Select Page
How To Survive A Fire Tornado: Expert Safety Tips

How To Survive A Fire Tornado: Expert Safety Tips

Let’s be honest. We all have those moments when we doubt our ability to handle unpredictable events. 

For example, have you ever been caught in a situation where you wondered, “What would I do if a fire tornado came barreling toward me?” Well, it’s normal to feel a bit unprepared for such a high-stakes scenario, and that’s okay — that’s why we’re here to help.

But here’s some good news: with the right knowledge and actions, even a fire tornado can be survivable.

In this article, we’ve provided you a guide on how to survive a fire tornado to help ease that nagging guilt of not being ready for what life might throw at us.

Ready to conquer this fear and gain some lifesaving insights? Good! Let’s dive right in and make sure you’re equipped to face the whirlwind when, or if, it comes.

In This Guide

Photo of an example of a fire tornado.

Understanding Fire Tornadoes

Before diving into survival strategies and preparation measures for a fire tornado, let’s first gain a clear understanding of what these phenomena actually are.

Formation And Characteristics Of Fire Tornadoes

Fire tornadoes, also known as fire devils, fire swirls, or fire twisters, are a rare event and fascinating natural phenomenon. They occur when intense heat from wildfires causes the air to rise and start rotating.

As the air gains momentum, it can form a whirling column of fire, smoke, and debris. Imagine a blender full of flaming twigs and leaves spinning at high speed — that’s somewhat how a fire tornado looks and behaves.

These whirls can then contract a fire into a tornado-like vortex that sucks in debris and combustible gasses.

They can be up to 500 meters tall, move at speeds of up to 22 mph, and have a temperature exceeding 2000 °F.

These massive fire tornadoes can be incredibly dangerous due to their sheer size and intensity. Some even possess the same destructive power as mega tornadoes.

So how can you recognize one when it’s happening around you? Imagine a typical tornado funnel, but instead of wind and rain, it’s filled with flames, smoke, and glowing embers.

Fire tornadoes can also produce their own wind, further spreading wildfires and making them even more difficult to control.

H/T to @KnowableMagazine for this video.

Difference Between Fire Tornadoes And Severe Thunderstorms

While both fire tornadoes and severe thunderstorms can cause widespread damage, there are some key differences between the two.

For one, fire tornadoes are usually born from wildfires, while severe thunderstorms are caused by unstable atmospheric conditions.

A fire tornado’s destructive force comes from intense heat, flames, and smoke, whereas severe thunderstorms create damage through strong wind speeds, heavy rain, hail, and lightning.

In other words, a fire tornado is like a regular tornado with the added danger of fire combined into one terrifying event.

Photo of a severe thunderstorm.

How To Survive A Fire Tornado

Fire tornadoes are a rare but terrifying natural phenomenon.

Combining the destructive force of a tornado with the intense heat of a wildfire. These spiraling infernos present a significant risk to anyone in their path.

However, by understanding what they are and how to react, you can increase your chances of survival.

Here’s a guide on surviving a fire tornado:

1. Stay Informed And Be Prepared During A Fire Tornado

Keep yourself updated with the latest weather conditions, especially if you are living in or traveling to fire-prone areas.

Sign up for emergency alerts on your phone, listen to the radio for updates, and follow reliable sources on social media.

Photo of first aid kit.

Also, have an emergency survival kit prepared with essentials such as food, water, medical supplies, and a battery-powered radio.

2. Early Evacuation During A Fire Tornado

The best way to survive a fire tornado is not to be near one at all. If you receive an evacuation order or believe a fire tornado may be developing, leave the area immediately.

Choose a route that moves away from the fire and head towards a built-up area, if possible.

3. Find Shelter During A Fire Tornado

If you’re caught in the open and unable to evacuate, find a shelter that can protect you from the heat and smoke.

When seeking shelter in a building, head towards the underground shelter or the lowest floor. Make sure to cover yourself with soil or a wet blanket to shield against the heat.

But you should be cautious; avoid long-span buildings, such as shopping malls, theaters, and gymnasiums, as their roofs might be supported only by the walls.

Look for a small, windowless room like a closet or a bathroom, which will provide the most protection from the fire tornado.

In case a window breaks due to the extreme heat or wind, it’s wise to cover yourself with anything you can find, like a mattress, sleeping bag, or blankets to shield yourself from flying debris.

While evacuating and taking shelter, it’s essential to tune in to your local disaster services or weather broadcasts for updates.

Keep your mobile device charged, and if possible, pack a portable charger so that you can stay informed and communicate if necessary.

4. Fire Tornado: Stay Low and Cover Up

 Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth to avoid inhaling smoke, and try to stay as low as possible while moving to a safer place.

5. Don’t Drive Through Smoke Or Flames During A Fire Tornado

If you’re in a vehicle, do not attempt to drive through smoke or flames. This can lead to engine failure or a loss of visibility.

Instead, park your vehicle in a clear area, stay inside, and keep the engine running so the air conditioning can work.

6. After A Fire Tornado

Once the fire tornado has passed, check yourself and those around you for any injuries.

Contact emergency services and avoid touching any hot or burning objects.

Recognizing Fire Tornado Risks

Warning Signs Of A Fire Tornado

To successfully survive a fire tornado, it’s crucial to identify tornado warning signs as early as possible. You should pay attention to the weather conditions, particularly when there’s an increased risk of wildfire.

Keep an eye out for a rotating funnel-shaped cloud or an approaching cloud of debris — these are telltale indicators of a tornado.

When it comes to fire tornadoes, a loud roar could signal impending danger. This sound is often compared to a freight train, so if you hear something similar, take it as a sign to act quickly.

Be sure to tune into the National Weather Service or your local NOAA Weather Radio station for tornado watches and warnings in your area.

Areas Prone to Fire Tornadoes

With severe weather conditions becoming more frequent in the United States, it’s important to be aware of the regions more susceptible to fire tornadoes.

The Midwest and the Southeast are known for having a higher risk for tornadoes, and areas with abundant dry vegetation, underbrush, or shrublands are particularly vulnerable to wildfires.

In this case, combining these two factors can create the perfect storm: fire tornadoes.

Remember, recognizing the warning signs and areas prone to fire tornadoes is key to staying safe during these intense natural events.

Always stay informed and be vigilant, so you’ll be better equipped to navigate and survive a fire tornado should one come your way.

Preparing For A Fire Tornado

Creating A Home Safety Plan For A Fire Tornado

To prepare for a fire tornado, you should begin by creating a home safety plan that includes all your family members.

Discuss the safest place in your home for everyone to gather during a fire tornado. This spot should ideally be on the lowest floor, in an interior room with no windows. 

Also, make sure everyone knows how to get there quickly in case of an emergency.

It’s essential to educate family members about the risks of gas lines and power lines during a fire tornado.

Make sure everyone knows how to shut off gas lines and stay away from any downed power lines in the area.

It would help if you also had a designated meeting point outside your home in case an evacuation becomes necessary.

Photo of a dad going over safety plans on how to survive a fire tornado.

Gathering Essential Supplies For A Fire Tornado

When facing the possibility of a fire tornado, it’s important to have essential supplies handy. As a part of your preparations, gather items such as the following:

  • A battery-powered weather radio to stay informed of any watches or warnings

  • A fire extinguisher for any small fires that might break out

  • Enough non-perishable food and water for at least three days

  • Flashlights or headlamps with extra batteries

  • Sturdy shoes and protective clothing

Protecting Your Family During A Fire Tornado

Finding The Safest Location In Your Home During A Fire Tornado

When a fire tornado threatens your safety, it’s crucial to find the best spot in your home to take shelter.

Your priority is to choose a room with no windows on the lowest level of your house. Basements are ideal because they provide the most protection from the heat and flying debris.

However, if a basement isn’t available, opt for a small, windowless room like a closet or bathroom.

Keep doors closed to maintain a barrier between you and the fire tornado, and stay low to the ground to reduce smoke inhalation.

Photo of a basement.

Communicating And Staying Informed During A Fire Tornado

Staying informed and maintaining reliable communication channels are vital during a fire tornado. Ensure you have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio to receive emergency broadcasts and weather updates.

Your mobile phone also serves as a vital link to the outside world, so keep it charged and close at hand. Create a family communication plan that includes important phone numbers and emergency contacts.

Discuss this plan with your family members and establish a meeting point in case you get separated.

It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with your community’s emergency plans and evacuation routes, so you know where to go in case you need to leave your home.

Fire Tornado Safety In Specific Locations

Navigating a fire tornado can be daunting, but knowing how to stay safe in specific locations can make all the difference.

In this section, we will discuss safety precautions for mobile homes and trailer parks, as well as collaborating with local fire departments.

Fire Tornadoes: Mobile Homes And Trailer Parks

Mobile homes and trailer parks are particularly vulnerable to fire tornadoes. If you live in one of these structures, it’s essential to have a plan in place.

First, familiarize yourself with your park’s evacuation routes and community shelters.

In the event of a fire tornado, you’ll want to leave your mobile home immediately, as it can’t provide adequate protection against such strong forces.

Ensure your emergency kit is always up to date, containing essentials like water, non-perishable food, and a first-aid kit.

Keep important documents like identification and insurance information in a waterproof and fireproof container, ready to grab in case of an evacuation.

Photo of a mobile home.

Collaborating With Local Fire Departments About Fire Tornadoes

Local fire departments play a critical role in fire tornado preparedness and response. So it’s a good idea to establish a relationship with them and gather information on what to expect in case of a fire tornado in your area.

Be proactive and attend community meetings or workshops hosted by the fire department to ensure you’re well-informed on fire safety practices.

They may offer valuable insights on safety measures for your specific location, potential hazards in your area, and tips on building a fire-resistant home.

Also, consider volunteering with your fire department’s auxiliary group or community organizations that work closely with first responders during emergencies.

This collaboration not only helps strengthen your community’s preparedness but allows you to gain invaluable knowledge and skills in the process.

Tailor your fire tornado safety plan according to your specific location, whether it’s a mobile home, trailer park, or permanent residence.

Dealing With Fire Tornadoes

Post-Fire Tornado Precautions

When you’re caught in a potentially dangerous situation with new or large fires, it’s important to take precautions. These fires can quickly escalate into fire tornadoes, so it’s crucial to be prepared.

Keep an eye out for any signs of a fire tornado forming, such as swirling smoke and intense heat.

Remember to stay alert and avoid getting cornered by flames. It’s always best to have multiple escape routes in case one gets blocked.

The first thing you should do is try to evacuate the area as quickly as possible. You can follow these simple steps to increase your chances of survival:

  • Keep a safe distance from the fire’s path
  • Stay low and cover your nose and mouth to avoid inhaling smoke
  • Stick to cleared areas without dense vegetation to reduce your exposure to embers and flames

Cooperating With Emergency Services During A Fire Tornado

During a fire tornado event, it’s essential to cooperate with emergency services. They have the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively deal with new and large fires.

Here’s how you can assist them in their efforts:

  • Follow their instructions: Emergency service personnel are trained to handle such situations. Trust their guidance and adhere to their instructions for a better chance of survival.

  • Stay informed: Keep yourself updated on the progress of the fire through trusted sources, such as local news outlets or social media platforms. This will help you plan your next move accordingly.

  • Offer assistance if appropriate: If you come across people who need help, offer aid without putting yourself in danger. Remember, the primary goal is to ensure everyone’s safety, including your own.
Photo of fire rescue putting out a fire.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Survive A Fire Tornado

How long can a fire tornado last?

Fire tornadoes can vary in duration, depending on the conditions fueling them. In general, they can last anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour.

The duration is influenced by factors such as the intensity of the fire, wind conditions, and the availability of fuel.

How can I create a fire tornado preparedness plan?

Developing a preparedness plan for a fire tornado involves the following steps:

  1. Identify potential risks in your area.

  2. Establish an emergency communication plan with family members.

  3. Prepare an emergency kit with essential supplies.

  4. Determine possible evacuation routes and safe locations.

  5. Regularly review and update the plan as needed.

Can I safely shelter in place during a fire tornado?

Sheltering in place is generally not recommended during a fire tornado, as they can cause significant destruction and may change direction without warning.

It’s best to evacuate as soon as possible and seek refuge in a safer location.

When should I evacuate due to a fire tornado?

It’s crucial to evacuate immediately if authorities issue an evacuation order or if you feel personally threatened by a fire tornado. Don’t delay; get moving as soon as possible to protect yourself and your family.

What supplies should I have on hand for a fire tornado?

In case of a fire tornado, it’s essential to have supplies such as water, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight with extra batteries.

Also, consider having a battery-operated or hand-crank radio to stay informed of the latest weather updates and emergency information.

Why are fire tornadoes rare?

Fire tornadoes are relatively rare because they require specific conditions to form, such as an intense fire, dry fuels, and strong winds.

While these conditions can occur separately, it’s not often they all come together simultaneously to create the phenomenon of a fire tornado.

However, with climate change and an increase in wildfire incidents, it’s essential to stay prepared and informed about this dangerous natural event.

Image of firefighters at work.

How To Survive A Fire Tornado: Key Takeaways

In the end, surviving a fire tornado is all about preparation and quick thinking. You’ve got to be aware of your surroundings, stay informed, and keep your cool, even when facing a fearsome phenomenon like this.

Your best strategy is to stay one step ahead. Keep an eye on your local weather and fire reports, especially if you reside in regions known for wildfires.

It’s essential to have a concrete evacuation plan and be well-acquainted with all possible exit routes. When there’s a threat of a fire tornado, the time to act is immediately.

Remember, the quicker you respond, the safer you’ll be.

Keep in mind the following:

  • Gaining an understanding of fire tornadoes can ease uncertainty and improve preparedness

  • Having a well-planned strategy is crucial for surviving a fire tornado and protecting your family

  • Recognizing fire tornado risks and being proactive can make a significant difference in safety

In the face of danger, you might discover a strength you didn’t know you had. And despite the challenge, there’s a great deal to learn — about fire tornadoes, about yourself, and about the power of resilience.

So, gear up, stay alert, and know that you’ve got what it takes to weather the storm, or in this case, the fire tornado.

15 Best Above Ground Tornado Shelters For Storms

15 Best Above Ground Tornado Shelters For Storms

The best above ground tornado shelters offer a haven against nature’s fury, ensuring family safety during severe storms. Grounded in innovation, these shelters offer protection, combining robustness with accessibility.

Living in tornado-prone areas presents an ever-present threat to residents. Having such a shelter ensures that when disaster strikes, there’s a secure space to retreat to, minimizing the risk of injury or loss of life.

The old basement may have seemed like a safe haven, but it’s not built to withstand the incredible power of a tornado. The cluttered space might even put your loved ones at greater risk.

Fear not! We’ve done the research and found the 15 best above ground tornado shelters to give you peace of mind.

With these options, you can ensure your family’s safety without breaking the bank. Let’s dive in and arm you with the knowledge you need to face the wrath of Mother Nature head-on!

An option of one of the best above ground tornado shelters in action with a storm brewing in the background.

In This Guide

Tornado heading towards a neighborhood.

The 15 Best Above Ground Tornado Storm Shelters

In seeking protection from tornadoes, prioritize top-tier shelters. Selecting from the high-quality shelters ensures peace of mind during nature’s fury.

Here are the 15 best ones we found:

1. Valley Storm Shelters


  • Can withstand 300 MPH ground speed wind
  • Made of sturdy ¼” steel plates
  • Drill-proof deadbolt and a bullet-resistant peephole

Valley Storm Shelters has a selection of seven types of residential storm shelters to pick from. These shelters are made with sturdy ¼” steel plates and anchored to a concrete foundation with heavy-duty 24″carbon steel anchors and industrial-strength adhesive.

You can even have them installed as a stand-alone structure or as an addition to your garage or basement. They’re all built to keep you safe from the strongest tornadoes since they can handle wind speeds of up to 300 mph!

Now, what’s really cool about these safe rooms is that they come with secure electrical access, reinforced steel corners, and a door that looks like it belongs in a vault. It has a drill-proof deadbolt and a bullet-resistant peephole for extra safety.

All of Valley Storm Shelters’ products meet the standards set by FEMA, ICC, and NSSA. That means you’ll be in good hands during any storm.

The smallest one they offer is 4’x4′ and can comfortably fit three people. On the other hand, the largest one is designed for the whole community and can shelter up to 36 folks.

2. FamilySAFE Shelters


  • EF5 certified and SAFE-T-DOOR technology
  • Nine different shelter sizes
  • Two types: solid, welded one-piece unit and a bolt-together option

FamilySAFE is a brand tested and proven to be super reliable in 14 of the worst tornadoes — making them the most experienced steel shelter company in the US.

The brand has nine different sizes to fit our needs, starting at a cozy 3.5’x5′ and going up to a spacious 8’x12′.

Their standard model uses 3/16″-thick steel, but they also offer a thicker ¼” steel option if you want to customize it. The whole thing is welded together like a NASCAR roll cage, so it’s super strong. It can handle a whopping 100,000 lbs. falling right on top of it.

You’ve got two types: a solid, welded one-piece unit for outside installation and a bolt-together option that can be set up anywhere in your home. They are EF5 certified and have this neat SAFE-T-DOOR technology that ensures we won’t ever get trapped inside.

FamilySAFE is the only tornado shelter company with a written endorsement from HILTI, the anchorage company. Their installers are top-notch and trained directly by HILTI.

The door design on these shelters features a patent-pending, no-pinch design that makes it almost impossible to get trapped inside.

3. Atlas Safe Rooms


  • Modular designed shelters
  • Available in six different sizes
  • Secure 3-bolt reinforced locking mechanism

Atlas Safe Rooms is a member of the American Tornado Shelter Association (ATSA). They ensure that storm shelter companies create and install top-notch tornado-safe shelters, so you’re in good hands with this company.

Tested by Texas Tech University Wind Engineering, these storm shelters can withstand the power of an EF-5 tornado. Atlas Safe Rooms offers six different sizes, with the smallest being the two-person Apollo at 4’5″ x 2’5″.

As the sizes increase, they can accommodate groups of four, and the largest models can provide protection for 10 to 14 individuals.

Their modular above ground storm shelters and safe rooms are made with 3/16″ thick steel and can be anchored to any existing concrete slab, whether in your garage, basement or even outdoors.

Each safe room features removable panels that provide an emergency exit if the door becomes damaged or blocked.

Screened airflow vents ensure proper ventilation without exposing you to flying debris, and a three-bolt locking mechanism adds an extra layer of security from outside threats.

4. Safe Sheds, Inc.


  • Making above-ground concrete storm shelters since 2002
  • Can withstand winds of over 250 MPH
  • 6" ceilings and 4" steel-reinforced walls

Safe Sheds is a company that’s been specializing in above ground concrete storm shelters since 2002, and they’re really good at what they do.

Their concrete storm shelters are built to withstand winds of over 250 mph and any high-speed debris that comes along with it.

With 6″ ceilings and 4″ steel-reinforced walls, these shelters are designed to protect you from the harshest weather without breaking the bank.

Safe Sheds sells storm shelters directly from the manufacturer. This means you don’t have to worry about any dealer markup, and they even look for ways to save you money.

Sometimes, they’ll even give you extra delivery discounts after your price is set!

You can easily set up a Safe Shed on any level ground with screw anchors that go 4” deep, or you can secure it onto an existing concrete pad.

Plus, they even offer a variety of paint colors, so your storm shelter won’t stick out like a sore thumb in your yard.

5. Ground Zero Shelters, Co.


  • Company has a two-decade experience in making safe shelters
  • Shelters made of ¼" steel plate and 4" concrete slab
  • Customizable safe rooms

Ground Zero Shelters has been working on creating safe spaces for people during crises for almost two decades. They’ve got above ground safe room shelters to protect you and your loved ones from storms or even home invasions.

Not only do they have standard sizes, but they can also customize a safe room or panic room just for you. Typically, they offer sizes between 4′ x 5′ 8″ and 6 ‘3″ tall and 4′ x 7’8″ x 6′ 3″ tall, but they can be built as small as 4′ x 4′ or as large as 9′ x 10’.

Ground Zero uses ¼” steel plate for their shelter’s main structure, and secures it to a 4″ concrete slab with a Hilti bolt anchoring system that can handle 10,000 PSI.

The 36″ door is even wheelchair accessible and comes with five locks, including a deadbolt, for extra security. Plus, there are two vents for air circulation and emergency access if needed.

Built with top-quality materials, these steel storm shelters go above and beyond FEMA standards, providing near-absolute protection in even the worst storms.

6. Survive-A-Storm Shelters


  • Offers three types of above-ground tornado shelters
  • All shelters are rated for EF-5 tornadoes
  • Offers bulletproof shelters

Based in Thomasville, Georgia, Survive-A-Storm Shelters’ trusted storm safety solutions can be found in 35 states.

It has three types of above ground shelters: TwisterPod, Extreme, and Panelized.

The TwisterPod Max are practical above ground tornado shelters for up to six occupants.

These shelters are efficient in terms of space and make for attractive additions to any garage, carport, or outside patio. They are perfect for small families or individuals.

Constructed of quarter-inch steel, the Extreme above ground storm shelters are bulletproof, boasting an NIJ Level 2A ballistics rating. Available in six different sizes, these shelters have a unique escape hatch that requires no operating tools.

If you need an above ground tornado shelter that provides ultimate protection against EF5 tornadoes, panelized shelters are the way to go. These shelters have been used in apartment complexes, condominiums, and office buildings, ensuring everyone’s safety and peace of mind.

7. Protection Shelters


  • Offers concrete, steel storm, and tornado residential shelters
  • Rated for 250 mph winds or EF5 tornado
  • Customizable steel garage tornado shelters

Protection Shelters have a fantastic option for those who prefer a concrete residential shelter instead of steel. They make it using super-strong concrete that can handle 6,000 PSI.

The walls are 4 inches thick, reinforced with fiber mesh and steel bars, making them super sturdy. They also offer various sizes of concrete and steel storm and residential tornado shelters and can custom-build group shelters for any number of people.

Their above ground concrete residential shelter is built to FEMA 320 specifications, making it safe and reliable. Plus, the steel door has been tested for 250 mph winds or EF5 tornadoes.

You can place this shelter on an existing patio or concrete pad, and they have two size options: either 4’8″ x 8’8″ or 6’8″ x 6’8″. But, if you don’t want it outside or taking up space in your backyard, they’ve got a custom garage tornado shelter made of steel, which can be bolted and anchored to an existing concrete floor.

Plus, you can modify it for wheelchair accessibility while meeting the most stringent storm shelter standards, including the latest FEMA guidelines.

8. Tornado Alley Armor


  • Space-saving design
  • Excellent support services
  • Offers DIY shelters and professional shelters that need installation

This clever storm shelter can also be used as a workbench. It’s a 3’2″-fantastic space-saving solution that offers protection during emergencies.

These shelters are made with 10-gauge steel, which might not be as strong as ¼” steel walls. But don’t worry. They’ve passed all the tests and meet FEMA’s criteria for residential safe rooms.

Tornado Alley Armor has some other interesting options too, like the 3’4″ x 3’4″ Defiant and the 2’6″ x 6’10” Defender that’s spacious enough for a family of four.

The great thing about these models is that they come with detailed instructions, helpful videos, and support services, so you can choose between a professional installation or a fun DIY project.

9. Survival Zone Safe Rooms


  • Offers two basic but sturdy designs
  • Customizable shelters
  • EF-5 tornado rated

Survival Zone Safe Rooms features two basic designs: the Tank and the Knight.

The Tank is made of super-strong 3/8″steel and goes above and beyond the standards for above ground storm shelters.

It has a sturdy 3/8″ door with cold-rolled steel locks and hinge pins for extra security. Plus, they can customize it just for you.

The Knight, on the other hand, features a ¼” steel structure that offers plenty of protection from both intruders and tornadoes.

What’s great about Survival Zone is its commitment to meeting its customers’ needs. They can create custom storm shelters to fit just the right spot and provide an excellent product and experience that’s tough to find elsewhere.

10. Swisher Safety Shelters


  • Made of 3/16" thick carbon steel and Grade 5 hardware
  • Single handle operation locks all three pins into place
  • Five-year limited warranty

Swisher Safety Shelters boast a robust 3/16″ carbon steel construction and sliding doors designed to minimize the risk of jamming or damage during a tornado.

With additional locking pins that can be removed only from within, these doors make the shelters ideal for dual use as both safe rooms and storm shelters.

A Security Grade Deadbolt keeps the latch bar locked, preventing the door from being opened outside.

Three steel pins lock the door securely within a 3” deep steel jamb pocket, so it doesn’t rely just on the deadbolts as the primary locking mechanism.

The entire shelter is made from thick carbon steel, with Grade 5 hardware, and most surfaces are powder-coated for ultimate protection and a nice appearance.

The sliding reinforced steel door design is unique and eliminates issues commonly found with inward and outward swinging doors.

11. FlatSafe Storm Shelters


  • Shelters are back-filled with ready-mix concrete to prevent flotation
  • Impact tested for EF-5 conditions
  • 50-year warranty

You know how airplanes have redundant engineering, so there’s a backup system in case the primary one fails? Well, the Tornado Tech Shelter uses the same approach to keep you safe during a storm.

FlatSafe’s Tornado Tech Shelter features layered flexible steel walls, multiple anchoring methods, evenly distributed ventilation, and dual-swing doors with top-to-bottom continuous hinges.

Independent engineering firms have evaluated this shelter, and it’s been impact tested for EF-5 conditions, so you can trust that it’s reliable.

It has everything you need in a tornado shelter: easy access from inside the house, good ventilation, strong resistance to impact, strong anchoring, safe entry, and emergency exits.

12. Extreme Storm Shelters


  • Can withstand the degree impact from an EF5 tornado
  • Panelized design
  • May be purchased with or without installation

Crafted by an engineer and put through their paces in an independent lab, these shelters are built to handle the impact of an EF5 tornado. That’s the kind of tornado with winds over 250 mph!

You can buy Extreme Storm Shelters with or without installation. Just remember, if you choose to have someone else install it, it’s important to ensure they’re qualified and follow the manufacturer’s specifications.

Delivery fees are included in the installation price if you live within a 50-mile radius of an Extreme Storm Shelters distribution center. However, if your place is beyond that zone, expect an extra fee per loaded mile.

13. Torshel Storm Shelter


  • Manufactured to withstand EF5 category tornadoes
  • Shelters have four heavy-duty steel sliding locks inside the frame
  • 10-year warranty

These Torshel storm shelters are heavy-duty steel and can withstand an EF5 tornado. They’re perfect for the elderly, people with disabilities, claustrophobics, and even for homes with post-tension cables in their concrete slabs.

They’ve passed rigorous testing, and you can even watch videos of their amazing performance. All residential and commercial shelters meet FEMA’s strict guidelines and exceed ICC 500 protocols.

When it comes to seating, you have two options: bring your chairs or have Torshel install two removable wooden benches.

The safe room shelters also have four heavy-duty steel sliding locks inside the frame, making them almost impossible for intruders or debris to access.

14. Oklahoma Shelters (OKC)


  • Rated for EF-5 tornadoes
  • Sturdy and passed the Texas Tech Impact Test
  • 10-year warranty against leaks and corrosion

Oklahoma Shelters ensure its products are well-engineered and tested to withstand extreme winds and flying debris from tornadoes.

You can trust their products because they’ve been tested twice: once by their engineers and bypassing the Texas Tech Impact Test.

They’re focused on making sure their shelters and safe rooms are well-reinforced. Plus, they offer a 10-year warranty against leaks and corrosion, so you know you’re getting a quality product.

15. Lone Star Safe Rooms


  • Passed the Texas Tech Wind Institute trials
  • Custom-measured
  • Lifetime warranty

Lone Star Safe Rooms have braved the rigorous trials of the Texas Tech Wind Institute and emerged triumphant, meeting or even surpassing all FEMA Windborne Debris Standards. Each Lone Star Safe Room is tailor-made to suit your specific needs.

Regardless of where you choose to nestle your safe room — be it tucked away in a closet, nestled under the stairs, or cozied up in the garage — Lone Star’s offerings are crafted and fitted using some of the industry’s most esteemed products, including names like Schlage, Simpson Strong-Tie, and GE.

Lone Star Safe Rooms also come with a lifetime guarantee. It covers any defects in the installation of steel wall and ceiling panels, door sets, barrel hinges, slide bolts, or deadbolts.

Types of Storm Shelters

Storm shelters come in various designs, each tailored to different needs and environments. Here are its different types to help you navigate and determine the best fit for your circumstances.

Above Ground Storm Shelters

Above ground storm shelters prioritize accessibility, these structures offer security without the need for excavation and are often favored by homeowners.

These storm shelters are designed to withstand severe weather events like tornadoes and hurricanes. They’re made from reinforced steel or concrete to ensure they can handle extreme winds and flying debris.

These are some of the more popular above ground shelters you can have:

Safe rooms:

Safe rooms are specially designed rooms within your home, built to FEMA guidelines, which provide a protected space for occupants during a tornado.

Standalone shelters:

Standalone shelters can be installed inside your garage, backyard, or other accessible locations, providing a secure space separate from your main living area.

Above ground safe storm shelter.

Underground Storm Shelters or In-Ground Storm Shelters

Underground, or in-ground, shelters bank on earth’s natural insulation. Positioned beneath the surface, they promise enhanced protection from the devastating forces of tornadoes.

These shelters are designed to be even more resistant to tornadoes and high winds due to their lower profile.

Basement storm shelters:

If your house already has a basement, you can designate a reinforced area as a storm shelter, or install a purpose-built tornado shelter within it.

Outdoor underground shelters:

These are installed in your yard or other suitable locations away from the main house. They can be made from materials like concrete, steel, or fiberglass.

Underground storm shelter during a storm.

What To Consider When Buying The Best Above Ground Tornado Shelters

Choosing the best above ground tornado shelter goes beyond the product itself, you should consider any requirements and logistical needs.

Aside from that, there are other factors to consider, let’s delve into them to ensure you make an informed decision.

Building Permits

Building permits act as the cornerstone of legal installations. Adhering to regional guidelines ensures the shelter stands resilient, meeting safety standards.

Make sure you get your building permit before constructing your shelter. Every city and county has its own building regulations. You’ll need to make sure you’re complying with them when installing your storm shelter.

Now you can always just “wing it” and build a shelter yourself. However, it’s better to make sure everything you’re doing is up to code. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to legal matters and safety!


Scouting the optimal location for your storm shelter is important as quick and effortless access during emergencies can make all the difference when every second counts. The designated spot for your shelter should be away from windows and flammable materials.

Make sure there’s enough space for the shelter and if the ground is suitable for installation. Remember, you want it to blend in with your property instead of being too much of an eyesore.

Take some time to find the perfect spot for your new above ground tornado storm shelter.


Gauging the number of potential occupants ensures that during a tornado, everyone finds refuge without compromise. Capacity directly influences who and what can be safely sheltered within during a storm. This might include your family members, neighbors, and even pets.

Keep in mind that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) guidelines recommend allocating at least 3 square feet per person, but you might want a bit more space for added comfort. 

Above ground storm shelter.


Are above ground storm shelters safe?

Yes, above ground storm shelters are designed to be safe during severe weather events like tornadoes and hurricanes.

They’re typically made of reinforced steel or concrete, which allows them to withstand extreme winds and flying debris.

Just keep in mind that the protection level depends on the shelter’s quality and proper installation.

So if you’re considering an above ground storm shelter, ensure it meets or exceeds FEMA guidelines and is installed by a qualified professional.

Can you put an above ground storm shelter in the garage?

Yes, many people choose this option because it can be more convenient and accessible. Consider these factors when installing an above ground storm shelter in your garage:

  • Make sure the shelter is properly anchored to the garage floor to prevent it from being lifted or moved during a storm. This usually involves using strong bolts and a reinforced concrete slab.

  • Ensure that the shelter’s door opens inward to prevent it from being blocked by debris.

  • Keep the area around the shelter clear of clutter and obstacles, so you can access it easily during an emergency.

Neighborhood getting hit by a tornado.

Key Takeaways

Safety remains paramount when confronting nature’s unpredictability. After thorough research, it’s evident that investing in a top-notch above ground tornado shelter can significantly enhance your protection during storms.

These 15 shelters exemplify the perfect blend of robust design, accessibility, and user-friendliness. Ensuring that you and your loved ones have a reliable refuge during tumultuous times is not just a choice—it’s a necessity.

With this article as your trusty treasure map, we’re confident you’ll navigate the stormy seas of shelter selection with ease and emerge victorious, ready to tackle whatever wild whirlwinds Mother Nature sends your way.

21 Best Hurricane Impact Windows: Top Rated Brands

21 Best Hurricane Impact Windows: Top Rated Brands

The best hurricane impact windows or storm windows are a crucial addition to any home in storm-prone areas. Offering robust protection against fierce winds and flying debris, they have become an indispensable home feature and your first line of defense in extreme weather conditions.

Don’t put your home and family at risk by settling for subpar windows that crumble under the wrath of Mother Nature. Luckily, we’ve got you covered!

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the 21 best hurricane impact windows and top manufacturers in the US.

Trust us. This is one investment you don’t want to put off any longer.

Cars and homes destroyed by hurricane.

In This Guide

Busted out windows after hurricane damage.

Top 21 Hurricane Impact Windows & Top Manufacturers

Navigating the market for hurricane impact windows can be daunting, given the plethora of options. Here are the 21 best ones available in the market:

1. Andersen Windows Coastal Impact Windows


  • Contructed out of proprietary Fibrex material twice as strong as Vinyl
  • Many excellent designs to choose from
  • Energy efficient products available for purchase

If you’re looking for a renowned manufacturer of high-quality impact-resistant windows, Andersen Windows and Doors is one of the best options.

The brand boasts Fibrex, a proprietary material twice as strong as vinyl, making them more durable than other hurricane-proof windows.

They’re also known for their A-Series windows with Stormwatch protection that prevents damage from severe hurricane winds and debris, while adding style to your home.

They are more costly than alternatives, but they pass the American Architectural Manufacturers Association’s (AAMA) toughest wind and impact tests.

Andersen’s designs also use less energy, which helps lower energy costs.

2. CGI Windows


  • High-quality impact windows at an affordable price
  • Offers 10 feet tall windows
  • Rated for winds up to 290mph

With CGI Impact Resistant Windows, you can ensure you’re getting some of the best impact windows in the market. The company specializes in creating hurricane impact windows, so you know you’re getting one of the leading brands.

To build trust and transparency, they even offer public testing so you can verify their products’ strength yourself. They’re designed to meet strict Miami-Dade requirements and even pass the tough large-missile standard.

These guys are serious about testing their products to make sure they’re giving you unbeatable protection against hurricanes and all those extreme weather events.

And, it’s not just about protection, right? Their Sentinel impact windows look amazing too! So whether you’re building a new home or just giving your place a little makeover, these windows and doors are the perfect choice to keep your home safe and stylish.

3. PGT Impact Resistant Hurricane Windows


  • Offers a limited lifetime warranty
  • Keeps home quiet during severe storms
  • Customizable styles and options

Their WinGuard series is a crowd favorite, available in both aluminum and vinyl frames, and comes with a 10-year warranty to boot.

PGT doesn’t mess around when it comes to quality, either. They hold the most Miami-Dade certifications for hurricane impact windows, boasting a perfect record.

The WinGuard series offers more than just good looks and impact resistance, though. These storm windows are air and water-resistant, tough enough to handle high-speed debris impacts during severe hurricanes, and they block over 99% of the sun’s UV rays.

Plus, they’ve got some awesome energy-saving features to help keep your home comfy and your bills low. And they’ve got lots of options – choose from aluminum or vinyl windows in various styles like single-hung, awning, casement windows, and more.

4. Pella Hurricane Series


  • Provides options for installation and replacement
  • Multiple frame material options
  • Can exceed US energy efficiency guidelines

When you choose Pella, you’re getting more than just gorgeous windows and doors. As an innovation leader since 1925, Pella goes the extra mile to create products that make you proud to be a homeowner.

Their Pella Hurricane Shield Series features windows engineered to stand strong against hurricanes and meet the strictest coastal requirements. Engineered to handle the harshest coastal conditions, these windows offer unparalleled protection.

They also reduce noise, block 99.7% of harmful UV rays and boast exceptional energy efficiency. Plus, they even help deter intruders, giving you that extra peace of mind.

These impact-resistant windows are tested to exceed Florida Building Code’s toughest standards. They’re approved for use throughout Florida, even in the High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ).

5. Marvin Hurricane Proof Windows


  • ImpactZone-certified, UV-resistant windows
  • Extensive collection of ambitious window designs
  • Does not require additional protective accessories

The Marvin Coastal Solutions series is all about weathering even the harshest storms. Its corrosion-resistant hardware and construction meets the demanding AAMA 2605 standard for extruded aluminum cladding. So you can count on these windows to stand firm.

But there’s more to Marvin than just solid construction. Their impact-rated windows and doors are all about safeguarding your home from the elements. And they are rigorously third party tested to meet the strictest coastal codes.

These impact products shield your home against flying debris, driving rain, fluctuating pressure, intense UV rays, and extreme temperatures.

With a 100-year experience and expertise under their belt, Marvin’s impact windows and doors are built to last, offering the ultimate protection you can trust.

6. MI Windows and Doors


  • Offers limited lifetime warranty
  • Uses the latest technology in vinyl extrusion and fabrication
  • Available with StormArmor for added durability

MI features StormArmor, a game-changing window protection upgrade. StormArmor provides top-notch protection against hurricane-force winds and extreme storms. They are approved by AAMA and NFRC. (National Fenestration Rating Council)

Constructed with double dual-pane glazed glass and metal-reinforced sashes. They offer a choice between vinyl or aluminum windows to perfectly match your home’s design.

With MI, you’re getting more than just windows and patio doors. Their meticulous manufacturing process and innovative designs ensure dependable, high-performance windows and doors that stand the test of time.

Plus, you’ll enjoy unmatched service and quality, all backed by a lifetime warranty for your peace of mind.

7. Simonton Coastal Impact & Hurricane Windows


  • Laminated glass offers superb noise reduction
  • Deflects up to 99% of damaging UV rays
  • One-piece frame for added durability

When you choose Simonton’s StormBreaker Plus line of impact windows, you’re getting the highest standard in building codes. These windows are designed specifically for coastal areas with an increased risk of hurricanes.

But they aren’t just built tough – they’re certified to meet the stringent Missile D specifications in Florida making them permitted for use in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. you can rest easy knowing your home is protected by the best.

The StormBreaker doesn’t skimp on style. It also features various window shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from—but the perks don’t stop there. Simonton’s StormBreaker Plus windows are UV-resistant, blocking up to 50% of external noise for a more peaceful living space

Plus, their durable interlayer ensures that debris won’t shatter the glass, giving you the ultimate protection you need in the face of severe weather.

8. Florida Window & Door


  • Huge discounts with free installation
  • High-performance energy-efficient glass options
  • Meets the nation’s toughest hurricane requirements

This Florida-based company doesn’t only have good-looking windows,  they’re put through a series of rigorous tests to ensure they can stand up to the toughest conditions.

Their high-performance impact windows provide peace of mind knowing your home is ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at it.

Their windows can withstand water resistance, forced entry, wind resistance, flying debris and impact resistance. Plus, it can endure 9,000 internal and external pressure cycles.

The brand offers high-impact windows for a variety of styles such as folding, single hung, sliding, casement and others.

9. CitiQuiet Hurricane Impact Windows and Doors


  • Can withstand high-intensity winds and deter intruders
  • Has available soundproof windows
  • Offers quick, efficient, and professional service

If you’re searching for a window design that offers unbeatable sound and storm protection without interfering with your current window system, look no further than CitiQuiet’s windows.

Not only are their windows hurricane-resistant, but they also boast one of the top STC ratings in the industry, making them up to 95% soundproof.

CitiQuiet Windows and Doors has built a strong reputation by committing to their clients and providing Boca Raton and South Florida residents with top-notch windows and doors designed to handle the harshest weather.

With double-laminated construction, these windows can be effortlessly integrated with your current windows for an extra layer of protection. These impact windows and doors are engineered to withstand high-intensity winds and even deter intruders, ensuring your home stays safe and secure.

10. Storm Smart Industries


  • Among the most high-tech and reliable windows on the market
  • Comes with an exterior glazed with silicone for greater strength and seal
  • Fully weather stripped

If you’re seeking specifically designed hurricane protection products in Florida, look no further than Storm Smart Industries. It’s a trusted company since 1996, offering aluminum and storm panel, hurricane impact windows and doors, and catcher screens,

You’ll appreciate the expertise and reliability of Storm Smart when it comes to installing hurricane protection products on your property. With years of experience under their belt, they’ve helped countless property owners prepare for hurricane season.

Their windows are meticulously crafted with two low-E panes of glass and a reinforcing plastic layer between them.

Storm Smart products do more than just protect you from storms. They also enhance your property experience during fair weather by blocking UV rays and keeping pesky bugs at bay.

11. Weather Shield Windows & Doors


  • Offers high-performance glass options
  • Strong and durable aluminum-clad products
  • Comes in different stylish types and designs

Weather Shield Windows & Doors feature the Premium Coastal Series, an aluminum-clad wood collection specially engineered to withstand high impact and extreme climates.

Built to resist high-speed winds, the triple-layer design of their windows ensures your home is protected from flying debris, impact damage, UV rays, and external noise.

The aluminum-clad wood construction not only looks luxurious but also offers top-notch protection.

12. Jeld Wen Impact Guard


  • Has ImpactGard that features the industry's leading laminated glass technology
  • Resists forced entry and a potential intruder's glass cutter
  • Meets the nation's toughest building codes

When it comes to top-notch U.S. window and door companies, Jeld-Wen is your best bet. While Jeld-Wen doesn’t offer a specific hurricane window series, many of their windows can be fitted with ImpactGard glass. 

Their ImpactGard® Protection ensures your home remains safe and secure from heavy rain, wind, and extreme temperatures. It is engineered to withstand strong impacts from windborne debris and harsh coastal conditions.

These windows can endure a 9-pound piece of lumber striking head-on at approximately 34 miles per hour. Plus, they reduce sound transmission, block up to 95% of harmful UV rays, and enhance your home’s security.

13. Mr. Glass Doors & Windows Manufacturing


  • Offers products that provide the best performance
  • Products require less maintenance
  • Numerous customization options available

Mr. Glass, one of South Florida’s top manufacturers, features their highly sought-after MG Impact line that is popular for its residential and commercial customers.

The company’s team of engineers conducts thorough quality assurance inspections on each product to ensure the highest standards are met.

Their dedication to using superior materials and implementing strict quality control measures guarantees exceptional performance, low maintenance, and an extended product life cycle.

Offering a diverse range of six residential impact window styles and four patio door designs, Mr. Glass has the perfect solution for every home or business.

Not only are Mr. Glass products are tough and durable, but they’re also designed to enhance the aesthetics of new or remodeled constructions.

14. Roll Shield


  • All custom vinyl windows are AAMA Gold Label and NFRC certified
  • Laminated insulated glass reduces exterior sounds
  • Forced entry resistance keep intruders out

If you’re living near the Tampa Bay area, Rollshield is the go-to choice for securing your home or commercial building with impact-resistant products. 

With decades of experience in the hurricane protection industry, Rollshield understands the crucial role their products play for homes and businesses in Clearwater and throughout the Tampa Bay area. 

These windows aren’t just strong—they’re eco-friendly too with its low-E glass and Duraseal spacers. Rollshield’s hurricane impact windows are among Florida’s finest.

Offering vinyl and aluminum framed impact windows, you can pick the perfect fit for your home’s design. But that’s not all – Rollshield also specializes in sliding glass doors, shutter doors, retractable screen systems and other top-quality home products.

15. ES Windows


  • Windows are available in multiple glazing options
  • Heavy duty stainless steel four-bar hinge
  • 10-year SGP warranty and 5-year PVB warranty

Available in 27 countries, the ES Windows Elite line offers unparalleled storm protection to keep your home safe and secure.

It’s the number one brand for high-rise buildings, specializing in designing and manufacturing windows, facades, and architectural aluminum systems.

Choose the ES Windows Elite line for the ultimate combination of durability, style, and protection. Boasting a large missile impact rating and an impressive water infiltration rating of 12 psf, the Elite line ranks among the best hurricane impact windows on the market.

Designed with coastal homes in mind, the corrosion-resistant frames are built to last at minimum of ten years, ensuring your windows remain a beautiful and functional addition to your home for years to come.

Plus, with a 10-year SGP warranty and a 5-year PVB warranty, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that replacement window costs are covered in the rare event of breakage.

16. Eco Window Systems


  • Absorb noise and significantly reduce common disturbances
  • Provides a barrier against UV rays
  • Laminated impact glass remains intact even if it’s cracked

ECO Window Systems is among the top manufacturers in the U.S. for impact windows and doors. They are known for their outstanding after-sales services and exceptional customization options, they truly stand out in the market.

The company offers a unique PVB internal layer between the glass panes, providing superior impact damage resistance. Their windows also come with UV resistance and energy-efficient coatings.

With ECO Window Systems, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your home is well-guarded without compromising on style or design.

17. Eastern Architectural Systems


  • Windows are crafted by state-of-the-art machinery and processes 
  • Offers an extensive line of vinyl and aluminum windows
  • High-quality materials

For top-notch aluminum and vinyl protection, the Eastern Architectural Systems is your best bet. Their Bertha line of windows is your solution, especially if you’re living  in a high-velocity hurricane zone. It also features the ideal blend of style and security to suit your needs.

Not only are EAS windows backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and proudly made in the USA, but they also come more affordable. They come in at lower price than many other popular impact window brands.

18. Custom Window Systems (CWS)


  • Available in different types and styles
  • Offers multi-chambered profiles that trap air and reduce heat or cold transfer into your home
  • Option of vinyl or aluminum windows

CWS features the StromStrong series specifically designed for impact resistance in Florida and the coastal market. These windows have a maximum Design Pressure of DP +/-50, making them an excellent choice for any location outside of the High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ).

Crafted with multi-chambered vinyl frames and top-quality glass options, these windows are built to withstand high winds and heavy impacts while also providing energy efficiency and reduced sound transmission.

You can trust that these windows will keep your space safe and secure in the event of a severe storm.

19. WINCO Windows


  • All windows meet the standards for FEMA P-361
  • Offers to create the highest caliber custom aluminum windows
  • Nearly all windows are stackable and can be configured

WINCO Window features top-rated tornado and hurricane rated windows that meet the strict standards set by FEMA P-361, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s third edition of Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes.

With the ability to withstand 250-mph winds and impact from flying debris such as a 9-pound 2×4 traveling at 100-mph, these windows will keep you and your loved ones safe during even the most severe tropical storms.

20. Kolbe Windows & Doors


  • Has windows that offer excellent function and style
  • Comes in different styles and types
  • Offers customized designs

Kolbe’s impact-certified windows and doors combine stunning aesthetics with unbeatable protection. With no unsightly brackets, visible rods, or extra locks needed, you’ll get the best of both worlds—beautiful windows and doors without sacrificing safety.

Choose from three impressive series: Heritage, Ultra, and Forgent.

The Forgent series features a robust Glastra hybrid material, combining UV stable polymer and fiberglass for lasting durability. On the other hand, the Ultra and Heritage series provide efficiency and strength, ensuring your home remains safe and stylish.

Kolbe Windows & Doors custom crafts each product to meet your unique requirements, delivering both architectural appeal and essential protection.

It also offers a range of impact-certified options, including casement, awnings, double hung, sliding and direct set windows, as well as swinging, sliding, and folding doors in various designs and materials.

21. Origin Replacement Windows and Doors


  • Products offer optimized security features and extreme weather and impact resistance
  • Available in different styles and hundreds of colors
  • Triple weather seals for weather-resistant finish

As the world’s leading manufacturer of aluminum architectural solutions, Origin brings innovation and style to your doorstep. The company offers bi-fold doors, awning windows, casements, fixed windows, and French doors.

Origin’s products don’t just look good—they’re designed with optimized security features and built to withstand extreme weather and impacts.

You can choose from hundreds of colors to suit your style, and even go for dual colors to give your exterior and interior a unique touch.

With a focus on quality, Origin sources top-notch materials and rigorously tests their products, providing a 10-year warranty for your peace of mind.

Damage from a hurricane. Beach community homes destroyed with busted windows and torn roofs.

What Are Hurricane Impact Windows?

Hurricane impact windows are storm windows designed with layers of glass and protective films to shield homes from disastrous winds and projectiles.

They are designed to withstand violent weather conditions.

In addition to being weather-resilient, these windows also offer noise reduction, adding another layer of utility and comfort to your home.

They’re made of aluminum, vinyl, or steel frames and strong glass to resist strong winds and flying debris.

These types of windows also help lower energy bills by keeping your home cool in summer and warm in winter. Choose the right impact windows and enjoy a more comfortable home you can always get back to.

Benefits Of Having The Best Hurricane Impact Windows

The best hurricane impact windows offer a plethora of advantages from protection to energy efficiency. They also offer energy efficiency and noise reduction. Aside from that, here are more of its other benefits:

  • Protection from hurricanes and wind-borne debris.

  • High energy efficiency—your home stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

  • Helps in noise reduction by cutting down on noise from the outside.

  • UV ray protection to protect your furniture and floors from fading over time.

  • It can raise the value of your house and make it more appealing to buyers

  • Hurricane impact windows have strong impact glass and frames for enhanced security

  • Reduced insurance premiums, saving you more money

  • Wide range of styles, so you can find one that fits your home’s construction and design

  • Impact-resistant windows keep water out during floods and heavy rain, keeping your home dry and safe
Damage from hurricane.

Incorporating these windows isn’t just a proactive measure against storms. It’s also a strategy for a quieter, more energy-efficient home, leading to reduced bills and a better quality of life.

What To Look for When Buying Hurricane Impact Windows

Knowing the criteria for selecting hurricane impact windows can drastically improve your buying experience.

Here are some key features and considerations to keep in mind when shopping for hurricane impact windows:

1. Certification and Ratings

Always prioritize windows with reputable certifications, showcasing their quality and efficiency. The window should meet certain industry standards and certifications. Look for a window that has been tested and certified by associations like the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) or the Florida Building Code (FBC). The window should also have a design pressure (DP) rating, which indicates its resistance to force.

2. Glass Quality

High-quality glass ensures a longer lifespan and better protection against impacts. Such top-tier glass often incorporates tempering processes that reinforce its strength and safety. Look for glass that has the following attributes:

Laminated Glass: This consists of two pieces of glass with a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) in between. This design ensures that even if the glass shatters, the fragments remain adhered to the interlayer, preventing flying shards.

Impact Resistance: Ensure the window has been tested for impact resistance, typically using large and small missile tests which simulate flying debris.

3. Frame Material

The window frame should be made of sturdy materials like vinyl, aluminum, or steel. The quality of the frame is just as important as the glass since a strong gust of wind can dislodge an entire window if the frame isn’t strong enough.

4. Installation

Proper installation is important to harness the window’s full protective potential. Even the best hurricane impact window will be ineffective if not installed correctly. Ensure that you hire a professional with experience in installing impact windows, and check their references or reviews to guarantee a secure fit and finish.

5. UV Protection

UV protection in hurricane impact windows filters harmful rays while allowing natural light. With the integration of low-E coatings, these windows also reduce the risk of interior fading. This can prevent fading of your furniture and flooring, as well as offer some energy efficiency benefits.

6. Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient windows contribute to a sustainable environment and cost savings. Incorporating thermal insulating materials, these windows drastically cut down on heat transfer.

7. Noise Reduction

Noise reduction is an underrated advantage of impact windows, offering a serene indoor atmosphere. The design, especially the multi-pane structure, acts as a barrier against external sounds. If you live in a noisy area or value quiet, this is a factor to consider.

8. Warranty

Comprehensive warranties highlight a brand’s confidence in its product. Check the warranty terms. A good quality hurricane impact window should come with a substantial warranty that covers both the product and installation.

9. Cost

While hurricane impact windows are an investment, they can save you money in the long run by preventing damage during storms, reducing energy bills, and possibly even reducing homeowners insurance premiums in some areas. However, prices can vary widely based on size, quality, and manufacturer, so shop around and get multiple quotes.

10. Appearance and Style

Modern impact windows offer a blend of function and style, enhancing your home’s curb appeal.

Integrating design elements like custom frames can tailor the windows to your architectural preferences.

FAQs About The Best Hurricane Impact Windows

What are the strongest hurricane impact windows?

The strongest hurricane impact windows feature impact-resistant glass, durable window frames, and are designed to withstand high wind speeds and wind-borne debris.

Brands such as CGI, PGT Custom Windows and Doors, and Andersen Windows and Doors are known for their high-quality hurricane impact windows.

Are impact or hurricane windows the same?

Impact and hurricane windows are often used interchangeably, as both provide protection against extreme weather conditions.

What is the rating on hurricane impact windows?

Hurricane impact windows are rated based on factors such as wind speed resistance, water penetration, and impact resistance.

Ratings vary depending on the product and manufacturer. It’s essential to choose windows that meet or exceed the building codes and requirements for your region.

Key Takeaways: The Best Hurricane Impact Windows

Equipping your home with the best hurricane impact windows is a wise investment in safety and efficiency.

By choosing one of the best hurricane impact windows from one of the top 21 manufacturers we’ve mentioned, you can ensure that your home is well-protected from the wrath of severe storms. These windows not only offer robust protection but also save energy, reduce noise, and increase the value of your home.

Take action before a catastrophe strikes. Remember, the safety and well-being of your family and property are at stake. Act now because when that storm comes, and it will, you’ll be thankful that you made this wise and urgent decision.

Couple wishing they bought the best hurricane impact windows for their home after their house is destroyed.

Pin It on Pinterest