Natural and Technical Hazards associated with Florida

Florida: The Sunshine State

Florida is a state in the United States' southeast region. It is bounded by Cuba and the Florida Straits to the south, Alabama and Georgia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. Florida is the ninth most densely populated, third most populous, and twenty-second largest state in the United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Florida's climate is slightly mitigated by the fact that there are no areas of the state that are far from the coast. The prevalent climate is humid subtropical to the north of Lake Okeechobee while a true tropical climate in the regions of the south of the lake. Florida is the warmest state in the United States with average daily temperatures of 70.7 °F (21.5 °C). The coldest temperature ever recorded was -2 °F (-19 °C), and the hottest temperature was 109 °F (43 °C) (Bureau of Preparedness - Natural Hazards Unit, 2017). Florida has the highest population in U.S with approximately 20, 271, 272. A great number of these people live 10 of the coastline thus making the nation and the citizens vulnerable to the effects of technical as well as natural hazards. This paper will focus on natural and technical hazards associated with Florida, their causes and effects and strategies that would effectively mitigate each hazard.<\/p>

Natural and Technical Hazards Associated with Florida<\/h2>


Florida experiences strong and severe hurricanes than thunderstorms. It greatly affects the coastline because of its nearness to the sea than land. The presence of few barriers blocks the water and wind from blocking the land.<\/p>

More than 1,000 tropical and hurricane resulted to landfall in Florida from a period of 1851 to 2010. According to the Saffir-Simpson Scale, 37 of these storms are ranked in category three. A hurricane in 1935 of Florida Keys Labor Day is in category 5 of the strongest hurricane in United States. In 1960, the Donna Hurricane was ranked in category 4 of storms. Donna affected the eastern seaboard with a wind speed of 325km\/h. A more destructive and costly storm happened in 1992 named Andrew hurricane. It traveled across Florida towards the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane caused an estimate of $115 billion. Finally, the 2004 hurricane season was the worst in Florida\u2019s history with 47 people dying in four hurricanes with $45 billion damages (Florida Disaster - The website for Florida disasters online, 2017).<\/p>


Tornado is as result of the hurricane. It also occurs during thunderstorms. Florida has the highest tornado overall per square mile of the nation with both hurricanes and thunderstorms occurring at the same time. Tornadoes cause much damage to the land. In 1995 at Melbourne county in Florida, seven tornadoes landed with speed between 255-332km\/h. It killed 42 people and injured 260 others. It destroyed 700 structures and damaging other 3,000 totaling the damages of over $100 million. Waterspouts are warm water tornadoes. Waterspouts are common in Gulf Coast of Florida causing damages and injuries.<\/p>

All the states in Florida are prone to severe Tornadoes and storms. Implementation of property mitigation will assist in reducing tornadoes and storms probability in causing injuries to people and state facilities and damaging of property. Hail damage, severe storms and hurricanes greatly affect the agricultural production in Florida.<\/p>


The Florida Forest service define wildfire as an unmanageable fire. Every year wildfire occurs in Florida as a cycle in the ecosystem natural cycle. A potential in wildfire and its behavior is determined by the type and amount of fuel when burning occurs with the level of moisture present. Severity and period of wildfire are determined by topography, temperature and windspeed. Wildfires have four categories; ground fires, crown fires and wildland urban interface fires.<\/p>

80 percent of wildfires are caused by arson people and debris burning. The occurrence of fires is one mile away from Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), a place of people lives and intermingle with the undeveloped land. The increasing size of WUI enables fire movement in vegetation-fuel and building fuels. Wildfire affects Florida by causing; land, structure and property destruction, injuries and life loss, and transport disruption (Chaney, 2015).<\/p>

Pipeline Vulnerability<\/h3>

Pipelines of more than 30,000 miles in Florida carry 90% of natural gas. They are fundamentally safe while transporting material to stock energy but toxic, flammable and volatile that can cause personal injury, infrastructure and environment damage. From 2002 to 2011 36 serious accident happened in Florida with one being fatal, 8 injuries and over 8 million losses. Any factor can cause a hazardous damage to any pipeline (Chaney, 2015).<\/p>

Oil Spill<\/h3>

Florida tourism dependence and on tax revenue can be affected by an oil spill on any Florida treasures leading to catastrophe. A severe prediction on the BP Deepwater Horizon affected Florida in 2010 that was limitedly contained. Oil wash onto Florida shore impacted in tourism tax revenue and job losses on land recession as stated by Moody\u2019s analysis report. The economic stature of Florida shore is affected by oil spills that affect wildlife and ecosystem and the people living by the shore (Bureau of Preparedness - Natural Hazards Unit, 2017).<\/p>

Hazard Mitigation<\/h2>

The main aim of hazard mitigation is to lessen the recovery and response of data and protect structures and individuals. National hazard programs support as well as conduct several activities and projects which assist protect their residents and communities from hazards. The main elements of the programs are mitigation, preparedness, training, planning, recovery and response (Florida Disaster - The website for Florida disasters online, 2017). That is assisting communities to recover, rebuild as well as repair damages after hazards. Also, suggesting enhancements in local and state regulatory programs, developing designs of constructing new buildings that are hazard resistance. To protect buildings from destructions by hurricanes and tornadoes, the integrity of the building should be maintained to withstand the expected uplift as well as lateral forces, for instance, gables and roof trusses should be braced. In the case of wildfires, non-combustible and fire resistant materials ought to be employed when building exterior surfaces and roofs. A cleared safety zone must be sustained between the vegetation of combustible and structure, and landscaping should be done using fire-resistant trees, shrubs and ground cover. Gutters, as well as roofs, must be cleaned on a regular basis, in addition, chimneys are supposed to be equipped with spark arrestors (Chaney, 2015).<\/p>


Bureau of Preparedness - Natural Hazards Unit. (2017). Retrieved 8 May 2017, from

Chaney, Erick. 2015. New Study Ranks Florida Second For Natural Disaster Risk. The Weather Channel. Retrieved 8 May 2017, from

Florida Disaster - The website for Florida disasters online - (2017). Retrieved 8 May 2017, from

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