Building Science Resource Library

The Building Science Resource Library contains all of FEMA’s hazard-specific guidance that focuses on creating hazard-resistant communities.

You can search for a document by its title, or filter the collection to browse by:

  • Topic: High winds, flood, earthquake, etc.
  • Document Type: Brochure, report, fact sheet, infographic, etc.
  • Audience: Building professionals & engineers, individuals & homeowners, teachers & kids, etc.
  • alert - info

    Sign up for the building science newsletter to stay up to date on new resources, events and more. Don't forget to confirm your subscription in the follow-up email.

file icon
FEMA P-2055-2 Recommendations for Cordoning Earthquake-Damaged Buildings

This guide relates the observed damage to a building of a given structure type to a potential collapse mode. The report includes damage photos of the various potential collapse modes, and a collapse shadow cordon area is prescribed in accordance with the potential collapse mode in a graphical table. Additionally, FEMA P-2055-2 provides Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and local building departments key considerations for customizing their emergency management practices and procedures for large scale cordon area management gleaned from two damaging earthquakes. planning for the Extreme Cordon Area. This report adds to a series of publications that include Guidance for Accelerated Building Reoccupancy Programs (FEMA P-2055-1) and Post-disaster Building Safety Evaluation Guidance, Report on the Current State of Practice including Recommendations Related to Structural and Nonstructural Safety and Habitability.

file icon
Earthquake Safety Checklist (FEMA B-526)

This quick reference guide helps individuals and families prepare for an earthquake and prevent earthquake-related damage to their homes. The easy-to-read booklet features instructions on conducting earthquake drills and “hazard hunts.” Also included are a checklist of disaster supplies, tips on what to do during and after an earthquake, and additional resources.

file icon
FEMA P-2208: NEHRP Recommended Revisions to ASCE/SEI 41-17 Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Existing Buildings

This publication documents the work of a five-year project that that investigated, addressed technical issues and developed guidance which resulted in the submittal of 35 detailed proposed revisions to the official ASCE/SEI 41 consensus standard process of ASCE/SEI 41.

file icon
Frequently Asked Questions for Renters

These frequently asked questions address common concerns of people who rent residential buildings related to building codes, the process, and available tools.

file icon
Checklist to Acquire a Building Permit

This document equips and helps homeowners understand the general process for acquiring a building permit before starting any new construction, addition, repair, renovation, rebuilding, or mitigation work. It should not be used as a substitute for checking with your local building department or for understanding the building codes and regulations in your community.

file icon
Basic Project Planning Template

This document equips property owners with a template that they can use to understand the basic planning elements of a construction project. It includes items that local building departments and design professionals usually require.

file icon
Building Codes Toolkit for Homeowners and Occupants

The FEMA Building Codes Toolkit offers basic guidance and tools to help homeowners and occupants learn about building codes and how they can make a home more resilient against natural hazards.

file icon
Federal Role in State and Local Building Codes and Standards

FEMA aims to reduce the risk from natural hazards, and natural hazard-resistant building codes and standards are crucial to meeting this goal.

file icon
Frequently Asked Questions for Homeowners

These frequently asked questions address common concerns of homeowners and occupants related to building codes and available tools.

file icon
Checklist to Ask Your General Contractor

This document helps homeowners with hiring credible contractors who will construct using the codes and standards enforced in the home’s area.