Moving to Florida. The name alone evokes iconic imagery; Disney world vacations, orange groves, cheesy floral button ups. Then there are the more worrisome stereotypes that many non-Floridians believe to be true! Hungry alligators everywhere; devastating hurricanes every year; the perception that Florida is just a tourist state. Do they sound familiar? You probably have also heard of the infamous Florida Man.
Even with the negative perception that many people have, moving to Florida still remains as popular as ever. Florida was actually the fastest growing state by population in 2022. If you’re ready to learn the truth about living in Florida, buckle in! Here is everything you need to know surrounding some of the most popular Florida stereotypes.
Moving to Florida: What About Alligators?
A common fear of Florida that many folks believe is that alligators run rampant – but this is simply not true. American alligators can be found in the southeastern U.S. from central Texas to North Carolina, not just Florida! Louisiana and Florida are also about equal in their gator populations.
Since Florida is a popular destination for waterfront homes and recreation, alligators definitely sound scary. However, you have very little need to fear random Florida alligator attacks. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the chance of being injured in an unprovoked alligator attack is 1 in 3.1 million, or ~0.000032%. To put that into perspective: you’re more likely to be accepted into Harvard University, whose acceptance rate is 4%.
Also, the FWC actively manages the alligator population and monitors areas where there is a potential for human-alligator interaction. They work to minimize risk by educating the public on how to safely coexist with alligators. As long as you follow the FWC human-alligator safety guidelines, you can enjoy your waterfront home without fearing alligators. Moving to Florida is not that scary anymore, is it?
Read the official FWC Human-Alligator Incidents Fact Sheet: https://myfwc.com/media/1776/human-alligatorincidentfactsheet.pdf
Moving to Florida: Hurricane Seasons
Hurricanes are powerful weather systems that cause strong winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, and tornadoes. They often make landfall on the eastern/southeastern coasts of the U.S., Florida included. But hurricanes don’t happen unexpectedly! Sophisticated technology allows us to track crucial characteristics of a hurricane (size, strength, possible routes, and landfall locations). The Atlantic hurricane season ranges from July to November. Floridians have the other half of the year to plan and prepare for hurricane season.
Florida also has robust preparedness measures in place to help protect residents. The state has a comprehensive emergency management system implemented, and Floridians are encouraged to have hurricane preparedness plans. The National Hurricane Center and local news outlets also keep Florida residents informed in real time.
Although Florida hurricanes should not be taken lightly, not all areas of Florida are affected equally. Coastlines are susceptible to the most damage due to the risk of storm surge and direct landfall. Central counties in the state feel the effect of hurricanes as well. They receive outer bands of rain, but the damage is rarely equal to that which occurs along the coasts. It’s also important to remember that Florida isn’t the only state prone to natural disasters. California is known for its earthquakes and wildfires, Oklahoma for its tornadoes, and Texas for its floods, to name a few.
Florida Exists for Tourists
While Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, amusement parks, and warm weather, it’s more than a place for visitors. Florida’s economy benefits from a variety of industries besides tourism, such as aerospace and aviation, agriculture, healthcare, finance, and more.
Florida is also home to numerous education and research opportunities. Such as Florida State University (FSU), University of Florida (UF), University of Central Florida (UCF), and more. These institutions drive search and innovation across many different fields.
It’s no secret that Florida also has a thriving sports culture. Teams like the Miami Heat (NBA), Miami Dolphins (NFL), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL), and Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) may sound familiar to you! If sports aren’t your speed, then the unique art scene might pique your interest. Cities like Miami are well known for their contemporary art and cultural diversity, attracting artists and creative professionals from around the world.
Living in Florida also has its lesser-known perks. Due to being the third most populous state in the U.S., the job opportunities are abundant and unemployment is low. Plus, there is no income tax in Florida!
Let’s be honest – we’ve all heard of the notorious “Florida Man” and the strange headlines accompanying this figure. The “Florida Man” myth, popularized by these sensational headlines, unfairly stereotypes the entire population of Florida based on the bizarre actions of a few individuals.
Florida, like any other state, has its share of unusual news stories, but these isolated incidents do not define the character or behavior of most Floridians. It is important to recognize that Florida, like any diverse population, comprises millions of hardworking, law-abiding individuals who contribute to their communities, pursue careers, raise families, and engage in everyday activities just like people in any other state.
If you’re seriously considering moving to Florida, we hope you feel more educated and reassured on these topics. The sunshine state’s vibrant culture, diverse ecosystems, and unique attractions are often underrated, but herein lies the authentic Florida experience. While negative stereotypes of the state persist, remember that Florida offers so much more than meets the eye.
Looking for a peaceful, amenity-rich community in Florida? Lakeshore by Simple Life could be the perfect place for you! Located in Oxford, central Florida, Lakeshore is a home community that offers a variety of 1 & 2 bedroom cottages.