Prepare for Tornadoes with Tornado Resistant Glass Block Windows

While parts of the country still have snow on the ground, other parts are gearing up for tornado season. And the 2021 tornado season is gearing up to be a bad one. This is in part because of a weather pattern called La Niña. AccuWeather’s 2021 severe weather and tornado forecast says that La Niña could cause sudden severe weather and tornado activity that could rival 2011, when there were 1,703 tornadoes. 


Building collapses and flying glass and debris are responsible for most deaths or injuries in a tornado. Did you know that by adding tornado resistant windows to your business or home that you can help protect your customers and family as well as your property? 


These preassembled glass block windows, also known as tornado windows, are especially engineered to withstand tornado-force winds, and can withstand the impact of flying debris. By building safe rooms, community shelters, or installing these impact windows in your basement, you’re providing a high level of protection, while still letting in natural light. 


They are an excellent solution for schools in Tornado Alley as well as government buildings and businesses. Standard plate glass windows will shatter easily when violent tornadoes occur. You can install them as a replacement for existing or damaged plate glass windows, or utilize them as a protective measure in new construction.

Tornado Resistant Glass Block Window Specifications 


Our tornado-resistant glass block windows are part of the Seves LightWise® Architectural line.  They are factory assembled, steel framed glass block windows, and are available in custom sizes to suit your project. 


They utilize laminated VistaBrik® solid glass blocks, and are manufactured to meet the following standards:


• ASTM E283  

- Standard Test Method for Determining Rate of Air Leakage

• FEMA 361

- Air Pressure and Tornado Missile Impact Test

- Two hits: 15lbs., 2x4 @100 mph

• FWMA 320

- Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business

• ICC/NSSA 500—2008

• ASTM E330-02

- Standard Test Method for Structural Performance

• Passed air pressure tests (+309/-413) psf., which equates to a wind speed of over 400 mph (with a 1.5 safety factor).


All of that testing means these wind and impact-resistant windows provide:


  • Strength and durability of steel
  • Beauty and strength of laminated VistaBrik®
  • Enhanced security with vision and light transmission
  • Resistance to Tornado-force winds and flying debris
  • Peace of mind


If your state or municipality has a building code that relates to tornadoes or hurricanes, these windows will meet or exceed the code requirements.

Tornado Season Facts and Figures

It’s not just the so-called Tornado Alley that needs to be concerned about tornadoes and the damage they can cause. Regions from the Midwest to the Deep South to the Mid-Atlantic, and even the Northeast are susceptible.


According to, the top 5 twister touchdown states for the month of March are: 


  • Texas (582)
  • Florida (269)
  • Alabama (257)
  • Oklahoma (255)
  • Mississippi (244)


But the further into spring we get, the more tornadoes we see in other areas.

Storm Shelters and Safe Rooms

For homes and buildings without a basement, it’s a good idea to have a safe room above ground. Tornado resistant glass block windows are an ideal material for an exterior wall of a safe room.


For a community storm shelter, school, government facility, or business where people need to shelter in place during a tornado, these tornado windows protect people from flying debris, while allowing daylight in. You’ll know right away when the storm has passed. 


Our preassembled and laminated glass block tornado windows can be used within the FEMA guidelines for community and residential safe rooms. You may even be able to receive FEMA grant funding for such a project. 


As of January 2015, nearly 25,000 residential and 2,000 community safe rooms have been designed and built with the help of FEMA grant programs. FEMA has provided nearly $984 million in Federal funds for individuals and organizations in 25 States and Territories

Order Tornado Resistant Glass Block Windows for Your Project

Quality Glass Block and Window has a technical support team that can help you with your project. We’ll provide you with all of the preassembled tornado resistant glass block windows you need. Just let us know your project specifications, and we can help you determine exactly what you need. Once we have your order, please allow extra time for manufacturing and delivery.


We provide detailed installation instructions and we’re just a phone call away if you need assistance. Installation of these windows is not really a do-it-yourself project; we highly recommend professional glass block window installation.