Myth Bust #2 – Mobile homes will not “blow away” in a storm

October 15, 2013

My hair dresser mentioned to me that she is downsizing out of her high-maintenance, three-story house.  I asked her if she considered manufactured housing?  Her impression is that they’re not safe.  I asked whatever gave her that idea?  Seems that when she was a kid, her family lived in a “trailer” that would rock back and forth in the wind.  This would naturally frighten a small child.  It was an eight foot wide home, probably vintage 1950s or 1960s.

No wonder!

Fact: new installation and construction laws have made mobile homes and manufactured homes more sturdy and reliable than ever.

The Manufactured Housing Institute has some great information about manufactured home safety:

·Building materials in today’s manufactured home are the same as those used in site-built homes.

·Homes are engineered for wind safety and energy efficiency based on the geographic region in which they are sold.

·Manufactured homes are among the safest housing choices available today due to federal laws requiring smoke detectors, escape windows, and limited combustible materials around furnaces, water heaters and kitchen ranges.

·Properly installed homes can withstand 120-130 mph 3-second gust winds in areas prone to hurricanes.

In addition to factory built homes being much safer than they used to be, all Hames Communities have storm shelters; our larger communities have two!  For our residents’ safety, the storm shelters have concrete foundations and floor with brick clad masonry or concrete walls. The ceilings are precast hollow core concrete planks covered with a steep roof and asphalt shingles.

Sometimes, we’ve even had residents from nearby apartments wait out storms in our mobile home park shelters! Talk about a sense of safety.

Come and see why our manufactured home communities are the best in eastern Iowa.  Call us today at 319-377-4863 and we’ll show you why our residents love our friendly, safe neighborhoods and beautiful homes.




John Arendsen
on 10/17/13
You're spot on about today's Factory Built Housing Industry. I'd much rather be in a state-of-the-art MH securely anchored to the ground than a multi-story brick and mortar building any day.

However, the real problem still exists. What to do with all the older Pre HUD and even post Pre HUD homes in older MH park/communities. Of course it's been a boon to business for me during the past several decades as I've been in the disaster response, repair and restoration business and have realized great windfalls (pun intended) tornados, hurricane floods, fires, earthquakes. But mostly Earthquakes as I'm a California resident and have all the licensees and insurance to perform these duties.

The dilemma, however, is the ongoing challenge of convincing MH residents in both rent/lease and resident owned park/communities to spend the money to make the necessary upgrades to save their homes. I have written a lot about this in many publications over the years to no avail and I could turn this comment into a blog post but I won't.

The one thing I've always been a very strong proponent for is organization. If every park/community be they an LLC or a resident owned acted proactively by organizing their own in park emergency response programs that would be a great start.

Additionally and most importantly, I have been imploring MH managers and HOA's to vet local experienced contractors and service organizations and have them already under contract to respond when and if the need arises.

I can't tell you how many times during the past 3 decades that I've seen unwary victims get ripped off by unqualified, incompetent, un licensed contractors or otherwise just plain con men and scam artists. If the community leaders and park owners, managers and HOA's really cared about their tenants/residents they would seize the moment and demand that each community take the time to facilitate and manage a disaster preparedness plan of action.

There's a huge difference between someone getting the boot because they've been red tagged because their home collapsed thereby making it un inhabitable vs. those who were green or even yellow tagged who were allowed to remain in their homes. When your home has been Red Tagged you in most cases can't even re enter it to gather personal belonging.
David Roden
on 10/16/13
Great article. Let's face it, unless your underground it doesn't matter if your in a million dollar site built home, school or mfg. home and take a direct hit, everything goes. The best way to survive a hurricane or tornado is plan ahead and listen to the warnings ahead of the storm. I live in a Mfg. home currently and love it. It's built better than any site built home I've ever lived in. More education is needed about our product, not news reporters who run to "trailer park" residents for a story. Tornadoes do not discriminate or choose where they hit depending on the cost of the home.
Chris Nicely
on 10/15/13
You are on the mark! Why a home that is engineered, built from the same materials as on site construction, and then transported to its site at better than 50 miles an hour without damage, reinforces your comments. When properly sited, any manufactured home is comparable to other residential structures. Keep battling the stereotype one person at a time - eventually, others will see what we know - the best value in housing is manufactured.
George Allen
on 10/15/13
I like it! Timely topic, to the point message worthy of sharing. Hereby requesting permission to reprint in an upcoming issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Hopefully, readers will use in their own land-lease-lifestyle community newsletters for residents.

Thank You for sharing this with me. When does next one appear?

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Consultant to the Factory-built Housing Industry,
the Land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class &
Affordable housing purists & enthusiasts nationwide

Please keep it clean, and stay on the subject or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

1000 character limit. All comments are subject to editing or deletion.

Please enter the text you see in the image:
Get Audio Code