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-2055-2 Recommendations for Cordoning Earthquake-Damaged Buildings

This Guide has been prepared as a supplement to FEMA P-2055. The recommendations presented in this report draw from lessons learned and development included a literature review of building collapses and identified collapse and debris shadow areas, and interviews with emergency management professionals who were responsible for cordon management following two damaging earthquake events.

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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.

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

This report documents the work and technical studies of the ATC-140 Project Series, “Update Seismic Retrofit Design Guidance.” ASCE/SEI 41 is the consensus national standard for the seismic evaluation and retrofit of existing buildings. In total, 35 change proposals were prepared and submitted for consideration of adoption into ASCE/SEI 41-23. This report documents the motivations, methods, modeling details, results, conclusions, and recommendations of the technical studies that led to the development of these change proposals.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Frequently Asked Questions for Homeowners

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

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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.