With the end of February right around the corner, the beginning of severe weather season in the ArkLaTex is upon us. In the coming weeks, temperatures will be getting warmer and the threat of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes will be increasing. Now is the time for all of us to think about our plan on what we will do when a tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service for our area. It is especially important for those who live in a mobile home.
Mobile homes are not a safe place to be when tornadoes threaten. According to FEMA, most tornado deaths that occur at home occur in mobile homes. That’s why if you live in a mobile home, it’s important to create a plan to evacuate to a safer structure before storms hit. Now is the time to contact a friend or neighbor about spending time in their home if severe weather threatens. Once that plan is in place, monitor daily forecasts from Your Weather Authority or the National Weather Service. If the forecast for the next day includes a risk for tornadoes, let your friend or neighbor know that you may be visiting.
During the day of the severe weather event, evacuate to your safe place when a Tornado Watch is issued by the National Weather Service. DO NOT wait until a Tornado Warning is issued. Chances are it will be too dangerous to travel.
Recently during a round of severe weather that included tornadoes and strong thunderstorm winds in Northwest Louisiana, four people lost their lives in mobile homes when storms hit the area. According to the National Weather Service, EF-1 tornadoes and high-end severe thunderstorm winds can completely destroy mobile and manufactured homes. Regardless of how well built a mobile or manufactured home is built, anchor system failures are the primary cause of the majority of fatalities. Even well-built manufactured homes can be destroyed if they become airborne. That’s why if you live in a mobile home and don’t have a plan, it’s time to get one. You will be glad that you did!