Monday, March 5, 2012


I was reading the story of the toddler who was thrown from her family into a field, flung by the tornado in Indiana. A truly tragic story on so many different levels. The family of 5 chose to seek the best possible shelter they could. Their options were fairly limited, however.

It needs to be well known that a lot of fatalities occur in mobile homes. As Brooks and Doswell (2002) have noted mobile home deaths in tornadoes are much, much higher than deaths in permanent structures. It doesn't much matter what kind of mobile home as far as I am aware. They simply cannot withstand the forces at work in any tornado let alone violent, strong tornadoes.

Does your mobile home weigh 1 million pounds? I would bet you answered No. Well the EF5 tornado that hit El Reno in Oklahoma on 24 May threw ... read that again... threw a 1 million pound oil well drilling platform. The tornado that hit this young family was an EF4.

Improving the science of forecasting tornadoes can not solve all of the issues. We may not ever be able to tell you with 100 percent certainty that your house will be hit by a violent tornado at 1:42 pm. But it is easy to say that your survival chances in any mobile home are significantly reduced. That is the one thing that is predictable.

The information is out there. And it needs to get to the right ears, or eyes.