Tornado-Induced Structural Damage based on Reconnaissance Surveys of the 2019 Jefferson City, Missouri, Tornado and Previous Tornadoes Notable Tornadoes


Tornadoes are violent, short-lived wind phenomena that may result in catastrophic damage to homes and property and significant fatalities. Based on statistical data, a majority of tornado-induced fatalities are related to building failures. As such, it is important to investigate damage and failure modes of buildings under tornado loadings to properly design tornado-resistant buildings. In this study, a literature review was conducted on recent tornado postevent damage surveys to identify representative failure modes of buildings under tornadoes. In addition, based on the direct observations and through analyzing the reconnaissance survey data collected from the Jefferson City, Missouri, tornado of May 22, 2019, different overarching damage types are presented with inferences behind the cause for each damage type and possible retrofits to improve building performance under tornadoes. The obtained research findings will enrich the knowledge base for tornado-resistant design, which will eventually improve the safety and welfare of individuals living in tornado-prone areas.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


The authors greatly appreciate the financial support from the National Science Foundation through the projects of “Collaborative Research: CoPe EAGER: Coastal Community Resilience Bonds to Enable Coupled Socio-Physical Recovery” (Award No. 1940192); and “SCC-CIVIC-PG Track B: Community Resilience Micro-Bonds to Balance Cost and Social Equity among Stakeholders” (Award No. 2044013).

Keywords and Phrases

Damage Survey; Failure Mechanism; Failure Modes; Postevent; Tornado

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1527-6996; 1527-6988

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2022 American Society of Civil Engineers, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2022