Ron DeSantis praises ‘resilient’ mobile homes as Idalia approaches

DeSantis Lake City
Some manufactured housing 'handled it decent' after 2022's Hurricane Ian, DeSantis said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to offer evaluations of how various types of construction in Florida fare during hurricanes.

Speaking in Lake City, the Governor praised the surprising sturdiness of manufactured homes.

“I was surprised at how resilient some of the mobile homes were during Ian,” DeSantis said. “And there was obviously damage, don’t get me wrong, but you actually had some of the newer mobile homes that handled it decent for how strong that was.”

DeSantis said that for many in the path of the storm who aren’t in danger of a direct hit from the eyewall, mobile homes might be sufficient shelter for this event.

“Clearly, if you end up with tropical storm-force winds in Northeast Florida or even a Cat 1, there are some of the newer manufactured housing that would be able to likely withstand that,” DeSantis said. “How you do when you start getting into a major hurricane, that may be something different.”

The Governor added that some areas may be too risky for even the newer models, however, saying “there have been a number of directives issued in the Big Bend region for people in mobile homes to evacuate to shelters, friends’ houses, hotels and et cetera.”

In the wake of Hurricane Ian, DeSantis offered his takes on how some housing held up better than other types.

Last October in Marathon, DeSantis extolled how newer construction held up during Hurricane Ian, drawing comparisons to how buildings fared during Hurricane Michael in 2018.

“You’d see a building, you wouldn’t even know a storm hit. Then right next to it, there’d be something built in like 1981. It’s totally obliterated.”

“Actually, some of the stuff from the ’20s was built better,” DeSantis added. “Whatever happened in the ’70s and ’80s, I don’t know. Not the best building material. I don’t know what it was, but you definitely see that.”

He said something similar in Cape Coral last fall.

“I was talking to folks and they did make a good point,” DeSantis said. “You know, sometimes the stuff built in like the ’40s and ’50s did better than the stuff built in the ’70s and ’80s.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


3 comments

  • TJC

    August 29, 2023 at 4:40 pm

    “Whatever happened in the ’70s and ’80s, I don’t know.”
    Ah, the list of things our Governor doesn’t know grows longer. What happened was greed, all across the country, but especially in fast growing Florida. They built houses more quickly, using cheaper materials, without regard to public safety, and kept the prices high to make record profits. It took loss of life from disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding to get the politicians to finally put the screws to the builders. That’s what happened, Ron.

  • Michael K

    August 29, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    All hail, trailer parks. Does our governor know that private equity firms are buying up these places, kicking people out, and destroying lives all in the name of Republican greed? Perhaps that is why is enthralled by mobile homes?

  • Do something!

    August 30, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    Tell it to the insurance companies, governor. Those with the well built homes from the 20’s – 60’s can’t keep home insurance and are forced onto Citizens (if they can) but if your home is built with match sticks and chewing gum the 80’s forward you’re able to get a standard policy. Maybe that’s something concrete the legislature could work on because it affects such a huge portion of the state and is a big reason people are dropped when the houses they are dropping due to “year built” is not grounded in actual reality of “like, you know, like,” quality of build, solid strength, lack of disaster claims, “stuff like that”. But the insurance companies don’t look at that. They just drop people or won’t take up a policy because that’s the way things are set up in law and no interest in changing it (ask the developers). Maybe we can put our thinking cap on, Governor. Come on, I know it hurts but just try.

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