USGS publishes “Identifying and preserving high-water mark data: techniques and methods 3-A24”  March 18, 2016.  The report serves as a field guide for identifying high-water marks and presents guidance and proper techniques for preserving, evaluating, and recording the data collected for use in surface-water modelling, flood documentation and much more.

FEMA Releases Damage Assessment Operating Manual March 31, 2016, FEMA released the FEMA Damage Assessment Operating Manual. The manual establishes national damage assessment standards developed from lessons learned and best practices already in use and is intended to increase the accuracy, consistency, and efficiency of damage assessments by empowering emergency management at all levels with clear information and defined roles and responsibilities.  The standards put forth in the manual will be the national standard utilized by states and tribes conducting damage assessments after disasters.

Handy Guide to NFIP Changes

Handy Guide to NFIP Changes that Took Effect on April 1, 2016. Download “Making Sense of NFIP Regulatory Changes.” A great e-book – a readable and understandable publication.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Cost Share Guide.  May 2016.  The Hazard Mitigation Assistance Cost Share Guidance is a tool for Applicants, Subapplicants and FEMA to assist with understanding match requirements for FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants. The Guide encourages early coordination for cost share strategies and provides helpful examples for various approaches such as donated resources for the non-Federal cost share.  Download the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Cost Share Guide.

Incorporating Environmental Justice into Regulatory Efforts. EPA recently issued its first-ever Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis. This guidance represents a significant step towards ensuring the impacts of EPA regulations on vulnerable populations are understood and considered in the decision-making process.  The EJ Technical Guidance improves our ability to perform some of the most important work we do. Better integrating environmental justice in EPA’s core regulatory function is essential to ensure that all Americans, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or income level, have access to clean water, clean air, and healthy communities.

2015 NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures.  The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this knowledge-based technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. The FEMA P-1050 DVD is a collection of technical resources bearing on the two-volume 2015 NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures, which is developed for improving the current US seismic design standards and codes. The DVD not only includes the 2015 NEHRP Provisions, but also additional code-related resources derived from the new edition of the 2015 NEHRP Provisions:  updated seismic design maps proposed for the ASCE/SEI 7-16 Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures and the 2018 International Building Code (IBC); revised seismic design category maps proposed for the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC); issues and research needs recommended by the 2015 Provisions Update Committee (PUC); presentations of NEHRP Provisions topics from the 2015  Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) Colloquium; and, a description of the USGS web tools for obtaining seismic design spectral values.  The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries and the NEHRP agencies. For the convenience of users, a list of the changes with their corresponding code language and commentary section numbers in the document is provided in the introduction of the Provisions. Most of the changes in Part I of the Provisions have been adopted in ASCE/SEI 7-16 with further modifications.

To order FEMA P-1050 DVD contact the FEMA Distribution Center:  E-mail:; Phone: 1-800-480-2520; Fax: (240) 699-0525