What Does Hurricane Season Mean for Sanibel?

One of the biggest fears people have about buying property in Florida is the fact that Florida has hurricanes. And while yes, it’s true, Florida has hurricanes, some of which can destroy an area, it’s important to realize that most areas in the U.S. are subject to some major natural disaster, whether it be hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, wild fires, flash floods, or blizzards. 

Personally, I choose the chance of hurricanes, since meteorologists seem to have improved technology that allows enough warning and opportunity to evacuate before a major storm makes landfall. That’s the choice we’ve made for our family, knowing we may have to evacuate for a storm with the tradeoff of living in paradise every day. 

History of Hurricanes in SWFL

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from from June 1st through November 30th. For the Gulf Coast of Florida, the hurricane season doesn’t usually heat up until the second half: late August-November. “Peak season” on Sanibel Island is September 10th.

There have been 12 Major Hurricanes (cat 3+) that have made landfall in Florida between 1960-2017. Of those 12 major hurricanes, only four of those have been within 50 miles of Sanibel. Four major hurricanes in almost 60 years isn’t too bad of a statistic, I’d say.

Is it true that a big one comes every 10 years?

I wouldn’t get too wrapped in that old wives tale. In 2017 and 2018, the U.S. had a few “big ones” hit Florida, Texas and Louisiana. The “big ones” that hit near SWFL were Donna 1960, Charley 2004, Wilma 2005, and Irma 2017, which automatically debunks the “every ten years” myth. 

Hurricane Resources

My intention is not to downplay the threat of hurricanes on Sanibel Island. As residents of Florida, you should familiarize yourself with the basics of what makes a hurricane dangerous, along with the protections your community and your home have for withstanding storm winds, tidal surges, flooding, and power outages. 

Living on a barrier island, of course, adds a special level of knowledge when it comes to keeping yourself and your property protected during storms. And I must say, the City of Sanibel  knows this fact, and has done an amazing job at communicating with residents and visitors before, during and after a storm.

Click here for more about the City of Sanibel hurricane resources. 

Click here to see how we handled hurricane Irma in 2017. 

We encourage you to reach out with any questions about hurricanes and how we’ve handled them as a business and a family. We’re here to help you decide if Sanibel is right for you, and hurricanes are certainly a consideration for any coastal community in the U.S. So don’t hesitate to reach out! 

Jim McCallion About Jim McCallion

Meet the "Marketing Megaphone" and Webmaster behind McCallion & McCallion. After selling his software company, Jim, Susan and kids moved to Sanibel in 2008. With his tech experience, he and Susan bring a fresh approach to island real estate.