Assessing Disaster Impacts with the Building Science Disaster Support Program

Main Functions

Resource Library

The Building Science Disaster Support (BSDS) Program sends experts to assess the performance of buildings, structures and Community Lifelines after disasters like extreme wind, floods, wildfires, earthquakes and more.

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The Building Science Disaster Support Program has been around for over 30 years. However, it hasn’t always gone by that title – in the past it’s been referred to as the Building Performance Assessment Team Program and the Mitigation Assessment Team Program.

Main Functions

Disaster Readiness (Steady State)

During disaster readiness, the program gathers information about natural hazard events and locations to determine if disaster support is needed.

Disaster Support Operations

Depending on the analysis of the events, the BSDS program can provide Disaster Support Operations by assembling and deploying Mitigation Assessment Teams (MAT) to evaluate the performance of buildings, other structures, and associated community lifelines.

Working closely with federal and state, local, tribal and territorial officials, academia and private sector partners, the MAT develop conclusions and recommendations to improve building, utility and community resilience on the local and state levels.

Technical Assistance

The Building Science Disaster Support Program can also provide Technical Assistance and subject matter expert support for the disaster.

You Have Questions

“How do we build back better?”

“What can we do differently to prevent future damage?"

BSDS Has Answers

Learning from the disaster damage, the BSDS program provides expert support and technical assistance throughout the recovery process.

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Resource Library: Search for Reports and Advisories

This collection contains all available resources produced as a result of the Building Science Disaster Support Program’s recommendations.

These reports, fact sheets and advisories are based on their observation of the impact of natural hazards on the built environment and otherwise.

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Hurricane Ian NFIP Claims Analysis

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Mitigation Assessment Team Report: Hurricane Ian in Florida Building Performance, Observations, Recommendations, and Technical Guidance (FEMA P-2342)

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Mitigation Assessment Team Report: Marshall Fire Building Performance, Observations, Recommendations, and Technical Guidance (FEMA P-2320)

The objective of this MAT report is to provide actionable recommendations to improve residential building performance under wildfire conflagration conditions. It describes the MAT’s observations during the field deployments, draws conclusions based on those observations, and provides recommendations for actions that property owners can take to help increase the resiliency of their homes and neighborhoods to future wildfires. It also provides recommendations that local government officials, planners, builders, design professionals, and homeowners' associations can implement to reduce the potential impacts of wildfires on communities and improve their resilience.

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Reducing “Loss of Utility” Impacts to Critical Facilities (Hurricane Ian Recovery Advisory 2)

This Recovery Advisory is intended for owners and operators of critical facilities; architects and engineers who design them; various state, local, tribal, and territorial planners; and emergency managers who deal with critical facilities whether in support of emergency preparedness, planning, response, and disaster recovery efforts or administration of mitigation grants and operations.

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Reducing Water Intrusion Through Windows and Doors (Hurricane Ian Recovery Advisory 3)

This Recovery Advisory provides important recommendations to reduce water intrusion through and around windows and doors due to wind-driven rain during extreme wind events.

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Designing for Flood Levels Above the Minimum Required Elevation After Hurricane Ian (Hurricane Ian Recovery Advisory 1)

This Recovery Advisory addresses building damage when flood levels exceed the lowest floor, required design considerations, how high above the minimum required elevation a building should be elevated, and additional design considerations for mitigating flood damage.

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FEMA P-2333: Mitigation Assessment Team Compendium Report. New York City: Effects of Hurricane Ida.

This compendium report contains three technical reports and four fact sheets that focus on construction and stormwater issues in relation to Hurricane Ida.

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Best Practices for Wildfire-Resilient Subdivision Planning (Marshall Fire MAT)

This document provides builders/contractors, planning professionals, HOAs, and local land resource managers with information about wildfire resiliency planning and open-space management policies, best practices, and procedures at subdivision- and neighborhood-scales.

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Mitigation Strategies to Address Multi-Hazard Events (Marshall Fire MAT)

This document is intended to help planners, developers, local land management personnel and private property owners identify how wildfires interact with other natural hazards and mitigate the impact of these multi-hazard events.

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Building Performance: Basement Buildings and Urban Flooding (Hurricane Ida in New York Technical Report 1)

This report provides information to help New York City and similar urban areas to prepare better for future urban flooding events.

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