National Tornado Summit: Building stronger homes to protect against tornadoes

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OKLAHOMA CITY - About 800 people are attending this year’s two-day National Tornado Summit in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma is known for its tornadoes, and many of its residents have seen first-hand the devastation they leave behind.

Structural Engineer Tim Marshall spoke Tuesday at the summit. He says we can minimize damage by building stronger homes.

"Anchor it down or it ain't around,” Marshall said.  "Straps hold five to 10 times stronger than conventional nailing."

He says many people think it is too expensive to build a better house, but Marshall says that is not the case.

"Builders I know say hey for $500 dollars or $1000 dollars I can put straps. Well that's much much better," Marshall said.

Another key to protecting yourself this Spring is investing in your own safe room.

A number of cities do not have public shelters. That is why Logan County Emergency Manager David Ball advises you to invest in your own.

"You'll have the peace of mind,” Ball said. “You'll know exactly where your wife and kids are going to go.”

Another topic at Tuesday’s summit, the challenges of people wanting to take shelter in public places like hospitals.

"It's that having to deal with the influx of unnecessary activity quite frankly that really can cause some major problems," Craig Jones, President of the Oklahoma Hospital Association, said.

NewsChannel 4’s meteorologist Emily Sutton also took part in the summit. She talked about the importance of social media during severe weather.

 

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