Manufactured homes and hurricane safety
The Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina (MHISC) has released information about manufactured homes and hurricane safety ahead of Hurricane Irma's possible arrival.
MHISC leaders say there are three important steps to preparing a manufactured home for a storm.
First, know the age of your home and know what wind level the home was designed to withstand.
Agency officials say a manufactured home built and installed after 1994 in the nine South Carolina counties nearest the coast must withstand winds of 100 mph. Homes placed inland must be able to withstand sustained wind gusts of 80 miles per hour.
South Carolina counties prone to hurricane-force winds are labeled as "Wind Zone II," according to an MHISC news release.
Officials say manufactured homes should have a "date plate" near the utility closet or breaker panel that will state what wind zone the home was built for.
Homes built before 197 may not have a data plate or wind zone rating.
Second, verify that your home was installed properly.
Any licensed manufactured home installer or inspectors can perform an inspection of an existing manufactured home.
MHISC says manufactured homes are anchored by a series of 10 to 20 large steel anchors, depending on the size of the home.
Anchors are then connected by metal anchor straps to the heavy steel frame that the house rests on, according to the news release.
Third, do your own home inspection.
Homeowners can inspect the anchor straps beneath a home.
Check to ensure that their is no slack or play in the anchor straps. Rust or malformation can be bad signs.
MHISC officials say damages to manufactured homes are often caused by flooding and debris.
When an evacuation is ordered by local authorities, MHISC says staying in a manufactured home is a risk just like any other structure.
For more information about manufactured homes and hurricane safety, you can call 817-881-8199, or 803-771-9046 ext. 6.