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MHI Calls Weather Radio Legislation, S. 2724, Shortsighted and Could Inadvertently Impair Safety

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Arlington, VA (March 6, 2008) - The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) called Senate bill, S. 2724, shortsighted. If passed, it would force every new manufactured home that is not installed to the FHA permanent foundation requirements to be equipped with weather radios.

ďOur industry takes severe weather incidents seriously. While we believe the Senate legislation, S.2724, is well intended, it does not help the vast majority of people who may be in harmís way and is an ineffective approach to consumer safety,Ē said MHI President, Gail Cardwell. ďAs witnessed, with this winterís recent tornados, severe weather does not distinguish between buildings - residential or commercial, college dormitories, site built or manufactured homes. We believe, the national disaster warning system (Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act - WARN) is far superior and would protect more lives. Everyone in potential danger from severe weather, man-made accidents or terrorist attacks deserves to be alerted.Ē

The WARN Act, signed into law in 2006, provides a far superior public alert system regardless of where the individuals are located or what kind of technologies they use. Unlike weather radios, which rely on batteries that might not be working at the time a disaster strikes, the WARN system will provide federal, state and local emergency managers with a tool to input alerts into the system and have them directed out to geographically targeted section of the population that may be in harmís way. The WARN Act also provides a grant program for remote communities to install sirens and other devices. We urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to fully implement the WARN Act as soon as possible.

By way of background, the WARN Act was approved by a vote of 98-0 in the Senate, including Senator Bayh. Introducing S. 2724 at this time could impede progress in implementing the WARN Act and inadvertently impair consumer safety.

MHI works to promote fair laws and regulations, increase and improve financing options, provide technical analysis and research, remove zoning barriers and educate external audiences about the benefits of manufactured and modular housing.

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