Thesis – Disaster Prevention
By: Brad Hoepfner
Natural disasters have become an increasingly prevalent part of the planet Earth and with each disaster we, the inhabitants, learn and strive to prevent the next disaster from destroying anything we may cherish. In attempts to control these disasters we start to create massive walls and other devices that cause mayhem and disrupt the way nature is supposed to function. For instance, along the Mississippi River a series of levees have been created to control the levels of the water and protect the built environment of these surrounding lands. Initially, these levees did exactly that and saved many homes from being destroyed from flood waters of this huge and powerful river. Over time we have started to have bigger and stronger floods overtaking the levees and in some cases cause the river to flow backwards and flood upstream.
This thesis will look at this type of disaster and the others that affect the region of Southern Illinois and more specifically, Jackson County, and offer an approach to the people inhabiting this region for resisting future disasters and to help the Mississippi River function as it was intended to. In order to assist the Mississippi, lowering the height of levees in less populated and more rural areas would allow the river to flood these regions as they were originally made to do. This developed into an immediate need to protect the homes, property, and assets of the people of this region. Creating a home that can accommodate almost anyone living in this region as well as being able to resist the many disasters is essential for the survival of the people living here. By implementing a unique strategy within the buildings foundation will allow the homes to move with the changing water levels and allow the homes to remain safe and in their correct locations will let the inhabitants flourish. Other design strategies for these homes will involve protecting them from high tornado winds and resisting destructive earthquakes will be integrated into the buildings foundation and structure systems.