For Homes To Survive Tornadoes, Engineers Say Building-Design Standards Need To Change

Among the volunteers and workers moving furniture, broken lumber and fallen trees at Hawthorne Park apartments in Jefferson City last weekend, three engineers with a large remote control watched a drone fly over a building that was missing a chunk of its roof.
A team of engineering professors and students from the Missouri University of Science and Technology began inspecting damages after a violent tornado struck parts of the state capital last Wednesday. For several years, some have been studying ways to design houses in Tornado Alley states like Missouri to withstand extreme weather events.
If the apartment buildings at Hawthorne Park were built to withstand tornadoes, it’s possible some buildings could have kept their roofs, said Grace Yan, director of Missouri S&T’s Wind Hazards Mitigation Laboratory. We wish in the future that if this intensity of tornado comes, the damage we want to see mainly only occurs on some siding, some shingles, Yan said.

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