Saturday, June 1, 2013

Why No Cheap Solution To Tornado Deaths?

Just by the by, since we've just had another deadly tornado in Oklahoma.  Can anyone explain why a cheap and effective solution to the problem of OK's not being willing to build storm shelters and basements (this has been extensively covered in the news recently as being partially thrift, partially market failure, partially a rejection of "government intervention.") has not been found?  You'd think that a mandated (government intervention!) slit ditch behind each house and public school, possibly with a piece of clean sewer pipe lowered into it, only half above ground, would be a good solution? The rounded upper half would, theoretically, be resistant to the force of the tornado, the buried lower half would make it stable.  It would be hard to clean from year to year but it only has to be useable for a few minutes at a time.   At the rate Tornados are sweeping through there is going to have to be some general, inexpensive, solution.  Sounds like a good time for the hated national government to put up a prize for architects and disaster relief specialists to come up with an inexpensive, easily installed, quick fix for storm shelters.


  1. Perfect. A short half buried section of pipe. BTW anyone reading this might do well to note the nearest culvert or drainage pipe to their personal nest. Butter a few seconds of discomfort than eternity.

  2. Why? I think it's because humans have nearly no ability to properly qualify and quantify risk. Especially fairly random, relatively rare risks.

    That clouds the way we spend our money -- even in highly risky areas like Tornado Alley, very few will willingly shell out the necessary dough to prepare for the potential tornado. Try extrapolating that out to getting the "ebil gubmint" involved and (especially in the South) there's just no damn way anything will get done. Beforehand, anyway.

    Now that a bunch of people have died and the government will have to shell out a couple billion to clean up, we have a bit of a window to say "hey, y'know, we could've spent a few million here and there to prevent a bunch of this, perhaps we should consider doing that for the future?" At which point meetings will be held, workgroups will be formed, and in ten years absolutely nothing will have changed.

  3. I'm more amazed that the local communities haven't insisted on some storm fitting of the schools. i.e. over engineered basket ball stadiums etc.