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FLORIDA THEMES : NATURAL DISASTERS

What is one of the first things that people think of when they think of Florida? Perhaps, the think of a tropical paradise, but due to the tropical nature of the state of Florida, the land is subject to one of the most destructive forces of nature ever seen--hurricanes. Early accounts called them “big storms.” Today we know that Florida is a prime target for hurricanes. Major hurricanes that hit Florida leave a historical record of destruction of people and property. A number of historical works deal with reminiscences of these storms, as well as pictures of the destruction they leave behind. The Florida Heritage Collection contains a variety of items regarding Florida hurricanes, such as the infamous Hurrican Andrew, but there are also works on other natural disasters. Florida’s primary source for building materials has been its pine forests. Historically this creates a number of problems in that the decay of wood in a tropical climate has made it difficult to preserve Florida’s historical buildings. But another prevalent danger was fire. A number of historical works deal with major fires in Jacksonville and other cities where one fire could destroy an entire business district.

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