Tornadoes destroy! They destroy families, homes, neighborhoods, schools and communities. So many people are hurt, and some are killed. The destruction makes me sick- particularly because I know that much of that destruction can be avoided.
Some people say that there are no solutions -
a Force 5 tornado cannot be dealt with.
They are wrong. There is at least one, simple
solution - the Monolithic Dome.
It may not be the only solution, but it is a viable,
reasonable and affordable one.
In many ways, tornadoes destroy more dramatically
and drastically than other natural disasters. They
are the most difficult to defend against. A Force 5
tornado pushes with approximately 400 pounds
per square foot. We can park cars on 100 pounds
per square foot. Consequently, to withstand a Force
5 tornado, a building must be able to withstand
pressure equal to that of a highway bridge. Most
buildings cannot withstand this kind of pressure.
Another way to determine a structure’s strength is
to ask: can the building withstand the pressure of
Monolithic Domes have been buried; they can
withstand that pressure. Monolithic Domes can
tolerate the force of a tornado, and they can be
constructed at a cost less than or comparable
to that of conventional structures. Moreover,
Monolithic Domes last infinitely longer, require
less on-going maintenance, and use less energy
for heating and cooling. Over time, the savings in
energy costs alone can pay for the dome.
Just after the May 3, 1999 tornadoes in
Oklahoma and Kansas and the May 4 twister
in Texas, the media presented experts, some
of whom claimed that there is no way to
construct so as to withstand tornado forces.
These experts say we can only build a safe
room or run to a shelter.
That simply is not true. We could make a
significant start with schools. Every school
campus should have a disaster shelter-for
many obvious reasons-but especially for
tornadoes. This disaster shelter does not have
to be a special building used only for disasters!
On a daily basis, the disaster shelter can be a
gymnasium or a classroom pod. Such a dual-
purpose Monolithic Dome could withstand a
Force 5 tornado, would not burn, and would not
be leveled by an earthquake.
Usually, schools are conveniently located
within a community so they can be utilized as
a disaster shelter. The Pattonsburg, Missouri
school gymnasium is open to the public as a
disaster shelter. When Pattonsburg rebuilt
after a devastating flood, they chose Monolithic
Domes primarily because of their ability to
withstand disastrous forces.
PRESIDENT, MONOLITHIC DOME INSTITUTE
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