Hurricane Irma & Maria
Hurricane Irma really devastated much of the Caribbean and areas of the Southeastern US. Hurricane Maria is currently tearing through the Caribbean as well. With all of the talk about hurricanes, earthquakes, and storms in general, I figured I would address some of your concerns about how mobile homes hold up in a storm.
Manufactured homes have been built according to Wind Zone specifications since 1994. This means that homes set up since that year must meet strict wind zone guidelines to meet code and pass inspection.
There are currently 3 Wind Zone tiers based upon the anticipated impact in your county. For example, there are only 3 counties in NC that require Wind Zone 3, more that require Wind Zone 2, and most only require Wind Zone 1.
Mobile homes are built to conform to strict guidelines as it pertains to wind, however, damage can still occur. The same is true for site-built homes. Most mobile homes that are significantly damaged during storms are as a result of 1) Not being tied down appropriately per state code or 2) They are actually damaged from added on structures that are not wind resistant.
More often than in site-built homes, consumers build on porches or shelters to manufactured homes after the homes are set-up. If you build on a structure and do not build that structure to code, YOU ARE AT RISK. For example, that shelter that you did not get a permit for that you built onto the front of your mobile home may become significantly compromised with winds around 60 mph or so. Your home is built to withstand 100+ mph, but if that shelter gets ripped away at 60 mph, it may end up ripping part of your home off with it. Your home is designed to stand up to hurricane-force winds, however, you cannot tie on a structure that is not without significantly compromising the integrity of your mobile home.
The Conclusion: Make sure that anything built onto or around your mobile home meets the same criteria that your home does. Don't build on carports, shelters, porches, etc. without ensuring that it is reasonably hurricane proof or you may compromise your home in situations where it would normally be perfectly safe. Any hurricane, regardless of wind speed, can potentially cause catastrophic damage as a result of wind or rain, ie. Hurricane Matthew. Evacuate your home when local authorities suggest to do so.