mindstalk: (angry sky)
[personal profile] mindstalk
On Facebook, my friendfeed had discussion Oklahoma tornado, with someone asking "why didn't they hide in basements?" and my friend saying "basements don't protect you."

Turns out the actual answer might be "no basements". And no building code requirement for safe shelters in Tornado Alley. Contrast with earthquake codes in California Chile or Japan, and fire codes like everywhere rich enough to have them.


" Few homes built in the town after the storm were secured to their foundations with bolted plates, which greatly increase resistance to storms; instead, most were secured with the same kinds of nails and pins that failed in 1999. Just 6 of 40 new homes had closet-size safe rooms. "

"Specially reinforced safe rooms provide "near absolute occupant protection from even the worst-case tornado," he said."

Why so few shelters? Also, a design schematic

"In Israel, Rosbrow says, bomb shelters are located "within blocks of every residence".

"In Israel, you feel like the country is giving you peace of mind," writes Rosbrow on her blog. "Isn't that the way it should be?"

In contrast Ownbey believes that the decision to build a shelter should be market driven - and not guided by the government.

Yet he admits that individuals do not always make a prudent choice. Years ago he did not build a shelter. He will now, though."

80 mph Midwest building codes
"Third, if you choose this option ... to build or retrofit your home to exceed the standard requirements of existing building codes ... you still might suffer structural damage if your neighbors don't also improve the construction of their homes. Considerable damage in tornadoes is done by flying debris; if your neighbor's roof takes off in an 80 mph wind and crashes into your home, it will almost certainly do structural damage, even if your home is capable of resisting the wind!"

I'm reminded that the government agency NOAA provides weather warnings, including of things like this, saving many lives.

February 2019

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