Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Why didn’t the homes destroyed by Oklahoma tornado have fortified rooms?

   Good Day World!

It seems to happen all over the world, no matter where you live. Poorly built houses and public buildings that are destroyed by tornedos, hurricanes, and other natural events when they should have been engineered to withstand them depending upon the challenges of the area.

So when you’re living in “Tornedo Alley” why for God’s sake wouldn’t you get your home retrofitted to withstand such terrible events? It’s an inexpensive construction technique already commonly used along the Hurricane prone Gulf Coast.

I’m often amazed at where people choose to live sometimes. There’s certain areas in this country that nothing should be built upon. Especially those areas that flood every year like clock work. Or in places like Southern California right along earthquake fault zones.

The sad thing is most of the homes that were destroyed in this last monster tornedo could still be standing if they had retrofitted them. It’s not enough to have the technology to save lives if you don’t use it.

In the news…

“Homes in the direct path of the monster tornado that roared through Oklahoma City suburbs Monday were all but certain to be destroyed. Yet inexpensive construction techniques could have kept up to 85 percent of the area's damaged houses standing, according to a civil engineer.

The trick is already common along the hurricane-prone Gulf Coast — the use of clips and straps to keep the walls bolted to the roof and the foundation, explained Andrew Graettinger, a civil engineer at the University of Alabama. These parts cost about $1 each.

"You need several hundred of them in the house, but it is not anything drastic, it is not a humongous expense, it is relatively inexpensive," he told NBC News.

For about $2,000 more, a house can be outfitted (or retrofitted) with a safe room built to specifications of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These fortified rooms, often constructed with cinder blocks and filled with mortar and rebar, can withstand tornado-force winds and storm debris.” (Full story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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