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Building Science

Building Science is a central focus for FEMA. It involves the study of how natural hazards effect structures, while FEMA employs leading industry professionals in architecture, engineering, and seismology to bring solutions to these challenges our county’s infrastructure faces.

Though research and data, it is proven that disaster-resistant building codes save lives and help protect your investment. The Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2018 Interim Report demonstrated that designing buildings to meet the 2018 International Residential Code and 2018 International Building Code led to a national benefit of $11 saved for every $1 invested in comparison to older generations of code.

Building and construction success stories that result after disasters often start when a community has properly enforced building codes and standards. For homeowners, building professionals, or elected officials, it is important to realize that building codes are a minimum standard and that it is essential to build above the baseline. Ensuring that your building is up-to-code or beyond your area's adopted standard before a disaster strikes is one of the most important steps you can take to mitigate the damage caused by natural hazards.

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What You Can Do to Stay Resilient

To aid you, FEMA works with a diverse group of stakeholders to produce multi-hazard mitigation guidance that focuses on creating disaster-resilient communities to reduce loss of life and property.

Whether you are a homeowner, emergency manager, building code official, or policy maker, our free guidance will provide value to you by creating safer communities and reducing loss of life and property.

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Learn about “Building Codes Save: A Nationwide Study of Loss Prevention,” scheduled for release in Summer 2020.

FEMA Bulletins, Reports and Tools

National Flood Insurance Program Technical Bulletins

Mitigation Assessment Team Program

Substantial Damage Estimator Tool

Publication Libraries & Building Codes

Browse our publications libraries to find hazard-specific guidance that focuses on creating disaster-resistance communities. All FEMA-produced resources are free and available immediately to you.

Reference our building code documents, which provide guidance on the hazard-resistant provisions in the building codes for property owners, engineers, design professionals, building codes officials, and the general public.