Factbox: Tips to make buildings safe in disasters

Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:19am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Countless lives can be saved and a lot of destruction averted if buildings in disaster-prone areas are built to withstand the impact of strong winds, floods or earthquakes.

Sometimes it is possible to add disaster-resistant features to existing buildings. In many other cases, retrofitting is too difficult or expensive and therefore such features should be included from the start of construction.

Overall, experts recommend building houses that are more durable and require minimal repairs if damaged in a disaster.

Here are examples of simple and more advanced techniques to make buildings safer in natural calamities:


* Shutters on windows will prevent wind from blowing through the building and lifting it off the ground.

* Tying the roof to the walls will stop it from being blown off.

* Building a roof with a gentle slope will reduce the impact of the wind on it and help drain the water off the roof to prevent leaks into the interior.

FLOODS   Continued...