IBHS Issues Manufactured Home Safety Checklist
Will Your Manufactured Home Stand Up to High Winds?
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has developed a Manufactured Home Inspection Checklist to help consumers gauge how vulnerable their home might be to wind damage based on that home's location and its Wind Zone Rating, how well the home is anchored, and the type of foundation.
Nearly eight percent of the U.S. population lives in manufactured homes, according to the Population Reference Bureau. Yet tragically, two-thirds of the 34 people killed in the catastrophic March 2 tornadoes in Kentucky and Indiana died in manufactured homes.
"Residents of manufactured homes seem to be disproportionately affected by tornadoes and other types of windstorms. However, there are steps that can be taken to improve the chances that such home will be standing after storms with high wind speed and strong gusts pass through an area," said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO of IBHS.
According to IBHS, models with the highest HUD (U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department) Wind Zone Rating offer higher levels of wind resistance. However, even manufactured homes with tie-downs can overturn during storms because they have light frames and offer winds a large surface area to push against. Also, their exteriors are vulnerable to high winds and wind-borne debris.
The HUD Wind Zone Rating, introduced in 1994, designates three zones that govern construction of new manufactured homes:
- HUD Wind Zone I = 70 mph basic wind speed
- HUD Wind Zone II = 100 mph basic wind speed
- HUD Wind Zone III = 110 mph basic wind speed
You can find wind zone ratings on the home's data plate, a paper sticker located in the master bedroom closet, electrical panel, or inside a kitchen cabinet.
Manufactured homes built before 1994, as well as HUD Wind Zone I homes, are particularly vulnerable to damage during severe wind events, according to IBHS.
Ideally, all manufactured homes should be installed on a permanent foundation, according to IBHS. If a permanent foundation is not feasible, the latest anchorage recommendations for HUD Wind Zone III should be used for maximum resistance against uplift and overturning forces. IBHS' Manufactured Home Inspection Checklist can help homeowners better understand and assess - and then work to reduce - their vulnerabilities to wind-related damage.