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What to do if you live in a mobile home when severe weather strikes

In the last 15 years 61% of Georgia’s storm deaths happened in and around mobile homes.

MACON, Ga. — In Georgia this year we've already seen a run of violent tornadoes in Griffin and the damage can seem random.

One thing is for sure, in the last 15 years 61% of Georgia’s storm deaths happened in and around mobile homes.

“It's not the safest I wouldn't recommend it for anybody,” Kendall Poston said.

Poston and her neighbors live in a mobile home park and they have different strategies in case of a tornado warning.

“Pretty much we will go into the bathroom or master bedroom because it's no windows or anything. We'll just get in there and close the door and have plenty of pillows,” one neighbor said.

Norris says he would leave if he had to but riding it out in a mobile home is risky.

“I seek out the safest places that I can find, one of them being the bathroom with all of the pillows on you can get,” William Norris said.

When weather gets severe Emergency Management Director Spencer Hawkins, along with other city leaders, hunker down in a bunker to coordinate help and make decisions.

“But they're real light weight and they're not aerodynamic so the wind just hits that wall and can really move them and whether it moves them and slides them on the property or topples them over they can be an unsafe situation,” he said.

Hawkins has 20 years of experience in this field and he's heard all of the excuses as to why folks don't leave.

“’I rode it out before so I’ll be okay this time’ or ‘I don’t think it's going to be that bad’ and what I tell folks is that I absolutely understand but at the same time you never know. Talk to people in Joplin, Missouri that got hit with that major tornado or the people up in Spalding that just got hit a couple of weeks ago,” he said.

Some people do try and make precautions for their homes.

“With the foundation I double block mine because it offers a more secure situation you know when you tie it down there's not wobbling,” Norris said.

Tie downs come with mobile homes but don't get lured into a false sense of security.

“I've not seen straps work effectively,” Hawkins said.

So, it all comes down to a plan of getting out and set up where you're going ahead of time.

Hawkins says preferably you pick a brick or stucco home that you can get to within five minutes.

Now is a good time to get to know your neighbors.

“Talk to them before it happens.  ‘Hey bob do you mind if I come, or my family comes and hangs out with you for two hours to make that work.’ But it's that preplanning that will save your life,” Hawkins said.

Wise words with volatile weather right around the corner.

Hawkins also says if you can't find a neighbor or relative to stay with go to a large business like a big box retailer or a Walmart or grocery store.

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