SURVIVE THE STORM: Building a stronger, storm-proof home

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR) -- This is your typical house being built in Greene County, but whether it can protect you in a storm all depends on how it's built, and where you live.

"I knew that I was moving into the tornado belt," said Peter Goslett.

He just moved in here, to a house in Greene County that he says is basically 'tornado proof'.

"Just thought that it was the most logical way to build a house in this area," said Goslett.

His house is built with concrete walls. And the builder who put it there says, it's strong enough to stand through winds from the most destructive tornado on the scale, an EF-5.

"t should withstand at least 200 to 250 mile an hour winds," said contractor Gabriel Wood. "It basically makes it like a bubble, you're turning your house into a protective bubble."

But he says putting all of this in is not easy or cheap.

"Six inches of concrete, and another 2 inches of Styrofoam, and then drywall," said Wood. "You have to build a form and then pour concrete inside a form and trial it off and level it, so it's a little harder to do and of course some cost differences with that."

But it's that cost difference.

"This one should be 5 to 10 percent more," said Wood.

That he says is the reason you still see most houses like this, built with wood. Building inspectors are checking to make sure wood framed houses can withstand a tornado too.

"The wall's not tied to anything, so they have to put these steel straps in," said building inspector Mitchell Harris.

But he says your average house, can only withstand 90 mile an hour winds, winds from one of the weakest tornadoes on the scale, an EF-1.

"If you do have a 90-mile-an-hour storm come through that might otherwise rip your roof off, it would withstand it if it's built up to current standards," said Harris.

Building officials say the current standards in the building code only require houses to withstand 90-mile-per-hour winds because of where we live.

"You go into the mountains, you've got a snow load that's more than what we have here, it's all designed according to the area that you're in," said David O'Dell of Greene County. "You take Joplin for instance, nothing stood up down there, and it'd be hard to build anything unless you're underground or total concrete."

But Peter Goslett is confident his house, total concrete, will be the one left standing even through the strongest tornado.

"I wanted to make sure that no tornado would destroy my house," said Goslett.

A new building code for 2018 is expected to come out later this year, but building officials say they don't expect that to change the 90 mile an hour standard that houses are built to take.