Manufactured Home Residents
No Florida residents are more vulnerable during hurricane season than those who live in manufactured homes. For this reason, manufactured home residents must evacuate regardless of their evacuation level.
According to the National Hurricane Center, no mobile or manufactured home can be a safe shelter from hurricane-force winds. Never ride out a hurricane in a mobile home—even if it’s not in an evacuation zone. As soon as an evacuation order is announced, make plans to leave your mobile home!
That being said, modern manufactured homes are not the flimsy constructions they once were. They are, in fact, engineered and built to be as strong as the most stringent building codes require. There is said to be an advantage to factory-constructed homes over site-built homes: precision. The result is a strong, durable, quality-crafted home with easy-care exterior materials. Factory-constructed manufactured homes are built to a tough Federal code. These homes are crafted to rigid standards of fit and finish, by skilled workers. The design and construction of all Florida manufactured homes are monitored through HUD and their agent, Housing and Building Technology (HBT), and by the State Bureau of Manufactured Housing Construction.
Solid skirting around a manufactured home increases the threat of wind damage. A lattice or grillwork, which offers less wind resistance, will reduce the chance the wind will life the manufactured home off the ground.
Tying Down an Older Manufactured Home
Manufactured home straps help to prevent high winds from dislocating your manufactured home, which can cause damage, injury and loss of life. Manufactured home straps are secured to specially designed anchors, which are driven into the ground, thereby anchoring the mobile home to the spot on which it rests. As Sumter County regulations for manufactured home straps may vary from other counties, make sure you contact the Sumter County Building Department if you have any questions.
- Determine what type of manufactured home strap you're using. Older models of manufactured homes require straps that go completely over the top of the home, strapping it down. Newer models have straps that do not need to go completely over the home because of the home's structure.
- Insert anchors into the ground around the mobile home. Although the number of anchors that are required may vary between model of manufactured home, it doesn't hurt to insert extra anchors and extra straps. It never hurts to operate under the ‘less is more’ belief in this case. The types of anchors that can be used are concrete deadman anchors, auger anchors, drive anchors and anchors in concrete slaps.
- Position straps over the roof rafters if you're using straps that go over the top of the manufactured home. This helps distribute the force with which the tie-down strap is holding the manufactured home secure.
- Attach the end of the strap to a turnbuckle. A turnbuckle can be tightened to increase the tension on the strap and remove any slack. For a frame tie-down, the angle between the strap and the vertical plane of the anchor should be about 45 degrees.
- Secure the turnbuckle to the end of the anchor. Turn the turnbuckle adjustment until the strap is taut. Some turnbuckles require a metal rod to be inserted. Rotating the rod tightens the tension on the strap.
- Continue with the other straps on the manufactured home, securing them to turnbuckles and anchors. Go back and double check all of the straps. Tightening one strap might affect the tension on a strap at a different position of the manufactured home.