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Mobile/Manufactured Homes & Severe Weather. What are the implications? Linda Gilbert Meteorologist, NWS Louisville. National Weather Service Warnings. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings 60+ MPH: “Expect wind damage to roofs, siding & trees.”

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mobile manufactured homes severe weather

Mobile/Manufactured Homes & Severe Weather

What are the implications?

Linda Gilbert

Meteorologist, NWS Louisville

national weather service warnings
National Weather Service Warnings
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warnings
    • 60+ MPH: “Expect wind damage to roofs, siding & trees.”
    • 70+ MPH: “Wind damage is also likely to mobile homes, roofs, & outbuildings.”
    • Tornado Warnings
      • “Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed.”
      • “If in a mobile home…move to the closest substantial shelter….”
why the mention in warnings
Why the mention in warnings?
  • Numerous studies show how dangerous it is to be in a mobile or manufactured home during severe weather, particularly tornadoes.
    • “Mobile homes have been widely recognized as a contributing factor in U.S. tornado fatalities. Brooks and Doswell (2002) found that the average annual death rate in mobile homes was approximately 20 times higher than in permanent homes. Ashley (2007) discovered that mobile homes (44%) were the most common location for tornado fatalities from 1985 to 2005, followed by permanent homes (25.3%) and vehicles (9.9%). This disparity is more striking when considering that mobile homes accounted for a mere 5%–8% of U.S. housing units….”
let s t alk s tatistics
Let’s Talk Statistics
  • Tornado fatalities in mobile/manufactured homes in 2012:
    • Kentucky - 82% (18 out of 22)
    • Nationwide - nearly 71%
madison garrard counties ef 3 8 may 20091
Madison & Garrard CountiesEF-3, 8 May 2009

Single Family Home Damage

Mobile Home Damage

evansville in f 3 6 november 2005
Evansville, INF-3, 6 November 2005
  • Eastbrook Mobile Home Park suffered extreme damage
  • Tornado occurred around 2am
  • C.J.’s Law:
    • Named for two-year-old C.J. Martin, one of the fatalities, & spearheaded by his mother, Kathryn
    • Signed into Indiana law by IN Governor Mitchell Daniels in 2007
    • Mandates NOAA Weather Radios in all new & relocated manufactured housing within manufactured communities
evansville in 29 february 2012
Evansville, IN29 February 2012
  • Close call as an EF-1 tornado (~90 mph) touched down in nearby Newburgh, IN
  • Many Eastbrook residents fled
    • People didn’t want to take chances this time
    • “Geri Doughty, 46, said her home felt like a basketball being dribbled low and fast in 2005.”
  • As of early 2012, the mobile home park still lacks a tornado shelter
    • Sought shelter in nearby hospital, under an overpass (very dangerous!), & wherever the closest shelter was that they could find
tornado safety
Tornado Safety

Put as many walls & floors between you & the tornado as possible.

If you have a basement, use it!

Clear out interior closets so that they may be used as shelter.

Evacuate any mobile homes & seek sturdy shelter!

bottom line
Bottom Line
  • It is important for residents of mobile/manufactured homes:
    • to have a severe weather plan in place
    • to have easy access to safe shelter during severe weather, particularly tornadoes
    • to be aware of impending hazardous weather
    • to have a NOAA Weather Radio, especially when severe weather is expected to occur overnight

Twitter: @NWSLouisville