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.