Brick constructions have resisted the effects of storms, tornadoes, strong winds, hail, and torrential rain for millennia. When utilized in combination with new construction rules, brick homes can survive while others on the same block are demolished.
Because they are made up of solid blocks that do not break down during a storm, bricks are well-suited to protect their contents from high winds and heavy rains. This is particularly true if the bricks are placed on the foundation according to manufacturer's instructions to provide an air gap between them and the wall surface. This helps prevent the wind or water from causing the bricks to blow off of the foundation.
Brick houses were originally built without any windows but over time builders began incorporating small panes of glass into some openings to allow in more light. Today, most brick buildings have sashes or casements attached to the side walls for opening and closing to control the flow of air through the home. These features are designed to match the style and period of the building but are functional when used in conjunction with proper weather protection measures.
In addition to being hurricane-proof, many brick buildings are also earthquake-resistant because they are constructed out of solid materials. Brick walls can span several stories and weigh hundreds of pounds, so they provide substantial support for other building components.
A tornado cannot be withstood by a brick home. Anything above ground will be destroyed by a tornado of sufficient size. Brick and concrete dwellings may resist stronger winds than most wood structures, but the type and quality of construction, as determined by municipal building rules, is what determines storm damage. A brick house built in an area that experiences tornadoes can result in catastrophic damage or even destruction of the house if it is not reinforced against wind pressure.
It is important to understand that although many types of buildings can withstand winds without collapsing, some elements inside the building such as glass, plaster, and wood frame components may be broken by wind forces. The intensity of wind effects on buildings varies depending on factors such as structure design, location, orientation, etc. - pages that describe common building failures due to wind include: window failures, roof failures, wall paneling failures, and door failures.
During a tornado, take cover in a basement or closet away from windows and doors. If you are in a wooden building, lay flat on the floor or crawl under a sturdy table or countertop. Avoid entering rooms with large mirrors or picture windows. They may shatter upon impact with the body.
Brick houses are very resistant to wind damage because they are built with thick walls. However, even brick houses can suffer major damage or destruction of part of their interior if they are not constructed according to current building codes.
The strength of a house's frame and its proximity to tall trees can also protect it from wind damage. A tree that falls on a house will usually break off its roots before reaching the house. This allows time for people to take action to prevent the tree from further damaging their property. However, if the tree reaches the roof of the house then it could cause serious damage.
Brick homes are strong because they use many bricks as components in their construction. The walls and roofs of a brick home can withstand high winds because there are no open areas inside or out through which a tornado could enter. Also, since there are no outside windows to break, a brick home is less likely to suffer damage from glass breaking during the storm.
However, not all brick homes are created equal. It depends on how well they were built to begin with. If you have a brick home and it was built after 1970, there is a good chance that it does not meet code requirements for wind resistance. These older homes were designed to be more affordable to build and do not contain as many bricks as newer homes. They might even use metal support beams instead of rebar within the walls to save money.
The floor, walls, and ceiling are all supported by a foundation sunk deep into the earth. I wouldn't feel comfortable in any of these saferooms after witnessing personally the atomic blast-like carnage that a tornado can create. As a result, no. However, because wood is more resistant to fire, a wooden house will usually burn down first before it's roof is blown off.
There have been cases where people have survived by escaping through windows or doors but these instances are rare. If you're caught in a tornado and there's no safe room then you'll need to find some shelter immediately. The key thing here is not to wait until after the tornado has passed to seek safety - get under something sturdy that's well anchored to the ground and protect your head.
If you're indoors when the tornado hits you should try to find an interior room (a bedroom is best) and pull up to the nearest piece of furniture (a chest of drawers is ideal). Sit with your back against the wall and wrap your arms around yourself for protection. Don't move unless you have to. It may seem like only a few minutes have passed since the tornado hit but actually hours could have gone by - stay put until the storm passes.
It's important to remember that tornadoes can and do kill people every year.