Hurricane Research: Engineers Seek Secrets to Safer Structures

September 23, 1996

SECRETS TO SAFER STRUCTURES

MEDIA ADVISORY
September 23, 1996
PA/M 96-39


HURRICANE RESEARCH:
ENGINEERS SEEK SECRETS TO SAFER STRUCTURES

"Blow winds, and crack your cheeks!" _ King Lear

Hurricanes and other wind storms injure and kill, and cause billions of dollars in property damage every year across the U.S. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Hurricane Andrew in 1992 cost $30 billion and claimed 18 lives; Hurricane Hugo in 1989, $8 billion and 82 lives. Under the right - or wrong - situation, homes, offices, schools and other buildings can be literally blown away by forces of nature. Engineers and scientists seek more knowledge of construction designs and materials, the interaction of wind and structures, and the structure of wind itself.

The National Science Foundation's civil engineering program provides federal funds to study the effects of severe wind (and quakes and floods) on buildings, bridges, power lines, communication systems and other critical components of our nation's civil infrastructure, with the goal of developing structures and systems that survive better when disaster strikes. At NSF, contact: Some examples of wind-resisting civil engineering research funded by NSF: _ These researchers are collaborating with an NSF grant supporting the U.S. Cooperative Wind Engineering Program. Studies focus on wind load, wind engineering meterology (especially thunderstorm winds) and wind flow around low-rise buildings. Dr. Cochrane and his staff have developed computer programs to calculate direct/indirect costs to a community when a natural hazard disaster occurs. -NSF-

National Science Foundation
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