How safe is your home during a tornado?

WLFI Photo
WLFI Photo

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – This week is Indiana’s severe weather preparedness week. Storm team 10 is looking at different ways to keep your family safe during potential disasters.

With that in mind, Storm team 10’s Matt Gregory went to find out how you can protect your family when disaster strikes your home.

Your home is your castle. A four walled safe haven that keeps security in and nature out; except during severe weather season. Then a home has potential to be a trap.

“In Moore, Oklahoma what we were trying to do was gather data from houses and from the damage we saw at the houses,” Fred Haan PhD. A Mechanical Engineering professor at Rose Hulman said. “Just to see what it is about particular construction practices that might make a house safer.”

Haan’s study of the destruction left by the tornadoes in Oklahoma, revealed simple truths that could make your home safer.

“Almost always when you see a building that has strong connections between the roof and the wall, and strong connections between the wall and the foundation those perform much, much better,” Haan said.

However, for most of us our homes are already built and there’s not much we can do about its construction. So how can you protect yourself in your current home during a storm?

“The core of the house where there is more walls and there’s just more structure there, that’s often the piece that survives and that’s definitely the place you want to be,” he explained.

A house in a storm is like an onion. If a tornado or strong wind finds a weak piece of roof or siding it will start there and peel off the outside of the house with its powerful winds. This makes the core the safest place to be.

“In general a lot of the injuries and the fatalities that happen occur because of flying debris,” Haan explained. “So the more walls you can put between you and the anything that’s flying the better.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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