Tornado alley, why do people live there?

A valid question to which I would like an honest answer. I’m not being sarcastic and I mean no disrespect in the question, I’m just curious. In California the state of earthquakes, mudslides and forest fires are natural disasters they tolerate in exchange for the coastal view and pleasant year round temperatures. As is the same with New Zealand and Japan. But I can’t think of any similar reasons for Oklahoma or any other parts of tornado alley so I have nothing to weigh the pros vs cons against. That is why I’m asking for your opinions.

Also I have a few questions about building and structure with regards to the building industry to accommodate for tornados. Are there currently any building regulations or knowledge that could be implemented to help offset the amount of damaged sustained from a tornado strike? And if there are building upgrades available are they mandatory for new buildings and can a home be retrofitted to be more tornado “proofed”?

One other thought, not sure if it’s feasible or cost effective but I noticed a lot a cars strewn about in the aftermath and that got me thinking about a possible solution to potential save some cars and save the areas they get thrown into. The first thing is adding 4 “D” type loops to the underside of a vehicles frame, 2 in the front, 2 in the back spaced apart for stability. Next would take some retrofitting or upgrades added to new driveways pads. That would included 4 long “U” shaped bars or something to that affect that would be cemented into 4 small wells (@5″x5″x1′) the top of the “U” would be level with the driveway top so no one would trip over it(and a cover could also be made). So with both the vehicle and driveway being fitted with these “loops” the last thing needed would be 4 heavy duty chains with hooks on each end that would in theory secure the vehicle to the driveway. Anyhow that’s my 2 cents, now for yours 🙂

Update: I posted this on FB to get a few answers and one reply did explain the ferocity of a tornado and the magnitude of damage one could see…
*Because its a beautiful place to live. Tornado alley is the PLAINS; filled with unending vistas, farms, ranches, fields, and good decent folks and communities. Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska – hunting fishing, rivers, creeks, ponds and HUGE lakes (most man made). A great place to be a kid and raise a family. Folks there take this all in stride, it is, was and always will be part of the weather pattern for those that live there.

As for making homes wind resistant, that is a physical impossibility at these speeds and produced forces. An EF5 can literally implode or suck away anything attached to steel and concrete. Plus most window manufacturers already meet criteria for wind driven projectiles reaching 125mph. At some point price point becomes the issue. We are talking about resisting 250 mph shear forces which is 160 pounds per square foot of pressure on each surface which will produce a suction or uplift load exceeding on say a 20×30′ roof of 1,920,000 pounds per square foot. Basically pulling the structure apart. The larger the surface area the larger the loads. Typically we design these loads for say 60 pounds a square foot and less, and that is an excessive load physically to overcome. without significant structure of steel or concrete.


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