Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Improving Windstorm and Tornado Resilience: Recommendations for One- and Two-Family Residential Structures



Brian O'Connor, Karah Osburn, Jennifer Mitchell, Heidi Szabo, Marc Levitan


The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide a brief overview of building envelope considerations and load path improvements to reduce damages to wood framed, one- and two-family residential structures when subjected to tornadoes rated on the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale as an EF2 or less, and indirectly by tornadoes with a higher EF rating. Utilizing higher rated building envelope materials, providing opening protection, and improving the load path and connections can reduced the damages observed to one- and two-family residential structures. The information in this fact sheet can be applied to new construction or retrofit of residential structures in tornado-prone region of the United States. The tornado-prone region consists of the Continental United States east of the continental divide. Within this area, there are over 1,250 reported annually and there are potentially more unreported tornadoes in rural areas. This guidance is also available for download from FEMA at….
FEMA Fact Sheet


tornadoes, windstorms, resilience, Enhanced Fujita Scale, EF Scale, residential structures, houses, wind damage, load path, connections


O'Connor, B. , Osburn, K. , Mitchell, J. , Szabo, H. and Levitan, M. (2023), Improving Windstorm and Tornado Resilience: Recommendations for One- and Two-Family Residential Structures, FEMA Fact Sheet, [online], (Accessed July 18, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created February 21, 2023, Updated February 22, 2023