General Question

pleiades's avatar

Why isn't there a major rehaul in the "tornado" prone cities of America?

Asked by pleiades (6365 points ) February 28th, 2014

Why not build a city underground? If not underground, at least have “Doomsday” style housing.

I don’t know it seems like common sense to me. Every year in the United States I see the Bible Belt ripped to shreds from tornadoes.

Wouldn’t this major rehaul actually create jobs? and a safer environment more importantly?

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9 Answers

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CWOTUS's avatar

It would only sound like common sense… to someone who didn’t have to pay the costs of building an underground city or “doomsday-style” housing. You’re talking enormous expense to forestall what is, really, a black swan event. Aside from which, building underground would still leave land available topside… where people would build because it’s much cheaper.

Tornadoes are relatively rare from place to place. Yes, the Great Plains have a lot of them, if you’re counting individual storms, but if the dimensions of Tornado Alley are roughly 1000 miles by 500 miles, that’s still a half-million square miles, and tornadoes are small storms (on the continental scale of the US landmass). So the chances of any one home or town being hit by a devastating tornado are quite low, even though it seems that some town is going to lose that lottery every year, and sometimes more than one town.

It would make far, far more sense to encourage people to move their homes from known / demonstrated flood plains. When floods occur those are areas of hundreds to thousands of square miles per event. Even so, it’s hard to get people to change their minds and habits of generations. People get flooded out… and then repair or rebuild on the same spot. That doesn’t make sense to me.

JLeslie's avatar

If the homes are at sea level you can’t go underground. Many cities in FL have hurricane codes. Newer houses are more expensive to build because of it. I luved in the very broad definition of tornado alley outside of Memphis and they barely had a code for wind. I think they figure it is so statistically unlikely fir the tornado to hit you no one has tried to change the codes. Plus, many f the areas dimolished by tornadoes are not very affluent so they can’t afford upgrading their homes or buying newer ones. Even in FL we still have trailer parks and mobile homes all over the state.the good thing about FL is hurricanes are a much bigger threat than tornadoes and there is time to evacuate. To get everyone into “safe” housing the government would have to help subsidize it I think.

Buttonstc's avatar

The main reasons are inertia and lack of funds.

Cruiser's avatar

For the same reason there is not a 5 mile inland clear home free zone along the coastlines. Plus brick homes are expensive and many people can’t afford to build or buy them. People would rather risk living in a paid for trailer home in a community than renting an apartment in a brick building.

ragingloli's avatar

Those are long term projects, and they are expensive.
The thing about colonials is, they are short sighted, and cheap.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You can die in a car wreck or choking on food anytime, but we still drive & eat. Safety is an illusion so no worries.

SwanSwanHummingbird's avatar

Hey. It’s god’s will that they get ripped to shreds. And when FEMA bails you out year after year, why move or change your living situation.

Sorry, but if my home was destroyed even once, I’d move.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

If they did that the mobile home manufacturers would go out of business and you don’t want that do you?

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