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Still Standing – Home Survives Hurricane Michael

When Darla and Terry Wise retired and moved to Mexico Beach, Florida, they never thought they'd be facing a Category 4 hurricane. Read more about how they returned to their home two days later, relieved to find that their quality, durable Clayton Built® modular home was standing strong!

Welcome to the story of the Wise family and their home. Darla, a retired florist, and Terry, a retired subsea engineer, own this home in Mexico Beach, Florida, where they decided to retire. Originally, Darla and Terry bought a two-story site-built home, but with Darla’s mother living with them at the time, they decided that it was too difficult for her to get around and that it was time for a change.

So, they sold their home and bought a piece of land with the intentions of building a more suitable site-built home, however Darla convinced Terry to consider a modular home.

One of the pros of buying a modular home was how quickly they could be living in their new home “instead of waiting for two years for a house to be built.” Intrigued by the idea of modular housing, the Wise family took their first step by visiting the Clayton Homes of Panama City. Still anxious about the home building process, Darla and Terry visited the building facility in Addison, Alabama, where they found the assurance they were looking for.

“Seeing the way it’s manufactured, seeing the engineering designs, seeing how everything is actually put together, knowing that it’s everything you would do yourself and more.” -Terry

The Wise family’s home was built to state and local codes specific to the final location of the home, which may be part of the reason the home is still standing to this day.


In October 2018, Hurricane Michael began moving toward the panhandle of Florida, including Mexico Beach. The family left around noon on Tuesday, October 9th, to make the drive to Alabama where they had planned to evacuate to.

The next day, October 10th, the storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 155 miles-per-hour

Upon returning to their home two days later, Darla said:

“My concern was not that the house was going to be gone, I knew in my heart this house was going to be standing. I just knew it.” -Darla

However, without knowing exactly what they would be coming back to, the Wises prepared by bringing tarps and other equipment to check the roof. No surprise to Darla, when they returned to their home there was very little damage, just some missing shingles, minor leaking and exterior damage.

“The patio was like you could’ve just sat out there and watched the storm! Not sure you would’ve wanted to, but inside everything was fine.” -Terry

Three years ago, when the Wise family ventured into the world of prefab homes and made that visit to the home building facility, they recognized and trusted the Clayton Built® process.

Darla stated that the “Quality of the construction, the quality of the workmanship, the quality of the engineering that went into the manufacturing of the home...” that they witnessed upon their visit were the very reasons their home is still standing today.

As they returned to their Mexico Beach home following Category 4 Hurricane Michael, instead of facing fear and uncertainty, they found comfort in the quality and durability of their Clayton Built® modular home.

  1. “Storm Charges North, Leaving Destruction in Florida.” Accessed January 15, 2019.

Are you ready to find your dream home?

Start shopping now or find a Clayton Family of Brands home center in your area to learn more about Clayton Built® home options.