The Hurricane Andrew, which hit American shores in 1992, enforced new safety precautions in manufactured housing segment. In fact, devastating winds, which appeared in some parts of Florida and Gulf Coast regions in Louisiana in up to 150 miles-per-hour, caused much damage in both stick-built homes and manufactured homes alike. In any case, the manufactured homes welcomed new wind load zones enforced by Housing and Urban Development organization in two years’ time.
In Wind-load Zone II, modules that withstand 100 mph wind got installed, where the bar was 110 mph in Wind-load Zone III since then, being areas prone to hurricanes. The precautions have made general contractors anchor manufactured homes as per licensed manufacturers’ instruction. The anchoring process in manufactured housing would meet part of the requirement that has been mandated by HUD in the windstorm protection provision with effect from July 13, 1994.
The provision is one of logic and there is no scientific reason to believe that mobile homes would attract a natural calamity like a tornado. Coincidentally, the shores in American suburbs had favored meteorological conditions that sparkle hurricanes of past. The force wind had not chosen site-built and manufactured as we have seen, even as some hurricanes clock upwards to 200 mph. The Wind-load III is the maximum that homebuilders of any kind have to offer to topple storms of up to 110 mph.
The Housing and Development codes came into being in 1976 as an initiative to standardize building procedure and the subsequent safety precautions only made the mobile home prices stable. What do pricing and development have in common? With sustainable modules that withstand energy and with anchoring that resist strong wind, an increase in price may have happened in subsequent years, but had not.
If a manufactured home has a basement below, there is a reason for that – either to provide shelter to occupants or to give more space underneath. If a site-built home has no basement underneath, then occupants can only afford to run around in circles when the wind comes scorching through windows.
In American suburbs situated offshore, manufactured homes resist winds in up to 70 mph. The mobile home prices have fluctuated with the winds of change these years but that does not fluctuate like tornados despite the vast improvements in anchored safety.