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May 27, 2008

Strong winds: Our Big Bad Wolf

The “Three Little Pigs” children’s story has a message for adults. For eons, tornado-like winds have followed predictable paths. Like the first two piggies, we build fragile homes. I live in one of those “stick” homes and have been spared twice.

Traveling west from Liberty on 291 Highway, there are thousands of acres of farmland that will have stick homes. One day the Wolf will “huff and huff,” and the destruction will be horrendous. Many lives will be affected. If we continue to build fragile homes in tornado-prone areas, insurance rates will go out of sight.

There are safer designs and better materials that will resist high winds and protect lives, but few builders have the know-how. It is time for the insurance companies to offer large premium reductions and for FEMA to offer large tax breaks to encourage building these safer designs.

Darrell L. Apple
Kansas City

Comments

Casady

"Tornados are Bush's fault too! Obama will get rid of Tornados...."

Only in blue states!

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Tornados are Bush's fault too! Obama will get rid of Tornados and dnagerous natural weather. he is the messiah, knows all, can fix all.

Marctnts

Complete lack of knowledge on the subject.

Wood framed homes built 30 years ago may not fare as well as today's homes due to advances in code requirements for sheathing, fastening, bridging, and etc., but for the most part the wood framed homes we build today are about as safe as any other form of economical construction. Building load bearing concrete or fully steel structures may reduce the chance of wind damage, but these types of construction are typically much more expensive.

Hurricanes are relatively easy to design for. The effects of steady sustained winds are predictable. It's not so easy when dealing with the massive and unpredictable energy produced by a tornado.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

"You can run but you can't hide".
No matter where you live there will something to contend with.

T. Hanson

Tornados can wipe out a solid brick house built in 2007 just as quickly it can wipe out a house built in 1880 that was built out of wood. Heck I have seen the same storm keep the wood structure and level the brick.

The only real way to protect houses from tornandos is to build them inground. Bring on the earthquakes.

 
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