Photo: Barry Bahler (Wiki Commons)
Some residents of Indiana mobile home communities were warned about last week’s string of tornadoes, thanks in part to a four-year-old state law that requires all newly-installed or relocated mobile homes to be equipped with weather radios.
Former representative of Evansville Phil Hoy authored the law months after a tornado struck suddenly one night in 2005, killing 25 people. Hoy says there’s no way to tell how many mobile home residents are protected because of the law, but he says he’s confident it has prevented fatalities. “We don’t always get an early warning. Some people didn’t in Joplin, I don’t think. But it just seems to me that with the kind of weather we’re having, this may well save some lives—though we’ll never know how many lives were saved by something like this,” said Hoy.
After this year’s storms, Hoy said he’d like to see legislation go a step further, and require radios to be hardwired into new trailers and traditional homes alike. He says there’s no good reason not to expand weather radio requirements. “This could be a very positive step, and—by the way—an inexpensive step,” said Hoy. “When you’re spending whatever people spend on new homes now, adding a $30 radio—or two of them, depending on the size of the home—would not be a big thing.”
The law does not cover already-existing trailers.