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Old 03-13-2021, 09:21 AM   #21
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We live about 3 hours in from the NC coast - primarily because of hurricanes.
We're well inland in Virginia. I was not comfortable with hurricanes or summer beach crowds.
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Question for the FL, GA and Carolina coast retirees
Old 03-13-2021, 09:52 AM   #22
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Question for the FL, GA and Carolina coast retirees

I have a lifetime of experience with coastal GA and Florida, where all my immediate family still lives. Like anywhere, there are trade offs for the warm weather everybody moves there for.

How my various family members adapt to natureís annual hurricane season:

Father: Lives in a large retirement community near Clearwater a few miles from the water that is out of the official flood zone maps.

Mother: Lives on the coastal marsh in Savannah but in a condo that is up on a small bluff and out of the official flood zone. She buys flood insurance, nevertheless, having been flooded in a prior home that was right on the water on a popular barrier island (There is no divine right of protection from nature or government for homeowners who choose to buy property on what are only sand bars.)

Brother and BIL: They (and their cars) live way up in a high rise in Tampa that was built to withstand hurricanes and that has a generator for the building.

Aunt and Uncle: They have a big old restored home on the waterway in Titusville that is up on a bluff. They ignore hurricanes and ride them out. So far, so good for them but every year is a worry for the rest of us.

Us: We live up north but, when we go, we rent. With climate change and sea level rise and with tax payers getting tired of backstopping endless flood insurance claims for people who own in known flood zones, I expect weíll always rent in those areas. We probably wonít visit much during fall hurricane season.

Sand gnats: They come out in a certain temperature band and when there is no breeze. Nature has biting insects. See: the Great Lakes for much of the summer when the black flies and mosquitoes are hungry.

Lightning: I donít think Iíve ever heard of anyone installing a lightning protection system beyond the usual ground wires for any house. My uncle had a sailboat that was struck, which fried everything, but thatís the only lightning problem I can remember from anyone I know.
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:03 AM   #23
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T

How far from the water is ďsaferĒ - where youíd still be in the hurricane but you might avoid the bulk of the water damage? 5 miles from shore? 50?

Distance from shore doesn't matter much, elevation does! Find a nice bluff on the water and enjoy it all! I'm in FL and owned a house across the street from the intracoastal and was high and dry. I'm now about 1.5 miles from the water and 70' elevation. Beyond elevation, local geology makes a big difference to actual risk as well. Check out FEMA and other online flood risk and elevation maps to target areas that you like and have a risk profile you are comfortable with.



The east coast has a lot of salt marshes that can mitigate some flooding if you are "on the water" but inland quite a bit.


FLSunFIRE (was on the line and evacuated from Hugo (SC), Charley, and Rode out Irma but was scared as she looked like the "one" before the track changed... too many minor storms to remember)
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:13 AM   #24
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I live in the middle of NC but spend my summers in the NC mountains near Banner Elk (at 5000 feet) so I have the best of both worlds, I love the winter/spring/fall in the middle of NC and the summer in high elevations. I visit the NC/SC coast in the off season but I would not want to live there. Hurricanes are one thing but there is also the humidity and crowds. Just not for me.

There is good tennis every where in NC but in the summer the best place to play is in the mountains--low temps and humidity.
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:28 AM   #25
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We're looking in NC for 3500+ elevation. DH is "moving south" as long as he can still have seasonal changes. I grew up in New Orleans and been through many hurricanes. Elevation is key. My parents house was the one house in their neighborhood that didn't have water damage after Katrina. Needless to say, he did very well selling his home a year later. 2025 can't come soon enough me!
I lived in New Orleans for a few years when I was a little kid. We lived in a rental house a mile or so south of Lake Pontchartrain. I was almost 5 years old when Hurricane Betsy hit (category 3 or 4 when it hit). We rode out the storm. I think a 100 plus people in New Orleans were killed. At least one levee failed (the levees were built higher after Betsy, only to be breached by Catrina!). This was one my earliest vivid memories of something big happening and was enough for me to say "No" to living in hurricane prone areas. Later I asked my mother why we did not evacuate. She said that we were told not to, that the hurricane would miss us, but it unexpectedly turned towards New Orleans and gave it a direct hit.

2tswhite, were you in New Orleans when Betsy hit?
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:37 AM   #26
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hurricanes and lightning? bah.

The thing to fret over in south Georgia and parts of Florida is gnats
Nahhh Skeeters, no see ums, palmetto bugs, pythons, monitor lizards, iguanas, alligators, and the list is growing. Also the worst, snowbirds.
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Old 03-13-2021, 12:01 PM   #27
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We've been concentrating there. Really like Boone, Banner Elk. We drove across the mountains from TN last Feb. meandering our way to my brother-in-laws in Davidson. Subscribed to some FB groups and newsletters, learning more about that area. Beautiful part of our country.
I spend my summers in Banner Elk, love it. PM me if I can be of any help.
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Old 03-13-2021, 04:55 PM   #28
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hurricanes and lightning? bah.

The thing to fret over in south Georgia and parts of Florida is gnats
Not to mention mosquitoes in South Carolina. A few years ago, I went hiking outside of Charleston. I donít remember the name of the area, it was some sort of nature preserve. While I was surprised when I accidentally disturbed an alligator less than 12 feet away from me, the real shock was the number of mosquito bites I received all over my arms and legs. I was not prepared for the mosquito swarm. They were everywhere. Iíd have a dozen of them on me at one time. Never experienced anything like that. I went back to my car as quickly as I could.
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Old 03-13-2021, 05:03 PM   #29
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Lightning: I donít think Iíve ever heard of anyone installing a lightning protection system beyond the usual ground wires for any house. My uncle had a sailboat that was struck, which fried everything, but thatís the only lightning problem I can remember from anyone I know.
Probably because you havenít met anybody who has a phobia about lightning. I know several people whose homes were struck by lightning. It just terrifies me. I grew up on the west coast where there isnít much lightning. I can only remember 2 thunderstorms when I lived on the west coast. When I moved to the Midwest, lightning terrified me. Then I moved to Oklahoma where it was even worse.

I like the ideas that the respondents have provided, particularly about living in an elevated area. But I am now thinking that returning to the west might be the right decision, even if Iíll have to pay considerably more.
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Old 03-13-2021, 05:44 PM   #30
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Probably because you haven’t met anybody who has a phobia about lightning. I know several people whose homes were struck by lightning. It just terrifies me. I grew up on the west coast where there isn’t much lightning. I can only remember 2 thunderstorms when I lived on the west coast. When I moved to the Midwest, lightning terrified me. Then I moved to Oklahoma where it was even worse.

I like the ideas that the respondents have provided, particularly about living in an elevated area. But I am now thinking that returning to the west might be the right decision, even if I’ll have to pay considerably more.
Often the perception of a threat is far more significant than the threat itself, and I am wondering if there are some methods for you to attack it from this angle. This is the actual situation with thunderstorms, since if you are indoors, the danger of any real physical harm to you is very very small, you can probably google the statistics. But the fear is indeed very real for many people, see for example here https://www.healthline.com/health/astraphobia .

Such phobias are actually very common, but fortunately they often respond very well to attacking them in the right way, often based on just trying to systematically rationalizing the problem and what is called CBT and related methods, also mentioned in the link. I remember as a kid I was horrified by spiders, I would freeze and get cold sweats when I just saw one on the wall across the room. Then my mom just told me to think about it rationally, and since there are no poisonous spiders where I lived at the time, there isn't real danger. Strangely enough, just thinking about this aspect systematically and regularly over some weeks or months eventually made the problem go away, and now I don't mind spiders even on my body (which I sometimes get because they make big webs between adjacent shrubs here in Florida - so if you don't like spiders, there's another thing to worry about ).

About the rest of the questions you have about Florida: I love it here, it offers great bang for the buck, especially when compared to California where I also lived repeatedly for several years. As others have mentioned, elevation is key and there are the famous FEMA flood maps that you can easily find. Here, about 8 miles inland, there isn't a real danger from flooding water. Hurricane Wilma went right over our home, it was really interesting to walk around outside while the eye was over us. We lost about a dozen roof tile and some shrubs, but other than that there wasn't a problem. It is useful to have a home built according to the newer building codes however, and window shutters (or so-called "impact windows") make a huge difference and are a must in most people's opinion. The largest improvements in the code came around 2002 if I remember correctly and were a consequence of the lessons learned from Hurricane Andrew that hit south of Miami in 1992.

But also with respect to hurricanes, trying to rationally putting things into perspective really helps. The number of disruption days due to hurricanes in 15 years has been about 10-20, and I think much more misery is brought through snow up north, or clogged roads, outdated infrastructure, and wildfires in California.
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Old 03-13-2021, 06:19 PM   #31
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Another good thing to have is a supply of bottled water and freeze dried foods plus a way to heat the water for the dried food.
Instead of stocking bottled water, we have a collection of stackable pitchers with lids. Some water bottles will eventually leak and may cause a mess. Our pitchers are nested and empty until a storm threatens, when we fill them up.
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Old 03-13-2021, 06:26 PM   #32
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I live in the Tampa/Bradenton area. Growing up in Calif, I experienced a fair number of earthquakes. These occur with almost no warning (unless you are observing your pets who apparently sense them coming). To me, earthquakes are more anxiety provoking than a hurricane you can track coming at you for days. Just maintain good homeowners coverage to include flood insurance, and keep some basic supplies if you choose not to evacuate.
Tennis-wise, I can tell you that the surrounding 40 miles has one of the most active tennis communities that rivals any place on the planet. For example, we have the Suncoast Tennis League (google it), that has been in the area 40+ years for senior men with age divisions (50, 60, 70, 80s). We currently have more than 1,800 players. There are similar leagues for the women as well. There are a couple dozen racquet clubs within 30 minutes of my house, to include the IMG Academy, which allows you in to see some really amazing players. I still manage to play at the 4.5 level and have lots of competition.
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Old 03-13-2021, 06:34 PM   #33
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Instead of stocking bottled water, we have a collection of stackable pitchers with lids. Some water bottles will eventually leak and may cause a mess. Our pitchers are nested and empty until a storm threatens, when we fill them up.
Very true. Some years ago I bought a dozen or so gallons of water at the grocery store and stored them behind a sofa. Recently I noticed water on the floor, and it turns out two of them were leaking. What a shame, but good that the floor is tile, so no damage was done.
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Old 03-13-2021, 06:43 PM   #34
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I live in the Tampa/Bradenton area. Growing up in Calif, I experienced a fair number of earthquakes. These occur with almost no warning (unless you are observing your pets who apparently sense them coming). To me, earthquakes are more anxiety provoking than a hurricane you can track coming at you for days. Just maintain good homeowners coverage to include flood insurance, and keep some basic supplies if you choose not to evacuate.
Tennis-wise, I can tell you that the surrounding 40 miles has one of the most active tennis communities that rivals any place on the planet. For example, we have the Suncoast Tennis League (google it), that has been in the area 40+ years for senior men with age divisions (50, 60, 70, 80s). We currently have more than 1,800 players. There are similar leagues for the women as well. There are a couple dozen racquet clubs within 30 minutes of my house, to include the IMG Academy, which allows you in to see some really amazing players. I still manage to play at the 4.5 level and have lots of competition.
I second the feelings about earthquakes, for me they were also more bothersome than hurricanes for which one can reasonably well prepare.

About tennis, another aspect is that many of the communities here have very elaborate clubs, which besides pools and other amenities often include tennis courts for the residents. So you can walk to your court in a few minutes, and usually don't even need an appointment.
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Old 03-13-2021, 06:56 PM   #35
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I second the feelings about earthquakes, for me they were also more bothersome than hurricanes for which one can reasonably well prepare.

About tennis, another aspect is that many of the communities here have very elaborate clubs, which besides pools and other amenities often include tennis courts for the residents. So you can walk to your court in a few minutes, and usually don't even need an appointment.
Not to mention that there are a lot of Pickleball courts in FLA.
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Old 03-13-2021, 07:07 PM   #36
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Not to mention that there are a lot of Pickleball courts in FLA.
Haha, yes exactly, Mr. Pickleball! Actually our community has seven tennis courts that are usually underused, and recently there is a quite vocal group of proponents of pickleball. The tennis guys don't want to give up a court to be modified (whatever precisely this requires - Mr. Pickleball?), but now quite likely they will build one or two additional courts just for pickleball. I may look into this myself, I played tennis earlier in my life, but a few years back got myself the worst imaginable tennis elbow when I overdid it here one day, and I haven't touched a tennis racket since.
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Old 03-13-2021, 07:46 PM   #37
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I just read an article about the gulf stream (and potential danger to it in the intermediate future). This strong ocean current is one of the reasons for the very moderate winter water and air temperatures along the east coast of Florida (and Georgia and the Carolinas), especially when compared to other coastal regions at similar latitudes. What I found particularly appealing is the interactive animation that goes along with the text to explain the details of the gulf stream. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...te-change.html Here is a (static) screen shot of the animation.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Gulf Stream.jpg (549.9 KB, 45 views)
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Old 03-13-2021, 07:52 PM   #38
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Haha, yes exactly, Mr. Pickleball! Actually our community has seven tennis courts that are usually underused, and recently there is a quite vocal group of proponents of pickleball. The tennis guys don't want to give up a court to be modified (whatever precisely this requires - Mr. Pickleball?), but now quite likely they will build one or two additional courts just for pickleball. I may look into this myself, I played tennis earlier in my life, but a few years back got myself the worst imaginable tennis elbow when I overdid it here one day, and I haven't touched a tennis racket since.
Yes the tennis courts can be modified by painting the lines used for Pickleball inside the tennis lines, since the pickleball court is smaller. Then the court can be used for either sport.
One can still get tennis elbow playing pickleball, but the odds tend to be lower than in playing tennis.
I gave up tennis for Pickleball and haven't looked back.
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Old 03-13-2021, 08:18 PM   #39
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<snip>
Tennis-wise, I can tell you that the surrounding 40 miles has one of the most active tennis communities that rivals any place on the planet. <snip>
Many top and former top players live in this region too. The Williams sisters just recently sold their joint custom home (or rather, mansion) in a neighboring community, for a price that is perhaps one tenth of what such an estate would cost in California, see here https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3...50940984_zpid/ Towards the end of the pictures of this listing, it also shows some details of the community club, which is probably fairly typical for the nicer subdivisions here. (This community is also just about the optimum distance to the beach, far enough to be safe from flooding and the worst of the winds, but close enough for a 15 min drive to McArthur Beach Park, one of the nicest in the region. Andre Agassi & Steffi Graf, husband and wife, also live not too far from here.
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Old 03-14-2021, 01:38 PM   #40
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I grew up in sandhills/golf country if NC. Never terrified if hurricanes. They hit occasionally. Rain and power outages but not a major deal.
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