NPR’s Brad Palmer issued this recent report in the wake of what they said was “Possible Tornado Damages Mobile Home in Perry Co.”
“Possible tornado damage to a mobile home in Du Quoin on Saturday left one resident trapped in her home for a short time,” per that NPR report.
“The Perry County Emergency Management Agency says the resident was shaken but uninjured and assisted by the Du Quoin Fire and Police Departments,” stated Palmer.
“Authorities say witnesses heard what was described as a freight train and witnessed debris aloft on the North East side of town Saturday,” Palmer wrote, adding that, ”The displaced person in the mobile home has been put in a local motel until they can relocate.”
What’s Good About This NPR Report…
Sans hearing directly from NPR’s Palmer or his editor(s)/colleagues involved in this report, one point worth noting is that the photographic evidence clearly suggests that Palmer was correct in calling the housing unit involved a “mobile home.”
Another commendable point about the report is that the photo showed neighboring homes.
One can see behind NPR’s original photo a home on the left – that based upon the visual evidence – is a manufactured home. By contrast, the home to the right/rear of the windstorm impacted home tipped off its blocks may be another pre-HUD Code mobile home.
What this means to a serious observer is that even the mobile home wasn’t destroyed, and that homes immediately adjacent to the impacted home look to be largely undamaged. Sadly, there are those in media who would so frame a shot like this one where those undamaged homes would not be easily visible, to unnecessarily sensationalize the story.
Palmer and NPR deserves solid marks for all of these points. Compared to the flawed report linked below, the Palmer/WSIU post stands head-and-shoulders above it.
What Industry Pros, Others Looking to Advance Affordable Housing Should Consider
As thousands via social media and directly have attested, MHLivingNews is widely seen as the unmatched resource for the general public on facts about windstorms – including tornadoes, and hurricanes.
MHProNews fills in for the professional audience what MHLivingNews and most other media doesn’t. Who else sings MHProNews’ and MHLivingNews’ praise? The industry pros from firms large-to-small in the video near the end of this post, below.
“The industry must do more than a single press release that fails to cite all the relevant sources,” said publisher L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “There must be an ongoing, local level, pro-active outreach to the media to inform them of positive, manufactured home realities.”
Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Vice President, Ann Parman – the person in charge of the educational side of the association – sent the note above to Tony Kovach, in what some see as the pre-Jennison allegations/turmoil era at MHI.
A simple and effective way to begin to inform media can be by thanking them for positive reports, and correcting them for problematic ones, said Kovach.
Letters-to-the-editor that are NOT sales or marketing, but are educational and framed as a current event commentary are often welcomed, and published.
A recent example is shown below, published by several outlets, include the one shown in the link below.
Letter to the Editor, Published by the Lakeland Ledger and other Media
A new study released by Michigan State University (MSU) purports how deadly “mobile homes” are in tornadoes. The researchers featured Professor Mark Skidmore, who has a solid reputation in economics.
MSU’s study was picked up by Forbes, and others.
So? Haven’t there been similarly sensational studies, claiming how dangerous “mobile homes” are?
Mark Weiss, President/CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), engineer Danny Ghorbani, and myself engaged Skidmore and his colleagues in an all-email on-the-record discussion.
Skidmore’s revelations should be front-page news nationwide. Why?
His on-the-record admissions weren’t in MSU’s media releases. Let’s commend Skidmore’s candor.
- “I think the benefits of manufactured homes are great.”
- “I see them as filling an important niche in the housing market.”
- “Maybe it’s just the older mobile homes.”
- “Or maybe its improper tie downs.”
- “Or maybe is the improper additions you highlighted.”
- “Certainly, there is variability in quality of manufactured housing…I’d be quite happy to live in some but others are shoddy.”
- “Perhaps additional analysis could help zero in on what is happening?? “
There’s been no mobile homes built in the U.S. in 40 years. Manufactured homes aren’t mobile homes. When weathermen, researchers or others fail to make distinctions, false conclusions occur. Consider this.
In 2016, NOAA reported 12 tornado-related deaths in “mobile homes.” A 0.00000055% chance of dying in a tornado. Rephrasing, the odds were 1,833,333-to-1 in your favor that you wouldn’t die in tornado in 2016.
False impressions discourage many from realizing housing dreams with a manufactured home.
That costs businesses, investors, taxpayers billions. It costs renters the equity they’d build.
Over one-in-ten Floridians live in a mobile or manufactured home. Tax dollars can’t solve housing affordability. The solution’s hiding in plain sight. (end of letter to the editor, that was submitted by L. A. “Tony” Kovach.).
With apologies to MH Industry legend Randy Rowe and his 5 Point Plan for Industry Recovery – which is insightful and important reading – let me suggest that what the Industry needs is a foundation that’s built upon a simple three point plan – which is really a 1 point plan – and everything else is a subset to that basic necessity.
Education must be a key to advancing the MH Industry, as those at the end of this video stated.
With some 8 million affordable housing units needed, only education will significantly impact the understanding and acceptance of manufactured housing – so that the industry can in turn meet those growing needs, says Kovach.
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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.