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Building Science Resource Library

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

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

  • Disaster Type: High winds, flood, earthquake, etc.
  • Document Type: Brochure, report, fact sheet, infographic, etc.
  • Audience: Building professionals & engineers, individuals & homeowners, teachers & kids, etc.
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FEMA P-1050-2, 2015 NEHRP Provisions Volume II: Part 3 Resource Papers

Part III contains resource papers covering new concepts and methods for trial use and other supporting materials for design professionals. FEMA P-1050 DVD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520. The DVD includes additional design standard and building code-related resources.

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FEMA P-1050-2, NEHRP Provisions Volume II: Part 3 Resource Papers

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline.

Part III contains resource papers covering new concepts and methods for trial use and other supporting materials for design professionals. FEMA P-1050 DVD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520. The DVD includes additional design standard and building code-related resources.

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FEMA P-1051, 2015 NEHRP Provisions: Design Examples

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update and publish the new edition for national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline.

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FEMA P-1051B, NEHRP Provisions: Design Examples Flow Charts

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline.

These flow charts are part of the design examples. FEMA P-1051 CD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520.

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Building Codes Save: Nationwide Losses Prevention Infographic

Outlines the background and process of the study.

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Earthquake Insurance Infographic

A look at the current state of earthquake insurance in the United States, the infographic provides general information on the cost and availability of earthquake insurance while also depicting what it will usually cover.

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Earthquake School Hazard Hunt - Video Game Downloads

This PDF contains download options for the Earthquake School Hazard Hunt Video Game for Mac or PC, plus the informational poster.

The game engages young children to learn about earthquake hazard mitigation. Presented in the form of a school hazard hunt, players will be transported into an animated school in which they will be asked to choose a character, pick their desired room, and identify hazard within the room for tickets. Due to the target audience’s age group, the players will be asked to identify the hazard and then identify which tools can be used to mitigate the hazard. By being shown how to mitigate hazards visually, it is believed that they are more likely to retain the information and understand complicated concepts. If engaged properly, students will learn tips and tricks about how to prepare for an earthquake while at school. The goal is to show children that if properly prepared, damages caused by earthquakes can be lessened or avoided.

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Earthquake Strengthening of Cripple Walls in Wood-Frame Dwellings (FEMA P-1024-RA2)

On August 24, 2014, a magnitude-6.0 earthquake occurred in Napa, California. In response to this earthquake, the Special Projects task of the National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP) was used to fund an investigation. At the time, this event had not yet been declared a federal disaster, and disaster funds were therefore not available. Because of limitations to this funding, some issues, such as performance of lifelines or building investigations in additional areas, could not be investigated. Past earthquakes in California have resulted in significant improvements to national and local building codes. For the 2014 South Napa earthquake, work was focused on documenting the observed performance of buildings and nonstructural components in order to lead into future improvements in future building codes, and to do so within six months.

Recovery Advisory 2 (RA2) is Appendix B of the FEMA P-1024 report. RA2 addresses measures to mitigate cripple wall vulnerabilities before an earthquake occurs and provides information on how and when to use the accompanying FEMA Plan Set.

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Earthquakes Can Drain Your Bank Account

The "Earthquakes Can Drain Your Bank Account" infographic will help you plan and protect your finances today to bounce back stronger tomorrow.

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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.

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FEMA 154, Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards: A Handbook (Third Edition)

The Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) handbook can be used by trained personnel to identify, inventory, and screen buildings that are potentially seismically vulnerable. The RVS procedure comprises a method and several forms that help users to quickly identify, inventory, and score buildings according to their risk of collapse if hit by major earthquakes. The RVS handbook describes how to identify the structural type and key weakness characteristics, how to complete the screening forms, and how to manage a successful RVS program.

The third edition of the Handbook (FEMA P-154) includes extensive updates, including improvements in the methodology, the screening forms, and the underlying scoring; the addition of a more detailed professional screening option (level 2 screening); new quick reference guides with extensive figures illustrating important building characteristics; an electronic scoring option; and guidance on how to administer an effective screening program. The FEMA P-154 CD contains PowerPoint slides with instructor notes; the RVS Student Manual (FEMA 154SM); data collection forms; and PDF and text file versions of FEMA P-154 (both FEMA P-154 and FEMA P-155 include the FEMA P-154 CD).

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FEMA 156, Typical Costs for Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings. Volume 1: Summary. Second Edition.

This publication provides a methodology to estimate the costs of seismic rehabilitation projects at various locations in the United States. This edition is based on a sample of almost 2,100 projects, with data collected using a standard protocol, strict quality control verification, and a reliability rating. A sophisticated statistical methodology applied to this database yields cost estimates of increasing quality and reliability as more and more detailed information on the building inventory is used in the estimation process. Guidance is also provided to calculate the range of uncertainty associated with this process.

The compressed file contains the PDF file and a text file for use with screen readers.

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FEMA 157, Typical Costs for Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings. Volume 2: Supporting Documentation. Second Edition

This document is a companion volume to FEMA 156. The document provides an in-depth discussion of the approaches and methodology that were used in developing the second edition of FEMA 156.

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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.

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FEMA 176, Estimating Losses From Future Earthquakes Panel Report (Non-Technical Summary)

An earthquake loss estimate is a forecast of the effects of a hypothetical earthquake. Depending on its purpose, a loss study may include estimates of deaths and injuries; property losses; loss of function in industries, lifelines, and emergency facilities; homelessness; and economic impacts. This report focuses primarily on loss estimates of the type funded by FEMA.

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FEMA 177. Estimating Losses From Future Earthquakes Panel Report (Panel Report and Technical Background)

his report focuses primarily on loss estimates of the type funded by FEMA. They apply to an urban area or region and are intended primarily for use by local and state governments for disaster response and mitigation planning and the formulation of near-and long-term strategies for earthquake hazard reduction. However, the same basic methods, and many of the techniques for carrying out portions of these basic methods, also apply to other types of loss estimates.

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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.

The compressed file contains the PDF file and a text file for use with screen readers.

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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.

The compressed file contains the PDF file and a text file for use with screen readers.

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FEMA 221, Collocation Impacts on the Vulnerability of Lifelines during Earthquakes with Applications to the Cajon Pass, California: Study Overview

This report summarizes a study of lifeline systems located along the Cajon Pass in southern California. The study included analyses of communication lifelines, electric power lifelines, fuel pipelines, and transportation lifelines. The report evaluates how collocation may influence each lifeline’s seismic vulnerability. A brief description of the screening tool developed during the study is provided.

The compressed file contains the PDF file and a text file for use with screen readers.

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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.

The compressed file contains the PDF file and a text file for use with screen readers.