After publishing the article Where to Live in Florida to Avoid Hurricane Winds and Flooding which named Ocala the most “hurricane resilient” place in Florida, we heard from many readers who feel like their part of Florida is pretty safe too.
I agree with a lot of them, so based on reader input here are some other places that might be safe from hurricanes here in Florida.
A reader from Jacksonville wrote:
“You can also promote NE Florida too! We haven’t had one strike here since 1964! See attached map!”
Wow! With the exception of Hurricane Dora which made landfall in St. Augustine in 1964, it looks like the stretch of Florida from about Vero Beach up to the Florida/Georgia state line has had a great run of luck!
Some 55+ communities you might want to check out in Northeast Florida include:
Del Webb eTown is a new, smart-living, 55+ gated community in Jacksonville centrally located near the popular St. Johns Town Center retail/dining/entertainment center off I-295. Meet friends at the private clubhouse and amenity center with recreational activities including tennis, pickleball, bocce courts, walking trails, outdoor pavilions, fire pits and so much more. Homes start in the $400k's.
Reverie at Trailmark is a 55+ community in St. Augustine. The Lodge is a 4,600 sq. ft. Lakeside Clubhouse that features indoor and outdoor social spaces, six pickleball courts, a resort-style pool and spa, a catering kitchen, and what sounds to me like one of the coolest amenities…an open-air Bier Garten.
There are 11 new single-family home designs, ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 sq. ft. The community features lakeside and preserve homesites. Prices start in the $300k’s.
One of my longtime readers who now lives in the Villages of Citrus Hills sent this in:
“According to Crystal River Mayor Joe Meek, the majority of Crystal River is 3-5 feet above sea level; Hurricane Idalia brought with it a 7–9-foot storm surge that resulted in extensive flooding. Although Hurricane Categories are determined by wind-speed, the majority of hurricane property damage actually comes from storm-surge related flooding. Because the Florida coast is only a few feet above sea level, most parts of coastal Florida are at high risk for severe hurricane damage.
Despite our proximity to the coast, the Villages of Citrus Hills has elevations of over 260’ above sea level and no portion of our community is in a flood zone. As a result, Citrus Hills suffered none of the storm-surge related flooding that devastated so many other parts of the state. Hurricanes are a rain-event for us—nothing more, nothing less. Other than minor cleanup of fallen leaves and branches, we experienced no notable damage.“
Located less than an hour from The Villages, the Villages of Citrus Hills is a Florida Retirement Community with single-family homes and maintenance-free villas that have been built with today’s demanding baby-boomer in mind. But what makes the promise of Florida Retirement in the Villages of Citrus Hills truly come together for today’s new breed of active adult retiree is its extraordinary collection of world-class community country club amenities and extensive social activities. Villages of Citrus Hills offers a variety of home styles and neighborhoods to choose from.
Other Inland Areas
I heard from multiple readers who live in inland cities other than Ocala:
“We live in Deltona. About 20 miles inland from the east coast. We have lived here for 40 years. We have lost some trees, and gotten 2 new roofs in that time from storm damage. No flooding here, but in other parts of Deltona. Depends on how high your lot is.”
“We moved from Miami to Mount Dora 18 years ago. Have lost power only twice for a day or two plus much cheaper insurance rates. Don’t even have shutters. Middle of the state is the place to be if you don’t want to deal with hurricanes and and storm surge near the coast.“
“I live in Orlando Florida been living here 2 years. I just get rain and wind. No damage since I been here no flooding no nothing. Only lost power for a few hours that’s it.”
“I moved to Winter Park Florida about 8 months ago. So far it’s great. Windy during the hurricane season, but nothing major.”
Some inland 55+ communities to consider include:
Lakes of Mount Dora is a gated community not far from The Villages with about 950 single-family homes that combines 178 acres of lakes with New England-style architecture. Amenities here include an 18,000 square foot clubhouse complete with a fitness center and a banquet facility. Then there is the resort-style pool and hot tub outside.
Lakes of Mount Dora offers a few different ranch-style homes that range in size from as small as 1,263 square feet all the way up to something as large as 3,700 square feet. Prices start in the $300k’s.
Trilogy® Orlando is a gated 55+ active adult resort community located in Groveland, which is about 30 minutes west of downtown Orlando.
Designed to exceed even your highest expectations, Magnolia House at Trilogy® Orlando is a 57,000+ square foot resort club featuring all the latest in dining, fitness, relaxation, and social connectivity.
The Indoor/Outdoor Lap Pool has plenty of space for active exercise or relaxation and a protected area for year-round swimming. There's also a Resort Pool that features touches typically reserved for a Caribbean getaway. Homes start in the $300k’s.
As you can see, while Ocala was named most hurricane-resilient by the WSJ/Climate Alpha study, lots of other inland Florida cities fit the bill, and even some cities along the coast have had a long string of good luck dodging the worst weather Mother Nature can throw at it.