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“Even When We Had a Hurricane, It Wasn’t This Bad,” Profitably Decoding Post-Windstorm, Survivor of Possible Tornadoes Statement, Impacting Manufactured Home Community, Manufactured Housing Industry

July 25th, 2018 Comments off

 

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The weather event earlier this week was first reported as a tornado strike by local media on a “mobile home park1” which in this case appears to be a manufactured home community.

 

Profitably Decoding Windstorm Reports for Industry Professionals

Before diving into the details, this Daily Business News brief will pull back the curtain to examine the dynamics behind windstorm and news reporting.

While some media are established purely for messaging purposes, apart from a profit motive, much of the mainstream media is a business.  Media-as-business naturally has a business model.  That business model boils down to eyeballs, audience share, clicks and ratings, which translate into ad revenues.

For those who believe in free enterprise, all of that – done ethically – is just fine.  An example of what pays for media are the ads on the right.

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Click here to learn more about this upcoming wholesale event.

In print digital, radio, TV and cable news rooms across America, death, danger, damage, and destruction are the stuff that headlines and sound bites are built upon.

Damage’ in media can be physical damage. But ‘damage’ can also be damage or harm to some person’s, group’s or product’s reputation.

In deciding what stories to cover, for decades the slogan in newsrooms has been expressed by media mantras like this one, “If it bleeds, it leads.”

If there are competing tragedies or tumult, the one that a news operation’s producers or management perceives has the greater headline value routinely wins more coverage.  Networks and publishers also want some balance – which includes ‘good news’ or light hearted items.

If an operation is into a certain “narrative” on a topic, that media operation will likely follow the lead of the previously established narrative or talking points.

With that background, let’s briefly examine a windstorm this week, to see how local media reported the weather event. We’ll decode from that experience some of what appears to have actually occurred.

Because the headline and the reality – intentional or not – were quite distinct matters.

That said, author Beau Zimmer for WTSP obliquely revealed a powerful truth behind many of the mainstream media reports on manufactured homes (MH), mobile homes, and windstorm reporting.

 

Palmetto, Florida Weather Event Impacts Manufactured Home Community

The National Weather Service has determined damage to a Mobile Home Park and Apartment complex in the Palmetto area of Manatee County was caused by straight line winds and not a tornado,” said Beau Zimmer.

While Zimmer’s opening line mentions apartment complex damage, the video by WTSP focused exclusively on the community which includes both pre-HUD Code mobile homes, and post June 15, 1976 HUD Code manufactured homes.

Residents of the Coach House Mobile Home Park say they were awakened by strong storms early Monday morning,” stated Zimmer.

You heard a lot of wind and then all of a sudden I started hearing things hit my place,” said resident Bobbie Ray. “Even when we had the hurricane, it wasn’t this bad.”

The Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA) – or a national post-production trade association worth their salt – may want to debrief this event. Because if the resident is correct in saying that this incident was truly worse than hurricane damage – while still tragic for some – the background reality reveals an event that the majority of factory-built homes visible in the video have little or no visible damage. Zimmer notes something similar.

Winds generated by the storm and suspected microburst ripped off the roof of at least one mobile home and also damaged the community’s maintenance garage. Downed power lines could be seen throughout the neighborhood along with a fence boarding the neighboring property which was mostly gone,” wrote Zimmer.

Here terminology – the difference between a mobile home and a manufactured home – is significant. Because there are visual clues that an expert in mobile and manufactured housing can spot. The destroyed and damaged homes may indeed have been true, pre-HUD Code mobile homes. What appears to be a true mobile home is visible in the WTSP video.

Rephrased, the home destroyed may well have been a mobile home.  That’s important.

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

Returning to WTSP’s narrative, “Just a lot of wind and just a big thud… and that’s it,” recalls Larry Huss who lost a portion of his roof. “It [the storm] just came in on us, and there it was.”

Power was restored to most of the neighborhood within several hours but electric crew continue working to repair lines and snapped power poles” said Zimmer.

 

Going to the Dogs – Damage, But No Deaths Reported

Recalling the negative spin following a windstorm by mainstream media last year out of North Carolina, Brad Lovin observed that hand-picked information could be worse for the industry than entity false information.

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

To see the 2017 NC report on tornadoes and manufactured homes, click here.

 

In the WTSP report, the damage to an apartment complex isn’t mentioned at all in the video which aired live during a broadcast/cablecast.

MHLivingNews and MHProNews have emphasized for years that all premature deaths or avoidable tragedies are understandably lamented.

That said, the analysis of the cold, hard facts often reveal just how few deaths there are per year from tornadoes or windstorms that strike and kill residents of mobile and manufactured homes.  Note none were mentioned in this incident.

There are more deaths from dog attacks each year than there are people that die during a windstorm that had a mobile or manufactured home as their residence.

DeathsFromDangerousDogsPerYearManufacturedHousingIndsutryManufacturedhomeCommunitiesTornadoesHurricanesWindstorms

For more on storms and manufactured housing by a weather expert, click here

Cars, cigarettes, too much sugar, and a long laundry list of events that involve or contribute to death would reveal the following.  Death tied to a mobile or manufactured home (MH) during a windstorm are close to the bottom of the list of what ends a life.

For example, in 2017, National Weather Service (NWS) data reflect that the odds were over 1,000,000 to 1 in the favor of the an MH resident that they would be safe from storm related death.  That’s a statistic this writer has never heard or read from a mainstream media report. Have you?

NationWeatherServiceTornadoDeathsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

To learn more about mobile and manufactured homes and windstorms from weather expert, Greg Schoor and others, click here.

 

The MH Industry has Responsibility to Educate and Engage the Media  

The MH industry arguably has a responsibility to routinely engage the media, as publisher L. A. “Tony” Kovach and a panel he organized for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) presented some years ago.

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EngagingTheMediaSeminarDuringMHICongressandExpoLATonyKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

While Ann Parman was gracious and appreciative, she has since announced her retirement. MHI, for whatever motives, failed to do anything substantive on the windstorm or media engagement issues. Years later, an advertorial, a press release, or a post on the topic of manufactured home safety and durability simply isn’t enough. The proof is the routinely flawed or misleading mainstream media reports.

Media and researchers must be directly and routinely engaged.

Minds must be won over by reason and reality.

What that means in practice is that until the majority of media and researchers ‘grasp the facts’ about modern manufactured homes, vs. the decades of myths, the industry must organize and address the issues which are limiting the HUD Code manufactured housing industry’s potential of selling 500,000 to 1,000,000 new home units per year.

Voices among the tech-giants have concluded that only factory-home building can meet the shortage between conventional building and the number of housing units needed in the U.S.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

One of the great fears that’s falsely been whipped up among the public is the mistaken notion that ‘mobile homes are tornado magnets.’ Steady, routine engagement with every reporter, news producer or editor that misuse terminology – or misreport reality – are a key part of what must take place to debunk the false notions about the strength and safety of our industry’s modern homes.

The HUD Code was created in part as the response by leaders of the pre-code industry to negative media coverage. There were relatively few builders of mobile homes in the late 1960s and early 1970s that did a truly bad job. Many before the HUD Code were building to ANSI, UL, or other standards.

TheDeliberateMisueofTerminologyCanBeOffensivetoMillionsWhoProudlyOwnAManufacturedhomeOrThousandsinourIndustryMarkWeissMHARRMHproNews575

But the mobile home industry responded to those negatives by addressing the cause.  They did so by seeking federal regulation. should be noted that the FMHA does a far better job on this windstorm topic than many others in the industry have done. That said, the facts – especially those from third parties – must be hammered home.  The below is an example.

Compared with the unregulated mobile/trailer homes of the past, the manufactured homes built after 1976 have a higher level of safety, durability, and quality, and the small fraction of homes damaged during hurricanes attests to their safety and durability.” – Scholastica “Gay” D. Cororaton, Certified Business Economist (CBE), National Association of Realtors ® (NAR).

The industry must hammer home, time and again:

  • The mobile homes of the past were built to different or even no standards,
  • manufactured homes (MH) today all must meet critical safety, energy, and quality standards that yield more durability.
  • The HUD Code was the fix for mobile home safety,
  • The Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 addressed installation standards, plus provided key provisions for ongoing improvements which includes industry input via the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC).
  • The Dispute Resolution Program gives a consumer safeguard not found in conventional housing.

Investors, Heartbroken Home Owners, Site Building Giant DR Horton, and Manufactured Housing

The MH industry’s members can stand tall. The manufactured home industry’s homeowners can and should be proud.

As a possible explanation for what occurred in this Florida weather incident, the video below explains that improper carports or awnings or other attachments cause about 80 percent of the failures of a manufactured home during a windstorm. That’s per Tim Reinhold, PhD – the chief engineer for the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).  Note that some of the debris shown by the local news videos resembles that of a carport or attachment.

 

Next Steps?

Arguably an industry organization must be forged that deals with such media engagement issues on an ongoing basis.

This trade media has already, and can continue moving forward, to compliment that educational effort. It is obvious that we operate distinctly from mainstream media. Our interests as trade media – as with most trade media – are to honestly, ethically advance the interests of manufactured home owners, industry professionals and investors. Proper care for the interests of customers and residents, results in professionals and investors being able to sustainably profit.

Solving the affordable housing crisis should be a key theme for the manufactured home industry. That’s a social motive that should move mainstream media or researchers to consider the conclusion that CBE Scholastica came to, recapped anew in the graphic below.
CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticiaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuringHUrricanesMHProNews

For the management of MHProNews, it’s about identifying the road blocks that hamper the acceptance of modern MH, and thus the potentially robust growth of manufactured housing. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Footnote 1: examples of the proper terminology for manufactured homes are suggested by Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton, CBE, in the quote above.  Homes before June 15, 1976 are mobile homes.  Those that could be pulled with a car or pickup are trailer houses.  Those built to the HUD Code for manufactured homes after June 15, 1976 carry a red HUD label or seal.  The terminology is not optional.

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

”The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,” Steve Duke, LMHA.

 

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.) See Related Reports, Linked Below.

 

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Related Reports:

Trade Publisher, Experts call for Respect, Understanding for Manufactured Housing, Manufactured Home Owners

The Manufactured Homes, Tornadoes and Windstorms! The Story Not Being Told by Most in the Media: Lives Saved with Proper Installation

Explosive! MSU’s Mark Skidmore on Flawed Tornadoes and “Mobile Homes” Study, Exclusive

June 10th, 2017 Comments off

MarkSkidmoreMSUEconomicsProfessorMobileManufacturedHomeFLawedTornadoStudyManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThere are lies, damned lies and statistics.”

– Mark Twain

How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

– Abraham Lincoln

 

We don’t plan to respond any further…Our analysis captures the average effect of mobile home living on tornado related fatalities…it does not distinguish between types or nature of mobile homes such age, improper installation of additions, proper tie downs, etc.”

– Mark Skidmore, Michigan State University (MSU)

In an explosive set of admissions that were not part of their original, and widely-published by other media study of tornadoes, deaths and ‘mobile homes,’ MSU’s Mark Skidmore admitted in an on-the-record email exchange with MHProNews that several factors were ignored in their research.

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L. A. “Tony’ Kovach.

Those factors,” says L. A. “Tony” Kovach, “completely change the import of their findings. When they admit that they didn’t consider the age of the homes, improper installations, proper tie downs and other factors, that’s like admitting that some of the key facts in the cause of death by tornado are being ignored.”

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Mark Weiss. Credit: MHARR.

It’s unfortunate and telling that the authors, when confronted with the facts regarding today’s manufactured homes were unwilling to further engage and address those facts,” said Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

Weiss was a party to the exclusive exchange from the outset.

I am happy to talk with you or correspond with further if that is helpful,” said Skidmore just last week.

That willingness to was before he had to look, and look again, at facts that they now admit to not considering.

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These photos above are both from the same storm in Moore, OK. The houses on the left were conventional houses. They are rubble, leveled. The manufactured home on the right was rolled over, but someone could survive in that home. What’s not visible is that the manufactured home on the right may not have had proper tie downs. Industry professionals routinely recommend that, and in many places now, is required by law.

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Mark Skidmore, MSU.

Skidmore said, “…Again, I think the benefits of manufactured homes are great…I see them as filling an important niche in the housing market (as highlighted in the book chapter I forwarded).  Still, is it possible we could do better?  A high proportion of tornado fatalities are connected to mobile home living, and it isn’t just our research.  Does it make sense to look at this more carefully and see if we can do better?  Maybe it’s just the older mobile homes.  Or maybe its improper tie downs.  Or maybe is the improper additions you highlighted.  Certainly there is variability in quality of manufactured housing…I’d be quite happy to live in some but others are shoddy.  Perhaps additional analysis could help zero in on what is happening??”

He added, “Manufactured housing has come a long way while at the same time maintaining affordability…but isn’t there room for further improvement?”

Kovach did not disagree with the MSU findings, rather, he pointed out that the findings failed to dig into issues that impacted the topic of fatalities, which was sensationalized in the media and their publicity of the research.

MSUphotoTornadoDestructionwithTonyKovach'squestionsToMarkSkidmoreEconomicsProfessorMSU

Kovach also noted that conflating the terms ‘mobile homes’ and ‘manufactured homes’ creates potential confusion for those residents who are living in manufactured homes.  HUD Code manufactured home owners and residents could be made to think that they had the same risk factor that mobile home residents do.  That’s not a given, as Skidmore was happy to admit.

I did not mean to conflate…I think the statement indicates that they are different…I just don’t have data to test for differences and I asked you if you have such data,” Skidmore replied.

LATonyKovachMHLivingNewsMHProNews

L. A. “Tony” Kovach addressing industry professionals at an educational session.

Mark,
I hear you sir, and I get that point.  But the research is being pushed out by Forbes and others with conflated terminology.

Your problem noted is correct, the Census Bureau doesn’t break it down. But I’m not sure you see that this doesn’t excuse the other issues?

So that still leaves our other questions unanswered.  Kindly do so, point for point.  Just reply below to each question, for clarity.  It’s necessary for the record to be clear to all involved.

Again, thank you,” replied Kovach for MHProNews.

The photo above is a still from an IBHS wind study test. The conventional house on the left loses its roof, and ends up collapsing, see the video below. The manufactured home on the right, with a properly attached cover on one side, has only minor damage under hurricane force winds. Who says? IBHS Chief Engineer Tim Reinhold, and the video footage below. Seeing is believing.

After a few days elapsed without a reply from MSU, Kovach and Weiss followed up.

Hi Tony, We don’t plan to respond any further.  However, please let me know if you are aware of any additional data on the nature of mobile homes by county over the last 40  years; we are interested in doing additional statistical analysis to learn more about what it is that makes some types of mobile homes more vulnerable to high wind events such as tornados.  Our analysis captures the average effect of mobile home living on tornado related fatalities…it does not distinguish between types or nature of mobile homes such age, improper installation of additions, proper tie downs, etc. Best regards, Mark,” said Skidmore.

ManufacturedHomeHurricaneTornadoWindstormVideoManufacturedHomeLivingNews

The year that 4 hurricanes hit Florida, there was an estimated $50 billion in property damage. Older mobile homes were destroyed, but manufactured homes right next door survived. Some 1600 properly installed manufactured homes were hit by those storms that year. Not one was blown off its foundation. Not one of those newer manufactured homes was destroyed. While hurricanes and tornadoes aren’t identical, the still above dramatizes the point that mobile and manufactured homes aren’t the same in durability.  Still from the video on this page.

Kovach pressed for additional responses to substantive questions.  Those are planned as part of yet another critical revelation coming on yet the apparent flaw in such research.

When Kovach’s follow up drew no response, MHARR’s Mark Weiss jumped in.

MMarkWeiss-JD-PresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformMHARR-creditDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-

Mark Weiss, MHARR. Photo credit, MHProNews.

Mark, you stated last week that you would be happy to engage in such a discussion.  Having set this episode in motion with hyperbolic language and some dubious assertions, I would ask that you please do respond to the questions posed by Tony Kovach, thank you,” wrote Weiss for MHARR.

Silence — from Skidmore, his research colleague, and the communications department at MSU followed.

JoplinMOManufacturedHomesOKSiteBuiltHousingIsWhatGodCrushedManufacturedHomeLivingNEwsAn issue ignored by most researchers is this, that as tragic as the loss of a life in a storm is, the odds are 1.8 million to one in the most recent year that someone living in a mobile home or a manufactured home would not die in a tornado related incident.

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L. A. “Tony’ Kovach.

In 2016, NOAA Reported 12 deaths in what it calls “mobile homes.” That’s a 0.00000055% chance of dying in a tornado for the year. To rephrase, the odds were 1,833,333 to 1 in your favor that you wouldn’t die in a mobile or manufactured home in 2016,” said Kovach.

Imagine if you could go to Las Vegas and get 1.833 million to one odds in your favor.  Vegas would go broke in a day.  That’s one of the safest bets imaginable,” he says.

Should there be tornado safety promotion?  Yes, but that should not be limited to mobile or manufactured homes.  Are there safeguards that professionals and consumers should promote and practice?  Yes.  But as things stand at this very moment, you’re at greater risk of dying in your bathtub by a factor of 70 than you are in dying in a mobile or manufactured home. Tens of millions are under the false impression that manufactured homes are death traps.  That’s simply not the case, nor is it true of older mobile homes.”

No one is suggesting doing away with or avoiding using bathtubs due to accidental deaths that take place in them.

KurtKelleyMobileInsuranceManufacturedHomesDidGreatInHurrincaneProperlyInstalled

Key Facts Skidmore’s Statements Spotlight.

MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews will do a follow up in the near term, but in the interim, the revelations above undermine the MSU study – and all others like it – for the following reasons.

1)    Mobile homes and manufactured homes are not the same thing.

2)    When Skidmore admits that they are different, yet the terminology is conflated – it’s akin to calling a bag phone from the 1980s a smart phone today. The smart phone evolved from the bag phone, but they are quite different in capabilities.

3)    None of the publicized material by MSU made it into the admissions that Skidmore did in the on-the-record Q&A with Kovach and Weiss. For example, quotes from Skidmore:

  • I think the benefits of manufactured homes are great.
  • I see them as filling an important niche in the housing market.
  • Maybe it’s just the older mobile homes.”
  • Or maybe its improper tie downs.”
  • Or maybe is the improper additions you highlighted.”
  • Certainly there is variability in quality of manufactured housing…I’d be quite happy to live in some but others are shoddy.”
  • Perhaps additional analysis could help zero in on what is happening?? “

It is precisely that “additional analysis” that the Q&A with MSU, MHARR and MHProNews was aimed at accomplishing.

Will other media, once they discover these admission, begin to dig deeper?

We will continue to follow this topic,” Kovach said, “and we encourage industry professionals to share these facts with their residents.  Improper add-ons and proper tie downs are two of the keys, per the research by IBHS Chief Engineer Tim Reinhold.”

Kovach did want to publicly thank Skidmore and Weiss for taking part in the frank and respectful exchange.  Kovach noted that Skidmore may have been under instructions from MSU not to go further in the dialogue. As other third party research has shown, universities often receive grants that can influence their research, and the outcomes of that research.

MobileHomesMichiganStateUniversityMSUTornadoesForbesManufacturedHomes

To see the full text of Skidmore’s originally published article, along with the his full study, plus the early parts of the email exchange – including comments from other manufactured home industry professionals – in those details,  click here.

For additional resources relating to the climate portion of the issue MSU raised, see this linked page.  The information linked from this report and the insights above  are already useful in countering the false impressions similar research produces.  “This is important for professionals, the public, public officials, policy wonks, the media, and open-minded researchers,” Tony Kovach said. ##

(Editor’s note: A veteran reporter told MHProNews that a good story – or a good study – ought to be “bullet proof.” No flaws should exist in the narrative, argument or findings. The quotes at the top of this article aren’t meant to imply that Skidmore or his colleagues at MSU have deliberately deceived using statistics or by mixing nomenclature.  But they raise the point that even if the MSU statistics are precise, they fail to address the issues noted above. That flaw makes their research almost irrelevant in terms of its value.  Further, by conflating terminology, it creates risks that would not otherwise exist, which will be part of our follow up report. Watch for it.)

(Image credits are as shown, and when by third parties, are proided under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News, on MHProNews.com.

Palm Harbor Constructing tougher Modular Home to Withstand Hurricanes

September 1st, 2015 Comments off

palm-harbor-homes logoThe Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) has officially recognized Palm Harbor Homes for its production of the first ever disaster resistant modular home designed to significantly reduce property damage during a severe storm.

Produced in Palm Harbor’s facility in Plant City, Florida, realestaerama tells MHProNews this is the first factory in the country to earn the FORTIFIED Home™ – Hurricane certification from IBHS. The first three homes of what Palm Harbor will call its Discovery Florida line of homes have been shipped to south Florida.

Homes earning the FORTIFIED Home label must meet very stringent building standards based on IBHS’ years of engineering research and study, and are inspected in the factory and in the field by an independent FORTIFIED Evaluator.

We are very proud to be the first U.S. manufacturing plant to attain the FORTIFIED certification,” said Mark Kelly, Vice President Sales and Marketing at Palm Harbor Homes. “Our homes have a strong history of weathering extreme storms and now we will be the first to offer homeowners in hurricane-prone areas the option to purchase a stronger modular home that will be more disaster resistant.

Palm Harbor Homes is part of Phoenix, AZ-based Cavco Industries, Inc., one of the largest producers of manufactured and modular homes in the nation. ##

(Image credit: Palm Harbor Homes)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

NBC News Today Show report shows Manufactured Home did as well as Conventional On-site Construction in hurricane high winds test

July 23rd, 2014 Comments off

homes-vs-hurricane12-winds-test-credit=nbc-today-show-posted-mastheadblog-mhpronews-com-Regarding this previous portion of the test, IBHS indicated: “When one of these high wind-rated HUD-Code homes is installed on a permanent foundation, in most of the country, it would end up resisting wind storms better than surrounding site-built homes.”

So stated a MHI President and CEO, Richard “Dick” Jennison in a longer report to MHProNews. While part of the test was to show how superior a Wind Zone III home is to a standard HUD Code manufactured home in durability, Jennison said: the director of the IBHS (Julie Rochman, President) told the crowd how impressed she was at the performance of the Zone I home itself.”

MHProNews has been told that we will have additional information in the days ahead. More information on the specifics including stills and the video are found at this link, and a pre-broadcast report that provides more information and a related video is linked here. ##

(Image credit: NBC News Today Show)

Insurance Industry Sponsoring a Manufactured Home Wind Test

July 17th, 2014 Comments off

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) President and CEO Dick Jennison reports the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), a not-for-profit safety education and risk mitigation organization, supported by the property insurance industry, will conduct wind tests on the attached structures of two HUD-code homes at their testing facility in South Carolina. He emphasizes this is not a test administered or controlled in any way by MHI, but IBHS has consented to allow MHI staff members Jenny Hodge and Rick Robinson to attend, as well as an MHI-member engineer to inspect the anchoring of the two manufactured homes (MH) to be tested. To be conducted Tue., July 22, the test is centered on structures attached to the MH, such as awnings and carports, and is being sponsored by American Modern. MHProNews reports Jennison cautions industry members be prepared for possible questions from the media after the broadcast, set for NBC News on Wed., July 23. NBC also owns the Weather Channel and it is likely the test results will air on both channels. To see a video of the difference between a traditional site-built home and one “fortified” by IBHS in the face of strong winds, click here.

To see a previous wind test of a manufactured home that also survived a tornado, click here. ##

(Image credit: Manufactured Housing Institute)

Insurance Group Publishes Manufactured Housing Tornado Checklist

March 30th, 2012 Comments off

National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) CollectionWhile many manufactured and mobile homes are damaged or destroyed each year by tornadoes, many site-built houses are also destroyed. The truth is few structures can withstand the direct impact from a tornado. With that in mind the Insurance Institute for Business Safety (IBHS) has issued a Manufactured Home Inspection Checklist to help consumers gauge how vulnerable their home might be in the event of a tornado. A look at the check list reveals many items that could apply to most any home regardless of how it was constructed, including questions about the location of trees and power lines. The release that accompanied the checklist was less than certain about the dangers. “Residents of manufactured homes seem to be disproportionately affected by tornadoes and other types of windstorms,”Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO of IBHS was quoted as saying. The article sites HUD Wind-Zone standards, of 70 mph to 110 mph. Many tornadoes are stronger, with an average speed between 130mph and 160mph. Most homes of any kind are only built to withstand winds of about 90mph, however. A recent article in Realty Biz News quotes Larry Tanner, a structural engineer at the Wind Engineering Research Center in Texas Tech University who says the average US home simply doesn’t stand a chance once it falls into the path of a tornado. Another interesting point from the article is that the average US home is expected to have a lifespan of around 50 years, “and the chances of it being hit by a tornado in that time are incredibly small.” While the checklist is useful, the report itself says never ride out a storm in a manufactured home (we would add any home) and any suggestion that following the checklist can help a home survive a direct hit from a tornado, or that your chances are better in a site-built home, is misleading. http://www.disastersafety.org/content/data/file/HUR_0312_manufactured-home-checklist.pdf

(Image Credit: National Severe Storms Laboratory)