Requiring NWR in Mobile Homes

rdale

EF5
Bill would require weather radios in most mobile homes

http://www.jconline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070130/NEWS09/70130017

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
INDIANAPOLIS - Kathryn Martin told lawmakers Tuesday that an early warning from an emergency weather radio could have helped save her 2-year-old son, C.J., who was killed when a tornado swept through a southern Indiana mobile home park in 2005. [My note - not that this changes the need, but wasn't this a case where problems with the system meant the tones didn't go off on NWR?]

"We had no warning," Martin said. "It was 2 o'clock in the morning. We were asleep."

A House committee is considering legislation, dubbed "C.J.'s bill," that would require weather radios to be installed in most mobile homes. The radios would automatically alert residents when a storm is coming their way, even during the middle of the night, said bill sponsor Rep. Phil Hoy, D-Evansville.

The manufactured housing industry opposes the proposal, saying sirens and other methods are more effective at warning people. Jim Keller, with the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association, said he had a weather radio but became frustrated with it because it alerted him of storms far from him home.

"It's not going to take more than a couple of false alarms like that (before) people turn them off before they go to bed," Keller said.

Bill supporters say many emergency weather radios include a standby mode that automatically turns on the radio's audio function only when a warning is issued. Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, said weather radios have improved and people can receive weather alerts only for their counties if they choose.

"This idea that people are going to get false alarms is just not true," he said. "I'm just a little frustrated that this would be such a big deal. This seems so common sense to me."
 
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I guess the question remains...will the mobile home resident disconnect the power source or remove the battery if/when this becomes law? It makes sense to alert the people certainly most vulnerable not only to tornadoes, but also micro/macrobursts from storms. Of the ten most reasonable excuses on the benefits and why this is a good thing, there will be 100 excuses why this would not be a benefit. It will be interesting to monitor this and see how far it can go. After seeing the aftermath of mobile homes blown and smashed to bits, I would hope this gets through.
 
I'm not sure this is a bad idea, and I'm not surprised that a manuf. housing industry is against it (since it'll add to the cost and price of the home). Outdoor warning sirens aren't necessarily designed, and the networks aren't always layed out, to be heard inside every home in a community. As we've seen time and time again, people expect sirens to save their lives, and that's not the most prudent thing to do. Whether it's the power failing at the siren location or the lack of sirens near a residence, expecting to be warned in a timely manner by outdoor warning sirens gets people into trouble.

Sure, some folks will turn off their radios, but having them pre-programmed (alerting only to flash flood, severe thunderstorm, and tornado warnings in their county, for example) will help a lot. Obviously, this isn't necessary nationwide, but I think it's a smart idea in those areas that see a significant tornado threat (base it off climo if ya want). If NWRs could be even half as widespread as smoke detectors in the tornado-prone areas of this country it would save lives. Sure, the overall risk of dying in a tornado is rather insignificant (compared to risks like driving), but a weather radio can be bought for only $40-$50.

EDIT: Rdale, please provide a web-link to the article.
 
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Should it be made publicly known that all mobile home residents should have a Weather Alert radio, yes and I think many areas in Tornado alley do a pretty decent job of getting that across. There is the question of how to enforce the law as Brian mentioned all it would take is for the home owner to disconnect the power source. Continue to make it well known that is in Mobile home residents best interest to own and use one, but no reason to add to the long list of hard to enforce common sense laws (smoke detectors, seatbealts, ect...) that many poeple dont obey and only discredit the power of law!
 
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Personally I believe that every home (not just mobile homes) should have a Noaa Weather Radio. They should be found just as commonly in homes as are smoke detectors esp. for persons living in tornado prone areas. Out door warning systems are just that, out door warning systems; these are meant to alert those who are outside not those who are inside buildings. Plus many towns, cities, etc. do not sound the sirens for severe thunderstoms which can be just as destructive to mobile homes as are tornados. To sum it up, YES! mobile homes should be required to have Noaa Weather Radios, now whether or not the residence of those homes will actually use/listen to those radios is another story.:confused:
 
This is an interesting topic. I think personal responsibility will always play the largest role in protecting oneself from severe weather. Do I think that people in mobile homes or any home for that matter should have a weather radio? Yes I do. Should it be a legal requirement for the home builder? I think not. How many times have we heard, “We had no warning!â€￾ I have heard that several times over the years, and it just isn’t true in many cases. I certainly do not expect people to watch the weather like we do, but it seems to me that if you live in an area that experiences severe weather, it is your responsibility to at least be a little bit aware of what is going on. I think a weather radio in every home would be great, but I just don’t think that is something that should be required of the manufacturer. Maybe a program that educates mobile home owners of the increased threat posed to them by living in an un-reinforced structure may help them pay more attention, I don’t really know. I just think that being aware of your surroundings is the best way to protect yourself and your family, and I do not think that is the responsibility of the home manufacturer.
 
I can definitely see a compliance issue with a law like this, mainly because of issues many might have with entering the SAME codes correctly for their areas.

My NWR receiver's a couple of years old, and unless they've become a lot more user-friendly or the mobile home vendor would pre-program them, anyone outside of the geek community might have some problems. Seniors would find the task especially daunting.

John
www.skywatch7.com
 
I think it is a silly law. I appreciate the intent but I will second personal responsibility. Do we need a law to keep me from sticking a knife in an electric socket. How about one that tells me to not smoke at the gas pump. That seems pretty dangerous.

I would support a law that requires mobile home parks to provide a warning siren and a shelter. That would make much more sense.

(FYI - if the weather radio goes off at our home, my wife turns it off. She finds it disruptive. :rolleyes: She let me sleep through an afternoon nap when a tornado touched down less than 4 miles away and took down several commercial buildings.)
 
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I don't personally lean one way or another, as I don't plan to ever live in a mobile home. However, couldn't the money spent enacting and inforcing such a law be better spent on an education and perhaps a weather radio provision program? I'd rather see tax dollars spent on individuals who take personal responsibility seriously than those who would never make use of such devices.
 
This law was signed by the Indiana governor today.
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2007/s2870.htm

June 7, 2007 — Officials from NOAA National Weather Service offices that serve Indiana were on hand today at the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park in Evansville, Ind., to witness the signing of C.J.’s Law by Indiana Governor Mitchell Daniels. Named for two-year-old C.J. Martin, the law mandates installation of NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards public alert radios in all new and relocated manufactured housing, within manufactured communities in Indiana, effective July 1.

Mike
 
While I appreciate the intent of this, unfortunately I don't agree with it. Just because the radios will be installed doesn't mean that people will use them. Seems like it makes better sense to have legislation that requires safe and adequate shelters at mobile home parks rather than this questionable attempt. While I feel sorry for the loss that the mother experienced, I don't think this is the solution.
 
While I appreciate the intent of this, unfortunately I don't agree with it. Just because the radios will be installed doesn't mean that people will use them. Seems like it makes better sense to have legislation that requires safe and adequate shelters at mobile home parks rather than this questionable attempt. While I feel sorry for the loss that the mother experienced, I don't think this is the solution.

Do many folks really believe that this is THE answer, though? I know it isn't perfect, and I certainly don't believe it'll prevent all unnecessary deaths in mobile homes. However, I do think it's a STEP that may very well save SOME lives. Again, I don't think it'll prevent unnecessary deaths altogether, but it's a step that may very well save a family or two down the road. I just can't see how it'll hurt. Sure, some folks will turn them off, but even if only 20% of the folks program them and use them, that's still better than before (out of those who otherwise wouldn't have had them).
 
While I appreciate the intent of this, unfortunately I don't agree with it. Just because the radios will be installed doesn't mean that people will use them. Seems like it makes better sense to have legislation that requires safe and adequate shelters at mobile home parks rather than this questionable attempt. While I feel sorry for the loss that the mother experienced, I don't think this is the solution.

I agree. This is just about absurd as a seatbelt law or even laws requiring CO detectors in my home. While I understand the intent, and I both believe in and use these devices, I don't need legislation that legally requires me to own and use these devices or else. Sorry - but it really is a matter of personal responsibility.
 
very interesting topic indeed...i guess you could think of it as a fire alarm...i strongly agree with the "false-alarm" issue...nobody wants to hear a fire alarm when your cooking food, atleast people i know...and some people actually remove the smoke detectors all together...there aint no smoke detectors in my house or my freinds house(s) either...

do i advocate this? no, i dont...

false alarms may become more of the same thing...and if your going to mandate putting NWRs inside of trailers...why not mandate having tornado shelters payed for by the government next to trailers...if a tornado hits your home...no weather radio is going to save your life...

bottom line is, as with most all of these discussions and in general...its up to the individual...some people just dont care...

if theres another tornado warning...some people are just going "to shut it off and go back to bed"...ive been in a million tornado warnings and have yet to see a tornado...so i know what locals sometimes think...especially ones who havent experienced a major severe weather event...

however...i think it is a good idea, and a good bill...i would rather see money spent on NWRs in trailors then money spent on guided missles...
 
Manufactured home makers don't spend money on guided missiles - so your last point isn't involved here...
 
Manufactured home makers don't spend money on guided missiles - so your last point isn't involved here...


sorry...i believed it was a government bill payed for by the governent...IMO better for domestic spending then war funding...then again, no politics involved in ST so, i apologize...
 
Do we really have to have laws for everything? I have always been huge on personal responsibility and think laws like this are waaaaaay over the top. The government is getting to the point where they are trying to protect us from anything and everything. They need to stop wasting time on stuff like this and start working on correcting some of the big issues and problem's they've caused over the years.

On a side note, stuff like this should really worry those of you who think that stormchasing may some day be made illegal. As we continue down the road of more and more control to protect us from ourselves, it may only be a matter of time. I have no idea how they would ever inforce it, but it only takes one person to get a silly idea in their head and eventually it could be on paper. I can just imagine Senator X standing up and proudly announcing "(Insert deceased stormchaser's name here)'s Law will really help us control the danger and risks surrounding these violent storms, and prevent anyone else from getting unnecessarily killed".
 
I can see something like that happening to. How would you enforce something like that though, we could just chase ingonito. Then to protest we could have a HUGE chaser convergence in front of the white house. :D

Anyway, I think all we can do is just keep advertising and encouraging people to buy NWR. You can't force anybody to do anything at least that's what I thought America was supposed to be like. It's the owners choice if they want to buy that or not. I don't think we could twist people's arms and tell them you need a NWR.
 
Do many folks really believe that this is THE answer, though? I know it isn't perfect, and I certainly don't believe it'll prevent all unnecessary deaths in mobile homes. However, I do think it's a STEP that may very well save SOME lives. Again, I don't think it'll prevent unnecessary deaths altogether, but it's a step that may very well save a family or two down the road. I just can't see how it'll hurt. Sure, some folks will turn them off, but even if only 20% of the folks program them and use them, that's still better than before (out of those who otherwise wouldn't have had them).


I agree and I am sure many people would like to own one but cant afford one or dont know where to look. Even if all this does is save 1 persons life then it is worth it. It is nice to know someone cares about saving lives and this will help.
 
If they couldn't afford one before this won't help - the price of their home just went up $50 (at least).
 
I think that the key to getting the public to understand the benefit of NWR SAME all hazards is education. Educate people in the trailer parks. If possible have Emergency Management and represenitives from NWS host community meetings with the public and teach them about severe weather, the dangers of mobile homes during not only tornadoes but in non-tornadic severe thunderstorms. Inform them of what damage can be done to a trailer should a tornado or straight lined winds and/or downburst occur. Lastly, have a question/answer session. Then hopefully people will have a better understanding of the risk associated with living in a trailer should tornado or other damaging wind event occur, and that NWR SAME could provide adequette lead time warning to take action to protect the life of themselfs and family. Now, all the lead time warning probably won't help much if there is no substantial shelter to take cover in. It would be nice to see trailer parks in the more at risk areas, have a designated shelter that folks in the park can head to after recieving a warning over NWR SAME.

As far as people removing the battery or power source, I think once people are educated that the newer models can be, as previous posters said, pre-set to only activate for the specific warnings that you select and only for the area that you select, thus eliminating being waken up for a warning half-way across the county warning area. As far as smoke detectors, more and more smoke detectors are becoming hard-wired so disconnecting the power is impossible without shutting power down to the entire living space.

Unless that is the way its intended with NWR SAME. To make it hard-wired
with battery back-up. So it cannot be turned off or switched off. Not sure if that can be done legally. I know its done with some residential homes and all appartment buildings and other muiltple resident dwellings.

Time will tell how this plays out. Again, I believe the key here is public education. Knowledge is power.

Take care,
Jeremy Miller
Cortland, NY
 
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