Sadly, it’s official. This year will go down as the deadliest tornado year since record keeping began, according to The National Weather Service. More than 500 people have died in tornadoes in 2011, with nearly half of the fatalities occurring in Alabama. Missouri ranks second with 139 deaths from the Joplin tornado alone.
Those of us who live or work in a Monolithic Dome know that many of those deaths could have been prevented with safer shelters. In Blanchard, Oklahoma, dome owners took a photo their home after a direct hit by a Category 5 tornado. Although the windows were blown out, the dome is still standing.
Stories like the one in Blanchard have inspired some observers to call for post-tornado rebuilding using Monolithic Domes. The Christian Science Monitor recently examined the pros and cons in an article that has been reprinted in newspapers across the nation.
Gregory Pekar, state hazard mitigation officer in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s division of emergency management, told the newspaper that Monolithic Dome structures are “are the lowest cost option for creating windstorm-protected space" and can withstand winds above 200 miles per hour.