The 2004 hurricane season was the worst in Florida’s history, with four hurricanes causing at least 47 deaths and some $45 billion in damages. In order to collect information on the demographic impact of those hurricanes, we surveyed households throughout the state and in the local areas sustaining the greatest damage. We estimate that one-quarter of Florida’s population evacuated prior to at least one hurricane; in some areas, well over half the residents evacuated at least once and many evacuated several times.
By most measures, the 2004 hurricane season was the worst in Florida’s history. Four hurricanes blasted through the state between August 13 and September 25, with Charley making landfall on the southwest coast near Punta Gorda, Frances on the southeast coast near Stuart, Ivan in the panhandle near Pensacola, and Jeanne nearly retracing the route followed by Frances. This was the first time in recorded history that four hurricanes had struck Florida in a single year. Most parts of the state were hit by at least one of the hurricanes and some were hit by two or even three.
Many studies have considered the economic, social, and psychological effects of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and other natural disasters, but few have considered their demographic effects. In this paper we describe and evaluate a method for measuring the effects on Hurricane Andrew on the housing stock and population distribution in Dade County, Florida
Hurricane Andrew blasted through the southern tip of Florida in August 1992, damaging or destroying tens of thousands of homes and forcing hundreds of thousands of persons to move at least temporarily to different places of residence. The hurricane not only disrupted the lives of many Floridians, but destroyed the statistical basis for producing local population estimates in South Florida as well. These estimates are used for many types of decision-making, from the distribution of state revenue-sharing dollars to choosing sites for fast-food restuarants.