Design and adoption of household tornado shelters for Bangladesh

Yuichi Ono, Thomas W. Schmidlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Death tolls from tornadoes in Bangladesh are the highest in the world due to lack of storm warnings, poor communication, weak housing, and lack of shelters from strong winds in tornadoes and nor'westers. Based on surveys of housing types and designs in the Tangail district, a household tornado shelter is proposed to be placed in the elevated storage platform that is common in houses. The shelter is 2 m tall, 1.2 m wide, and 2-4 m long (4.8-9.6 m3 in volume) with the floor of the shelter placed one meter below the floor of the house. Walls are 7-10 cm thick and made of concrete or an earthen wall stabilized with cement or strengthened with bamboo or bricks. A survey of 200 residents of the region found nearly universal acceptance for the shelter design, and residents were eager for installation of the household shelters. The shelter cost is 2,500-10,000 taka (US$50 to $200) depending on local material and labor costs but residents were willing to pay an average of only 1,071 taka (US$21) toward the cost of the shelter. Families with greater income and land holdings and families in villages with recent tornado experience were willing to spend more for a shelter. A pilot project to install household tornado shelters in selected villages and monitor their use, along with continued efforts to issue storm warnings, communicate the warnings, and improve education about storm hazards, will prevent injuries and save lives in Bangladesh and reduce the descent into poverty that results from losses in severe local storms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-330
Number of pages10
JournalNatural Hazards
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bangladesh
  • Hazards
  • Shelter
  • Storm
  • Tornado
  • Wind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Design and adoption of household tornado shelters for Bangladesh'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this