Hurricane's are a very real danger here. In late August, and early September we were hit on 3 weekends in a row. To give you an idea of the damage, it is now January and some people still have blue tarps on their roofs waiting for repairs. There are also still many signs and downed trees. Take the warnings seriously. (I must admit, the first storm occured just after I had surgery and I slept right through it. The next morning I drove through my complex and the amount of downed trees and power lines was amazing.
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of people that refuse to put on suncream and opt for nothing or even baby oil or cooking oil in the naieve belief that it will help them tan quicker. It will not, it will only make you burn and then peel quicker.
A high factor sunscreen is always a good idea, a healthy white skin is far more attractive than burnt, peeling red skin.
When buying the sunscreen make sure that it doesn`t have water or agua as an ingredient, it evaporates in the heat and doesn`t help you at all.
I would also recommend a hat, long sleeve shirt and sunglasses as well to help protect you from the suns harmful rays.
Florida, having two coasts with different air temperatures, often get thunderstorms. If a thunderstorm is in your area, be cautious of lightning. There were several fatal lightning strikes during our trip in 2004.
If you see lightning nearby, determine if you need to follow the 30-30 rule: if the lightning is followed by thunder in less than 30 seconds, seek shelter until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
For more information on lightning safety, visit the National Weather Service web site.
Hurricanes may blow through Orlando. Luckily we missed Hurricane Charley in 2004, but we did see the damage it caused.
Check for hurricane warnings from the National Hurricane Center before you go.
If you are planning a trip to Central Florida during Hurricane season, be sure to keep an eye on the weather in the tropics. I have lived in Central Florida for nearly 20 years and never thought we'd ever be hit very hard by a hurricane, but Hurricane Charlie gave Orlando, Kissimmee, and the surrounding areas a serious spanking. Today it is 6 days after the storm hit and there are still lines for gas, stores are still closed, and people are still without power. Nearly half of the traffic lights are still out and there are a lot of detours because roads are still blocked by fallen trees. I would hate to try to vacation in this!
And let's not forget mighty mother nature with her bolts of lightning! Florida is known for its severe thunderstorms and the fact that lightning can eminate from a seemingly clear sky. This is the lightning capitol of the United States so your odds of getting hit are greater here! If you are outdoors and a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, seek shelter indoors. Even inside a car is good. But whatever you do, DO NOT stand under a tree or any type of non-enclosed shelter. A direct or even a close strike will get you as well. You'd be better off laying flat on the open ground making yourself the lowest target around.
So, with these things in mind, enjoy the great outdoors here in Florida!
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Dehydration! Drink lots of fluids! If you are going to be outside and it's in the 90's- I would recommend carrying a back pack with at least 2 liters of water. It may be a lot to carry, but 1 person can drink all that during the heat of the day. Also remember! A 24oz bottle of water inside the parks is an amazing rip-off at $2.50 a bottle!!!
A lot of the European travel agencies book people in cheap hotels in the most dangerous parts of the city. Don't stay in a hotel that has a W. 50 or West Colonial address or a South Orange Blossom Trail address. Also, please remember to wear sun screen with at least an SPF factor of 15 BEFORE you step outside. Believe me, even with this total block you will get a tan and cook. Remember, Orlando is on the 28th degree parallel, while all european cities (like Amsterdam is on the 57th) are at least 15 degrees north in latitude. Translation, the sun feels hotter here and you will burn faster. And don't forget that bug spray or Avon Skin-So-Soft, you will be eaten alive after sundown, otherwise.
OK..so there are a few things to watch out for..but gator attacks are very rare...HONEST;-)
*JUST A NOTE ABOUT WEATHER...much of the criticism of Florida comes from people up north that get their vacations in July and August and head down here and suffer accordingly.. I ASSURE you..it IS hot! At least 95F daily. I LIKE hot weather but I STILL try to get outa here July/August/September(the hottest month) every year. As common knowlege as it is...Disney Worlds peak time of the year is still Jun-Aug when hundreds of thousands of hopefull tourists come down and gripe/complain and literally pass out in droves. RETHINK the summer trip to Florida...unless you LOVE high heat and humidity.
DON'T COME TO FLORIDA DURING SUMMER TIME!
You have to content with the horrible summer HEAT (sometimes reaching 40 degrees Celcius and above), queueing up for ALL theme park rides (at least one hour minimum) and queueing up to eat at 90% of the WDW restaurants and eateries. I think after my Florida experience, I swore off visiting places where there are CROWDS for at least 2 years!!! I mean, I was even having nightmares about queueing up for a while. That's bad, isn't it??? :-((
It gets rather hot here in Florida so bring water and suntan lotion with a high SPF. I you go to a park, be prepared to walk a lot. Bring broken in shoes and drink water constantly. A Disney character was suffering from heat exaustion one and the person fell down so a few people had to bring him indoors. So make sure you have money to buy water.