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-2196, Building Codes Adoption Playbook for Authorities Having Jurisdiction

The Playbook is intended for officials interested in increasing community resilience and reducing loss from natural hazards by adopting the latest editions of model building codes. The Playbook provides general steps to help navigate the code adoption process and informs about FEMA grants available to support building code adoption and enforcement activities.

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Applying for Building Code Administration and Enforcement Reimbursement through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program (DRRA 1206 Flyer)

Flyer outlining eligible building code activities that occur up to 180 days after a major disaster declaration can be reimbursed through Public Assistance.

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Timeline of FEMA Policies and Regulations Related to Building Codes and Standards

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FEMA P-787, Catalog of FEMA Building Science Resources

This catalog includes FEMA’s natural hazard-specific guidance that focuses on creating hazard-resistant communities conveniently in one place. The publications are organized by primary hazard (earthquake, flood, high wind, multi-hazard, and other) and then by stakeholder groups.

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Building Codes 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.

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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 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.

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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.

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Rebuilding After a Wildfire Fact Sheet

Returning to your fire-damaged home will undoubtedly be an emotional experience. But as you go about the task of rebuilding, there are many ways to rebuild safer, stronger, smarter and more resilient to wildfires. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has teamed with Firewise Communities, the Federal Alliance for Safe Housing, and the Institute for Business and Home Safety to provide this resource for rebuilding after a fire.

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FEMA Snow Load Safety Guidance Flyer

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.