Building Science Fact Sheets (8)
- Collection Created:
- August 15, 2013
This Fact Sheet includes foundation requirements and recommendations for elevated homes. The Fact sheet summarizes key concepts of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), describes the typical damaged foundation types observed after Hurricane Sandy, and offers design guidance for elevating homes by retrofitting with deep foundations.
This Fact Sheet builds on information provided in FEMA’s Recovery Advisory, Initial Restoration for Flooded Buildings (2005), prepared after Hurricane Katrina. It offers information on correctly cleaning and drying buildings that were not adequately cleaned and dried shortly after the Hurricane Sandy flooding. The advisory describes the selection and application of appropriate cleaners as well as the equipment and process needed to properly dry the building prior to any restoration efforts.
The Building Science Branch, which resides in the Risk Reduction Division of FEMA’s Federal Insurance Mitigation Administration (FIMA), is staffed by highly skilled national experts on building codes, disaster-resistant construction techniques, and post-disaster rebuilding strategies. The Branch has the lead role in the development, production, and promotion of more than 220 resources that incorporate the most up-to-date building codes, seismic design and retrofitting criteria, and floodproofing and wind design requirements for new construction and the repair of existing buildings. These resources include publications, guidance, tools, training courses, outreach materials, technical bulletins, and recovery advisories. The Building Science Branch and its partners help to implement, support, and promote the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), the Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) Program, and the adoption of model building codes. The Branch also provides technical support to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and develops and delivers resources in support of multi-hazard risk reduction implementation,
Residential safe rooms are becoming more popular as families seek protection from violent tornadoes. Like any other room, safe rooms must be accessed through an opening or door. Just as the walls and roof of a safe room are designed and built to protect against extreme winds and wind-borne debris, so must the safe room door. When careful selection and installation of the safe room door assembly is overlooked, the safe room door opening can leave occupants at great risk of injury or death during tornadoes. This fact sheet provides graphics and useful information about selecting adequate door assemblies for residential safe rooms. The December 2018 version of this fact sheet reflects the updates made to ICC/NSSA Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters (ICC® 500) from the first to second edition.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy made landfall, devastating New Jersey and New York with tens of billions of dollars in damages. Since then, recovery activities have focused on increasing resilience of buildings and the lifeline infrastructure. Significant progress on this front, described in this fact sheet, includes:
- Deployment of the Hurricane Sandy Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) to assess damage and make recommendations
- Updated building codes at the local, State, and national levels
- Recovery projects across New Jersey, New York, and New York City to restore critical facilities and infrastructure
- Developing a culture of resilient recovery in building mitigation and risk reduction actions
Prefabricated safe rooms are becoming more popular as people seek protection from tornadoes. Due to the extreme forces safe rooms may experience, there are very specific foundation and anchoring requirements that, if overlooked, can leave occupants at risk of injury or death during tornadoes. This fact sheet provides graphics and useful information about the foundation and anchoring criteria in FEMA P-361, Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms, Third Edition, which uses ICC 500, Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters, as a referenced standard.
FEMA has numerous publications describing best practices that can be used when rebuilding after a flood event. This flyer summarizes some of the readily available publications and resources that can be used by homeowners, communities, and all involved in reconstruction activities following the flooding in Louisiana.
Safe room door assemblies are one of the most important components of a safe room because they must provide the same level of protection as the walls and roof, yet also remain functional for quick access. This fact sheet provides information about the selection, installation, and maintenance of safe room door assemblies for community safe rooms. It is recommended that safe room door assembles are regularly maintained to protect their functionality and maximize their life span. The fact sheet covers what should be checked and how often, as well as several solutions related to the maintenance of safe room door assemblies. While the fact sheet discusses community safe room door assemblies, some of the information in the fact sheet is pertinent to owners of residential safe rooms.