Extreme weather events—namely hurricanes— punctuate the modern history of Southeast Florida’s settlement and development. From the development-disrupting Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 and the railroad-destroying 1935 Labor Day hurricane to the significant storms of modern Southeast Florida history—Andrew, Wilma, and Irma—hurricanes have shaped the region into what it is today and made Southeast Florida a leader in local emergency response.
However, climate change will continue to expose the region to more frequent and severe weather events. Future hurricanes will likely be much larger, pack greater amounts of potential precipitation, and be more intense than the storms of the past. The region will experience greater extremes in drought and intense rainfall events, and average temperatures are expected to increase, creating the potential for longer and hotter heatwaves. Accordingly, climate resilience efforts must be integrated into and deeply inform emergency management efforts.
These recommendations draw on the region’s expertise in preparing for and responding to weather extremes to keep the region at the forefront of excellence.