Tornado, Joplin, Missouri, 2011
The May 22, 2011, Joplin tornado, rated EF–5 on the Enhanced Fujita tornado intensity scale, caused 161 fatalities and more than 1,000 injuries, making it the deadliest single tornado on record in the U.S. since official records were begun in 1950. The damage to the built environment made this the costliest tornado on record as well, with losses approaching $3 billion. The Joplin tornado damaged 553 business structures and nearly 7,500 residential structures; over 3,000 of those residences were heavily damaged or completely destroyed.
NIST sent four engineers to Joplin from May 25-28, to conduct a preliminary reconnaissance of building performance and emergency communications during the tornado. Based on the analysis of the data collected and other criteria required by regulation, NIST Director Pat Gallagher established a research team to proceed with a more comprehensive study of the impacts of the disaster.
Based on its findings, the NIST technical study team developed 16 recommendations for improving how buildings and shelters are designed, constructed, and maintained in tornado-prone regions and for improving emergency communications.
Specifically, the NIST report calls for
During the June 2022 NCSTAC Meeting updates were provided on the status of the recommendations that were issued as a result of the NCST Joplin Tornado investigation. For more information on the recommendations that have progressed see the presentation here.
The complete report is available here: Final Report, Technical Investigation of the May 22, 2011, Tornado in Joplin, Missouri.
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