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Manufactured homes are safe

Dear editor,

This letter is in response to the article “Tornado Warning Bill Reintroduced,” by Scott Mims that was published on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009.

First of all, let me state that the manufactured housing industry supports homeowner protection and the protection of all citizens in the event of any disaster. There is already a Federal Law in place, however, that allows everyone with a cell phone to be notified regarding all threats to public safety, including natural disasters, manmade accidents, and terrorist alerts. This federal law is called the Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN) act that was signed into law in 2007 and provides a far superior public alert system than battery operated weather radios.

The WARN act ensures that regardless of where individuals are located or what kind of technologies they use, they will receive an audible live-saving alert over their wireless device (cell phone, pager, etc.). As an industry and as citizens of Alabama, we believe everyone should be notified of a tornado or other disaster. Therefore, we would like to see the WARN act implemented throughout the state rather than single out just one segment of the population.

Second, a tornado does not discriminate; it will destroy anything in its path.

There are many instances of this happening; for example, in 2007 a tornado hit a high school in Enterprise and killed six students.

Your article stated that tornado fatalities in “mobile homes” were higher, according to the National Weather Service. To be fair, it should also state whether those homes were anchored according to Alabama state law and/or if they were built after 1994, when wind standard requirements mandating that manufactured homes be built to the same if not stronger standards than site-built homes, were federally mandated.

— Sherry Norris, Executive Director