June 7, 2013
In wake of the devastating tornadoes that recently hit communities in Oklahoma, Congress
is considering ways to promote stronger building codes, safe rooms and more coordinated
federal research into windstorm damage and ways to mitigate it.
Mandatory shelter laws are an appropriate step, especially when installed in new public buildings, such as schools and day care centers located in high risk areas, said Dr. Ernst Kiesling, a member of the research faculty at Texas Tech University's National Wind Institute. Shelter laws are also appropriate for new multi-family residential units such as nursing homes, mobile home parks and apartments. Kiesling was not in favor of mandatory rules for privately owned single family homes, but proposed that incentives such as property tax credits, financing or competitive grants would be effective.