January 09, 2013
Two-year-old C.J. Martin was killed when a tornado struck his Evansville, Indiana mobile home community in the middle of the night on November 6, 2005. The F-3 tornado killed 20 people across Evansville that evening.
Despite a tornado warning issued for Evansville 13 minutes before the tornado hit, sleeping residents were largely unaware of the storm headed their direction.
C.J’s mother launched a campaign to enact C.J’s Law, which requires that all new and relocated manufactured (mobile) homes in Indiana install NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards public alert radios. C.J.’s Law took effect in 2007.
A proposed federal law, “C.J.’s Home Protection Act,” would have revised the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 to require weather alert radios be installed in all mobile homes manufactured or sold anywhere across the U.S. However, the 2011 bill never went to a vote.
In 2012, approximately 70% of tornado fatalities occurred in mobile homes, even though only 8% of the U.S. population lives in manufactured housing. And that statistic only includes tornadoes – it does not account for deaths from straight-line winds and flash floods, which can also be fatal for those living in mobile homes.
NOAA Weather Radio immediately broadcasts severe weather warnings and civil emergency messages, making a weather alert radio THE essential warning device for those living in mobile communities. Weather alert radios are automatically activated when an alert is issued and sound an alarm so people gain valuable time to take action and seek shelter.
Unlike a regular AM/FM radio or weather band radio, weather alert radios sound an alarm even if the unit is in stand-by mode. This is critical and potentially life-saving when severe weather, like tornadoes, occurs in the middle of the night like the one that killed C.J. Martin in 2005.