Former EMA director responds to criticism about comments on manufactured homes during severe weather

Former EMA director responds to criticism about comments on manufactured homes during severe weather
(Source: WBRC Video)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Art Faulkner, retired director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency is now responding to critics of this video where he claims some manufactured homes can be as safe or even safer than other site built homes during severe weather.

"I didn't say to anyone that they need to stay in their manufactured homes," Art Faulkner said.

The video which is getting a lot of chatter from the weather community is on the Alabama Manufactured Housing Association's Facebook page. Faulkner does consultant work for the AMHA.

"The comments made in this video are based on my 25 plus years of experience in the emergency management and emergency management related community and the thousands of structures that I've seen damaged from storms," Faulkner said.

Faulkner says some meteorologists tend to tell people to get out of their manufactured homes as quickly as possible before severe weather hits to keep them safe. Faulkner claims those meteorologists and other emergency personnel are often not aware of the standards that manufactured homes are built. He says those standards are a lot better now than in years past.

"We've got to quit giving some people a false sense of security that just because they live in a site-built home that that home is safer than a HUD code home which is built to federal standards and installed in federal standards," Faulkner said.

Faulker tells us money from his new job doesn't influence what he says.

"There is no way that I would say something that I did not feel was going to keep the public safe. There's not any amount of money that could buy me from trying to discourage people from being safe," Faulkner said.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham tells us there's not enough definitive research yet that shows manufactured homes are safer. Faulkner wants to reiterate that he's not telling people to stay in their manufactured homes if they are in a direct path of a tornado. He says the best place to stay safe is in a FEMA approved storm shelter.

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