Study based on the Joplin tornado aims to help build safer struc - KOAM TV 7

Study based on the Joplin tornado aims to help build safer structures



Updated at 10:37 PM: The National Institute of Standards and Technology releases a federal report detailing the May 2011 Joplin tornado.

Acting Director of Engineering Laboratory of The NIST Howard Haray says, "We don't mandate building standards or code changes however, our experts serve on many national standards committees, and we work diligently with standards organizations, code-making bodies, federal agencies, and professional societies to encourage the adoption of our recommendations."

Part of the 400 plus page report includes 47 findings and 16 recommendations that apply directly to Joplin. 

Eric Levtin Director of Disaster and Failure Studies believes it's time to develop standards and codes directly associated with tornado hazards. 

Levtin says, "We found that, in most cases, neither residential nor larger commercial buildings in Joplin adequately protected building occupants." 

The report suggest almost 84% of fatalities were due to impact-related causes associated with building failures. 

A number of topics are covered in the report including tornado characteristics, buildings performance,  human behavior, and emergency communication. 

A team of experts in various occupations took part in the study. 

"Our study team included experts in structural and fire engineering, extreme wind, meteorology and severe storms, and sociology for analysis of human behavior and emergency response," said Levtin. 

Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr says, the city has assembled a team of staff members to study the findings and recommendations, to determine whether and how they would apply to Joplin.


Link to report: http://www.nist.gov/el/disasterstudies/joplin-112113.cfm


Updated at 5:25 PM:  It's a scientific study two years in the making.  Now a federal report looks at lessons of the Joplin tornado.

The nearly 500 page draft report was released at a news conference in Joplin on Thursday.

The report concludes that stronger building codes, more storm shelters and improved emergency communication systems may have significantly reduced the death toll and the costs of rebuilding.

But the researchers emphasized that most of the power to make those changes rests with state and local governments, and private businesses.

"If it was something that was easy it would have been done already, it takes a commitment of expertise in a lot of different areas and it takes a commitment of funding and time to study something like this with all these different subject areas," says Eric Letvin, the Director of Disaster and Failure Studies.

The study documents 47-specific findings and offers 16 recommendations.

The read a very brief summary of the report CLICK HERE.

To read the full draft report CLICK HERE.



City of Joplin to review recommendations of NIST Draft Report on Study of 2011 Tornado

On November 21st, officials from the National Institute of Standards and Technology released a 400-page draft report for public comment on their two-year study of the May 22, 2011 tornado that struck the Joplin area. The public is invited to comment on the report until January 6th, 2014. The report includes 16 recommendations on a number of topics, including improving how buildings and shelters are designed, built and maintained in tornado-prone regions, emergency communications, etc.

As a result of this report, the city has assembled a team of staff members to study the findings & recommendations and determine whether and how they would apply to Joplin. Said City Manager Mark Rohr, "It's clear from an initial review of the report that the Joplin tornado is an important launching pad for a national-level discussion on improving the safety of buildings and the protection of life for residents living in areas that can be impacted by tornadoes. Our response to the 2011 tornado has set the standard for disaster recovery, and we look forward to working with officials at the state and national levels to continue to play an important part in how communities can prepare for and respond to future events." Any recommendations for local changes will be presented to the city manager and to City Council at a later date. Joplin residents would be invited to participate in that discussion as well.

To view the NIST report, please visit www.nist.gov/el/disasterstudies. Comments can be emailed to disaster@nist.gov or mailed to NIST Technical Investigation Joplin, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8611, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8611.

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