Is a manufactured home safe in a tornado?

The general opinion is that when tropical storms like Elsa arrive, you don't want to live in a “mobile home”. How many times have we read stories about storm damage that focused on the debris that used to be a mobile home park? Many people living in the South and Southeast reside in a “mobile home” or a prefabricated house. It's no secret that older mobile homes often don't do well during tornadoes, tropical storms, or hurricanes. In the 1940s, 50s, 60s and early 1970s, the “mobile home” burst onto the real estate landscape as a form of housing that almost anyone could afford.

The incredible demand resulted in dozens of manufacturing plants building thousands of low-cost mobile homes across the country, in states where there were virtually no regulations governing construction and health and safety. Many wonder if modular homes offer the same amount of protection and safety as traditional homes, especially when it comes to tornadoes. About 54% of the deaths that occur in a home during a tornado occur in mobile and prefabricated homes. Experts propose that the manufacturing process of modular homes creates stricter quality control, resulting in a higher quality product.

In addition to being cost-effective and stylish, modular homes are also a safe place to live and raise a family. The HUD Code's wind and storm regulations were changed in 1980 and again in 1994, requiring that new prefabricated homes comply with housing construction standards in regions of the country previously designated as susceptible to storms indicated on the wind zone map of the U. HUD. However, for Roueche, there is still a limit to the safety of mobile and prefabricated homes during a tornado, since it depends largely on how well (if at all) the house is connected to the ground in a major storm.

People who can't find a storm shelter or a permanent home to stay during a storm can consider some ways to make their mobile or prefabricated homes structurally stronger during a tornado.

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