Buildings in tornado-prone areas should be constructed as sturdily as those built for hurricane resilience, NIST says

A 492-page draft report reveals a lack of tornado-resistance building-code standards nationwide.

December 12, 2013

Buildings in tornado-prone areas should be constructed to withstand strong winds just as hurricanes are factored into building codes in coastal areas, says a federal report examining the 2011 killer tornado in Joplin, Mo. New model building code standards are among the 16 recommendations of a 492-page draft report released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Except for nuclear power plants, safe rooms, and storm shelters, “there are no standards for the tornado-resistant design of ordinary buildings and infrastructure” in this country, the report said. The agency recommends the development of national standards for the design of tornado-resistant buildings, and says those standards should be made part of local building codes.

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