Investigating Disasters Project Team


Chairperson: Ben Harris

Investigate and report on the performance of masonry structures following a disaster.

Send a reconnaissance team to the site of significant natural or man-made disasters to investigate the impact on masonry structures. The team will then prepare a report on the investigation.

Investigations have been conducted: following the Northridge Earthquake, in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Opal and Fran, and following a series of Tornadoes in
Tennessee . Reports were prepared following most of these investigations; the reports were marketed through TMS. The team also conducts training workshops.


Current and Upcoming Activites

Investigating Disasters Workshop future date to be determined

Image Libraries from Hurricane Katrina

wallmart.jpg (23717 bytes)

Hospital_Long_Beach.jpg (21879 bytes)

CMU-Collapse.jpeg (116049 bytes)

TMS's Investigating Disasters Team  examined damage from Hurricane Katrina recently. Direct wind pressure damage was less than expected, likely because winds from Katrina were not as severe as projected. Nevertheless, the team observed wind damage in many areas, such as to the upper portion of this brick clad hospital in Long Beach, Mississippi (above) and this Wal-mart store in Gulfport, Mississippi (left). No damage from wind was found to properly designed and constructed masonry As with other past disasters, the TMS Investigating Disasters Team unfortunately found examples of poor performance of modern masonry structures, almost all of which exhibited severe construction defects or non-code complying construction, thus emphasizing the continued need for education on proper construction techniques and for inspection to ensure a quality masonry system.


The Masonry Society
105 South Sunset Street, Ste. Q
Boulder, CO USA 80304-1135
Phone: 303-939-9700 | Fax: 303-541-9215
E-mail: with questions or comments.
Site hosted and supported by InterPRO Services