U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Https

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites..

Building Science - Flood Publications

Flooding is the most common natural hazard in the U.S. Keeping communities safe and resilient against flooding is necessary to minimize damages, injuries, and loss of life. To assist communities in becoming stronger against flooding, FEMA Building Science has developed publications and guidance for different stakeholder groups who are at risk of flooding. Following this guidance allows for your community to experience less damages, as well as keeps building owners and occupants safe in the event of a flood.

View answers to frequently asked questions about Building Science and floods.

Order publications from the FEMA Distribution Center.

Search for Publications

Technical Bulletin, Update Overview

The bulletins are changing to modernize and streamline their content and presentation. These changes are intended to improve the usability, credibility and content of the bulletins while presenting them in a streamlined format.

Version 3: Model Code-Coordinated Ordinance

These three versions of a model ordinance are coordinated – written as a companion – with the flood provisions of the International Codes® (I-Codes). For more information on the use of these model ordinances, see Reducing Flood Losses Through the International Codes: Coordinating Building Codes and Regulations, 5th edition (2019) at http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/96634.

To obtain a model ordinance in Word, send an email with your name, community, and state to FEMA-BuildingScienceHelp@fema.dhs.gov.

- Use Version 1 if Chapter 1 of the I-Codes is adopted and IBC Appendix G is adopted.

- Use Version 2 if Chapter 1 of the I-Codes is adopted and IBC Appendix G is not adopted.

- Use Version 3 if Chapter 1 of the I-Codes is not adopted and IBC Appendix G is not adopted.

Version 3: Model Code-Coordinated Ordinance Checklist

These three versions of a model ordinance are coordinated – written as a companion – with the flood provisions of the International Codes® (I-Codes). For more information on the use of these model ordinances, see Reducing Flood Losses Through the International Codes: Coordinating Building Codes and Regulations, 5th edition (2019) at http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/96634.

To obtain a model ordinance in Word, send an email with your name, community, and state to FEMA-BuildingScienceHelp@fema.dhs.gov.

- Use Version 1 if Chapter 1 of the I-Codes is adopted and IBC Appendix G is adopted.

- Use Version 2 if Chapter 1 of the I-Codes is adopted and IBC Appendix G is not adopted.

- Use Version 3 if Chapter 1 of the I-Codes is not adopted and IBC Appendix G is not adopted.

Version 2: Model Code-Coordinated Ordinance

These three versions of a model ordinance are coordinated – written as a companion – with the flood provisions of the International Codes® (I-Codes). For more information on the use of these model ordinances, see Reducing Flood Losses Through the International Codes: Coordinating Building Codes and Regulations, 5th edition (2019) at http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/96634.

To obtain a model ordinance in Word, send an email with your name, community, and state to FEMA-BuildingScienceHelp@fema.dhs.gov.

- Use Version 1 if Chapter 1 of the I-Codes is adopted and IBC Appendix G is adopted.

- Use Version 2 if Chapter 1 of the I-Codes is adopted and IBC Appendix G is not adopted.

- Use Version 3 if Chapter 1 of the I-Codes is not adopted and IBC Appendix G is not adopted.

Version 1: Model Code-Coordinated Ordinance

These three versions of a model ordinance are coordinated – written as a companion – with the flood provisions of the International Codes® (I-Codes). For more information on the use of these model ordinances, see Reducing Flood Losses Through the International Codes: Coordinating Building Codes and Regulations, 5th edition (2019) at http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/96634.

To obtain a model ordinance in Word, send an email with your name, community, and state to FEMA-BuildingScienceHelp@fema.dhs.gov.

- Use Version 1 if Chapter 1 of the I-Codes is adopted and IBC Appendix G is adopted.

- Use Version 2 if Chapter 1 of the I-Codes is adopted and IBC Appendix G is not adopted.

- Use Version 3 if Chapter 1 of the I-Codes is not adopted and IBC Appendix G is not adopted.

FEMA P-1037, Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings That Cannot Be Elevated

This publication presents a range of flood protection measures available as alternatives to traditional structural elevation for homeowners whose residences meet both of the following conditions:

1 - The residences are existing buildings. This publication is not intended to address construction of new buildings in floodprone areas as these structures should be sufficiently elevated and built in conformance with NFIP and local floodplain management regulations.

2 - The residences are not Substantially Damaged or Substantially Improved, meaning that the buildings have not sustained damage or undergone improvement (i.e., reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition) where the cost of the damage or improvement exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the building before the damage occurred or improvement began. As with new construction, Substantially Damaged or Substantially Improved structures must be re-built in conformance with NFIP and local floodplain management regulations.

FEMA P-348, Protecting Building Utility Systems From Flood Damage

This publication illustrates the design and construction of utility systems that comply with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements for the construction of new residential and non-residential structures in flood-prone areas. It is also useful when evaluating structures that will undergo Substantial Improvement, guiding users to meet floodplain management regulations and building code requirements. Even if compliance is not required, many building owners may find that applying mitigation measures described in this publication will not only reduce future flood damage but also facilitate recovery after flooding.

FEMA P-936, Floodproofing Non-Residential Buildings

The primary focus of the guidance document is on dry floodproofing technologies for non-residential buildings, but it also includes an overview of other techniques including wet floodproofing and the use of levees and floodwalls. The publication provides information about regulatory requirements, design considerations, and descriptions of floodproofing methods and equipment. Key document features include: 1) Tools to assist the designer or building owner in determining the best floodproofing option for a particular building including a vulnerability checklist, 2) Case studies providing examples of applied floodproofing techniques, 3) Equations for determining flood forces and loads, 4) A summary of results from recent dry floodproofing research and testing for new construction.

Hurricane Recovery Issue Paper Guidance for Turning the Power Back On

This document contains guidance on the steps that should be taken during and after a power outage.

Hurricane Recovery Issue Paper Guidance for Turning the Power Back On (Spanish)

Hurricane Recovery Issue Paper Guidance for Turning the Power Back On (Spanish)

2015 Uniform Codes by IAPMO

This document contains Flood Resistant Provisions of the 2015 editions of codes published by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officers (IAPMO): the Uniform Mechanical Code; Uniform Plumbing Code, Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code and Uniform Solar Energy Code.

Flood Resistant Provisions Of the 2015 International Codes

Flood Resistant Provisions of the 2015 International Codes

Summary of Changes from the 2015 I-Codes

2015 I-Code Summary of Changes from 2012 I-Codes

Resources for Reconstruction after 2016 Louisiana Flooding

Louisiana 2016 Flooding Fact Sheet

Protect Your Property from Flooding: Mitigation for Homeowners

Mitigation for Homeowners Fact Sheet 2017

Mitigation for Homeowners (en Español)

Mitigation for Homeowners (en Español) Fact Sheet 2017

Overview of FEMA P-499 | Protect Your Property from Flooding: Homebuilder's Guide to Coastal Construction

Overview of FEMA P-499 | Homebuilder's Guide to Coastal Construction

FEMA P-550 Flyer

Overview of FEMA P-550 | Recommended Residential Construction for Coastal Areas

Overview of FEMA P-312 |Protect Your Property from Flooding: Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting

Overview of FEMA P-312 | Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting

Overview of FEMA P-85 | Protect Your Property from Flooding: Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards

Overview of FEMA P-85 | Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards

Last updated September 28, 2021