West Texas is no stranger to severe weather that can damage your home or put the lives of your loved ones in danger. Each year tornadoes rip through Texas communities leaving death and destruction behind. Last year a tornado tore through Happy, killing two people and leaving dozens without homes.
Saving lives during severe storms drives the research behind Chad Morris and his team of wind engineers at Texas Tech. Using a cannon Morris and his team of researchers fire 2x4's into a specially designed steel reinforced wall to simulate debris from a tornado. The 2x4 shatters on impact.
"Debris is the most damaging and most deadly even if you're not right next to the tornado debris flying from that can make contact with homes and people and cause injury," says Chad Morris, Associate Director for TTU Wind Engineering Department.
But Morris says one of the first keys to survival is knowing severe weather is coming. "The shelters obviously play a significant role in protection but information and early warning are the key to surviving a severe storm hurricane tornado, any event like that. Being prepared and knowing where to go and having time to get there."
Bill Howerton with the City of Lubbock Community Development is making sure people know when severe weather strikes. He's armed with weather radios and going door to door across parts of the city to pass them out. "We're passing these out this week targeting mainly childcare, facilities, mobile home parks, nursing homes."
Weather radios will be distributed throughout the week for free to schools, daycare centers, mobile home parks and nursing homes. If you are one of these facilities and haven't received a weather radio yet, you can still get one by calling (806) 775-3081 .
If you're interested in building a tornado proof shelter for your home, you can go to FEMA by ( clicking here). There you can find a link to construction plans and cost estimates.
|Making a Kit for an Emergency Situation |
|What You Can Do to Prepare for Disaster|