The Executive Director Dillard-led Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina (MHISC) created the infographic being shown further below on the topic of windstorms. For those who care about the American dream of home ownership, this is an always timely topic.
While MHLivingNews is pro-consumer, and pro-industry, we are all about the facts well told.
This chart from MHISC is a significant tool in sharing some facts that are widely misunderstood.
There are several reasons why news media reports on “mobile homes” or “trailer houses” being more dangerous in a windstorm is often an example of problematic reporting. Here are the facts. Trailer houses pre-date mobile homes. Mobile homes pre-date manufactured homes. They are not interchangeable words, even if millions make that mistake.
Manufactured homes are built to a safety standard that not all mobile homes met. That’s the reason that the HUD Code for manufactured housing construction and safety standards were created in the first place. The federal HUD Code gives consumers confidence in the quality, safety, energy savings, and durability of the home they invest in.
Any residential construction – trailer, mobile, manufactured home, or conventional construction – that is not properly anchored to the ground is more at risk than one that is anchored.
Proper anchoring – what some in the industry call ‘tie downs’ – are critical for home safety.
This writer has owned several conventional and manufactured homes. When the tornado sirens sounded in Oklahoma one evening, most of my neighbors – who at that time and place were living in manufactured homes – ran for a storm shelter.
Not me. Had the storm hit, you’d have found me tucked away in a windowless room inside. Why?
When there is sufficient time, going to a shelter might be wise. But what if there is not sufficient time? If you leave the shelter of a manufactured home that is properly anchored, you are arguably leaving higher relative safety for greater risk.
A storm researcher, who told MHLivingNews that when federal statistics are compiled, tornado deaths may include those who followed the weather man’s advice, and left their home. What if they left their home, and died outside? That death is considered, per that source, as a tornado death. That’s an avoidable tragedy.
Terminology is important, as Steve Duke of the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association (LMHA) has said, because it defines the standards a home is built to achieve. MHLivingNews encourages everyone to use the correct terminology. If a factory-built home on a frame/chassis was built after June 15, 1976 and it originally had a HUD Label, then it is a manufactured home.
If that manufactured home is properly installed, it can be as safe as a conventional house? Who says, the third-party researchers that are included in the 9 minute fact-packed video posted above.
The secrets for storm safety has been – and will continue to be – the use of good judgment and proper safety steps. Depending on the year, the odds can range from about 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 to 1 in the favor of the person living in a manufactured home that they won’t die in a tornado. Federal data also reflects that a common bathtub or shower – found in any kind of housing – is about 70 times more likely to cause a death.
Don’t let ‘fear’ – False Evidence Appearing Real – keep you from enjoying the pride of owning a properly installed manufactured home. ##
(Image credits are as shown, and when provided by third parties, are presented under fair use guidelines.)
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