Posted by: glassblockblogger | May 24, 2013

Consider Tornado Resistant Glass Block Windows for Above Ground Storm Shelters

The recent outbreak in tornadoes seems to be an indication that our weather has become more extreme than any other time in memory. In fact, the last five years are the five years in U.S. history with the highest insured losses from thunderstorms and their effects, said Robert Hartwig in a Washington Post article, president of the Insurance Information Institute, a trade association for the insurance industry.Eastern Glass Block, New York, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia

Having seen the recent devastation from tornadoes to property and people’s lives, many are considering installing storm shelters. When we may think of a storm shelter, we think of the type that Dorothy’s family entered in the beginning of the movie The Wizard Of OZ (thanks Mike S!). However, there are several types of storm shelters. Common examples are shelters built above ground or a safe room inside the home or garage.

Windows would be an appropriate and functional element in an above ground shelter. However, you cannot install just any type of window. You will want to make sure any windows you put into a storm shelter or safe room are tornado-resistant. Tornado-resistant Windows provide the needed protection from the elements while letting people see what is happening outside of the shelter. It also allows for daylighting, which is a benefit both when using the space as a shelter and also as a multipurpose area during other non-critical times.LightWise Tornado Resistant Window

LightWise Hurricane and Tornado Resistant glass block windows from Eastern Glass Block are attractive and easy to install. You get privacy and light aesthetics that you can only get with Glass Block.

Tornado-Resistant Windows are the perfect choice for Safe Rooms, Community Shelters, Schools, Corporate Campuses and Government Facilities.

Pittsburgh Corning’s new LightWise Architectural Tornado and Hurricane Resistant window from Eastern Glass Block has successfully passed the highest standards of performance for FEMA 361 “Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms”, meet the large missile impact tests referenced in the International Building Code, and Dade County Approval Protocols. The window provides effective protection against air pressure and flying debris caused by tornado-force winds.

If the Shelter is above ground, then the shelter should be attractive and provide practical application on the property.

  • Meets requirements for FEMA 361″Design and Construction Guidelines for Community Safe Rooms” and FEMA 320 “Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business”
  • Effective protection against air pressure and flying debris caused by tornado-force winds
  • Factory assembled window provides strength and durability of steel and laminated VISTABRIK® glass block
  • Enhanced security with vision and light transmission
  • Easy to install which means reduced on-site labor costs
  • Protection from damaging UV rays
  • Available in various sizes

Design Consultation

Whether planning residential or commercial construction of Storm Shelters, contact us at Eastern Glass Block. We have over 20 years of experience in commercial and residential design. (800-635-1226)

Tornado Resistant Window Impact Test Video


  1. The movie was “The Wizard of Oz,” NOT “The Yellow Brick Road.” 😦

    • Ha, you are correct Mike. Now the article is all fixed.

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