Lakeland, Florida - Spring tornadoes, summer hurricanes and high anxiety abound as the nation enters peak storm season.
For those who reside in mobile or manufactured homes, there is the added conflict of what to do, and where to go when dangerous weather appears on the radar.
Conventional wisdom suggests that those who live in "mobile homes" should seek shelter in sturdy stick-built abodes, but too few realize that this advice applies to old pre-HUD code trailers that invariably litter the landscape when high winds and punishing rains come to call.
But though the term is often used interchangeably, today's manufactured homes aren't your grandpa's trailers and they're a better bet than most traditional site-built homes.
Researchers had conducted controlled high-wind testing that shows modern manufactured homes stand up to storms better than their stick-built counterparts.
And Hurricane Charley supplied a real-world laboratory that demonstrated how progressive improvements have made them even more storm-worthy over the years. State and federal teams assessed the damage to housing -- or lack thereof -- in parts of Florida where the Category 4 storm's eye wall came through.
- Pre-1976 mobile homes did not do well. - Post-1976 HUD code manufactured homes sustained less damage. - Homes manufactured after 1994, when Hurricane Andrew prompted even higher wind-force requirements, performed better still.
And those homes manufactured and set up after 1999, when new installation and tie-down standards were implemented, emerged relatively unscathed, while a commercial concrete block "fortress" lay in ruins after Charley churned through. Less than a quarter mile away were dozens of unfazed manufactured homes in a community, where pre-HUD code mobile homes could be found crushed right next door.
All of these things suggest that conventional wisdom needs to be tweaked. But the most convincing proof comes from the manufactured home owners who fled their modern factory-built marvels and returned to find they had weathered hurricanes and tornadoes better than the shelters to which they evacuated.
See and hear their compelling eyewitness accounts of what they found when they came home to their manufactured homes in our new video report, Surprising Reality - Comparing the Impact of Hurricanes and Tornadoes on Conventional vs Manufactured Homes – linked here
(Photo Caption: still from video report, all credits are shown at the end of the MHLivingNews.com video)
MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com are the leading trade publications for manufactured housing consumers and MH industry professionals and investors who want up-to-date lifestyle and business news.
L. A. "Tony" Kovach
Publisher – MHLivingNews.com
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