Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mobile home safety in severe weather

Tornado in Mississippi March 2011 - Photo Credit: Megan Burkes/American Red Cross

Mobile homes and RVs are some of the most dangerous structures you can find yourself in during severe weather and tornadoes. These structures cannot sustain the extremely destructive high winds that can hit unexpectedly and leave mobile or manufactured homes, temporary trailers and RVs unrecognizable – even if they are not in a direct storm path.

For people that live in these types of structures, extra planning and time are needed to ensure the safety of you and your family. In emergency situations, time is often one thing you don’t have, so make sure you have your plan ready and activate it early! Keep in mind that every year thousands of people are killed or seriously injured by severe thunderstorms despite advance warning.

We always tell you that your safe room should be a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building. This situation does not exist in mobile home structures so your best bet is to establish your safe place somewhere else. Never try to ride out a severe storm or tornado in any of these structures, even if the structure is tied down or seems protected. Protect your family’s lives and property by taking action when severe storms threaten.

Before the storm:
  • Know when to evacuate and give yourself plenty of time before a WARNING is issued. If a WARNING has been issued, leave your manufactured home immediately.
  • Decide where you will go and how you will get there. Have alternate routes planned in case one route is cut off by the storm or debris.
  • Listen to your weather radio to stay updated on the storms in your area.
  • Move to a sturdy building, a storm cellar, a relative’s or friend’s basement or evacuate if you have enough time to get clear of the whole area.
  • If you have time and it is safe to do so, turn off the main water valve and shut off fuel lines and / or turn off bottled propane at the tanks. DO NOT disconnect. (A professional would need to reconnect your gas service).
At the first sign of severe weather or tornado and you have access to a sturdy shelter or a vehicle, abandon your mobile home immediately. Do not wait until you see the tornado. As always, remember to include in your plan:
  • A place to meet outside your neighborhood in case your family is separated when disaster strikes and you cannot return home.
  • An out-of-area friend to be the person everyone calls if the family is separated. This friend can help you reconnect with others and let them know that you are ok. Make sure everyone, including children, has the address and contact information of the family contact with them at all times.
After the storm has passed, do not assume that you will be able to return home and always stay out of damaged buildings. Knowing what to do is the best protection for you and your family. Make your plan and prepare for disaster before it happens at home and at work.


  1. During times of natural disaster, it pays to be alert and updated to each and every detail of the calamity. By this you would be guided on what to do and where to go. Having an emergency kit and plan ready on hand would help a lot on this time.

  2. This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.
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