Buildings and Sites
If any substantial changes are planned to prepare a historic building for a disaster please refer to the Secretary of Interiors Standards for the Treatment of Historic Structures and check with all local and state authorities before making any changes.
- Anchor the building to resist flotation
- Raise utility components & other equipment above flood level
- Ensure proper foundation drainage
- Strengthen wall against flood waters and debris
3“Protecting Your Property from Flooding”, FEMA, 25 Jan 2007.
- Protect doors and windows (shutters or covers)
- Reinforce double doors
- Reinforce garage doors
- Remove hazardous trees and potential wind-borne missiles
- Secure siding and roofs
- Brace gable end roof framing
- Know & protect historic character1
1“Protect Your Property from High Winds”, FEMA, 26 Jan 2007.
- Protect and reinforce all roof, windows, doors, and garage doors
- Secure exterior objects that could become wind-borne missiles
- Install stronger door hardware2
- Apply wood adhesive along roof deck and roof support
- Install Hurricane Straps
- Remove combustible materials away from structure
- Create a “safety zone,” depending upon surrounding tree species
- Remove all dead plants, shrubs, and trees
- Locate shrubs a min. 20 feet away from structure
- Select high-moisture plants that grow close to the ground
- Be sensitive to historic landscape features
- Cover exterior openings (vents, air intakes, etc.) with metal mesh screens
- Identify nearby water sources
- Add fire proof shutters to large windows
- On the interior, remove flammable materials or use fire resistant materials near window openings
- Ensure HVAC system will automatically shut off or reverse fans5
4“Protect Your Property from Fire”, FEMA, 25 Jan 2007.
5 Michael Trinkley, “Protecting Your Institution from Wild Fires”, Preservation Services Leaflet, SOLINET, 29 Jan 2007.
- Bolt sill plate to foundation
- Reinforce crawl space or “cripple” walls under floor joists
- Connect rim joists to top plates with metal brackets
- Anchor large equipment
- Use flexible connections on gas and water lines
- Brace large openings on lower story6
- Brace heavy exterior elements7
6“What You Can Do”, Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, 25 Jan 2007.
7 “FEMA Hazard Mitigation Handbook Series”, Conservationtech, 01 Feb 2007.
Building and Site Reference List
Building and Site Reference List
Repairing Your Flooded Home, FEMA Library
Step-by-step advice on for homeowners after a flood.
Risk Management Series Brochure, FEMA
Security Risk Management Series (RMS) Publications
Design Guide for Improving Critical Facility Safety from Flooding and High Winds – Training Course; Design Guide for Improving Hospital Safety in Earthquakes, Floods, and High Winds
Protect Your Property from Flooding, FEMA Library
Install Sewer Backflow Valves, Anchor Fuel Tanks, Raise Electrical System Components, Build With Flood Damage Resistant Materials
Protect Your Property from High Winds
Protect Windows and Doors with Covers, Reinforce and Replace Garage Doors, Brace Gable End Roofing, Secure Composition Shingle Roofs, Secure Built-Up and Single-Ply Roofs, Remove Trees and Potential Wind-borne Missiles, Maintain EIFS Walls
Strengthening Walls for Wind Resistance, LSU Ag Center
Mainly applies to new construction, but informative if an addition or new structure is planned for a historic site.
Strengthening an Existing Roof, LSU Ag Center
Earthquake Home Hazard Hunt Poster
Poster assists homeowners with identifying problem areas.
Fire Safety: Creating an Awareness of the Fire Threat, Historic Scotland
Provide basic information on how fires start and spread in historic buildings.
Originally published May 23, 2011.