Tornado Preparedness in Southeast Pennsylvania

From Pennsylvania, Lancaster Online spoke with emergency management officials concerning tornado preparedness in southeastern Pennsylvania, in the wake of the devastating tornadoes in the southern U.S.  The area has several land lease communities, and is the single area in the state where tornadoes historically have struck.  The Lancaster County Emergency Management Agency issued a directive advising anyone who lives in a home without a basement to seek shelter elsewhere.  Noting the recent tornado that swept through the St. Louis Airport, Randall S. Gockley, the agency’s coordinator, says to avoid large-spanned buildings, such as a gymnasium or auditorium, or buildings like the airport that have large glass panels.  He says everyone should have a weather radio, and that once a warning is issued, people generally have eight to 13 minutes to seek shelter.  Sun Communities, Inc., which manages the 500-homesite Pheasant Ridge community, notes it would require an extensive structure to shelter over 1200 residents.  According to the National Weather Service, of the 45 people who died in last year’s tornadoes, more than half did not live in factory-built housing.  See Tornado Survival, The Media and Manufactured Home News, Customer and Business Success, More tornado destruction to conventional construction than to mobile or manufactured homes and Positive Response of Manufactured Housing Industry and Opportunity For You concerning the safety of manufactured housing in extreme weather.

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