Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Editorials

March 14, 2012

Will your mobile home be the death of you?

March 14, 2012 —     The deadly tornadoes earlier this month reinforced the grim statistics that weather experts and emergency planners have been sharing with us for years:

    A vast majority of the men, women and children who die in tornadoes are those who did not leave their mobile homes to seek shelter.

    In Kentucky, 16 of the 23 killed this month were mobile home occupants, almost 70 percent. In Morgan County, it was the case with five of the six who perished, more than 83 percent.

    A 10-year study of tornado fatalities from 2001 to 2010 showed that folks who live in mobile homes die at a rate 15 times higher than those in permanent homes.

    The best gambler in the world could not try to beat those odds. However, it happens in every tornado and the obituary columns always report the names of those who gambled with their lives and lost.

    The stark reality of those statistics came to light in Laurel County when one couple left their mobile home on a ridge when the weather warnings became severe.

    Next door, their neighbors opted to wait out the storm in their mobile home.

    The EF-3 tornado ripped both mobile homes to pieces, killing the couple that stayed behind.

    We are not criticizing those who choose to live in mobile homes. They generally are less expensive than conventional homes, simpler to relocate, easier to finance and often more energy efficient.

    In fact, we Kentuckians like mobile homes more than most states. In the 2010 census, these homes made up 12.6 percent of our state’s housing units, compared with the national average of 6.1 percent.

    Today’s mobile homes, fashionably called “manufactured housing”, are better built than ever before because of design upgrades in 1976 and 1994. 

    Kentucky requires that such homes must be built strong enough to withstand winds of 70 mph. For the record, that’s about half the speed of the tornado that hit Morgan County.

    In our view, you should leave your mobile home as soon as a tornado watch is posted. That comes before a tornado warning.

    If you cannot get to a sturdy building, preferably a basement, The National Weather Service and the Red Cross now say your safest option is a vehicle.

    If you can’t get away in time, you should park with your seat belt fastened, keep your head below window level and cover your head.

    Studies show that vehicles stay upright about 83 percent of the time. 

    That’s still not as safe as your neighbor’s basement or a storm cellar.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Five years and counting on Saturday mail

    It was five years ago when that marvel of fiscal management, the U. S. Postal Service (USPS), announced it would end Saturday mail delivery within six months.

    July 23, 2014

  • Yes, girls can become scientists, engineers

    We applaud the television commercials sponsored by Verizon which gently but effectively rebuke those among us who discourage girls and young women from careers in science, technology and mathematics.

    July 16, 2014

  • High court right on mobile phone ruling

    We don’t always agree with the rulings of the U. S. Supreme Court which is often divided with multiple opinions. But, for the moment, we feel better about the high court because of its recent ruling on searching mobile phones.

    July 9, 2014

  • Would we pay the same high price today?

    As we Americans take a day off from work on Friday to mark the 238th birthday of our country, can we find a few moments to reflect on those who made it happen?

    July 2, 2014

  • Trading Saturday mail for roads is a hoax

    Just when we thought all of the idiotic ideas had emerged from the current Congress, along came another doozy. A Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives proposed that Saturday mail delivery be ended and the resulting savings be used to fix roads and bridges across America.

    June 25, 2014

  • Is history repeating itself in Iraq?

    If last week’s news from Iraq left you with a sense of déjà vu, you are not alone. “Déjà vu” is defined as “disagreeable familiarity or sameness” and that certainly fits what appears to be the emergence of another Islamic militant group which took control of two major cities in Iraq.

    June 18, 2014

  • Technology bringing closure to MIA families

    After 58 years in an unmarked grave in a military cemetery in Hawaii, a Kentucky soldier came home last Saturday to his family and a final resting place in his native soil.

    June 11, 2014

  • New state veterans leader a great choice

    Some may criticize Gov. Steve Beshear for appointing former Miss America Heather French Henry as commissioner of Kentucky's Department of Veterans Affairs.

    June 4, 2014

  • As is, Rupp Arena project not worth saving

    When the General Assembly decided last month not to allow state bonds to be used to help fund the Rupp Arena renovation, we said it was unfair because Louisville got state money for the KFC Yum Center four years earlier.

    May 28, 2014

  • Cockfighting is more than animal cruelty

    A recent political issue arose over the visit to a cockfight by U. S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin. The resulting publicity brought cockfighting, which is illegal in Kentucky, back into the public eye.

    May 14, 2014

Poll