Mobile home residents have nowhere to turn in severe weather

By: Sabrina Ahmed

For years, people in the trailer home park near 1st and Cornhusker were allowed into Pfizer during bad weather.

But due to liability, they can't anymore. So, what do they do when it gets scary outside?

When the weather gets bad, most people take shelter in their basements.

But for people who live in trailer parks, like this one near 1st and Cornhusker, and don't have basements,  they say they're worried for the next storm to come.

“So I just hope and pray that the next morning, I'm okay.  or the next hour, I'm okay,” Diane Radniecki, who lives in a trailer park, said.

Diane Radniecki says she only has one word when storms come through her home… terrified.

Officials say 50 percent of severe weather fatalities happen in trailer parks.  Lancaster County Emergency Management is working to get federal grants and build safe rooms on every trailer park, but the process takes a long time.

In the mean time, they had a meeting Wednesday at West Lincoln Elementary School to find a place for them to go.

“Look at a business that they feel is secure—talk to a business owner to see if in fact—they can come into that facility during severe weather,” Doug Ahlberf of Emergency Management said.

But the people who have access to local businesses aren't the biggest priority for Emergency Management.

“The one's I'm concerned with are the ones that don't own automobiles that have a physical disability and won't be able to go to those businesses,” Ahlberg said.

The grant will take care of 75 percent of the costs, and the 25 percent will be an “in–kind” donation of land from the trailer park owners.

Residents say they just want to feel safe.

“If we don't have some protection in place, I do worry about that one time that things go wrong,” Radniecki said.

Officials have been working on the application process for almost a year, and it could be as much as six months before they know if it will go through.

Until then, they say find shelter where you can and always have a plan.