You probably think of Walt Disney World, palm trees, and a tropical paradise when you envision Orlando. However, how accurate is this vision of the city? To give you a better idea of what to expect in Orlando, we have created this short preview of the habitat, wildlife, and people of the City Beautiful.
Orlando has a diverse population of more than a quarter million. According to the latest census numbers, almost 58 percent of residents self-identified as white, over 28 percent were African-American, nearly four percent were Asian, and over a quarter of the population was Hispanic. These numbers do not add up to 100 percent because some people fit into multiple categories. More than 51 percent of the residents in Orlando are female, and one out of every ten Orlandoans is aged 65 or older.
People from around the country and beyond find Orlando is a great place to settle because of its gorgeous climate and low cost of living. More than one out of every six residents in Orlando were born outside of the United States. Also, nearly a third of the population speaks languages other than English at home.
Orlando has a humid subtropical climate that exhibits two major seasons each year. There is the hot and rainy season lasting from May until late September with the average highs right around 90 degrees and rain averaging six inches per month during that time. The dry, relatively cool season is from October until April. Even during the cool season, the average lows are still around 50 degrees. Snow is exceptionally rare. The only accumulation in the city was in 1948.
The biggest natural disaster risk in Orlando is hurricanes, though the threat is not as great as it is further south. Plus, hurricanes usually weaken before arriving in the city since Orlando is located 77 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico and 42 miles inland from the Atlantic. There are some strong thunderstorms in the summer. Also, with the infrequent cold fronts in the winter, there are occasional tornados.
The City of Orlando has an Office of Emergency Management that provides activities and programs to city departments and residents to help them cope with, recover from, and prepare for the effects of manmade and natural disasters. You can also sign up to receive phone messages that warn you of potential threats.
Though the environment in Orlando is ripe for severe weather, it also yields an array of marine and land life. Orlando is the perfect place for birdwatching with more than 500 species of birds nearby. If you are interested in taking a day trip, Everglades National Park is the perfect place to go.
Wherever there are many species thriving in an area, there will also be animals that are lethal to humans. Florida is best known for its alligators. For this reason, you should always keep your distance from these fast reptiles and avoid natural bodies of fresh water, where they like to lurk.
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