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Florida Transplant Regret

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Florida Transplants and Hurricane Ian

Key Takeaways

  • 56% of Florida transplants evacuated for Hurricane Ian.
  • 55% of Florida transplants who stayed through the hurricane regretted it.
  • After Hurricane Ian, 38% of Florida transplants regretted moving to Florida.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Hurricane Ian was devastating for Florida and its many residents. It made “mainland” landfall as a category 4 hurricane near Punta Gorda, barreling through the southern part of the state with powerful 150 mph winds and dangerous storm conditions.

Of course, Florida has had numerous hurricanes over the years, so some residents chose to weather the storm rather than evacuate. But for residents who are out-of-state transplants (of which there are many in Florida these days), it would be understandable if they’d decided to leave to avoid getting caught in the storm.

We wanted to understand how Florida transplants responded to the storm and whether Hurricane Ian impacted their desire to continue living in Florida.

Over half of the Florida transplants we surveyed (56%) decided to leave the state ahead of the hurricane, while 44% stayed home. Among those who remained, 55% said they regretted it and wished they’d evacuated. Sadly, 84% of respondents reported Hurricane Ian damaged their homes.

After the storm, Florida transplants experienced a range of feelings. Twenty-six percent said they felt depressed after the storm, while the same percentage reported feeling confident or motivated. Interestingly, despite widespread storm damage, just 23% said they felt scared or stressed following the storm.

Overall, 38% of transplants said they regretted moving to Florida after the events of Hurricane Ian.

Preparing for Next Time

Living in a state like Florida means being as prepared as possible for a hurricane is important. Some transplants aren’t accustomed to factoring storm prep into their lifestyle, but in Florida, it’s necessary to do it before hurricane season every year. We asked transplants about their preparation plans for the next storm.

Less than half of respondents (49%) were very confident in Florida’s power grid, yet 69% never lost power, suggesting that the grid is more robust than some people think.

As for getting ready for the next storm, respondents said taking pre-storm photos of their property (25%) and sealing important documents (25%) were top priorities. The first helps with insurance claims should their property suffer damage, while the second protects documents from water damage or destruction.

Twenty-two percent of respondents said they’d install hurricane-proof impact windows, which is lower than expected. Impact windows are a wise investment, especially in the coastal areas of Florida, as they’re built to withstand 200 mph winds.

Though preparation methods varied among respondents, it seems like transplants intend to take hurricanes more seriously in the future.


Payless Power surveyed 302 Florida transplants after Hurricane Ian. For the purposes of this study, Florida transplants were defined as people who moved to Florida within the last four years.

About Payless Power

Payless Power provides affordable prepaid electricity plans for Texas residents and helps people get the necessary power they need regardless of credit history or income.

Fair Use Statement

If you enjoyed this study and are interested in sharing, you’re welcome to do so. We only ask that you link back to our findings and that your purposes are noncommercial.

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