MOBILE HOMES REQUIRE SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS
Mobile homes are particularly vulnerable to hurricane-force winds. Anchor the mobile home with over-the- top, or frame, ties. When a storm threatens, do what you can to secure your home, then take refuge with friends or relatives or at a public shelter. Before you leave, take the following precautions: • Pack breakables in boxes and put them on the floor. • Remove mirrors and tape them. Wrap mirrors and lamps in blankets and place them in the bathtub or shower. • Install hurricane shutters or precut plywood on all windows. • Shut off utilities and disconnect electricity, sewer and water lines. Shut off propane tanks and leave them outside after anchoring them securely. • Store awnings, folding furniture, trashcans and other loose outdoor objects.
Organize your community to plan for storm season
You will have to evacuate if you live in a manufactured or mobile home.
Select a group leader.
Þ Make a list of where residents will go and phone numbers of friends or relatives. Set up a buddy system and assign able-bodied people to make sure others get out OK.
Þ Make sure everyone has arranged for transportation.
Þ Securing your home
Þ Inspect straps and tie-downs for wear. If your home was built before July 1994, the home and tie-downs were designed for winds up to about 90 mph. Those built after 1994 are designed to hold, with tie-downs, in winds up to 110 mph.
Þ When the hurricane is threatening:
Þ Close and lock shutters and secure other items before leaving.
Þ Turn off and disconnect water lines, gas lines, electricity and sewer lines.
Þ Go door to door to make sure everyone’s out.
Þ Newer mobile homes fared better.
Þ State officials say manufactured homes installed after 1999 are better than those manufactured and installed between 1992, when building codes changed in response to devastation in Hurricane Andrew. The state’s Bureau of Mobile Home Construction inspected hundreds of such homes following hurricanesCharley,Frances, Ivan, Jeanne and Wilma, and found nearly all damage was confined to older homes.
Tornados Come Without Warning
Unlike hurricanes, which give emergency planners time to order evacuations, tornadoes come without warning. Sometimes, they spin off from hurricanes and other times they are created by unfavorable weather conditions. Mobile homes offer poor resistance to a tornado’s winds.
Hurricane straps or other tie-downs will not protect a mobile home from the wind gusts associated with tornadoes! If a tornado watch or warning is issued, plan on leaving your mobile home to seek shelter.
Never Ride out a Hurricane in a Mobile Home
From June 1 to November 30 each year, Floridians should be in a state of alert. The Atlantic hurricane season peaks during August and September, but weather conditions are ripe for destructive tropical storms anytime during the season. NoFloridaresidents are more vulnerable during hurricane season than those who live in mobile homes.
For this reason, mobile home residents must evacuate regardless of their evacuation level.
According to theNationalHurricaneCenter, no mobile or manufactured home—no matter how new it is—can be a safe shelter from hurricane forcewinds. Never Never ride out a hurricane in a mobile home—even if it’s in a non evacuation zone.
As soon as an evacuation order is announced, make plans to leave your mobile home!
Before Hurricane Season
Mobile home residents should make sure all the items on this to-do list have been completed:
❍ Decide where you will go if an evacuation is ordered. Stay with friends and relatives or register with a host home program, where residents who need to evacuate are matched with others in non-evacuation zones, through your community association or house of worship.
❍ Have a mobile home contractor install or fortify tie-downs or straps on
your mobile home. Make sure they’re anchored securely to the foundation. While mobile homes are never a safe place to ride out a storm, tie-downs and hurricane straps can prevent your mobile home from coming loose and causing damage or blocking the right-of-way.
❍ Take all important papers with you or keep them at a location other than your home when you are asked to evacuate.
❍ If you’re planning to go to a shelter, pack medications, special dietary items you may need and games or books to pass the time, as well as, a chair or cot and bedding, since these are not provided at county shelters.
❍ Inform relatives or friends of your hurricane plans.
❍ Include your pets in your hurricane plan. Since county shelters don’t accept animals, seek shelter with a friend or relative who will accept you and your pets, or find separate accommodations for your pets in advance.
❍ If you are a special-needs patient who requires assistance to evacuate, make sure you are registered with your local fire department ahead of time. Special-needs shelters are designed to assist pre-registered residents only.
❍ Always monitor the media for announcements of evacuations and any open shelters. Don’t assume that every shelter will be open during every activation. Mobile home park damage in theCharlotteCounty area from Hurricane Charley in 2004. Mobile homes are never safe during a hurricane. (MyFlorida.com) Some victims of Hurricane Charley lost everything to the Category 4 storm. (MyFlorida.com) Tie-downs and hurricane straps can prevent your mobile home from coming loose.