When people think of Florida, the first things that typically come to mind is images of stunning beaches, exciting nightlife, and constant sunshine. However, certain regions of the state are particularly vulnerable to the effects of storms. Knowing which parts of Florida are least likely to be affected by natural disasters is critical for anybody who is thinking about moving here or purchasing a house here. Or, maybe even relocating to one of these towns listed! So, it begs the question, where are the safest places from a hurricane in Florida?

Down below, we’ll take a deeper look at the cities in Florida that are the least likely to be damaged by hurricanes, and we’ll compare those places to others in the state. Spoiler alert: Tampa is nowhere on the list.

Hurricanes are powerful and destructive natural disasters that can wreak havoc on coastal areas and beyond. Being prepared and knowing how to stay safe during a hurricane is crucial to protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your property. To stay as safe as possible, remember these basics:

Stay Informed
Create an Emergency Kit
Develop a Family Emergency Plan
Secure Your Home
Evacuate if Necessary
Stay Indoors During the Storm
Be Cautious After the Storm
Check on Neighbors

Numerous articles and data reports have provided slightly different answers but the most common results based on historical data is below from stats of property damage, lives lost, and historical data of previous tropical formations. Some additional info can be found here.

  • Palatka

    Palatka is a small city of 10,500 people on the St Johns River about 60 miles upriver (south) from Jacksonville.

  • Lake City

    Lake City is in North Florida south of the intersection of I-10 and I-75, and is also at the junction of US-90 and US-441. The population is about 13,000 and it is the seat of Columbia County.  It is located about 60 miles west of Jacksonville and 106 miles east of Tallahassee.

  • Leesburg

    Leesburg is a small city in Central Florida on the Harris Chain of Lakes about 45 miles northwest of Orlando. It’s nearest big neighbor is The Villages Florida. (cue the naughty jokes)

  • Orlando

    Orlando is strategically located in the center of Florida and is the largest city on our list.  It is located at the intersection of I-4 and the Florida Turnpike.

  • Sanford

    Sanford is a unique old town on Lake Monroe about 22 miles north of downtown Orlando.  In 2022 it suffered flooding in the downtown area from Hurricane Ian, but wind damage was minimal. Still one of the safest cities away from Hurricane destruction.

  • Kissimmee

    Kissimmee is 22 miles south of Orlando and 12 miles southeast of Walt Disney World. A couple of lakes in the area are Lake Tohopekaliga and East Lake Tohopekaliga.  Locals simplify things by calling them “Toho”, as in Lake Toho.

  • The Villages

    The Villages in Central Florida near Leesburg. lt is a master planned retirement community with a population of about 76,000. Side bar: I’m not gonna put any off-color jokes here about the reputation of this town… you can Google those and do some research yourself lol.

  • Ocala

    Ocala is a busy city south of Gainesville and north of The Villages Florida. Fun fact: These days the rolling hills around Ocala are known as prime territory for raising thoroughbred horses.

  • Gainesville

    Gainesville is located in North Central Florida and has a population of about 135,000. The city is on the major north-south highways  I-75 and US-441 and is the home of the University of Florida. (Go Gators!) It’s a comfortable family town with the rolling terrain and large oak trees typical of north central Florida.

  • Fernandina Beach

    Fernandina Beach is as far northeast on the Atlantic Coast as you can get in the Sunshine State.  It is the only city on this list located on the Atlantic Ocean.

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