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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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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Building Performance: Egress from Floodprone Basements (Hurricane Ida in New York Technical Report 2)

This report describes the MAT’s observations related to the egress of occupants from basements flooded when the capacity of stormwater drainage systems is exceeded.

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Considering Policies and Regulations to Reduce Risks Caused by Urban Flooding (Hurricane Ida in New York Fact Sheet 4)

This fact sheet summarizes the recommendations from technical reports FEMA prepared after Hurricane Ida. Communities use different mechanisms to put recommendations into practice.

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Flood Warning and Inundation Mapping (Hurricane Ida in New York Fact Sheet 2)

This fact sheet describes how flood warning systems, flood alerts, and flood inundation products convey flood risk information.

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Reducing the Effects of Urban Flooding in New York City (Hurricane Ida in New York Technical Report 3)

This report briefly explains the basics of rainfall runoff, urban flooding, and urban stormwater drainage systems.

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Understanding Stormwater Runoff in Highly Urbanized Areas (Hurricane Ida in New York Fact Sheet 3)

This fact sheet explains stormwater runoff, stormwater drainage systems, and ways communities manage runoff and reduce the impacts of urban flooding.

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What Building Owners and Tenants Should Know About Urban Flooding ( Hurricane Ida in New York Fact Sheet 1)

This fact sheet describes urban flooding and how it can create unsafe conditions and damage buildings.

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