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NIST to Announce Results of Study of 2011 Joplin, Mo., Tornado Disaster

Photo of damage from 2011 Joplin, Mo, tornado
Credit: Jace Anderson/FEMA

Homes were leveled with the force of 200 mph winds as a F5 tornado struck the city the night of May 22, 2011.

On May 22, 2011, a massive tornado struck Joplin, Mo., destroying some 8,000 structures in its path and killing 161 people. It was the single deadliest tornado in the United States in the 63 years that official records have been kept. On Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will hold a press briefing to announce the findings of its investigation into impacts of the tornado in Joplin. The report, which will be made available for public comment, includes findings on building design and construction, public shelters and emergency communications, as well as recommendations for saving lives and property in future storms.

The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. Central Standard Time. Visit for information on how to view the live webcast.

The Joplin tornado investigation builds on a partnership between the agency's Disaster and Failure Studies Program and the interagency National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program. For more information on the Joplin investigation, and NIST's 40-plus years of experience studying structural failures and fires, visit the program website.

Released November 19, 2013, Updated February 27, 2020