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Building Science - Other Hazards Publications

Many communities are at risk of other hazards such as wildfires or snowstorms. Taking steps to make new and existing buildings more resilient against these hazards will decrease the amount of damages, injuries, and life loss caused by these events. Incorporating the guidance provided in FEMA publications can help enhance the resilience of your building or structure which will keep you and other building occupants safe during these events.

You can order publications from the FEMA Distribution Center.

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Blast-Resistant Benefits of Seismic Design, Phase 2 Study: Performance Analysis of Structural Steel Strengthening Systems

This is one in a series of publications that were developed in response to September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the New York World Trade Center and the subsequent events that led to the formation of DHS and an increased emphasis on preparedness and mitigation of terrorism-related hazards. One issue that FEMA began shortly after that was to examine whether lessons learned in response to natural hazards could be effectively applied to protect building occupants from human threats. Important similarities between seismic and blast loadings lend themselves to such examination.

FEMA Roof Snowdrift Design Guide

Following a series of heavy snow and wind events in February of 2015, a FEMA team assessed four partial school building collapses in the Greater Boston area. In all four cases, the partial collapses were due to roof snowdrift loading. In two of the four cases, the FEMA team observed and documented 3-D drifts that cannot be determined when following the current ASCE 7 minimum load requirements.

This new design guide provides guidance, in the form of three design examples, for three-dimensional (3-D) roof snowdrifts. The procedures identified are consistent with the intersecting drift provisions expected in the 2022 edition of ASCE 7 and are intended to serve as best practice guidance for design professionals in the interim.

Snow Study Summary Report: Observations of Snow Load Effects on Four School Buildings in New England

The conclusions and recommendations of this report are intended to provide decision-makers and design professionals with information and technical guidance that can be used to reduce future damage from snow loads.

FEMA Snow Load Safety Guidance

This flyer summarizes warning signs of overstress conditions during a snow event, key safety issues and risks a snow event poses to buildings, and what to do after a snow event.

Building Codes Toolkit - Full Toolkit

Developed by the FEMA Federal Insurance & Mitigation Administration (FIMA), Risk Reduction Division, Building Science Branch, this Building Codes Toolkit provides basic guidance and easy-to-use tools to help property owners understand building codes and the basic processes and standards associated with proper design, permitting, construction, and mitigation.

Building codes specify the minimum design and construction requirements to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of both building occupants and the general public. Historically, details of the building codes, how they are implemented, and its value to overall community planning and disaster resilience have only been understood by the technical community (i.e., engineers, architects, building codes officials, etc.). FEMA recognizes that it is also equally important for the property owners to learn building codes and how their investment to proper construction ultimately protects their property and their occupants.

FEMA 403, World Trade Center Building Performance Study

This report presents observations, findings, and recommendations regarding the performance of buildings affected by the September 11 attacks on the WTC towers in New York City. The report also describes the structural and fire protection features of the affected buildings and their performance in response to the terrorist attacks. All PDF files have been made accessible for screen readers with the exception of Appendix D, which contains a spreadsheet that cannot be made accessible. A presentation is also supplied in PDF format.

Provisions of the 2009 I-Codes and ASCE 24 Compared to the NFIP

This table is a comparison of the provisions of the 2009 I-Codes/ASCE 24-05 and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements.

Last updated Jul 27, 2020

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