REPORT: Manufactured Homes Built After 1994 Equal and Often Safer than Site-Built During Tornadoes and Hurricanes

As the storm season approaches there are those naysayers that still believe that a manufactured home is not as safe as a site-built home during tornadoes and hurricanes and may continue to shy away from discovering that today’s manufactured home is truly America’s only quality affordable dream home. Hopefully, many will discover the realities and help squash those myths about wind and storm safety. To quote Henry Resovsky, economic Historian, “never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs by facts.” We understand exactly what that means in reference to manufactured homes versus the occasions of tornadoes and hurricanes.


According to a recent online report by Matthew Capucci for the Washington Post, meteorologists fear that the hyperactive swarms of tornadoes that swirl across an imaginary strip of land anointed,“Toronado Alley,” each spring stretching across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas, may be leaving out areas at an even greater risk for damaging tornadoes.

In recent years, the South has come to prominence for its encounters with violent tornadoes, specifically,  Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and even into the Carolinas. Many atmospheric scientists say the term “Tornado Alley” is a misnomer and fails to convey where the great tornado risks may lie. Some contend portions of the south are among the most vulnerable tornadoes in the world. These southern states and southeastern coastal states have a greater population density of mobile homes and manufactured homes and therefore are more subject to occasions of tornadoes and hurricanes.


Many people who live in the south and southeast reside in mobile or manufactured homes. It’s no secret that older mobile homes do not fare well during tornadoes or hurricanes. Contrary to popular belief, however, it’s not the building structure itself, rather how it is anchored.

“What we have found in manufactured homes where fatalities occur is that the home’s superstructure….itself is good,” said Steven Strader, an atmospheric scientist at Villanova University specializing in severe weather risk mitigation. “It’s as good as a single-family home.” 

That being said, the mobile home of the past and the manufactured home of today have little in common when it comes to wind and storm safety. The advancements in manufactured home building technology and federal regulations specific to today’s manufactured homes have contributed to a well-documented wind safety record equal and often superior to site-built single-family homes.

HUD Code wind and storm regulations were implemented in 1980 and amended in 1994 requiring manufactured homes to comply with home building standards in pre-designated storm susceptible regions of the country indicated on the HUD Wind Zone Map of the U.S.A. Included in those regulations are specific requirements regarding the manufactured home installation and ground anchoring to resist wind forces as required by the HUD Zone Map designations.  (Note: “mobile homes” built prior to HUD code mandated regulations can be retrofitted with anchoring systems for typically under $1,000.) 
For more information wind and storm safety – click – MANUFACTURED HOME WIND AND STORM SAFETY: AN HONEST DISCUSSION

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