BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – There’s a wooden model house coming to Jefferson County, and the secrets it reveals can help save your life.
Nicknamed the “DAWG HAUS”, this display model was built by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to illustrate storm-resistant construction methods. FEMA is taking the model on a statewide tour to show how connectors, straps and ties at key joints can transfer the pressure of high winds from the building’s roof to its foundation.
“People throughout the state have flocked to see the DAWG HAUS on tour,” said Jeff Byard, state coordinating officer for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. “All of us remember the devastation of the April tornadoes all too well. If there are ways to make homes stronger and safer in high winds, Alabamians want to know about them.”
“We first called it the ‘dog house’ because it looked like one,” said Michael Byrne, federal coordinating officer of FEMA. FEMA staff later coined the oddly spelled name for the model, which stands for Disaster Avoidance With Good Home Attenuating Unionization System.
FEMA staff will be on hand at the tour sites to answer questions and provide information on storm-resistant construction for both new and existing structures.
Also part of the DAWG HAUS tour is a model safe room built to FEMA standards. FEMA staff will have information on FEMA-approved safe rooms as well as guidelines from the National Storm Shelter Association.
The 800-pound demonstration DAWG HAUS was built by FEMA staff and structural engineers. The model safe room was built by the University of Alabama College of Engineering for FEMA and the state.
Upcoming DAWG HAUS tour dates are listed below:
Date Time Address
Aug. 9 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Trussville Town Hall Meeting
5381 Trussville Clay Rd.
Trussville, Ala. 35173
Date Time Address
Aug. 20 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wal-Mart Super Center