Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hobbit Houses and Tornadoes

I have wondered for some time why it is that in California there are these wonderful earthquake related building codes that have saved thousands of lives in major earthquakes -- but there are no tornado related building codes in places like Oklahoma and Kansas.

I lived for a while in Rochester, MN.   This community is the home of the Mayo Clinic.  That famed institution was formed after a huge tornado cut a swath of destruction a mile wide through the community and a clinic was needed to deal with the aftermath.

When I lived there I frequently cowered in the basement in fear when there were tornado watches and warnings. Even when the sky was clear, I thought about how a tornado could come out of it.

I've seen how well the building codes work in California.  They'll announce the magnitude of the earthquake and then they'll say there were some number less than 20 casualties.  Then I'll see a similar magnitude earthquake reported in Turkey or Iran, and there will be tens of thousands dead.  I've seen how natives of the Andes mountains made stone walls where the pieces were fitted together by crafting of the stones, so that they don't fall during earthquakes.

But I don't see where tornado prone states are making building codes to protect their residents.

I did read a story of an underground house surviving a tornado

Earth sheltered homes can survive tornadoes

Then I saw these cute modular homes that people can assemble themselves, and which are designed to be buried.  Wouldn't this be the perfect solution?

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