Jim Kramper, National Weather Service Meteorologist – “If people are living in a mobile home, the key thing to me is planning.”
NARRATOR – National Weather Service Meteorologist Jim Kramper has seen too many times the incredible destruction that a tornado or even a severe thunderstorm can do to a mobile home
Kramper – “Even in weak tornadoes they’re very susceptible to being destroyed. You want to have a substantial shelter you can go to. You plan ahead of time, make sure you have enough time to get there.”
NARRATOR – Kramper and Tim Diemler of Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency say that mobile home residents must consider what they will do in the event of severe weather before ever moving into their homes. And they should always be aware when the weather forecast calls for even the possibility of severe weather.
Kramper – “You need to know ahead of time that thunderstorms are expected today. I need to keep my eyes peeled. Listen. Find out what’s going on.”
NARRATOR – Kramper’s recommendations include:
- Decide where you will go to take shelter before moving in. A friend or relative’s permanent house is a possibility. Make sure you can get in 24 hours a day.
- Time out the route to your shelter location so you’ll be certain that you can get there in time any time a tornado warning is issued.
- Always follow weather forecasts and purchase a NOAA weather radio. The radio will sound…alerting you to severe weather warnings 24 hours a day.
- Sign up for severe weather text messages or e-mail alerts.
- And, if you do not have time to get to your safe shelter, get out of the mobile home and take cover in a ditch or low lying area.
Kramper – “I call the lie in a ditch scenario to be a last resort thing. You’ve got the warning, maybe, or you see the tornado coming and you don’t have time to get to a shelter. That’s when you hide in a ditch or some low spot. The idea is to get low. Make all the debris flies right over the top of you, because again, most people are killed or injured by the flying debris.”
NARRATOR – Kramper says you might also be vulnerable to lightning, hail and possible flash flooding, but that a mobile home is simply too lightweight and vulnerable to a tornado, even when the mobile home is tied down.
Kramper – “They’re lighter weight, they’re not real, well, may seem heavy to us, but in terms of a dwelling they’re not heavy at all. They tend to be long, rectangular. The wind can catch them very easily.”
NARRATOR – That’s why a relative or a friend’s permanent house, preferably with a basement, is a better option than sheltering in a mobile home… and why mobile home residents should always be Storm Aware.