Florida’s Hurricanes
If you look at the trees that blow over during a hurricane, they are typically hardwoods (ie. Oaks, Olives, Pines, Cypress, etc.).  These types of trees have a large head of leaves and a wide but shallow root system.  Additionally, their branches tend to snap off and cause damage, even if the entire tree does not blow over.  Palm trees, on the other hand, are single-trunked trees (called monocots) that create a narrow, deep root system to anchor themselves down.  This is ideal for holding up to strong winds, even up to 100 mph.  In fact, there is a palm called a Hurricane Palm (Dictyosperma album) which comes from the Reunion Islands in the Indian Ocean.  This palm gets its name because it holds up especially well to hurricane-force winds, often without even losing many fronds.  Other palms, such as Royals (Roystonea regia) and Coconuts (Cocos nucifera) also have a very good track record with regard to wind resistance, even when they grow to heights exceeding 50 feet!  In additional to this wind-resistance, palm trees are very resilient (able to recover quickly) even when they lose all of their leaves.  This is thanks to a central growth point at the top of them stem which is fairly protected from the elements.  As long as this growth point remains in tact, new leaves should emerge from what otherwise appears to be a dead “stick” in the ground.
Palms in Other States
Florida is not the only state that has a warm enough climate to grow palms.  Many beautiful palms can be grown in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and the Carolinas.    From California wildfires to Louisiana flooding to Florida hurricanes, palms cause the least amount of damage, cost the least to maintain, and provide the most beautiful colors.
In general, palm trees have many benefits over hardwoods:
1) The roots don’t dig up concrete or pavement
2) They require less trimming and some are self-cleaning
3) They are perennials (keep their green leaves year-round)
4) Resistant to strong winds
5) Usually grow back after a fire
6) Clumping species provide a good windbreak or privacy wall
7) Drop entire dead fronds a few times a year instead of thousands of small leaves at a time
8) Have beautifully colored trunks, necks, fronds, new emergent leaves, flowering bracts, fruit