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Old 02-05-2007, 09:47 PM
 
Location: PA
669 posts, read 2,876,343 times
Reputation: 278

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I've done some research, but still wanted to ask. Should I stay away from Florida purely due to the hurricane risk? How about tornadoes?

Let's say you live in an apt. complex. I wouldn't think a hurricane, unless it's Katrina or Andrew, would destroy an entire apartment complex, nor would a tornado, assuming the complex is new and built to code. Am I going to end up with a wreck of an apartment one day, or are these safe assumptions? Of course during a storm I'd still arm myself with supplies, but should I let it deter me from moving to Florida? Or should I just be prepared? I just cannot imagine, for whatever reason, an apt. complex being uprooted by a hurricane/tornado unless it's very extreme. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2007, 11:48 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 33,060,768 times
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I wouldn't let the hurricanes or the tornadoes deter me from living in Fla. It has a lot of positives and is beautiful in some places. Bad weather can happen anywhere and we're never guanteed safety.
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Old 02-05-2007, 11:55 PM
 
Location: St. Augustine, FL
10 posts, read 38,705 times
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There will be extreme weather conditions no matter where you go. Hurricanes are nothing to laugh at, but at least you get plenty of notice when one is around. I lived in an apartment during a hurricane and the only problem we had was that our neighbor upstairs didn't put anything in front of her door and the ceiling started leaking from all the water blowing underneath her doorway.
Almost anywhere in the country you will find tornados, but they do seem to be more common in the middle of Florida. But I have also lived in an apartment in Huntsville Alabama when a twister came through. It didn't do a whole lot of damage to the complex (however, a few cars were destroyed). That being said, I would not let the weather deter me from moving here.
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Old 02-06-2007, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,695 posts, read 34,861,489 times
Reputation: 2147483647
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmurphy View Post
I've done some research, but still wanted to ask. Should I stay away from Florida purely due to the hurricane risk? How about tornadoes?

Let's say you live in an apt. complex. I wouldn't think a hurricane, unless it's Katrina or Andrew, would destroy an entire apartment complex, nor would a tornado, assuming the complex is new and built to code. Am I going to end up with a wreck of an apartment one day, or are these safe assumptions? Of course during a storm I'd still arm myself with supplies, but should I let it deter me from moving to Florida? Or should I just be prepared? I just cannot imagine, for whatever reason, an apt. complex being uprooted by a hurricane/tornado unless it's very extreme. Any thoughts?
I've got to put my two cents in here. Just cause I wanna. haha

First off, I've lived in Florida. Also, I've got a contractors license. So when I look at a house, I probably look at it differently then most folks. Other contracts do to. Older, wiser people that have been burnt will also be good sources.

First off, the Uniform Building Code (book for the entire US that dictates everything there is to building) was last updated in 1997. So if your structure has been built since then, you are as current as you could be. Notice I didn't say your as good as you could be.

Each area in the US has to fall under certain guidelines. For instance, in Wyoming we have a certain exposure based on normal windloads, type of soil, snow loads, and a whole bunch of other things. In Florida, you have a different exposure requirement because of winds, soil and such. But it's all in one book.

Here's where the problem lies. We used to build for strength and endurance. Then some rocket scientist figured out exactly what everything would withstand. He come up with the idea that if you use this size of wood, you will get this exposure. But with the cost of lumber and supplies going up, he computed exactly what it would take to meet the specs. Not what would make it safe, but what would simply, meet the specs.

So, in Florida, you have to have, say for instance, a class C exposure. It has to take a sustained wind of 106 mph flat on any surface. Oh oh. What if it gusts to 107? haha

Any apartment house, providing it's not directly on the beach, should do pretty good against winds. Flooding is a different story. Course, additions to a spec home, like awnings, day rooms, garages, car ports, etc, probably don't meet spec because in most cases you don't need a building permit and it won't be inspected. BUT, we are talking Hurricanes.

Tornado's. Even a F1 is only 75-100 yards wide. But winds can get above what your specs are. Probably not too bad. But remember, the tornado will put a Northly pull on the house and within a matter of seconds, it will put a Southernly pull on the house or apartment. There comes the damage. If it pulls, many times it's ok because homes are designed to absorbe some of the stress. But when you reverse the stress almost instantainiously, something is going to break and now you no longer have a Class C. There goes the domino's.

Baring flooding, you are much better prepared for a Hurricane then you are a tornado. Bad thing is, a hurricane breeds tornados.
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Old 02-06-2007, 01:14 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
5,964 posts, read 9,899,023 times
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By making adjustments, it is even possible to bring a 1970s house to 2000s Florida hurricane construction codes. Most structures can withstand category 1-2 hurricanes, the biggest inconvenience being the loss of electrical power for some days.

The risk of a category 3-5 over a large area, and spin-off tornadoes, is relatively small but real.

The real issue, in financial terms, is whether the average property-owner can afford the insurance rates to cover such risk.

It is probably the cost of insurance and/or hurricane-"proofing" one's property, not the risk itself, which is deterring many people from Florida right now or inducing those who are here from leaving.

So the question is how much risk, as perceived by the insurance entities, can you afford to insure, as charged by the insurance policies actually available right now, in conjunction with other expenses you will have to face, an equation that varies from case to case.

So, there are general risks and costs common to all current or prospective participants, but the affordability question varies according to the particular circumstances of each one.
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Old 02-06-2007, 01:43 AM
 
Location: WPB, FL. Dreaming of Oil city, PA
2,909 posts, read 12,677,968 times
Reputation: 990
Expect to pay a fortune in hurricane insurance. Also expect to go thru hurricanes and be without electric/water for many days. Youll be living on canned foods and bottled water. You may lose your plants/trees and a stronger hurricane can demolish your house. Theres many other reasons I dont like FL but thats for another topic.
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Old 02-06-2007, 04:24 AM
 
1,607 posts, read 8,949,574 times
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My concern isn't necessarily surviving a hurricane, because as some said - you get plenty of notice and can evacuate. My concern with the hurricanes and tornadoes lies with how my home will get fixed if it's damaged or destroyed. The insurance problem is a huge concern. That makes the hurricane and tornado situation a huge risk because you can stand to lose a lot of money if your house is hit and insurance doesn't want to cover it.

For example, a couple of weeks ago I read in the newspaper about a couple in New Smyrna Beach. Their home had been hit in the hurricanes two years ago I think it was. It's destroyed. The insurance company will give them what it takes to REBUILD the home as it was. But... the problem is that the house needs to be completely demolished and carried to a landfill. Problem is, the insurance company won't pay for that. It's a bill that's $90k! And they also can't get FEMA or other state departments to pay for it as of yet. SO... if they want their house rebuilt they need to cough up $90k to get it started, then the 2 percent hurricane deductible.

They don't have over $100k sitting around in the bank to shell out on having their home fixed. So, it still sits in it's mangled mess with neighbors writing the city to complain. Meanwhile the couple has been paying the mortgage on the property AND for an apartment because the house is unliveable. So essentially they are shelling out a lot of money per month.

That right there is a scenerio that terrifies me. That's a recipe for financial ruin.

Personally I think the tornadoes and hurricanes create a huge financial risk.
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Old 02-06-2007, 04:44 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
324 posts, read 1,349,256 times
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i lived in tampa for 4 years & i never let it bother me...i do agree with jammie...bad weather can happen anywhere...i am in nc now & it was before i moved here but there was a bad a$$ hurricane in Raleigh that did a lot of damage & even when i was in mainland SC we got 2 hurricanes in the late 70's that we got a ton of rain from so....
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:31 AM
 
14,449 posts, read 29,002,467 times
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I've lived in Fla. all my life (57 years) and hurricanes and tornadoes never scared me until going through FOUR of them in 2004! And I live inland on high ground! Other problems folks don't think about, besides property damage (I had major!) and flooding, is the fact that you can be without power/water/communications for days, weeks or even months and let me tell you friends, that is miserable.

Starting this year I will be spending the entire hurricane season up in my mountain home of Asheville, NC, although my hubby will remain here in our little Florida shack due to his job. But if a big one is coming, he will gather up our cats and get out and que sera sera.

If you really want to come to Florida, get up inland on high ground, get yourself a well-built home and get it inspected by a qualified architect or contractor to make sure it EXCEEDS today's codes. Then just lay in supplies and have an exit plan if need be, and you should be ok.
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Old 02-06-2007, 01:57 PM
 
Location: downtown Sarasota
4,573 posts, read 11,869,172 times
Reputation: 1898
Just remember "built to code" can be the minimum requirements....of the building code, not the best
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