The sustained power of a tropical storm or hurricane can damage or destroy a mobile home in minutes. That’s why it’s important for these residents to pay close attention to weather warnings, and prepare well in advance of evacuations being ordered.
Hillsborough County has launched an initiative to spread that message to residents of more than 60,000 mobile homes in unincorporated Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace. It’s timely advice, with National Preparedness Month in September, and the approaching one-year anniversary of Hurricane Irma’s memorable sweep through Florida.
Through November, staff from Hillsborough County Fire Rescue/Office of Emergency Management, Code Enforcement, and Community Emergency Response Team volunteers from the University of South Florida and South County are visiting the managers of more than 500 manufactured housing communities and recreational vehicle parks. They’ll bring an all-hazards alert weather radio for each community’s office, and emergency preparedness and safety information in both English and Spanish for residents and visitors.
On the morning of Thursday, Aug. 30, they’ll deliver a radio and the information to the manager of the Fountainview Estates community in the Town ‘N Country area, then stay to talk with residents and offer emergency safety tips.
Emergency officials caution residents and visitors not to ride out a tropical storm or hurricane in a mobile home. Despite stronger land development codes and industry improvements, manufactured homes and RVs generally cannot withstand the same wind speeds as other structures without sustaining damage, creating perilous and sometimes deadly conditions for occupants. In addition, there are many older mobile homes in Hillsborough County that were built and put in place before standards were strengthened. That’s why, no matter where the mobile home is located in Hillsborough County, all mobile homes are included in Evacuation Zone A.
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