Tornado Alarm Design, Beta Test, and Incidental Manufacture

Missouri State University, 2000 - $10,750

Tornadoes cause about sixty deaths per year. While many of these are preventable through the current National Weather Service Watch and Warning system, opportunities to save lives still exist. This E-Team developed and alpha tested an in-home barometric Tornado Alarm (TA) to warn people in hurricane danger areas. The test consisted of placing approximately 300 beta TAs with documenting volunteers in tornado-prone regions before the start of the 2001 tornado season. These volunteers documented the occurrence of thunderstorms and tornadoes near the TA and its operation. The results were analyzed to determine warning times, false alarm rates, and other operational and marketing parameters. Tornado alarm benefits:

  • one does not have to monitor radio or TV to be warned
  • sleeping or otherwise occupied persons are warned
  • persons in rural areas are better protected