Potential Local Hazards

Hurricanes & Tropical Storms

Hurricanes and tropical storms are huge storms that can bring widespread damage and destruction. They can severe winds, extreme rainfall and flooding, lightning, and in many cases, tornadoes. In coastal areas they can cause high seas, storm surge and beach erosion.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30, though in recent years tropical systems have formed outside of those dates more frequently.


A thunderstorm is a storm that produces lightning. They may be isolated, grouped together in clusters, or organized in lines. Thunderstorms typically produce heavy rain for a brief period. Some of the most damaging impacts occur when a single thunderstorm affects one location for an extended time.

Warm, humid conditions like those found throughout the summer months in Central Florida are highly favorable for thunderstorm development.

All thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning. In the United States, an average of 182 people are injured and 31 people are killed each year by lightning. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms. Other associated dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, and flash flooding.


Each year, flooding is the most common and costly disaster event across our nation. The City of St. Cloud has helpful tools to let you know your property's risk of flooding, and steps you can take to ensure your safety and mitigate damage.


Tornadoes are violently rotating  columns of air that extend down from thunderstorms to the ground. They can happen at any time of year in the state of Florida, and bring intense winds. They can cause very focused to very broad damage in an area. Please see this FEMA data sheet for more information on how to recognize tornadoes, and steps you can take to stay safe.


A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. Often caused by humans or lightning, wildfires can damage your property, injure livestock, and be fatal. Set up defense zones to protect your home. Wildfires can happen anywhere, and at any time. Risk increases with dry conditions and high winds.