Professor: Oklahoma Tornado Provides Insights To Home Safety

A group of researchers, including a Rose-Hulman professor, have found specific home design features increase their chances of withstanding tornado damage.

home

Photo: State Farm (flickr)

A family marked their house in Moore,Okla., declaring they survived the devastating tornado that hit their city on May 20, 2013.

A Rose-Hulman professor, along with a group of researchers studying the tornado damage in Moore, Okla., has found homes with better connections between the roof, wall and foundation are more likely to withstand heavy storms.

Rose-Hulman mechanical engineering professor Fred Haan was part of the group studying the affect of tornadoes and high winds to wood frame structures. He says many people have the misconception that tornadoes are so powerful that they cannot do anything to protect their home.

“But actually what we have found is that many things on the outer reaches of the damage path could be significantly more secure or significantly more resilient if they had better connections  between the roof and the wall and the wall and the foundation,” he says.

Haan says the parts for improving the connections are cheap but some homeowners may not want to take on the expense of having them installed. An incentive to do so could lie with insurance companies.

“Maybe people would say if my house would do better, if my insurance premiums are going to be lower then  maybe I would want to build a house with those straps or those clips,” he says.

The research group was part of the National Science Foundation Rapid Response Grant for Exploratory Research. It also studied the affects of tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2011.

Later this month, Haan will present a paper on tornado structural preparedness at the Americas Conference on Wind Engineering in Seattle.

Network Indiana

Network Indiana Indiana's Only Audio News Network. Network Indiana is dedicated to providing the state of Indiana important and useful information.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Technology Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook