MEDIA ADVISORY: Guide to Manufactured Homes & Hurricane Irma

07 Sep 2017 3:52 PM | Anonymous

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR Hurricane Irma; week of September 7, 2017 – September 13, 2017

More information (available 24/7): Director of Communications Katrina Jørgensen 817-881-8199;  803-771-9046  Ext. 6

Guide to Manufactured Housing and Hurricane Safety

Columbia, SC -- During the State of Emergency in South Carolina ahead of Hurricane Irma, the Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina is providing this quick guide that will provide up-to-date facts, important safety information for South Carolinians and help answer frequently asked questions about manufactured homes. We have also included a quick vocabulary guide to the industry.

  • MHISC represents manufacturers building modern houses for South Carolina homeowners as well as over 250 manufactured home communities in the state. Our association has over 600 member companies.
  • Please see the attached Storm Safety Guide to accurately inform the public about how to prepare their homes ahead of Hurricane Irma.  “Most of the guidelines for preparing a manufactured home for a tropical storm are the same as for other houses,” MHISC Executive Director Mark Dillard said.  “But there are a few steps specifically for our homes that that can be done quickly and cost-effectively by homeowners without a construction background.” MHISC has already sent this guide to our members, and reminded them of safety guidelines in seeking shelter, whether they live in a modern manufactured home or a site-built house.
  • Tough new wind safety standards went into effect in 1994 after Hurricane Andrew. Studies show these modern homes to be as safe as traditional houses.
  • 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. Homes placed inland must be able to withstand sustained wind gusts of 80 miles per hour. South Carolina counties prone to hurricane-force winds are labeled Wind Zone II: Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper and Williamsburg. Learn more about Wind Zones here.
  • All manufactured homes come with a “data plate,” which is usually in a utility closet near the beaker panel on a kitchen cabinet. This plate will state what wind zone the home was built for. NOTE: Mobile Homes built prior to 1976 were not constructed to any type of code and may not have a data plate or wind zone rating. They are designated as "mobile homes".
  • Please see our Storm Safety page for more information.

The Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina (MHISC) was founded in 1967 to promote improved standards in the factory-built home industry.  MHISC represents the manufactured home industry on the SC Building Codes Council which promulgates building codes for the state.

The association also holds a seat on the SC Department of Insurance Loss Mitigation Advisory Committee.  The Committee was formed to develop strategies for reducing loss of life and reducing property losses due to hurricane, earthquake, and fire.

Important Terms in Manufactured Housing

Trailer / Trailer park:  The term “trailer park” does not apply to current day manufactured home rental communities.  A trailer is a product which can be pulled by an automobile and is used for temporary quarters.  During the 1940’s and 1950’s “trailer parks” were set up for short term rentals by traveling workers. A camper, motorhome, travel trailer, RV or anything that can be pulled behind a passenger vehicle is not considered a manufactured home.

Manufactured home:  A manufactured home is a house built in a controlled factory environment for use as a permanent home.  Homes built after 1976 to a national building code are manufactured homes.  They are built to standards issued under the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 5401-5426.)

Mobile Home: “Mobile home” refers to a home built before the advent of a national building code for manufactured homes in 1976. Modern manufactured homes are no longer referred to as “mobile homes”.  “Mobile home” refers only to homes built before 1976.

The difference between a manufactured home and mobile home is not just a matter of semantics. Federal and state law and local ordinances make a distinction between the two and treat the two types of houses differently. 

The distinction between the two is especially relevant in discussing safety issues.  Mobile homes were built to a patchwork of local and voluntary codes.  Manufactured homes are built to stringent federal standards.

Modular Home:  Modular homes in South Carolina are built in a factory to the same code as site-built homes, the International Residential Code.  They are shipped to the home site and placed on a permanent foundation which also meets the same requirements as site-built homes.

Wind Zone: A wind zone rates the amount of wind pressure a home must be built to withstand. Wind zones were created by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Modern manufactured homes must be built to a particular wind zone requirement depending upon where the home will be placed. Homes placed in South Carolina’s nine coastal counties are built to special “Zone II” hurricane-resistant standards.  The remainder of the state is categorized as “Zone I”.   A similar wind zone system is also used for modular and site-built homes.

MHISC is the voice of the manufactured and modular home industries in South Carolina.

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