a reply to: IngyBall
The main problem here is that any rating system based on damage alone, will be subject to ambiguity. If a tornado with a windspeed of 250 mph hits a
crap hole, and a megacity on the same day, then I am pretty sure that same tornado would receive two, completely different categorisations, because it
would clearly damage a poorly built community in a much more severe way than it would be capable of in the event of contact with a metropolis.
But the other problem is this...
When a tornado is on the way, people ahead of it need to know what order of strength it is BEFORE it does any damage. They need to know how strong
the weather system above it is, they need to know up to the minute what direction it is headed, and they need to know how strong it is, to know
whether they are likely to die or not more than anything else.
If you say to someone that an EF 1 just passed through an armoured complex at a military base, then those who have little understanding of the rating
system may not respond to the threat with enough vigor. When their comparatively weak house gets smashed asunder in a much higher rated storm than
they were expecting they will be surprised, as well as probably dead.
Obviously, a scale which does not rely on variables like the strength of the houses or architecture as an indicator ought to be devised. Mind you,
none of this would be nearly as much of a concern, if the government of the US were to actually get off their arses and do something productive about
the situation in Tornado alley.
First, they should ban the building of any house which COULD be destroyed or even seriously damaged by a tornado. It is perfectly possible to build
houses which cannot be grabbed by the vacuum power of a tornado, but it would cost a little more per house, than a regular, square, flat sided and
entirely geographically inappropriate house. A geodesic structure, made of ferrocrete mix, and with DEEP solid iron pilings with barbed ends, will NOT
move no matter what you do to it. The shape would defeat any effort on the part of a tornado to lift it from its foundations, because it would find it
nearly impossible to actually grab a hold of. The solid ferrocrete exterior would be free of bolt ons, clapboard, or any other elements capable of
coming adrift in high winds, thus reducing the amount of torpedoing crap that whirls around, shredding anything in its path during events like these.
Finally, such a structure as I propose being built, would be cheaper for residents and insurers alike in the long run, because the insurers would be
confident that they would get to keep their insurance money from the clients, and the clients of those insurers would be certain that their house
would not be going away, yet again, leaving them homeless until such time as alternative living arrangements can be made properly.
I feel this, far more than any arbitrary rating system based on ludicrously variable...variables, is far more crucial to the point of keeping people
safe from tornado winds.