Tornado Magnets or Fake News?
Today’s Manufactured Homes Are Built To Weather The Storm
Most folks have seen “The Wizard of Oz,” and the famous scene when Dorothy’s house lifts off the ground, swirling through the air, only to land on the wicked witch. Despite the potential for mutual destruction when directly hit by a tornado, during a tornado warning in San Antonio, meteorologist Steve Brown didn’t say to leave your stick-built house, but to leave your mobile home.
Safety is a concern no matter what type of home you live in! Manufactured houses must travel 70-80 mph down the road, and that’s as fast as a small tornado. That’s even before the home ties down to Federal HUD regulations.
If you don’t believe it, check out this video presented by ManufacturedHomelivingNews.com. In this video, a large military plane is backed up to a double-wide mobile home and cranks the propellers full blast. Federal regulations of Wind Zone 3, are built to keep a home safe up to winds of 110MPH. After that, well, neither site-built nor tie-downs can keep intact. Take the case of Jasper, Mississippi…
Mobile Homes Aren’t to Blame!
On January 3rd, 2015, an EF-2 tornado struck this city and destroyed a total of 33 homes. Only 6 of them were mobile homes. Each was located in a mobile home community and had been determined to be a mobile home dated pre-1976, which was before the federal government stepped in to regulate construction standards in the industry. The park owners manufactured home only sustained minor damages. Nearby, dozens of site-built homes faced substantial damage. High winds are not manufactured home issues, it relates more to an installation issue.
In the case of Moore, OK, an EF5 tornado with winds over 200 mph, destroyed a city and left disaster in its wake. A video of the aftermath can show the path of destruction among site-built houses, while correctly installed manufactured homes stayed intact.
Right in our backyard Feb 19th, 2017, 3 tornadoes hit San Antonio Texas. Although Steve Brown urged folks to leave their manufactured homes, no reports show mobile homes were destroyed. There were, however, over 100 cases of stick-built homes, apartment complexes, and other commercial buildings that suffered.
Take it from Us
At the end of the day, both types of housing are at risk when a tornado hits. When manufactured houses are built and installed properly, research has shown them to withstand severe winds and storms on a regular basis. As for winds of 120mph, it doesn’t matter if it’s a site-built or manufactured – there will be damage.
The need for affordable housing is on the rise. Longstanding opinions touted as facts prevent folks from seeking out a solution to home ownership that fits their budget. The stigma and stereotype of mobile homes being “tornado magnets” or “unsafe structures,” just isn’t true and it’s time to educate folks on this safe and affordable alternative to renting.