Home Innovation Advances in Tornado Technology Hampered by Lack of Public Funding

Advances in Tornado Technology Hampered by Lack of Public Funding


By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

Tornadoes are a scary reality that can be tremendously devastating to communities. Emergency managers do their best to plan for these types of emergencies and to muster all the resources communities would need to minimize the massive damage caused by tornadoes.

Scientists have devised equipment and theories that could potentially stop a tornado in its tracks. But with so many different occupations and interest groups involved in tornado research, it is difficult to get adequate funding for specific projects. Consequently,  researchers have left some great ideas on the drawing table.

Scientists Still Developing New Theories on Tornado Formation

Several agencies in the United States focus on understanding tornadoes. The National Storm System Laboratory studies tornadoes in a comprehensive fashion. This agency reviews the dynamics of a storm, storm prevention and a variety of other important factors for understanding tornadoes and how to better protect citizens from them.

Some of the most interesting aspects of tornado science are the prevention methods that detail how to break up a tornado in its wake. According to the National Storm System Laboratory, temperature is not necessarily a factor in the formation of a tornado, based on the recent research from NSSL’s research project VORTEX2. This research allows scientists to think about tornado formation differently.

New Technology Could Minimize the Effects of Tornadoes

Scientists have come up with numerous technologies that could drastically minimize the effects of tornadoes. For example, one idea is to create balloon systems to assist in tornado forecasting.

There have been further advances in Doppler technology, too. These advances have been tremendous, and have certainly been needed to help prevent the loss of life and death.

Disaster Management Funding Often Disappears from Municipal Budgets

Among the biggest hurdles to emergency management and disaster science are its associated costs and budgets. Emergency management funding is often one of the first things to get cut from a municipal or state government budget. That makes it difficult for emergency managers to get new technologies funded, even though the technology is desperately needed to protect communities.

Adequate funding is one of the most difficult conundrums emergency management faces in today’s economic climate. New technologies could save lives, but they are just not affordable for myriad reasons.

Many emergency managers put in for grants to help cover costs or ask their local governments for special funding to purchase such technologies. The procedures for emergency managers to handle this task are well defined. The difficulty lies in finding the right balance of requests at an affordable price.

Unfortunately, purchasing equipment to manage the effects of dangerous tornadoes and storm systems is a very complicated budgetary decision, despite the lives and property it saves.

Allison G. S. Knox Passionate about the issues affecting ambulances and disaster management, Allison focuses on Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services policy. Allison has taught at the undergraduate level since 2010. Prior to teaching, she worked in a level-one trauma center emergency department and for a member of Congress in Washington, D.C. She holds four master’s degrees in Emergency Management, National Security Studies, International Relations, and History; a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Allison is an Emergency Medical Technician, Lifeguard, and Lifeguard Instructor, and is trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society as Chancellor of the Southeast Region, Vice Chair of the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and serves as the Advocacy Coordinator of Virginia with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She is also a member of several committees including the Editorial Committee with APCO, the Rescue Task Force Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and the Advocacy Committee with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She also serves as Chair of the Leadership Development Program for the 2020 Pi Gamma Mu Triennial Convention. Allison has published several book reviews and continues to write about issues affecting ambulances, emergency management, and homeland security.