Advertisement

Natural Hazards

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 125–137 | Cite as

Tornado fatalities and mobile homes in the United States

  • Daniel SutterEmail author
  • Kevin M. Simmons
Original Paper

Abstract

Fatalities from tornadoes have declined dramatically over the last century in the United States. Despite the overall reduction in tornado lethality, fatalities from mobile homes remain high. In fact, research suggests that the likelihood of a fatality in a mobile home is ten times or more than that in a permanent home. This study examines possible explanations of the mobile home tornado problem, including the potential for concentration of these homes in tornado prone states, the relation to Fujita Scale rating, and incidence during the day. We find that mobile home fatalities are concentrated in the Southeastern US, significantly more likely in weaker tornadoes, and occur disproportionately at night.

Keywords

Tornadoes Mobile homes Fatalities Injuries 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Brent McAloney of NOAA for supplying us with tornado fatality location records and two referees for comments which have improved the paper.

References

  1. American Meteorological Society (1997) Policy statement: mobile homes and severe windstorms. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 78:850–851Google Scholar
  2. Ashley WS (2007) Spatial and temporal analysis of tornado fatalities in the United States, 1880–2005. Weather Forecast 22:1214–1228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashley WS, Krmenec AJ, Schwantes R (2008) Vulnerability due to nocturnal tornadoes. Weather Forecast 23:795–807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beamish JG, Goss RC, Aitles JH, Kim Y (2001) Not a trailer anymore: perceptions of manufactured housing. Hous Policy Debate 12:373–392Google Scholar
  5. Boruff BJ, Easoz JA, Jones SD, Landry HR, Mitchem JD, Cutter SL (2003) Tornado hazards in the United States. Clim Res 2410:3–117Google Scholar
  6. Brooks HE, Doswell CAIII (2002) Deaths in the 3 May 1999 Oklahoma City tornado from a historical perspective. Weather Forecast 17:354–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Camerer CF, Kunreuther H (1989) Decision processes for low probability events: policy implications. J Policy Anal Manag 8:565–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. De Alessi L (1996) Error and bias in benefit-cost analysis: HUD’s case for the wind rule. Cato J 16:129–147Google Scholar
  9. Doswell CAIII, Moeller AR, Brooks HE (1999) Storm spotting and public awareness since the first tornado forecasts of 1948. Weather Forecast 14:544–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Golden JH, Adams CR (2000) The tornado problem: forecast, warning, and response. Nat Hazards Rev 1:07–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Golden JH, Snow JT (1991) Mitigation against extreme windstorms. Rev Geophys 29:477–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hammer B, Schmidlin TW (2002) Response to warnings during the 3 May 1999 Oklahoma City tornado: reasons and relative injury rates. Weather Forecast 17:577–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Manufactured Housing Institute (2006) Understanding today’s manufactured housing. Available at http://www.manufacturedhousing.org/understanding_today2006/index.htm. Accessed 8 May 2009
  14. Marshall MI, Marsh TL (2007) Consumer and investment demand for manufactured housing units. J Hous Econ 165:9–71Google Scholar
  15. Meyer RJ (2006) Why we under-prepare for hazards? In: Daniels RJ, Kettl DF, Kunreuther H (eds) On risk and disaster: lessons from hurricane Katrina. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, pp 153–173Google Scholar
  16. Schmidlin TW, Hammer B, Knabe J (2001) Tornado shelters in mobile home parks in the United States. J Am Soc Prof Emerg Plan 8:1–15Google Scholar
  17. Schmidlin TW, Hammer BO, Ono Y, King PS (2009) Tornado shelter-seeking behavior and tornado shelter options among mobile home residents in the United States. Nat Hazards 48:191–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Simmons KM, Sutter D (2005) Protection from nature’s fury: an analysis of fatalities and injuries from F5 tornadoes. Nat Hazards Rev 6:82–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Simmons KM, Sutter D (2006) Direct estimation of the cost effectiveness of tornado shelters. Risk Anal 26:945–954CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Simmons KM, Sutter D (2008a) Tornado warnings, lead times and tornado casualties: an empirical investigation. Weather Forecast 23:246–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Simmons KM, Sutter D (2008b) Manufactured home building regulations and the February 2, 2007 Florida tornadoes. Nat Hazards 46:415–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sutter D, Poitras M (2009) Mobile homes and tornado risk. Working paper, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Texas - Pan AmericanGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics & FinanceUniversity of Texas - Pan AmericanEdinburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of Economics and Business AdministrationAustin CollegeShermanUSA

Personalised recommendations