Lawmaker backs requirement for mobile home park evacuation plans
Park evacuation plans
A proposal to require that mobile home parks have evacuation plans will be revived by next year, a state lawmaker vowed in the aftermath of Oklahoma’s killer tornadoes.
Rep. Pat Ownbey authored House Bill 2835, requiring owners of 10 or more mobile homes or lots to provide tenants an evacuation plan at the time the lease is signed.
"I had great responses, even from mobile home park owners who agreed that having a plan in place would be great for their tenants,” he said.
The bill, which passed the House of Representatives but died in a Senate committee, would have affected mobile home and RV parks beginning March 1, 2011.
The park owners would have been responsible for offering plans but not shelters.
"I think the plan is a great step forward,” said David Barnes, director of the Oklahoma County Office of Emergency Management.
The sticking point was the potential liability facing owners of some 500 Oklahoma mobile home parks said Deanna Fields, executive director of the Manufactured Housing Association of Oklahoma.
Ownbey said, though, that language was added to address the risk of someone getting injured or killed on the way to a shelter suggested by the park owner or if the tenant didn’t receive a plan.