Hurricane Season: Manufactured Homes Storm Safety

Understanding the intricacies of manufactured home building will help ensure that you’re up to speed on manufactured homes storm safety, which is all important during hurricane season. The Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina has issued a guide with safety information for South Carolinians who live in manufactured homes. Substantially tougher wind-safety standards went into effect in 1994 after Hurricane Andrew. Federal law requires that a home built and installed after 1994 in the nine South Carolina counties nearest the coast must withstand winds of 100 mph. Homes placed inland must be able to withstand sustained wind gusts of 80 mph. As you can see, manufactured homes storm safety is something you don’t have to worry about, as long as you keep up with these important things to check before each storm season.

All manufactured homes come with a “data plate,” which is usually in a utility closet near the breaker panel on a kitchen cabinet. This plate will state what wind zone the home was built for.

Things to Note for Storm Safety in manufactured homes

  • Age of the Home: Know what wind level the home is designed to withstand. Most of the wind damage viewers see on television involves older homes. Prior to 1976, the homes were built to a patchwork of state, local and voluntary codes. Some were well built and others were not.
  • Proper Installation: The most common reason for wind damage in manufactured homes is improper installation, rather than the structure of the home itself. A manufactured home will perform properly in high winds only if it is properly installed. Be sure to use manufactured home builders and installers that you can trust!
  • Regular, Personal Inspections of the Property: Manufactured homes are anchored by a series of 10 to 20 large steel anchors, depending on the size of the home. The anchors are connected by metal anchor straps to the heavy steel frame that the house rests on.
  • Wind zone: A wind zone rates the amount of wind pressure a home must be built to withstand. Wind zones were created by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Modern manufactured homes must be built to a particular wind zone requirement depending upon where the home will be placed. Homes placed in South Carolina’s nine coastal counties are built to special “Zone II” hurricane-resistant standards. The remainder of the state is categorized as “Zone I.” A similar wind zone system is also used for modular and site-built homes.

Having these important factors in mind will help you and your family be more prepared to handle everything and anything that a hurricane can toss your way. The important thing to remember is that a hurricane doesn’t care how your home was built. If it wants to blow your house down, it will. So be sure to listen to local authorities and evacuate if mandated. That being said, you can trust that your manufactured home has every chance and more to stay upright in the event of a storm within regulation and what its data plate recommends as any other structure built on the block.

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