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Tornado safety and mobile homes

PEORIA (HOI) -- When our Storm Alert team says get to your safe places, you know the drill--move to your basement or a small interior room away from any windows. But what if you don't have either of those?

No matter where you take shelter in a mobile home, you are likely not safe during severe weather. Experts at the National Weather Service say you are 15 to 20 times more likely to die in a tornado if you take shelter in a mobile home, even if it's anchored.

"40% of our tornado fatalities or tornado related fatalities are from mobile home parks," said Meteorologist Michael Albano at the National Weather Service in Lincoln, IL.

But what you can do to stay safe is not so simple. According to McLean County Emergency Management, most mobile home parks do not have designated storm shelters. In fact, Central Illinois does not have public storm shelters at all.

The NWS recommends that you seek shelter with a family or friend that has a home with a basement or a more sturdy structure.

"A lot of grocery stores or chain restaurants take storm readiness serious. We have a partnership with them--we call it being Storm Ready," said Albano.

Local fire departments also allow residents to take shelter at their facilities.

There may not be a perfect option for mobile home residents, it is important that you have a plan which will give you the best chance of staying safe when severe weather hits.

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Audrey Leigh

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