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"And if everyone in Tornado Alley were to rebuild with re-inforced concrete, houses that curve with the land and have doors that do not ever face west but only face east, why, no one will ever have to worry about tornadoes."

What a great idea! It won't take very long or cost too much to implement, either!

Practicality isn't really what you're after here, is it?

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Survival is the most practical thing of all. When we run out of funny money and can't rebuild we will discover the value of sane building for obvious climate situations.


We could lose a whole bunch of one-stoplight towns in Kansas before rebuilding the entire Midwestern housing stock began to look cost-effective.

The thing about tornadoes is what they destroy they destroy absolutely - but they don't destroy all that much. The swath of destruction may be from a few hundred yards to 1.5 miles wide; the path length may be from a few hundred yards to 10 miles or so. And the most destructive F4/F5 storms are only about 2% of the total. Your chances of not being devastated by a tornado are actually quite good.

(Except for you, Elaine - but you have a peculiar relationship to weather!)

The Fujita ("F") scale:

The Fujita ("EF") scale:

Elaine Meinel Supkis

And why are there no very old oak trees in the Midwest? Our ancestors remarked about this when they came 200 years ago. Scientists think that tornadoes have scoured most everywhere in the Midwest over a 5,000 year cycle.

Brendon Capes


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