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I am all for designing new things, inventing and innovating, but where there are things available to solve problems which are simply not being utilized – why create another something for it? From the storm shelters and safe rooms which are available to people in Oklahoma and across tornado prone areas that aren’t being added to homes and schools to reinforcement strategies, materials and methods for buildings in need of them not being used, decisions are being made that, far in advance of dangerous situations, are contributing to the loss of life and injuries during those events.

In one thing I read several years ago, it said that 85% of buildings in New York City are made of unreinforced masonry – that the beautiful old brick buildings throughout the city are not reinforced in any way. During the recent Moore, Oklahoma tornado, it was obvious that the school was not a reinforced structure either, nor was the hospital there which had the entire second floor ripped from it.

There were pictures from the end of last week’s tornadoes including one that attacked near St. Louis, Missouri that indicated a high school’s damaged walls and in those photos, it is obvious there were two brick walls as if a facade had been added over the existing brick building – neither of which were reinforced in any way. The yield of those decisions to not reinforce that structure even when a second facade was being added meant a pile of bricks and bricks as moving projectiles, dangers falling not only from above but in a spray outwards from the building, and had their been lives in that area of damage – potential loss of life and injuries as a result.

Up to 10 trapped in Philadelphia building collapse

PHILADELPHIA, June 5 (UPI) — A number of people were trapped Wednesday after a building collapsed in downtown Philadelphia, officials said.