Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Tornado Defense

PostedMay 27, 2011

Download File (mp3)


Randy Atkins: The answer is, of course, “yes”…but at what cost? Tim Reinhold, chief engineer at the Institute for Business and Home Safety says with about a 2-percent increase in the cost of a new home...

Tim Reinhold: …you can certainly raise the level of strength of a typical house quite a bit because our connections are generally so poor between the roof and the walls and the walls and the foundation.

Randy Atkins: Reinhold says the key is strapping the roof trusses to the top of solid walls. That wouldn’t prevent damage in a very powerful tornado, but most have wind speeds below 110 miles-per-hour where Reinhold’s experiments showed…

Tim Reinhold: ...the front door on the conventional house blew open. When that pressure got inside, the whole house came apart in four seconds, whereas the other house that was strapped together well stood there and didn’t have any problems.

Randy Atkins: With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.