How the 1992 Hurricane Andrew Changed the Quality Standards of Mobile Homes
The year was 1992, and Hurricane Andrew was about to land in Florida. As a category five storm, it was one of the most powerful hurricanes in history. It caused widespread devastation, with an estimated $25 billion in damages and 44 deaths. Homestead was hit particularly hard, with 99% of mobile homes destroyed beyond repair.
At the time of the storm, the building codes for mobile homes were relatively lax. As a result, many mobile homes could not withstand the strong winds and were destroyed. After the storm, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) significantly strengthened the building codes for mobile homes. These changes went into effect in 1994 and have significantly impacted the sensitivity of these structures to extreme weather events.
The revised mobile home standards have made a considerable difference. In the very active 2004 hurricane season, no mobile homes built after 1994 were damaged in Florida. All damages occurred in units built before the federal regulations changed.
This is a clear example of how building codes can make a difference in protecting people and property from extreme weather events. The changes made to mobile home building codes have dramatically impacted the sensitivity of these structures. As a result, they are now much more resistant to hurricanes and other extreme weather events.
It is important to note that mobile homes are not the only structures vulnerable to extreme weather events. Unfortunately, many homes and buildings are built without sufficient consideration for the potential impact of natural disasters. This is why it is essential to have strict building codes that require structures to withstand extreme weather events.
In addition to HUD’s revised building codes for mobile homes, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles also placed stricter rules on mobile home construction in 1996 and 1999. These changes have also helped to improve the quality of mobile homes in the state.