When the Wind Blows

Unless you lived in Florida back in 2004, you may never have heard this true story. As you may recall, that year 4 hurricanes hit the state. Some 50 billion dollars in property damage was done. Commercial buildings, schools, conventional residential construction and factory built homes were damaged or destroyed. So when 1600 manufactured homes built to the new Wind Zone and installation standards established in the 1990s where hit by those hurricanes, what happened? How many were destroyed? How many of those manufactured homes blew off their foundations? None. Zero, zip, nada! All 1600 survived the events which flattened other forms of construction, sometimes right next door.

There are truths and myths out there about factory built homes and high winds like tornadoes or hurricanes.

As the tornadoes of 2011 and 2012 have proven, conventional housing gets destroyed by a direct hit by a tornado the same as older mobile homes or manufactured homes. So why do weather men use the tired old phrase, if you are in a mobile home, seek shelter? In a recent flurry of tornadoes, one weather report correctly modified that misleading statement when they explained that when faced with a tornado, you should seek underground shelter if possible. When it isn’t possible to go underground, you go into a small, windowless inner room, a bathroom or closet.

The odds are 5,000,000-10,000,000 to 1 that you will NOT die in this year in a manufactured home being hit by a tornado! In fact, you are 70 times more likely to die in a bath tub than in a manufactured home getting hit by a tornado!


Remains of 20 of 67 houses destroyed in a subdivision in TN by a tornado.
These are conventional houses, not mobile or manufactured homes.

It would be great if we could live risk free lives, but that just isn’t going to happen. So mobile or manufactured home owners should do what is common sense. If your home was purchased and installed in years prior to modern installation standards, it is in your best interest to have proper anchoring done. Contact a manufactured home installation professional in your area to learn more.

So be prepared, but don’t live in needless fear. Your friends who live in conventional houses pay tons more for their housing than you do, but their house isn’t immune from tornadoes either, as the photo above shows. Don’t let the media – or well meaning, but misinformed public officials – discriminate against you because your home was built in a factory. The hurricanes of 2004 proved that properly installed manufactured homes are not weaker than conventional construction, they are stronger!

Want some common sense proof that manufactured homes are stronger? Try to move a conventional house down the road at 60 miles an hour! Even with special equipment, you just can’t do it. But you can move a manufactured home down the road for hours or days and arrive at your home’s destination intact.

Today’s manufactured homes: they are built strong and last long. ##

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