Manufactured Homes in Earthquakes – How to Protect Your Home & Family

Release Date Release Number
4548-NR-011
Release Date:
August 27, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY – Manufactured homes are especially at risk from earthquakes and their aftershocks.

Many manufactured homes rest on slender supports that can collapse or buckle during earthquakes, causing injuries to the occupants and damage to the structure, contents, water heater and utilities. 

Collapse can make doors and other exits unsafe while fractured gas lines can ignite fires. Fires spread faster between closely spaced dwellings, and the narrow roads found in many mobile-home parks make it harder for emergency services to respond.

Previous earthquakes have shown that manufactured homes can be destroyed or badly damaged by broken utility connections (particularly natural gas) even in cases when the overall structure receives only minor damage.

To reduce the likelihood of collapse, consider retrofitting your manufactured home with an engineered tie-down system or reinforced concrete or masonry foundation. To reduce or prevent fire, brace water heaters and install flexible gas connections and automatic shutoff valves. 

Before starting major retrofit work, manufactured homeowners are strongly advised to contact their local city or county building department to see if special permits are required.

Meanwhile, you can browse a list of Utah-based licensed contractors, engineers and architects at https://secure.utah.gov/datarequest/professionals/index.html or check their licenses at https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html.

FEMA and the state of Utah have several publications explaining rebuilding and retrofitting options and other earthquake preparedness actions. To learn about these and for other tips or to ask questions about mitigation, email FEMA-R8-HMhelp@fema.dhs.gov.

Utah residents impacted by the March 18 quake and aftershocks who have not registered with FEMA can still apply for assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. Help is available in most languages.

If you require a reasonable accommodation or an alternative format of available information such as American Sign Language format, or audio format, please submit your request to: Region8AccommodationRequest@fema.dhs.gov.

For more information on Utah’s recovery from the Magna Quake, visit, www.fema.gov/disaster/4548, or https://earthquakes.utah.gov/magna-quake/

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Last updated March 18, 2021