By Joyce B. Price, Mitigation CEO Specialist/writer-Disaster 4117 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
After the state of Oklahoma began recovering from two EF-5 tornadoes that hit cities and communities in May, FEMA began efforts that would demonstrate to residents how to build stronger and safer.
The Hazard Mitigation Community Education and Outreach Group of FEMA designed three mitigation wall models that demonstrate building techniques to homeowners so they may build homes to withstand strong winds or other severe weather events. An objective of CEO is to provide guidance on building procedures that will help communities become more disaster resistant.
The models provide a visible example of mitigation construction techniques and materials. These demonstrate a continuous load path to resist uplift forces; roof to wall connections, upper wall to lower wall connectors and lower wall to foundations connections. The display was built using 2’x 6” timbers to help withstand strong winds and uses hurricane ties that connect the roof, walls and the foundation. A fact sheet and labels are placed on the models to help viewers understand how the structure is built.
“Our role is to educate the tornado victims on how to build safer and stronger homes,” said Sondra Chandler, CEO HM specialist, who is presently deployed to Oklahoma.
The models are being displayed in local home improvement stores in Oklahoma. Currently the models are on display at the FEMA joint field office in Oklahoma City for FEMA employees to view and examine.