Survivalite impact systems


  •      Tornado glazed door
  •      Tornado storefront
  •      Tornado with clear glazing
  •      Tornado window wall
  •      Tornado thermal window
         (IGU & thermal break)
  •       Hurricane FEMA shelter
                  AND NOW
  •       ICC 500-2014

Why settle for second best
Survivalite has it all - FIRST!

Citadel 5000 Series FEMA 361 & ICC 500 Compliant


  • EF-5 (250 PSF)
  • Window: 4 – 40 square feet
  • Window Wall - with mullions
  • Door: 8 X 8 foot double doors
  • Structural Design Pressure: 250 PSF
  • Structural Test Pressure: 300 PSF
  • Impacts: 15 pound 2 X 4 at 100 mph


  • Single Window up to 5 ft. by 8 ft.
  • Window Wall - with mullions
  • Door up to 8 X 8 foot double doors
  • Impacts: 15 pound 2 X 4 at 100 mph
  • 4500 Pressure Cycles to +110 PSF
  • 4500 Pressure Cycles to -130 PSF
A building with Survivalite Impact Systems installed.

Why use “Glass” in a FEMA shelter

     You’re in a crowded tornado shelter, full of crying children. You have been in there for nearly half an hour. You need to know what’s going on. You wait as long as you can – they are starting to scream – communication is down. You open the door to “just take a peek” – just as the tornado hits.

     You needed first hand situational awareness – you needed glass. “But how can glass be strong enough for a tornado?” you ask. “I’d rather have concrete and steel.”

     The Wind Science Laboratory in Austin, Texas, travels to the site of every storm to calculate peak wind loads and strength of impacts during the storm. They then add a 20% safety factor on top of these numbers. These calculations are then transformed into laboratory tests which can be performed to equal what they have seen in the field. Every item used in construction of shelters must pass these same testing standards – including glass. By the way, the impact tests represent 5,000 times more energy than standard hurricane testing – very impressive!

     “But any glass this strong would be hard to see through.” Some is, but our FEMA clear IGU glazing has a Visible Light Transmittance of 74%, and the 15-pound 2 X 4 traveling at 100 mph just bounces off – very impressive indeed!

     We are now testing a new concept for FEMA glazed doors, focusing on minimum changes to standard door designs. This will make manufacturing and installation simpler – eventually lowering cost. We expect these doors to function just like a “normal” door – and, of course, they will use the same high-visibility impact glazing as our windows.

     So, don’t be afraid to use “glass” in tornado shelters. The level of protection is the same as any other construction products used on the shelters, the shelter does not need to look like a “dungeon” attached to the side of a beautiful building, and the visibility offers real-time situational awareness – which can – in the end – make all of the difference in the world.

     Camp LeJeune (Figure 1) was our first FEMA window installation, which also required explosion protection. The PEMA shelter (Figure 2) presented a unique challenge with a 58-foot-tall EF-5 window wall system. Figure 3 illustrates FEMA glazing in another EOC (note the date stamp). The beachfront hotel in Ft. Lauderdale (Figure 4) survived a Category 5 hurricane (Wilma) and was open the next day. The EOC in Tampa, FL (Figure 5), used the first EF-5 glazed door every installed. Our latest installation is the High School gymnasium in Hennessey, OK (Figure 6). This doubles as a basketball court for the “Fighting Eagles” as well as the community tornado safe room. It features a conventional-looking storefront entrance and windows on all sides, providing a 360º view of the situation outside without jeopardizing safety – very well done.

A collage of pictures of intallations.