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.
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FEMA P-50, Simplified Seismic Assessment of Detached, Single-Family,Wood-Frame Dwellings

The training provides instruction on inspection procedures and use of a four-page Simplified Seismic Assessment Form to evaluate detached single-family wood-frame dwellings and to assign to each a seismic performance grade. The procedure takes into consideration the potential for damage or collapse in a manner that is consistent and useful to owners, purchasers, insurers, lenders, contractors, design professionals, and regulatory officials.

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FEMA P-50-1, Seismic Retrofit Guidelines for Detached, Single-Family, Wood-Frame Dwellings

The training provides instruction on inspection procedures and use of a four-page Simplified Seismic Assessment Form to evaluate detached single-family wood-frame dwellings and to assign to each a seismic performance grade. The procedure takes into consideration the potential for damage or collapse in a manner that is consistent and useful to owners, purchasers, insurers, lenders, contractors, design professionals, and regulatory officials.

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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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FEMA 331, Protecting Business Operations - 2nd Report on Costs and Benefits of Natural Hazard Mitigation

Floodwaters can submerge critical equipment, hurricane-force winds can rip sections of roofing off production facilities, and earthquakes can bring down suspended ceilings in office facilities.

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FEMA P-424, Design Guide for Improving School Safety in Earthquakes, Floods, and High Winds

This manual is intended to provide guidance for the protection of school buildings from natural disasters. This volume concentrates on grade schools, K-12. FEMA P-424 covers earthquakes, floods, and high winds. Its intended audience is design professionals and school officials involved in the technical and financial decisions of school construction, repair, and renovations. NOTE: This publication is available free to Local and State government staff. All other interested parties can obtain this publication via online download only.

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FEMA P-2156, The Role of the NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions in the Development of Nationwide Seismic Building Code Regulations: A Thirty-Five-Year Retrospective

In retrospect, the NEHRP Recommended Provisions not only provided many critical stepping stones to form the foundation of modern U.S. seismic-resistant codes and standards, but also helped to explore new ways to advance earthquake science and risk reduction technologies. Over the past thirty-five years, many scientists, researchers, engineers, code and standard experts, material industry experts, and professionals from the NEHRP agencies contributed to the success of the NEHRP Provisions. This report captures the history of the NEHRP Provisions and many great benefits it has introduced.

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Seismic Building Codes in the U.S.: A Thirty-Five Year Retrospective of NEHRP Provisions

In retrospect, the NEHRP Recommended Provisions not only provided many critical stepping stones to form the foundation of modern U.S. seismic-resistant codes and standards, but also helped to explore new ways to advance earthquake science and risk reduction technologies. Over the past thirty-five years, many scientists, researchers, engineers, code and standard experts, material industry experts, and professionals from the NEHRP agencies contributed to the success of the NEHRP Provisions. This report captures the history of the NEHRP Provisions and many great benefits it has introduced.

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FEMA P-2090/NIST SP-1254- Recommended Options for Improving the Built Environment for Post-Earthquake Reoccupancy and Functional Recovery Time.

This report provides a set of options in the form of recommendations, tasks, and alternatives for improving the built environment, which have been developed and assessed by the Committee of Experts. It describes community resilience, defines the concepts of reoccupancy and functional recovery, and explains the relationship among these three ideas. It explains why reoccupancy and functional recovery concepts are needed, describes a target performance state, and identifies potential cost and benefits associated with implementing enhanced seismic design.

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FEMA P-2139: Short-Period Building Collapse Performance and Recommendations for Improving Seismic Design

Recent analytical studies investigating a wide range of modern seismic-force-resisting systems have predicted collapse rates for short-period buildings that are significantly larger than those observed in earthquakes during the past 50 years. This gap between analytically predicted and historically observed collapse rates in known as the short-period building seismic performance paradox. Additionally, analytically predicted collapse rates for short-period buildings are generally larger than maximum collapse rates used in national model codes and standards to establish seismic design requirements. The FEMA P-2139 series of reports documents a multi-year investigation of the response behavior and collapse performance of different structural systems to identify causes and develop solutions for the short-period building seismic performance paradox. Studies investigated three structural systems: wood light-frame, special reinforced masonry shear wall, and steel special concentrically braced frame systems. Volume 1 summarizes results, conclusions, and recommendations from the three-system specific studies and presents a common understanding of the seismic response and collapse performance of short-period buildings. Volume 2 summarizes results, conclusions, and recommendations from the study of wood light-frame systems. Volume 3 summarizes results, conclusions, and recommendations from the study of special reinforced masonry shear wall systems. Volume 4 summarizes results, conclusions, and recommendations from the study of steel special concentrically braced frame systems.

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FEMA Building Science Resources to Assist with Reconstruction After an Extreme-Wind Event

FEMA has produced numerous publications detailing best practices for natural hazard mitigation associated with extreme-wind impacts. This Fact Sheet summarizes a few of the readily available publications and resources that can be used by homeowners, as well as design and construction professionals, during reconstruction following extreme-wind events.