Research Team Visits Florida to Document Damage

Research could lead to new construction guidelines for safer houses

Written by Cory Chandler

A team of researchers from Texas Tech University’s Wind Science and Engineering Research Center is in Florida this week to study debris and damage in the wake of tornados that killed 20 people Friday.

Their work could lead to changes in construction standards and guidelines that could better safeguard families during wind events.

Larry Tanner, a civil engineering research associate, is leading efforts to document structures damaged by the tornados – including mobile homes and recently built houses with in-home shelters.

Tanner’s research of approximately 400 manufactured homes damaged by a 2005 tornado that killed 22 people in Evansville, Ind., prompted new standards for mobile home installation in the region. He submitted a report of his findings to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Tanner also will conduct research into the new Enhanced Fujita Scale, devised in part by Texas Tech and implemented this week by the National Weather Service as a more accurate system for measuring tornado intensity than the former Fujita Scale.


Larry Tanner, research associate, Department of Civil Engineering and Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, Texas Tech University, at (806) 543-4957, or,

Carol Ann Stanley, coordinator, Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3479, ext. 339, or