Skip to main content

Rebuilding After a Natural Disaster

The Eastern Iowa tornado of March 2023 demolished a century farm in Tipton, Iowa, Clover Hill Farms. In October 2023, the rebuilding and restoration of this farm began. With limited insurance, time, and extra helping hands, the family must weigh the importance of different aspects of the house and other parts of the land as they must recall the monetary value of various items that were lost. As seasons change, decreasing temperatures limit the time left to finish rebuilding the house as well. After being demolished, the generational family farm is an example of how relatives can come together to build their family farm from scratch, resurrect old memories and build new ones.

Tipton, Iowa March 31, 2023 and October 2023

Driving Question

  • How do changing seasons, limited finances, and memory affect the rebuilding process of the house?

Probing Questions

  • What should the timeframe look like when rebuilding the house?
  • What organization strategies could the homeowner use to help them recall the items that were lost during the natural disaster?
  • What things does the homeowner need to consider when building their new house?

Classroom Activities

Students could:

  • Create their own computerized model of a home.
  • Visit with people that contribute to building a home, including contractors, architects, and excavators.
  • Take a field trip to observe a house being built.
  • Create a portfolio of the estimated monetary value of the items that could have been lost in order to determine how much money the family should receive from their insurance company to help rebuild and refurbish their home.


  • Generation Genius | Extreme Weather Solutions: Natural disasters occur everyday. However, there are ways to protect ourselves when these situations take place.
  • United Way | What to Do After a Disaster: Rebuilding a house after a natural disaster requires a lot of planning and teamwork. There are many things that homeowners should know before beginning to rebuild their home, including finding builders, having enough money, and the permission to rebuild.

Iowa Core Alignment


Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

Credit Info

Submitted by Audrey Guyer. Photo credit: Caleb Norton

REAPCorporation for Public BroadcastingAlliant EnergyMusco Lighting Pella