(WICHITA, Kan.) — You hear meteorologists say it all the time—if you’re in a mobile home and a tornado threatens you need to get out.
A “what to do” advice sheet by the National Weather Service says “Get out! Even if your home is tied down, you are probably safer outside, even if the only alternative is to seek shelter out in the open.”
But are mobile homes being unfairly singled out?
“The main thing you got to think about a mobile home is how they are anchored to the ground,” says Dick Elder with the Wichita National Weather Service office.
He’s heard the criticism from those who live in and manufacture mobile homes.
“We had a lot of that after the Andover tornado, a lot of criticism because we did training telling people to get out of the mobile home,” says Elder.
But his advice remains the same. He says many mobile homes are not anchored to a slab, and just don’t withstand high winds like other structures.
“When they're set up that way they are a disaster waiting to happen.”
The only death in the Reading tornado was a man in his mobile home. Andover was another example of what can happen if a tornado strikes a mobile home park.
The National Weather Service says in 2010, 45 people died in tornadoes.
20 were in mobile homes, 11 were in houses, seven in vehicles, six outside, and one in a building.