Anthropology and Environment Society
Oral Presentation Session
Extensive shoreline, population density, and concentrated coastal development make Florida more vulnerable to hurricane disasters than any other state in the nation. With more than 500 hurricanes making landfall since 1851, the prevalence of hurricanes generates a relatively high likelihood that most Florida residents will, at some point, be exposed to the risks associated with hurricane-induced hazards and the long-term impacts of post-hurricane recovery. A case study analysis of hurricane Opal in 1995 identifies how specific circumstance that have come to characterize the state of Florida (such as market-driven building construction, coastal residence patterns, natural resource and tourism-based economies, inadequate public transportation, and ecological degradation) contributed to the conditions that produced disastrous outcomes for residents during the hurricane event.