Wind, Earthquake, & Weather Resistance

Plywood and OSB Sheathing Boost Structural Strength

The overall strength of a building is a function of all of the components – walls, floors, roof, and foundation – working together as a unit. When an earthquake or high wind strikes the house, the walls and roof bear the brunt of these forces. A fully sheathed wall of plywood or OSB, properly connected to the foundation below and roof above, is a strong barrier that resists the persistent forces of wind and earthquakes. Laboratory tests and field evaluations show that sheathing with plywood or OSB can help make a house two to three times more able to withstand high winds and earthquakes.

Tornado Damage Report and Design Recommendations


Texas Straight Line Wind Damage Assessment ReportTexas Straight-Line Wind Damage Assessment Report
This report summarizes the findings of a team of structural engineers who visited the site shortly after the windstorm to assess the damages sustained by residences as a result of the high winds. Download Texas Straight-Line Wind Damage Assessment Report, Form SP-1182.




Texas Tornado Damage Assessment ReportTexas Tornado Damage Assessment Report
A report of damage assessments from the December 26, 2015, tornado storm near Dallas, Texas. Forensic evidence suggests much of the damage occurred along the outer edges of the storm's path, where wind speeds appeared to be lower. Wind-resistant construction recommendations included. Download Texas Tornado Damage Assessment Report, Form SP-1177.




Building for High Wind Resistance in Light-Frame Wood ConstructionBuilding for High-Wind Resistance in Light-Frame Wood Construction
Design recommendations for areas prone to high winds that contribute to improved overall performance in the structural shell and focus on good connection details to tie together exterior walls, roofs and floors. Download Building for High Wind Resistance in Light-Frame Wood ConstructionForm M310.



Protect Your Home from Windstorm Damage with Hurricane Shutters

Shutters over large windows and glass doors can help prevent windstorm damage. The APA publication Hurricane Shutter Designs, Form T450, includes five hurricane shutter designs with recommendations for a variety of window and door openings in masonry and wood-frame buildings. Designs include illustrations, materials lists, and step-by-step instructions. Details are also available for Latin America in Spanish language.

Hurricane Shutter Design Considerations for Florida, Form T460, is a regionalized version of the Hurricane Shutter Designs publication specific to Florida. 

Prevent Damaging Moisture Infiltration

Designed to provide builders and homeowners the construction guidelines they need to protect their homes against damaging moisture infiltration, the Build a Better Home program from APA encourages better building practices for the key elements of a residential structure: roofs, walls and the foundation. Visit Build A Better Home for simple construction details, tips and videos on building moisture-resistant homes.

More APA Resources for Building Safe, Durable Homes

APA offers hundreds of publications containing detailed technical information for architects, builders, code officials, engineers, specifiers, and others in the trade. Below are a few of the many APA publications that address wall bracing and other considerations for designing and building structures that can safely resist the forces of nature, including the lateral loads that result from high-wind events and earthquakes. Click on any title to download a free PDF copy. To view all APA publications, visit the online Resource Library

Learn More about Severe Weather Preparedness

These national organizations provide information on severe weather preparedness, home safety, and important weather-related factors to consider when buying or building a new home: