Weather Preparedness Tips for Mobile and Manufactured Home Residents

Mobile homes are not a safe shelter when tornadoes threaten. NOAA and FEMA recommend that mobile and manufactured home residents flee their homes for sturdier shelter before storms with tornadoes hit. On average, a total of 72 percent of all tornado-related fatalities are in homes and 54 percent of those fatalities are in mobile homes. When you are in a mobile home, you are 15 to 20 times more likely to be killed in comparison to when you are in a permanent home. During the January 10th and 11th tornado and high wind event in northwestern Louisiana, four people lost their lives in mobile homes when storms hit the area. EF-1 tornadoes and high-end severe thunderstorm winds can completely destroy mobile and manufactured homes. Regardless of how well built a mobile or manufactured home is built, anchor system failures are the primary cause of the majority of fatalities. Even well-built manufactured homes can be destroyed if they become airborne.

If you live in or have family that live in a mobile or manufactured home, it’s important to identify a safer structure to evacuate to before storms hit. Safer structures include single family homes, designated tornado shelters, buildings built with reinforced concrete, and designated community buildings like arenas, churches, and industrial buildings.

It’s important that mobile home residents monitor National Weather Service forecasts and review their plan. If you are a mobile or manufactured home resident, you need to know your evacuation route from your home and how long it takes to evacuate to a safer place. The day before, when tornadoes are predicted, coordinate with family and friends to spend time at their home when the storms threaten or identify a community place to go to. When a Tornado Watch is issued, that is the time to be ready to evacuate to your safe place. In many cases, when a Tornado Warning is issued, it may be too dangerous to take your evacuation route, so it’s best to evacuate your mobile home before warnings are issued and storms hit.

We encourage the following three step plan for these residents:

Step 1 (Today)- Monitor National Weather Service forecasts and make a tornado sheltering plan or review your current plan. Know your evacuation route from your home and how long it takes to evacuate to a safer place.
Step 2 (Day Before Severe Weather)- When tornadoes are predicted, coordinate with family and friends to spend time at their home when the storms threaten or identify a community place to go to.
Step 3 (Day of Severe Weather)- When a Tornado Watch is issued, that is the time to evacuate to your safe place. In many cases, when a Tornado Warning is issued, it may be too dangerous to take your evacuation route, so it’s best to evacuate your mobile home before warnings are issued and storms hit.

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