can evacuate. Also, major storms are very rare in any given location. Opal, for instance was the only major storm to directly hit Destin/Ft Walton Beach in over 50 years. My whole point is that you should not be concerned about hurricanes. Watch the news and evacuate if one is approaching. But it is most likely that you will go 5 to 10 years without a storm that warrants evacuation in any given coastal location.

Jack Jun 20th, 2002 11:01 AM

The Brunswick, St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island of GA are very nice. No hurricanes since late 1800. Area is in the GA bight and not likely to be hit. Of course nothing in life is certain.

Nora Jun 20th, 2002 07:03 PM

Florida Boy,Where do you live and where in Florida would you recommend?

Gina Jun 21st, 2002 08:44 AM

Cross Florida off of your list.Horrendous school systems,always threats of storm damage and just about every place in Florida has crime WAY above the national average.Consider Georgia-

bc Jun 21st, 2002 08:50 AM

Georgia, now THERE'S a stellar school system! Where do you get your statistics Gina? Statistics, oh, that's right, that's probably not taught in GA schools. You are excused.<BR>

ThomR Jun 21st, 2002 10:14 AM

Ugh, Gina<BR>How about posting some links to that astute group of crime statistics for Florida?<BR>What a liar you are.

Ralph Jun 21st, 2002 06:23 PM

In Savageau's Places Rated Almanac Jacksonville Florida's crime was listed at 1.99 (100 was best) and education was 44.75 (100 best).Pensacola's crime listed at 12.75 and education at 9.63.Not the best stats.Atlanta's education score was 82.71 and crime 12.19

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:39 PM.