Tornadoes can happen practically anywhere around the globe, but they occur more frequently in the United States, east of the Rocky Mountains, usually during the spring and summer months.
According to the National Weather Service, half of all tornado deaths each year involve victims who were inside mobile or manufactured homes.
NWS Meteorologist Kevin Laws says the most dangerous place you could be during a severe wind storm is a manufactured home.
If your home isn't properly anchored to the ground, it could blow over during a storm, resulting in fatalities, injuries and loss of property.
Even a weak tornado can roll a manufactured home over if it isn't properly secured to the ground.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, also known as HUD, is the federal agency that oversees all regulations for manufactured homes sold in the country.
Every new home comes with a manual that instructs an installer about the correct way to set up the home in a particular location.
In Alabama, 16 percent of the residents live in manufactured homes.
Tommy Colley is with the Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission. He and his team of inspectors examine every new manufactured home to ensure the HUD requirements are met before residents are allowed to move in.
Federal standards are tougher today for newer manufactured homes and they're much safer to live in, but a large number of people across the country are still living in older manufactured homes that aren't as safe as the newer ones.
Furthermore, many of these older homes are not anchored to the ground as securely as they should be to protect lives and property.
So, whether you're buying a new or previously-owned manufactured home, or renting one, here's what you need to know:
Every area of the country has a designated wind zone.
Know the wind zone for your area. Some states like Hawaii, Louisiana, and North Carolina have three wind zones and there may be other special requirements if you live near a coastline.
Make sure the home you're buying or renting was constructed to withstand the wind pressure for your particular wind zone.
You can find this out by referring to the Data Plate, which is usually permanently affixed inside a closet or cabinet inside a manufactured home.
For example, the state of Florida has areas designated as either wind Zone 1, 2 or 3.
If your manufactured home is supposed to be placed in a Zone 1 area, it may not be strong enough to endure the stronger winds typically found in areas designated as Zone 2 or 3.
Make sure rainwater is diverted away from the home and isn't eroding the soil underneath the piers or cinder blocks supporting the structure.
All manufactured homes are required to be anchored with metal straps attached to steel anchors screwed into the ground. Experts say homeowners should check the metal straps yearly to ensure the straps are securely attached to the bottom of the home and the anchors.
Even by taking all of these precautions, the cards are stacked in Mother Nature's favor.
"I've seen those straps break no matter what the conditions area, no matter how they are strapped in the ground," said Laws. "They won't stand to tornadic winds."
Remember, if you're in a manufactured home when a tornado warning is issued, get out if you can, and seek shelter in a safer structure until the storm passes.
Experts say you also need to be aware of the trees surrounding your home. There is a good chance your home will withstand the wind, but the trees nearby probably won't and they could come crashing through the walls of your home.
Also, if you put a newer manufactured home in an established mobile home community, the older homes that have been there for years may not have been as securely anchored to the ground as your new home. The older homes could become loose during a storm and roll over, causing damage to your home.
The following information is from the NOAA/National Weather Service
Copyright 2013 America Now. All rights reserved.