Professor Jim Richardson, a University of Alabama civil engineer, says that many homes lost in the tornadoes that ripped through the southeast in April 2011 were unnecessary casualties that likely could have been saved.
He believes a study by fellow Alabama engineers that looked at the range of tornado damage in Tuscaloosa could make new homes more storm-ready.
"To resist the kind of uplift you see during a tornado, you need sheet metal clips that anchor the roof or roof trusses to the top of the wall," Richardson explains.
Most of the findings are better suited to building new homes, but they're inexpensive.
"The report talks about more connectors on your roof. It also has suggestions for shingles, such as using wind-rated shingles. Or if you're building a home, for not a lot of money -- say $2000 -- you can have your home built to withstand moderate winds, about 130 miles per hour."
For winds stronger than that, Richardson says that you'd likely need a safe room, which can be added to existing homes.
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