dymt reloaded

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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:22 am

Arclight wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:Tornadoes can just pick up entire buildings and deposit them elsewhere. I've seen first-hand a house that it picked up off the foundation, spun it 90 degrees, and set it right back down. Fortunately the owners weren't home. I don't think a structure that would be "okay from a direct hit" exists.

What about flats? I never watched that many tornado aftermath videos (mostly i've seen on the Discovery channel), but concrete structures like flat apartments are also as affected as normal wood or brick homes? I presume they shouldn't but i'd like some images to show the contrary.

I'm not sure. But a really strong tornado can hurl projectiles with enough force that they will penetrate solid concrete, so your concrete structures will sustain at least some damage.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:25 am

Arclight wrote:What about flats? I never watched that many tornado aftermath videos (mostly i've seen on the Discovery channel), but concrete structures like flat apartments are also as affected as normal wood or brick homes? I presume they shouldn't but i'd like some images to show the contrary.
Living in Oklahoma, I can't think of any apartment complexes that are made from just concrete, they're usually made from the same materials as traditional homes. With that being said, apartments are usually one of the worst places to be (next to a trailer park) during a tornado.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:44 am

Dizik wrote:
Arclight wrote:What about flats? I never watched that many tornado aftermath videos (mostly i've seen on the Discovery channel), but concrete structures like flat apartments are also as affected as normal wood or brick homes? I presume they shouldn't but i'd like some images to show the contrary.
Living in Oklahoma, I can't think of any apartment complexes that are made from just concrete, they're usually made from the same materials as traditional homes. With that being said, apartments are usually one of the worst places to be (next to a trailer park) during a tornado.


No i wasn't talking about where to shelter yourself during a tornado, rather i was wondering why people don't contruct buildings capable of withstanding tornados and just repair the damages from impact with debrees.

Idk how buildings are constructed there, but the fact that you say "Living in Oklahoma, I can't think of any apartment complexes that are made from just concrete" makes me even more curious as to why you have such flimsy buildings.

@jbi
That's not reinforced concrete that should be used for buildings....depending on the recipe. the concrete can vary a lot in strength, durability etc. That pic shows some wood chips going through the concrete without breaking, to me it looks like concrete wasn't even dried. But that's not the point, my point being that due to it's destination that concrete will not have the same chracteristics as the concrete (meaning a different recipe with a different mixture of ciment, aggregates etc.) used for buildings and neither will it be as strong as reinforced concrete.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:49 am

Arclight wrote:Idk how buildings are constructed there, but the fact that you say "Living in Oklahoma, I can't think of any apartment complexes that are made from just concrete" makes me even more curious as to why you have such flimsy buildings.

As someone else posted above, it's mainly a cost thing. Given that the risk of any individual structure being hit by a tornado over its lifetime is very small, and the cost of making a structure "tornado proof" very high, it just isn't economically viable.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:04 am

just brew it! wrote:
Arclight wrote:Idk how buildings are constructed there, but the fact that you say "Living in Oklahoma, I can't think of any apartment complexes that are made from just concrete" makes me even more curious as to why you have such flimsy buildings.

As someone else posted above, it's mainly a cost thing. Given that the risk of any individual structure being hit by a tornado over its lifetime is very small, and the cost of making a structure "tornado proof" very high, it just isn't economically viable.


I can only compare to what i know. Where i live in Europe we don't experience tornados but we do have earthquakes and floods and even though you say it's not economically viable i've seen buildings far more durable in small cities here than the flimsy structures described by the posters, or what i've seen on the news or on Discovery channel.

Be it economy or tradition, to me as an European, i find most of American houses and small buildings designed for housing, to be weak, especialy because they are exposed to extreme natural disasters like tornados.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:23 am

Arclight wrote:I can only compare to what i know. Where i live in Europe we don't experience tornados but we do have earthquakes and floods and even though you say it's not economically viable i've seen buildings far more durable in small cities here than the flimsy structures described by the posters, or what i've seen on the news or on Discovery channel.

Be it economy or tradition, to me as an European, i find most of American houses and small buildings designed for housing, to be weak, especialy because they are exposed to extreme natural disasters like tornados.

Yes, I suppose there's a bit of tradition (or lack thereof) involved as well. Residential structures here typically aren't built with the intent of having them last hundreds of years. Unlike in Europe, a 100+ year old structure (of *any* type) is considered rather old.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 am

If some of your durable buildings dealt with even an F3 I don't know if they'd still be standing. Or a large cat 3 storm.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:30 am

paulWTAMU wrote:If some of your durable buildings dealt with even an F3 I don't know if they'd still be standing. Or a large cat 3 storm.


I'm not asking for miracles, just a picture of a multi level concrete building that dealt with an F3.......I very much doubt it would be completly leveled or moved off of it's foundation. I expect windows destroyed, debris stuck in walls and maybe a damaged facade but nothing that would structurly compromise it. Prove me wrong, i can take it.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:51 am

As requested. Did you show up halfway through the thread, or do you have a terrible short-term memory?

And just so we're clear: the gist of your argument is "we don't have any tornadoes, but we have floods and we can build buildings that are flood proof, so you can build buildings that are tornado proof". Do you see the problem with that line of reasoning?
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:55 am

Arclight wrote:Where i live in Europe we don't experience tornados but we do have earthquakes and floods...

Well there's a problem.

Floods are probably more damaging than tornadoes, but it's not very expensive to handle a flood provided that you have levees on your rivers that are likely to flood. You can also simply raise the living floors in an apartment complex so that parking structures flood, leaving the living spaces relatively safe.

Making a structure "earthquake-proof" doesn't mean that your building is sturdy, either. In fact, you want the interface bewteen the structure and the foundation to act as a shock absorber (some flexibility) so that the building gets shaken around without cracking the solid materials (like concrete and brick).

Now here's the thing...if you raise the structure, you're not any more tornado-proof. Tornado-proofing a building inheirently makes it less safe for an earthquake, since the structure will have to be made out of more solid, heavy materials with rigid foundations.

I'll also add that, especially here in the US, the soil you lay your foundation on also makes a difference. In Oklahoma and Texas, for example, the soil is a clay that can dry out in summer months. People in those states actually water their foundations so that houses don't simply break off.

EDIT: Another angle I forgot...Tornado Alley has a lot of land, the population density is very low, and property is fairly cheap, meaning that you can get two or three houses in a place like Texas for the same that you would spend on one house in the Chicagoland area. Low property costs is one of the perks of living in these states, and building a giant, concrete house could nullify that advantage. Now pair that with the relatively low risk of getting directly hit by a tornado, and it's a very poor value proposition to build something that sturdy. Even if you factor in flying projectiles, your typical tornado will only leave scratches and broken windows (easy repairs), and your stronger tornadoes are rarer and even harder to perdict and plan for.
Last edited by superjawes on Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:56 am

grantmeaname wrote:As requested. Did you show up halfway through the thread, or do you have a terrible short-term memory?

And just so we're clear: the gist of your argument is "we don't have any tornadoes, but we have floods and we can build buildings that are flood proof, so you can build buildings that are tornado proof". Do you see the problem with that line of reasoning?


.........sigh
Since we have the natural disasters listed we prepared for them so why don't you prepare for your natural disasters? That's what i'm saying....
What you described are not buildings. How heavy do you think a few levels high building made from reinforced concrete really is? Certainly more than 45 tones and certainly far better connected to the foundation than a few bolts. Still waiting on proof, just googled some images and they show what i expected.

paulWTAMU wrote:Because making a building able to deal with isn't cost effective.

Yes it's more expensive but it will last longer.
Last edited by Arclight on Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:46 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:13 am

Because making a building able to deal with isn't cost effective.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:52 am

Let me put it this way:

You have no damn idea what you're talking about. You do not have hurricanes/typhoons in your region. You don't have tornadoes. You're drawing conclusions that are totally erroneous. You can build buildings to withstand some natural disasters much easier than you can build them to withstand other natural disasters. And scope matters too; withstanding a cat 1 hurricane isn't a big deal (and plenty of homes do it, regularly). Withstanding a cat 3-5? That's a whole different story. Then you factor in different flood tables during storms of comparable wind speed and that makes it even more complicated. If you're in a 500 year flood plain, why build a house that's safe for a 500 year fold? Odds are good it wouldn't last that long anyway. Most of the US goes decades if not generations between big storm events like this.

Have you SEEN what you have to do to make a tornado shelter able to survive an F3 or F4? You do, very much, need a bunker. That's basically what a *good* tornado shelter is. My in-laws have one that's essentially a 10x10 box buried in the ground with access through a door in the garage floor and a couple of ventilation pipes. Total cost to install was something like 15 grand. For a 10x10 box with no power, plumbing, etc.

Floods are probably more damaging than tornadoes, but it's not very expensive to handle a flood provided that you have levees on your rivers that are likely to flood. You can also simply raise the living floors in an apartment complex so that parking structures flood, leaving the living spaces relatively safe.



I would say MOST tornadoes are not as damaging as a big flood, but that's got more to do with the area covered by a flood. But ask the folks in Happy how bad a big tornado can be. Or Joplin. I have friends that live in Happy--it's about 20 miles away from me, and I've talked with people in my field that went through Joplin in the recovery, mostly trading ideas about what works and what doesn't regarding planning and prep. Tornadoes saving grace is that the effects are usually very localized; they're incredibly destructive where they touch though.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:24 am

My house narrowly escaped the biggest tornado ever recorded during the May 3, 1999 outbreak in Oklahoma. For those of you unfamiliar with those storms, the main tornado had winds exceeding 300 mph (482+ kph) and the destruction was in the truest sense of the word, awesome. The tornado was so strong and so destructive, that there were talks of classifying it as the first F-6 tornado. Anything and everything that was in the direct path of that tornado was destroyed, regardless of its construction. My guess is that even concrete buildings were destroyed because the tornado was throwing cars, trucks, and houses at them. Yes, tornadoes as large as the May 3rd tornado are extremely rare, but they do (obviously) happen. And to build everything out of materials strong enough to handle storms of that magnitude are not only insanely cost prohibitive, but what do you do to the existing homes and businesses? Do you force everybody out of their home because they don't meet construction ordinances? If so, where are those people going to live and work now? Are we going to have to raise an ungodly amount of tax dollars to build new homes for the vast majority of the population that can't afford to build a new house?

So to say "just make everything out of concrete, and you'll be fine" is ludicrous. Hell, we're having trouble getting funding to provide tax rebates and vouchers to build new storm shelters.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:16 am

Arclight wrote:Be it economy or tradition, to me as an European, i find most of American houses and small buildings designed for housing, to be weak, especialy because they are exposed to extreme natural disasters like tornados.

Yes, well, that's what happens when large portions of your continent were deforested by Romans roughly 2000 years ago for fuel and shipbuilding, then deforested again 250 years ago by the Industrial revolution. Meanwhile, manual laborers were available and cheap, so off to the stone quarries they go. Everything is built of stone and stays up for 500+ years because that was what was available to build, and for the most part, Europe doesn't experience the kind of natural disasters that destroy stone buildings. However, you may not know the history of your own continent -- historically, there have been a few severe earthquakes and they have been devastating, because although mortared stone structures are excellent for static loading and can endure for centuries under ordinary weather, they do not handle shaking very well.

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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:17 pm

The easiest thing to do when building a new home is to have a walk-in closet with reinforced concrete walls, a metal door and a steel plate ceiling. That way, if the whole house is blown away, you're still okay in the safe room / tornado shelter. The cost for this sort of addition might be in the ballpark of $5k for new construction or more than double that for modifications to an existing home.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:08 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:The easiest thing to do when building a new home is to have a walk-in closet with reinforced concrete walls, a metal door and a steel plate ceiling. That way, if the whole house is blown away, you're still okay in the safe room / tornado shelter. The cost for this sort of addition might be in the ballpark of $5k for new construction or more than double that for modifications to an existing home.

Alternatively, one could just buy a house with a basement.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:13 pm

Vrock wrote:
JustAnEngineer wrote:The easiest thing to do when building a new home is to have a walk-in closet with reinforced concrete walls, a metal door and a steel plate ceiling. That way, if the whole house is blown away, you're still okay in the safe room / tornado shelter. The cost for this sort of addition might be in the ballpark of $5k for new construction or more than double that for modifications to an existing home.

Alternatively, one could just buy a house with a basement.

...and have the whole house fall in on your head when the tornado hits.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:25 pm

just brew it! wrote:...and have the whole house fall in on your head when the tornado hits.

Hmm, living here in VT where cellars are simply assumed to be part of a house vs. ground level tornado shelters.

I understand why most of the Midwest is on slab; the ground is a rock. Up here I'd not want to be under my 1875 structure in a big blow.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:45 pm

Vrock wrote:Alternatively, one could just buy a house with a basement.

There are actually very few basements/cellars in Oklahoma. The reasons I've heard are: 1) the water tables are too high, and/or 2) the hard clay soil makes it difficult to dig. With that being said, there's no shortage of tornado shelters, which are only a few feet beneath the surface versus the depth of a traditional basement/cellar.

just brew it! wrote:...and have the whole house fall in on your head when the tornado hits.
Trust me, you'd rather be underneath rubble and be relatively safe versus your other options in that situation.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:16 am

Unless you're building a house completely out of brick, or some other small but cemented together material, the collapse wouldn't necessarily bury you. You might be trapped until a rescue crew digs you out, but the debris wouldn't fill the basement since your frame is made out of relatively long pieces of wood.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:33 am

superjawes wrote:Unless you're building a house completely out of brick, or some other small but cemented together material, the collapse wouldn't necessarily bury you. You might be trapped until a rescue crew digs you out, but the debris wouldn't fill the basement since your frame is made out of relatively long pieces of wood.

You could get impaled by a flying 2x4...
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:40 am

just brew it! wrote:
superjawes wrote:Unless you're building a house completely out of brick, or some other small but cemented together material, the collapse wouldn't necessarily bury you. You might be trapped until a rescue crew digs you out, but the debris wouldn't fill the basement since your frame is made out of relatively long pieces of wood.

You could get impaled by a flying 2x4...

But the angles aren't great for that, and most 2x4's are going to be anchored to other 2x4's and drywall. A strong hit could knock over your walls, or even take them away, but having them fall into your basement is less likely.

Regardless, a basement is much safer than being on the upper or ground floors, even if you do take a direct hit.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:45 am

superjawes wrote:Regardless, a basement is much safer than being on the upper or ground floors, even if you do take a direct hit.

Oh, I agree 100% that it is a lot safer than being upstairs. But it's a relative thing -- if the house takes a direct hit, you're still unlikely to escape unscathed.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:53 am

just brew it! wrote:
superjawes wrote:Regardless, a basement is much safer than being on the upper or ground floors, even if you do take a direct hit.

Oh, I agree 100% that it is a lot safer than being upstairs. But it's a relative thing -- if the house takes a direct hit, you're still unlikely to escape unscathed.

This entire tornado/natural disaster has been about relative safety. There's a chance that your home could get hit by an asteroid, and even your tornado-proof shelter would do little to save you from that XD
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:24 am

I've lived in KS most my life. Nearly every house I have ever seen in KS has a basement. Besides the aforementioned protection basements provide, I just like having them. Always nice and cool.

I think living in the MidWest has desensitized me to tornadoes. I know they're incredibly powerful and destructive, but I don't freak out when I know one is near. When I was a kid we could go out to grandpa and grandma's farm to sit on the fence and watch them sometimes. Very cool. I don't suggest doing that, but if you want to take a chance it's pretty awesome.

I always think it's a little weird when people not from the Midwest are here for a tornado. They are very uncomfortable and don't know what to do. I'm sure it'd be the same way with me and a hurricane though. I think.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:07 am

DancinJack wrote:I always think it's a little weird when people not from the Midwest are here for a tornado. They are very uncomfortable and don't know what to do. I'm sure it'd be the same way with me and a hurricane though. I think.

I'm sure I'd freak out if I ever experienced the sort of earthquakes they get in Cali.

We occasionally (once or twice a decade or so) get little earthquakes here in northern Illinois, but nothing strong enough to cause structural damage. The strongest ones are just barely enough to rattle the plates in the kitchen cabinets. The last one (couple of years ago IIRC) woke me up, but my wife slept right through it.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:13 am

just brew it! wrote:We occasionally (once or twice a decade or so) get little earthquakes here in northern Illinois, but nothing strong enough to cause structural damage. The strongest ones are just barely enough to rattle the plates in the kitchen cabinets. The last one (couple of years ago IIRC) woke me up, but my wife slept right through it.

We've had a string of 3.2s to 4.2s over the past couple of years and I've yet to feel one of them.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:15 am

Yeah we had a couple this year or last, can't remember. The epicenters were in OK if I remember correctly. You could feel them, but nothing to be too worried about. I was pretty confused when the whole concrete basement (~2400 sq. ft) was slowing swaying back and forth. An odd feeling.
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Re: dymt reloaded

Postposted on Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:18 am

just brew it! wrote:I'm sure I'd freak out if I ever experienced the sort of earthquakes they get in Cali.

Funny you should say so because I was actually in Brawley the weekend when this started, about two miles away from the closest >5.0 epicenter. A couple of the strongest jolts nearly knocked some people over, and took out a section of suspended ceiling tiles on one wall of the church building. The locals were clearly annoyed ("not this again") while I was more in a kid-at-a-carnival mode, since it was my first time.

I think that annoyed them, too... :lol:
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