Local News

Are Mobile Homes Safe During Severe Weather?

Posted March 23, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— Along with destroying many businesses and churches, the recent twister shredded several mobile homes in its path.

The total destruction of these homes has some residents asking whether they are safe to live in.

The North Carolina Manufacturing Housing Association claims that their homes are not to blame, because even a regular sized home could not withstand a tornado.

The Flecters, a family from Durham County, left their mobile home just before the storm hit, and later found the trailer in shambles.

Ramona Fletcher said after seeing the destruction of her home, "I wouldn't want to live in a trailer again."

The N.C. Manufacturing Housing Institute said that they receive a barrage of criticism every time a natural disaster hits.

The institute claims that the major factors affecting the amount of destruction are the location and the intensity of storms, not weak construction.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that residents should abandon mobile homes if a severe storm hits.

One industry official said that leaving is not alway the best idea.

Listen toauorRealAudiofiles. Steve Zamiara, a N.C. manufactured housing official, said, "If you were to evacuate your home there's all kinds of other problems, but the bottom line is that each individual has to evaluate if they feel safe in their home."

Flecter said that she probably would not have survived the tornado, if she decided to stay in the mobile home.

The N.C. Department of Insurance said that every manufactured house is required to withstand winds of up to 90mph.

However, Consumer Reports suggested that the policy to follow is "buyers beware," and to ask questions about safety before buying a house.