Protecting mobile home residents during severe weather - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Protecting mobile home residents during severe weather

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By: Cole Miller

For those living in some mobile home communities, there's no safe place to go. One state lawmaker wants to change that. Fittingly, this week is Severe Weather Awareness Week.

When severe weather strikes, we're told to seek shelter in a basement or a room without windows. But for Katrina Sanford, a mobile home resident, there's no safe place for her and her three children.
"I'd like to see somebody come up with something," Sanford said.

"People that live here have children and for me, that's my main focus, is the safety of my children. Without a basement or anywhere to go, we're worried, especially my kids, they're terrified."

Northwest Lincoln is home to four mobile home communities. They used to be able to take cover in the former Pfizer plant, but due to liability reasons, that's no longer an option.

Senator Ken Haar represents that district and is pushing legislation that would protect businesses who open their doors during severe weather.
"There's reluctance among places that are opening their doors," Haar said.

"They won't be liable for accidents or people fighting or folks brining pets. People always bring pets."

Tom McClain says he likes the idea, but doesn't think it's a big deal. He's lived in a mobile home for 16 years. He says they're sturdier than they used to be.
"I don't think it's a huge issue, it's still an issue but it's not as big as an issue as it would've been 20 years ago."

He thinks a better idea would be a shelter within the community.

"We'll take whatever we can get. But if we can get something like that without management raising our rent, then I'll be very happy."
Senator Haar's bill still hasn't made it out of committee. He says there are federal grants available for building safe rooms. However, they only cover about 75% of the costs.

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