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Building Science - Earthquake Publications

It is important that communities at risk of earthquakes and tsunamis take proper safety precautions to reduce the risk of life and property when one of these hazards strike. FEMA Building Science provides publications and guidance so that communities can become stronger and better able to withstand the harsh effects of these seismic events. Incorporating FEMA guidance into the development of new and existing buildings will create more resilient buildings that will keep building occupants safe, as well as result in less damages following one of these events.

FEMA 224, Seismic Vulnerability and Impact of Disruption of Lifelines in the Conterminous United States

This report provides a national overview of lifeline seismic vulnerability and the impact of disruption. Both site specific lifelines and extended lifeline networks are examined. Included is a review of electric, water, transportation, and emergency service systems. The vulnerability estimates and impacts are presented in terms of estimated direct damage losses and indirect economic losses. The report also presents hazard mitigation measures and their expected benefits and recommendations for future work.

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FEMA 202, Earthquake Resistant Construction of Electric Transmission and Telecommunication Facilities Serving the Federal Government

This report summarizes a National Institute of Standards and Technology study that reviewed measures implemented by federal agencies to protect electric power transmission and telecommunication lifelines against seismic hazards. The report examines the seismic vulnerability of these lifelines and discusses current standards and design criteria. Seismic retrofitting techniques for components and systems are reviewed, including the benefits of retrofitting versus gradual replacement. A summary of federal practices in the design of new facilities and the retrofit of existing facilities is included.

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FEMA 182, Landslide Loss Reduction: A Guide for State and Local Government Planning

The purpose of this guidebook is to provide a practical, politically feasible guide for State and local officials involved in landslide hazard mitigation. The guidebook presents concepts and a framework for the preparation of State and local landslide hazard mitigation plans. It outlines a basic methodology, provides information on available resources, and offers suggestions on the formation of an interdisciplinary mitigation planning partnership and a permanent State natural hazards mitigation organization. Individual States and local jurisdictions can adapt the suggestions in this book to meet their own unique needs.

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Home and Business Earthquake Safety and Mitigation FEMA P-909

This new training program on structural and non-structural earthquake mitigation has three components: a Train-the-Trainer course, a Home and Business Earthquake Safety and Mitigation course, and a Hands-On Interactive Mitigation Demonstration. The goal of the training is to create a cadre of trainers with the ability to provide basic knowledge on earthquakes and the simple steps that should be taken for earthquake mitigation in homes and businesses. On successful completion of the Train-the-Trainer course offered through the FEMA National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP), students will be certified to train others (see www.fema.gov/earthquake-training/national-earthquake-technical-assistance-program for more information).

FEMA P-2018 Seismic Evaluation of Older Concrete Buildings for Collapse Potential

This report, Seismic Evaluation of Older Concrete Buildings for Collapse Potential (FEMA P-2018), provides a simplified methodology for evaluating collapse resistance using simplified estimates of drift demand. The calculations have been intentionally simplified; however, the underlying criteria are based on probabilistic concepts and structural reliability theory. Development of the procedures included testing of the methodology by practicing engineers in several rounds of trial evaluations, and vetting of the methodology in a series of annual workshops. All of this was used to adjust and improve the methodology throughout the development process.

FEMA P-2012 Assessing Seismic Performance of Buildings with Configuration Irregularities

This guidance evaluates current building code triggers, the influence of structural irregularities on seismic building performance (in terms of collapse probability), and the effectiveness of relevant code provisions. The objective of the studies conducted under this project was to inform and improve U.S. codes and standards so that structures with configuration irregularities have a level of safety against collapse in an earthquake that is comparable to that for regular structures. The publication focuses primarily on design requirements for new buildings, with limited consideration of the treatment of irregularities for existing buildings.

NEHRP Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings and Other Structures. 2000 Edition. Part 2: Commentary

The Commentary provides general requirements, background information, and explanations for applying the analysis and design criteria in FEMA 368, similar to what might be incorporated in a code as administrative regulations.

Policy Guide to Steel Moment-Frame Construction (FEMA-P-354)

This guide addresses the social, economic, and political issues related to the earthquake performance of steel moment-frame buildings. Written for building owners, local community officials, and other non-technical audiences, this guide also discusses the relative costs and benefits of implementing the design criteria recommended in FEMA 350 through FEMA 353.

Global Topics Report on the Prestandard and Commentary for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings (FEMA-P-357)

This report provides a narrative discussion and record of the technical changes made to the NEHRP Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings (FEMA 273) to develop the Prestandard and Commentary for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings (FEMA 356). Included is a brief discussion of new concepts introduced to the engineering profession in the original Guidelines and Commentary (FEMA 274).

Prestandard and Commentary for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings

This publication supersedes FEMA 273 and 274 and converts these publications into mandatory prestandard language. This Prestandard serves as a nationally applicable tool for design professionals, code officials, and building owners undertaking the seismic rehabilitation of existing buildings. The publication contains two parts.The Provisions include technical requirements for seismic rehabilitation. The Commentary explains the Provisions. Chapters include requirements; analysis procedures; foundations and geologic site hazards; steel; concrete; masonry; wood and light metal framing; seismic isolation and energy dissipation; simplified rehabilitation; architectural, mechanical, and electrical components; and use of this Prestandard for risk mitigation programs. (Please note that FEMA 356 has been superseded by American Society of Civil Engineers [ASCE] 41, Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings.)

Policy Guide to Steel Moment-Frame Construction (FEMA-P-354)

This guide addresses the social, economic, and political issues related to the earthquake performance of steel moment-frame buildings. Written for building owners, local community officials, and other non-technical audiences, this guide also discusses the relative costs and benefits of implementing the design criteria recommended in FEMA 350 through FEMA 353.

FEMA 159, Tremor Troop: Earthquakes – A Teacher's Package for K-6. Revised Edition

This teacher’s package for grades K-6 provides ready-to-use, hands-on activities for students and teachers on the science of earthquakes and earthquake safety. This edition contains assessments throughout the units, matrices linking activities to the National Science Education Standards, and a new glossary. Four of the five units are divided into levels by grades: Level 1, for grades K-2; Level 2, for grades 3-4; and Level 3, for grades 5-6. The lessons introduce how earthquakes are defined, why and where earthquakes occur, the physical results of earthquakes, and how earthquakes are measured. The fifth and final unit addresses earthquake safety and survival and includes activities for students in all grades K-6. At the end of each unit, ready-toreproduce masters are provided for classroom use.

Recommended Seismic Design Criteria for New Steel Moment-Frame Buildings (FEMA-P-350)

This resource document (FEMA 350) for organizations engaged in the development of building codes and standards provides recommended guidelines for the design and construction of steel moment frame buildings and alternative performance-based design criteria. It supplements the NEHRP Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings and other Structures. A series of pre-qualified connection details, as well as a detailed procedure for performance evaluation, is included.

Recommended Seismic Evaluation and Upgrade Criteria for Existing Welded Steel Moment-Frame Buildings (FEMA-P-351)

This publication provides recommended methods for evaluating the probable performance of existing steel moment-frame buildings in future earthquakes. It presents guidelines on how to retrofit these buildings for improved performance, a simplified procedure for estimating the probable postearthquake repair costs, and methods for developing building-specific vulnerability and loss functions for steel moment-frame buildings.

Recommended Postearthquake Evaluation and Repair Criteria for Welded Steel Moment-Frame Buildings (FEMA-P-352)

This report provides recommendations for performing inspections to detect damage in steel moment-frame buildings following an earthquake; evaluating the damaged buildings’ safety in a postearthquake environment; and repairing damaged buildings. Chapters cover inspection and classification of damage; preliminary postearthquake assessment; detailed postearthquake evaluations; and postearthquake repair. The appendices include procedures for performance evaluation; sample placards that may be used to post buildings following preliminary postearthquake evaluations; and sample inspection forms that may be used to record damage detected in beam-column connections as part of a detailed postearthquake inspection program.

Recommended Specifications and Quality Assurance Guidelines for Steel Moment-Frame Construction for Seismic Applications (FEMA-P-353)

This two-part publication provides recommended specifications for the fabrication and erection of steel moment-frames for seismic applications. Part One covers recommended specifications, including information on products; execution; welded joint and fabrication details; and quality control and assurance. Part Two outlines quality assurance guidelines; contractor qualifications and quality tasks; quality assurance agency qualifications and quality assurance tasks; and recommended methods for determining whether structural steel materials, welded joints, and bolted joints meet the applicable standards. The recommended design criteria contained in FEMA 350, FEMA 351, and FEMA 352 are based on the standards contained in this document.

The Repair of Earthquake Damaged Concrete and Masonry Wall Buildings (FEMA-P-308)

This document provides practical guidance for the repair and upgrade of earthquake-damaged concrete and masonry wall buildings. Target audiences include design engineers, building owners and officials, insurance adjusters, and government agencies. The publication contains sections on performance-based repair design, repair technologies, categories of repair, and nonstructural considerations. The last section includes repair guides, which provide outline specifications for typical repair procedures.

Planning for Seismic Rehabilitation: Societal Issues (FEMA-P-275)

This publication provides users with an understanding of the social and public policy issues that may accompany seismic rehabilitation, such as demographic, social, and economic impacts; historic property restrictions; resident dislocations; and business interruptions. The publication presents a four-step decision process to assist local officials, private owners, and design professionals in determining the need for rehabilitation. It includes an “escalation ladder” to assist in understanding the degree of conflict that might be generated and the implications of choosing particular strategies.

Evaluation of Earthquake Damaged Concrete and Masonry Wall Buildings: Basic Procedures Manual (FEMA-P-306)

This document provides practical criteria and guidance for evaluating earthquake damage to concrete and masonry wall buildings. Component Damage Classification Guides and Test and Investigation Guides are included. Detailed drawings accompany the text.

Evaluation of Earthquake Damaged Concrete and Masonry Wall Buildings: Technical Resources (FEMA-P-307)

This document provides background and theoretical information to be used in conjunction with FEMA 306. Analytical and experimental findings are included, as well as information on the Component Damage Classification Guides.

Last updated February 22, 2021