Every time we look at pictures of tornado damage we are reminded of how fragile houses are.
If we see these reminders why don’t we demand better houses? Conventional housing that most of us live with is way too fragile to survive many storms but we just keep building the same old pitiful houses.
Why does this keep being OK?
I can tell you for sure that it is NOT OK with me.
I have lived in tornado country all my life. I believe that no amount of storm preparedness can overcome the disadvantages of fragile houses. Mother Nature trumps everything.
I think it’s because she hates to hear some ignorant fool say, “I just LUV storms.”
If they are ever in a big storm they’ll be crying for pity like any other ignorant child and begging for mercy from a power way bigger than any human no matter how rich or famous or self-important.
We lived in Arkansas for a bit more than a year a while back. The tornado sirens went off numerous times during that short time. Once I looked out my front door and counted four (4!!!) tornados. They touched down past my house, doing substantial damage in the downtown area nearby. We were both aware the situation was dire and did what we could to stay safe…or as safe as possible in a conventional house with no basement or storm shelter.
Many commercial buildings, even small ones are built much more sturdily, particularly those built out of concrete. My husband has a commercial bridge loan business and told me a story about a client seeking an assisted living loan. The developer was working with a general contractor who had built many assisted living facilities in both Europe and the U.S. During their initial conference call, the contractor said he “only builds his buildings out of concrete” as they hold up almost forever despite weather and age. Commercial bridge lenders like that. After all many commercial loans can go out over 20 or more years.
My dog turned, walked back to our back stairway and scratched on the closed door under the stair. I opened the door and got in the closet while he turned and backed himself into the small space. He was a 150 pound Great Pyrenees. I did not tell him what to do. He knew what to do…unlike many humans.
People think they will always be lucky enough to miss the storms or that the storms will hit somewhere else.
Now we live in an area that is much less prone to storms of that magnitude, but we still sleep in our basement and never sleep through a storm. Even our cat gets nervous in a storm, having experienced a few bad ones himself.
I recently experienced another storm while staying with my sister at her lake house. It was the group of bad storms that did so much damage in South Carolina recently. During that storm 75 trees went down in the cove where my sister’s house is located. Fortunately none hit houses, but one of the porches on my sister’s house nearly lost a roof. She and her husband are currently doing repairs.
Their house is very well built, unusually so, because they built it themselves. Most houses are less well built and would not withstand the winds as well as this house did.
I wonder what it will take for people to ask for and get sturdier housing. Apparently people are unconcerned until the storm hits. But then it’s too late!!!