Severe weather highlights danger of tornados to mobile homes

CHOCOWINITY, N.C. (WNCT) — The severe weather in Sampson County is just the latest example of damage left behind when strong winds move through the area.

Chocowinity resident Janis Satterthwaite lives in a modular home and said she’s working on a plan in case of a storm.

“I would pack up and go,” said Satterthwaite. “I would evacuate because I don’t see no need of staying in the home if you know there’s going to be a tornado. You are risking your own life. Why risk your life when you don’t have to?”

Modular and mobile homes are increasing in popularity in Beaufort County and across eastern North Carolina.

Beaufort County Emergency Management technician Lisa Williams said she hopes the county will also work to be proactive to protect residents.

“It really would be nice to see as more of that type of housing becomes more popular an option,” said Williams. “To have some kind of ordinance in place that would require if you are developing this, you have to provide something.”

In the meantime, Williams is encouraging citizens to look out for themselves and figure out their safest option, even if it means heading outside.

“Hit the ditch,” said Williams. “That may be your best option, but we would like for that not to be your only option. We would like for you to plan ahead for this.”

Satterthwaite said if severe weather strikes, she hopes her plan protects her and keeps her safe.

“I don’t ever know when one would come through here,” said Satterthwaite. “I can’t see that far ahead, but I wouldn’t want it to happen and not have a plan for myself.”

Beaufort County Emergency Management says the county has a program you can sign up for online called Hyper-Reach that uses your home address to notify you of weather events.

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