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My Note –

I was thinking about the tornado damage in Moore, Oklahoma and other places with there being few places for people to go safe from a tornado. These are some of the things I was looking at today about it and the possibilities for going forward

– cricketdiane


Company develops new fiber-reinforced wood, concrete ink for 3D printing


One of the things holding 3D printing back is the material used to print objects. A San Francisco-based company, Emerging Objects, has created new printing materials that aren’t just plastic, but composed of wood, concrete, and even salt.

Because the actual idea behind 3D printing isn’t too complex — drip stuff on top of previously dripped stuff — the applications are really only limited by the size of the printer, and the materials used to print.

Emerging Objects has developed a wealth of new materials, such as paper (made from recycled newsprint) as well as a printable salt material. The company has also developed a cement polymer that can be reinforced with fiber, which means the objects can be stronger than standard concrete. Some other materials used for printing are nylon — so you can 3D-print your dog some new bones, presumably — acrylic, and wood (which is made from hard and soft recycled wood) which can also be fiber-reinforced in order to provide it with extra strength.


As for what Emerging Objects envisions its new materials creating? Buildings, or at the very least, structures within buildings that are cheaper, stronger, and more environmentally friendly than standard construction materials.


Oklahoma tornado: Mayor of Moore pushes for shelter law

22 May 2013


The mayor of the tornado-devastated town of Moore in Oklahoma has vowed to push for a new law on shelters, after a huge twister there killed at least 24.

Glenn Lewis said he would propose an ordinance requiring a reinforced shelter to be built in every new home.

Seven of the nine children killed in the tornado on Monday died in a school that did not have a safe room.

Mr Lewis said he would propose the ordinance in the next few days and was confident it would pass the six-member city council.

The law would require a storm shelter or safe room in all single- and multi-family homes and could be in place in a few months.


More than 100 schools in Oklahoma had been provided with state-funded safe rooms. (My note – How many schools are in Oklahoma & in other states of tornado alley where tornadoes are likely and can be expected?)


Can Anything Be Done To Tornado-Proof A House?

May 22, 2013 4:00 AM
Linda Wertheimer talks to Professor Andrew Graettinger of the University of Alabama about what can be to strengthen buildings and save lives when tornadoes strike. He was part of a study that looked at the structural impact of the 2011 tornadoes that ripped through Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala.
(NPR Radio with audio of the discussion)

Tornado Facts Infographic from ABC News –


The tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, May 20, was a powerful and deadly EF4. This list includes the deadliest tornados in U.S. history including a twister that struck Joplin, Mo., in 2011 killing 158 people. What was the biggest tornado? What was the fastest tornado? What was the costliest tornado?


Stress Makes Gorilla Glass Stronger


Stress helps glass resist damage. By incorporating it into the manufacturing process, Engineers at Corning, Inc., in N.Y., can give a normally fragile material super-strength. Their Gorilla Glass product now forms the screens of more than 1,000 different devices, from smartphones to tablets to televisions.

To avoid building flaws into the material, Corning creates large, flat panes of Gorilla Glass mechanically. During the process, the molten glass is suspended by its top edge, leaving it untouched by human hands—or anything else. Despite their stability, these sheets cannot prevent future damage…yet. The next step is to apply stress to the glass, compressing its molecules to strengthen the material and enable it to resist flaws.

Cut to appropriate sizes, the unfinished Gorilla Glass then takes a bath in a molten solution of potassium salts. This process leaches small sodium ions out of the glass and replaces them with larger potassium ions. The large particles squeeze the sheet from the outside in, compressing the material. This creates two outer layers squeezing inwards, towards a central layer that balances out the internal forces by pushing back.

(etc. – more extensive explanation of why it works included in this article – well worth reading.


World urged to speed up action on disaster reduction

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Wed, 22 May 2013 04:50 PM


GENEVA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The world is still not doing enough to protect people from disasters and prevent them happening, despite taking steps in the right direction in recent years, senior officials told an international conference in Geneva this week.

Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for aid and crisis response, said “Mother Nature” is “hammering us with much stronger force than before” and “the wake-up call comes from there”.

Efforts to reduce the risk of disasters are heading in the right direction, but need to speed up, she said.

“The more we spend on preparedness, risk reduction and resilience, the less we will be spending on the response side,” said Geleta.

(etc. – discusses budgets for preparedness around the world, EU and US being cut and the sense of urgency that needs to be re-instilled about it.)


Resiliency in Oklahoma

Posted by Karl Johnson on May 22, 2013
[Architecture for Humanity]

How Buildings Fail

“Funnel tornadoes are much more powerful than hurricanes,” explains Eric Cesal. “It’s easy for a building to fail in these conditions.”

The first building failure in a tornado is typically the roof, which due to wind and relative air pressures is torn off by the storm. “Then the structure loses strength – the roof is a critical structural element to the rest of the building.” Unsupported walls topple, as they did in hundreds of homes and several schools in Moore.