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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Decreasing Risk of Structure-to-Structure Fire Spread in a Wildfire

The purpose of this document is to provide recommendations to contractors and designers on new building construction that may prevent or slow the spread of a fire from structure-to-structure in densely-spaced neighborhoods.

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Homeowner’s Guide to Reducing Risk of Structure Ignition from Wildfire

This document provides homeowners with steps they can take now to decrease the likelihood their homes will ignite due to direct flame contact, ember intrusion, or hot gases from wildfires at various physical vulnerabilities throughout the exterior envelope of the house. Specifically, it provides information about some measures that homeowners can take to address vulnerabilities at joints, gaps, vents, and attachments such as decks and fences.

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Hurricane Ida DRRA Section 1206 Implementation Case Study

This study reviews the implementation of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) Section 1206 Policy implemented after Hurricane Ida in Louisiana (DR-4611) and shares the lessons learned for future state, local, tribal, and territorial governments looking to implement this type of project.

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Wildfire-Resilient Detailing, Joint Systems and Interfaces of Building Components

This document provides information on ways to reduce the vulnerability of residential structures to wildfire ignition due to windborne embers, hot gases, and flames penetrating common detailing joints and building component interfaces that exist throughout the exterior envelope of a building. This document provides information on measures that builders, contractors, and other design professionals can take to “seal” gaps at joints and retrofit building components and interfaces on the exterior surfaces. While the primary focus of this document is to provide guidance on retrofitting existing residential homes, many of the recommendations for increasing wildfire resiliency of common details, joint systems, and building component interfaces would also be applicable to new construction and commercial buildings.

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Homeowner’s Guide to Reducing Wildfire Risk Through Defensible Space

This document provides homeowners with steps they can take now to protect their homes from loss or damage from wildfires due to vulnerabilities introduced by surrounding landscaping and other exterior features (e.g., outbuildings, sheds, furniture, and trash bins) within the homeowner’s property. The goal is to increase homeowner awareness of the key mechanisms and characteristics of Wildfire and the Wildland Urban Interface fires that can result in home ignition.

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Homeowner's Guide to Risk Reduction and Remediation of Residential Smoke Damage

The purpose of this document is to provide recommendations to homeowners for pre-wildfire measures to help reduce the risk of smoke damage and do-it-yourself (DIY) steps that homeowners can take to remediate light to moderate smoke damage. This document also includes recommendations for selecting and monitoring a professional cleaning services contractor for heavy smoke damage.

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Building the Case for Open Space (Foundations)

Each year, Americans suffer millions of dollars in losses due to flooding. Elevating homes using local freeboard requirements provides significant protection from the risk of this hazard. By choosing more resilient construction methods in concert with increased freeboard, we can build a more resilient future and community. Such options are more cost-effective than ever before and provide co-benefits to property owners and the local community within the floodplain.

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Building Codes Activity Book

FEMA has created this activity book to help you learn more about how building codes help protect our communities against natural hazards. By using natural hazard-resistant building codes, communities are better prepared for events such as earthquakes, storms, floods, or fires. This book includes several pages of activities and learning for you to complete. We hope you enjoy this activity book!

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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 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.