Weather radios now required for Indiana mobile homes

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:36 PM GMT on April 27, 2007

Mobile homes sold in the state of Indiana after June 30 this year must come equipped with a weather radio capable of alerting residents of an approaching tornado, thanks to a law signed by Indiana governor Mitch Daniels this week. The legislation, dubbed "C.J.'s Law", was named after 2-year old C.J. Martin, who died in a F3 tornado that killed 25 people in southwestern Indiana on November 6, 2005. Twenty of the victims lived in the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park in Evansville. The storm hit at 2am, when many residents were asleep and didn't hear the tornado sirens. C.J.'s mother, Kathryn Martin, pushed lawmakers to adopt the bill, pointing out that weather radios with a tone alert system could have saved many lives in the mobile home park.

This type of law makes great sense for mobile homes sold in tornado alley--think of it as a companion to your smoke detector in the house. Mobile home residents make up just 7% of the U.S. population, but account for 40% of the deaths in tornadoes. However, there are a number of issues that may make the law ineffective. Firstly, what type of weather radio will be purchased? There are many poor quality units out there, prone to radio interference, and difficult to program (weather radios require the user to input a special SAME code, needed to issue tone alerts when a tornado warning is issued). Secondly, the NWS sends out weekly or monthly test alerts on weather radio--how many mobile home owners will simply turn off their weather radios because they are sick of hearing the regular tests? Or turn them off after a few false alarms wake them up in the middle of the night for tornadoes that appear on Doppler radar, but never touch down? Thirdly, once the residents of a mobile home park are awakened by an alert, where do they go? Indiana, like most states, has no law requiring mobile home parks to have a tornado shelter. However, there is now Federal money available for mobile home parks to construct tornado shelters, so the number of parks with shelters may increase in coming years. In summary, the law has the potential to save lives--but only if it is properly enacted.

Figure 1. Damage to C.J. Martin's mobile home park near Evansville, Indiana due to the November 6, 2005 tornado. Image credit: Paducah, KY NWS.

Jeff Masters

Indiana/Kentucky Tornado - Ellis Race Track Backside 3 (Soniknate)
A close-up of the damage to the apartments, horse stalls, and other objects. People cleaning up debris in photo.
Indiana/Kentucky Tornado - Ellis Race Track Backside 3

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117. Baybuddy
3:26 AM GMT on April 28, 2007
Check out The Presidents Ranch in Crawford Texas. Very efficient and he built it before he was elected. BTW... owning a diverse portfolio is smart investing. You who bash the republicans cannot possibly believe that those rich Democrats dont have petroleum stocks in their you?
Gore makes twenty grand or so a year from a zinc mine located on HIS land. Oh by the way, Those carbon credits he buys to offset his usage come from HIS OWN COMPANY. Wake up people.
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116. thelmores
2:14 AM GMT on April 28, 2007

another Global-warming-like rant!

those evil republicans! the democrats will save the world! LOL

sorry I can't hang out to hear more! :)
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115. Dyce
8:54 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
I understand the Bush administration hasn't been perfect but putting the broad classification of it be the republicans fault is what I think is wrong. Then assumming the democrats will automatically be great about the situation is what I also have a problem with. Right now were going through a ever increasing technology age and that requires gas, so of course gas will always be rising. There have been natural disasters that haven't helped. It isn't solely the presidents fault... and reread my first line before you think I'm saying you are completely wrong.
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12:23 AM GMT on April 28, 2007
"Mobile homes... ...must come equipped with a weather radio... many mobile home owners will simply turn off their weather radios...?

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him (or her) drink.

Added later> I checked the SAME code on the weather radio here (a fire station) and someone had entered the incorrect code. The set up on this popular unit was a little counterintuitive, so it is easy to imagine that some will be too lazy or otherwise unable to achieve the proper set up.

Find your SAME code.
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
12:10 AM GMT on April 28, 2007
Well I dont know about all Republicans The Bush Administration has effectively muzzled government scientists and stifled debate and even discussion of very important climate topics. If a democrat doesnt reverse these directives and gag laws, for whatever reason, they will be just as bad as the current disastrous administration.

One thing for sure: scientists that receive the majority or all of their funding by an industry with vested interest their results slanting a specific way should NEVER be (and should have never been) taken seriously as a legitimate source.
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
112. RL3AO
7:08 PM CDT on April 27, 2007
We should try to avoid the politcal stuff because it can get pretty nasty.
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111. Dyce
7:54 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
Thats right it's all the republicans fault. Once Hillary is in office all the problems just disappear. We'll see, I'll put money on it that I'll be able to find plenty of problems that occur during the democrats time in office. Don't try to blame one person for a problem like gas.
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110. Skyepony
10:17 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Here's a good article on Ellis Race Track a year after the tornado. Amazing only 3 horses & no people died in that storm. In the end it revitalised & found a new buyer for the aging track that was being treatened to go simalcast only. All fixed up, thanks in part to insurance, handles are at record highs.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 364 Comments: 42548
109. Inyo
10:17 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
once we vote away these republicans the gas situation will be better... however, I guess the gas prices at least decrease usage some. I'd rather see that 53.4 billion dollars go to mass transit and alternative fuel research though, rather than a fleet of Leerjets for the oil company CEOs and to bribes to Cheney.
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108. kmanislander
9:45 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
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107. kmanislander
9:43 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
We pay US$5.0 per imperial gallon.
It could be a lot worse up North
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106. GainesvilleGator
9:42 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
I hear a lot of moaning & bitch'n on here about the price of gasoline. Yes, I agree that there is a real risk of the price going to $4.00 per gallon if we get hurricane activity in the Gulf of Mexico this season.

While blaming Bush & Cheney are you driving a big gas-guzzling SUV or pickup truck? It is everyones responsibility to try and conserve gas. I take the bus to work Monday, Wedneday, & Friday. I drive a 2005 Toyota Corolla. Toyota had discontinued the Echo in Model year 2005 & didn't have the Yaris available until the following year otherwise I probably would have bought one.

This energy crises is not going away anytime soon so ask yourselves what you can do to help alleviate the problem.
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105. savedbygod
6:59 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Dr. Masters, I agree that the radios are a very good thing to have, We have one too. But building standards & other factors like shelters are just as important, as well as where they are located if they will hold everyone needed. But what angers me is that only mobile homes are targeted for tornado safety. What about Schools & apartment buildings,etc. There are a lot more factors involved than just the fact that it is a mobile home. Unless you are below ground level, your chances of survival are slim, in any home if it sustains a direct hit.
I am in Wichita, Ks. The 1991 "Andover, Ks." tornado came through Haysville & Wichita before going through Andover. I have lived here most of my life but that was the first tornado I had ever seen. The path of destruction was tremendous. Afterwards, Wichita started requiring mobile home parks to have shelters. In fact, they must have enough for ALL residents. Many didn't have any or enough space for everyone. Most apartment buildings have no where for their residents to go & not even a way to warn them but they aren't required to have safe places but they should have to. Our children should be safe in school, too. Building standards for all homes should be improved.
I need to give you some details about our experience to get to my point. Because warnings were slower then, the TV reports had the tornado still in Haysville, south of us, about 10 - 15 min. away & we had JUST got that info & the sirens were just going off. But the tornado was on our doorstep, literally. The shelter was on the other side of the park. We ran out the back door & hung on to the porch as it went over. Everything around us was being torn up & debris was flying everywhere. My husband watched the privacy fence, about 20' behind us, peel off & the metal shed, 10' from me; peel open like the tornado had a can opener. About 30' away, an 8'- 2'x4' impaled the neighbor's house. An ice chest landed in front of me. I kept my head covered, I didn't want to see what was coming at me. I wondered, "Is this my time?" I kept waiting for the flying debris to hit me, but God was protecting us. We never heard or felt anything, even the wind. We truly believe God had an angel surrounding us. When it was over, we had to walk around to the front door as the back one had locked on us. I ran out barefoot, but got through all of the debris in the yard & into the house & through all of the glass & debris inside, to the bedroom to get a clean pair of shoes. Neither of us had one scratch on us. I don't need to describe anymore. You have seen enough aftermath's to know what the ground looked like when it was over. I have pictures of our house & area around where we were laying to show all the damage & debris Most of our Mobile Home park was leveled, ALONG WITH the REGULAR HOUSES behind us.
The house was a single wide & sustained $16,000 in damage to the structure alone. In 1991, that was a lot, it almost totaled it out. It was only 3 or 4 years old. The man we bought it from, was an aeronautical engineer. When he bought it, he put nice looking steel skirting instead of that vinyl that most places want you to use & the house was tied down really well. That steel skirting was still in place. Even with all of the damage, we did not have to relevel it or reset it, unlike the other few that were still standing.
We were safe, due to the grace of God & the forethought of the previous owner. The same storm resistant standards for mobile homes, should apply to all homes & visa versa. The reason more people are killed in mobile homes, is because there more people in a more confined area. The mobile homes were no more destroyed than the other homes behind us.

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103. kmanislander
8:35 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Very interesting looking for April. Has that "comma" shape

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102. kmanislander
8:25 PM GMT on April 27, 2007

Had to step away for a bit
Arc cloud=outflow boundary
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100. StormJunkie
4:20 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
Good info SW, and good to see you!
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96. TheCaneWhisperer
3:49 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
Gas is up to $3.00 a gallon based on supply and demand right now. Toss in some storms and, oh yes, that $4+ per gallon will be a reality.
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95. eaglesrock
3:45 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
My local paper said it was above $4 in San Francisco.
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94. RL3AO
2:45 PM CDT on April 27, 2007
I think it was back in 1998 or 97 where it got down to 99 cents in my town.
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93. StormJunkie
3:39 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
Old days...lmao...I member when it was well under 1$ I am sure we have some here who remember it being even cheaper!
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92. hurricane23
3:36 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
Back in the old days i remember gas was $1.50 and took about 15-18 dollars to fill up.Seems like another lifetime.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13857
91. RL3AO
2:36 PM CDT on April 27, 2007
Posted By: TheCaneWhisperer

Lets hope nothing forms! Early storm would send gas prices sky rocketing!

And I thought it was skyrocketing already.
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90. hurricane23
3:34 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
I remember in 2005 paying $3.75 for gas across south florida.It took about 35-37 dollars to fill my honda.That hurts.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13857
89. StormJunkie
3:32 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
WTH is sky rocketing TWC? Seem pretty high already! Can't afford this stuff no more...Give me something better!
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88. hurricane23
3:30 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
If something were to develope and become a major threat in the GOM this year gas prices will sky rocket to record levels.They are already at $3.00 here.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13857
87. StormJunkie
3:26 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
You are right kris...My bad!...doh....

I meant to say the Hispanola thingy...Not even a blob yet. I really screwed that all up the first time around.

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86. TheCaneWhisperer
3:29 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
Lets hope nothing forms! Early storm would send gas prices sky rocketing!
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85. hurricane23
3:26 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
Dont think anything will occur if this dry air is still hanging around.Much needed rain for south florida is welcomed.

As far as SST'S they are plenty warm in the caribbean right now and could even support a minimal TS or CAT1 if the conditions favored it.

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84. weatherboykris
7:24 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
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83. weatherboykris
7:22 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Just playing around said "Central American blob",so I thought you meant in the Carribean.
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82. StormJunkie
3:16 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
Have you seen an SST map since January?

No need to be like that kris, you've seen my blog so you know I have seen an SST map or two....

Now then, I don't think they are calling for the surface low to develop until it gets a little further N and the SSTs in that area look to be mostly under 79 to me...
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81. weatherboykris
7:19 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Not that anything will form,though.Very unlikely.
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80. weatherboykris
7:14 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
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79. weatherboykris
7:13 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
In the Carribean?Have you seen an SST map since January?....they are more than sufficient all through the Carribean and part of the Gulf.
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78. StormJunkie
3:06 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
Pray we do not get this set up in the heart of the season.

I second that kman! I was just looking at the long range GFS and do not like the general shape of the high it is setting up....Still a long ways off thoug, and I am hoping that this trend will not continue....Would not be good for the islands the E coast or GOM...Certainly don't trust long range model much though...

More wait and see...Get used to it. Same deal with this Cent Amer blob thing. It is a week out the GFS is showing a surface low...Not to mention I don't think the SSTs can support anything right now...
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77. weatherboykris
7:08 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
None of the other NWS offices are mentioning it.
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76. weatherboykris
7:05 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
240 PM EDT FRI APR 27 2007


"Inverted trough" is another phrase meaning "tropical wave".
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75. weatherboykris
6:56 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Posted By: kmanislander at 6:50 PM GMT on April 27, 2007.

The so called " blob " in the S Caribbean ( and it does not IMO qualify to be called that ) is in fact dissipating. There is a huge arc cloud which means collapsing thunderstorms

That's an outflow boundary,which has very little to do with the life stages of a thunderstorm.It is a mesoscale front/trough caused by the downdraft of the storm.This system has 0 chance of development regardless.It is odd to see an west-ward moving tropical disturbance in the Eastern Carribean this early,though.
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74. hurricane23
2:57 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
Yes indeed Kman.
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73. eaglesrock
2:56 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
Close-up of the arc cloud:

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72. kmanislander
6:54 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Pray we do not get this set up in the heart of the season.
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71. hurricane23
2:50 PM EDT on April 27, 2007
ULL embedded...No worries for another 5-6 weeks atleast.
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70. kmanislander
6:48 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
The so called " blob " in the S Caribbean ( and it does not IMO qualify to be called that ) is in fact dissipating. There is a huge arc cloud which means collapsing thunderstorms

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69. Skyepony
6:04 PM GMT on April 27, 2007
Excellent blog Dr Masters.

For those of the why get wolk up to die. Even if there is no shelter the bath tub of a mobile home with bedding on top ya gives better odds than laying in bed. The recent storms through FL showed many surviviors that holed up in a tub of a mobile home & it was the only part left standing.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 364 Comments: 42548
68. sandcrab39565
12:50 PM CDT on April 27, 2007
Dr Masters, I cannot believe they actually have made a law that makes sense. Thanks for the information.
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67. hurricane23
13:49 EDT le 27 avril 2007
For those who were not aware of the Hurricane Conference that took place in the bahamas about a week ago here is the link to great discussions that took place includeing bill gray on his 07 perdictions and a few others.

Video Coverage of conference
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13857

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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