Prepare Your Manufactured Home for Hurricane Florence

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    Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the East Coast, and could do major damage to parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia later this week.

    According to a National Hurricane Center update on Sept. 12, a life-threatening storm surge is highly likely along portions of the coastlines of South Carolina and North Carolina. Catastrophic flash flooding is likely over portions of the Carolinas late this week and early next week, as Florence is expected to slow down as it moves inland.

    According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, it’s crucial that people in these areas obey the instructions of local and state officials and evacuate if necessary.

    The federal government has instructions for people preparing for hurricanes, including tips for safeguarding your home. Most of the tips apply to manufactured homes as well as site-built homes, but the Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina shared some specific tips for manufactured homes on its website.

    Know the age of your home.

    Know what wind level the home is designed to withstand. Prior to 1976, the homes were built to a patchwork of state, local and voluntary codes. Some were well built; others were not. Federal law requires that a home built and installed after 1994 in the nine South Carolina counties nearest the coast must withstand winds of 100 mph.

    Verify that your home was installed properly.

    However, the most common reason for wind damage in manufactured homes is improper installation rather than the structure of the home itself. A manufactured home will perform properly in high winds only if it is properly installed.

    Do your own inspection.

    Manufactured homes are anchored by a series of 10 to 20 large steel anchors. The anchors are connected by metal anchor straps to the heavy steel frame that the house rests on. Inspect each anchor strap beneath your home to be certain that there is no slack or play in the strap. Check for signs of movement in the anchors themselves. Anchor straps can be tightened with a socket, ratchet and adjustable wrench.

    Finally, remember that even the best-prepared homeowners should evacuate their homes when local authorities recommend it. This is regardless of whether their house is site-built or factory-built.

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