LUBBOCK, Texas—A team of researchers from Texas Tech University’s Wind Science and Engineering Research Center visited Florida in early February to study debris and damage in the wake of tornados that killed 20 on Feb. 2. Their work could lead to changes in construction standards and guidelines that could better safeguard families during wind events.

Larry Tanner, a civil engineering research associate, is leading efforts to document structures damaged by the tornados—including mobile homes and recently built houses with in-home shelters.

Tanner’s research of approximately 400 manufactured homes damaged by a 2005 tornado that killed 22 people in Evansville, Ind., prompted new standards for mobile home installation in the region. He submitted a report of his findings to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Tanner also will conduct research into the new Enhanced Fujita Scale, devised in part by Texas Tech and implemented recently by the National Weather Service as a more accurate system for measuring tornado intensity than the former Fujita Scale.

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