Wind Recovery Guidance

Wind Mitigation Options

  • Install hurricane shutters to protect windows and glass doors. Gable end roofs are more susceptible to high wind than other roof types. If you have a gable end roof, add bracings to reinforce the roof.
  • Consider fastening the roof to the walls with hurricane straps.
  • Reinforce garage doors and double-entry doors to prevent failure under wind pressure. Garage doors can be reinforced with girts and by strengthening the glider wheel tracks. Double-entry doors can be reinforced with a heavy-duty dead bolt, adding slide bolts on one of the doors, and using longer hinge attachments on the door and frame.
  • Maintain your property. Anything from loose shingles to trees can become a windborne missile. The distance between your home and any tree should be greater than a full-grown tree’s height.

Link to Building Science Publications: Flood and Wind

Guidelines for Wind Vulnerability Assessments of Existing Critical Facilities

October 2019

FEMA’s Building Science Branch Releases Guidelines for Wind Vulnerability Assessments of Existing Critical Facilities, a manual for design professionals.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as other recent storms including Hurricane Michael in Florida, resulted in extensive wind damage to critical facilities.  FEMA Building Science, Region II, and DR-4339, in coordination with partners and subject matter experts, has developed FEMA P-2062: Guidelines for Wind Vulnerability Assessments of Existing Critical Facilities. The manual incorporates observations and lessons learned from recent and past hurricanes, current building code requirements, and other historic high wind events.

The purpose of this manual is to provide design professionals with guidelines for assessing the vulnerability of critical facilities to wind pressure, wind-borne debris, and wind-driven rain.  The guidelines apply to critical facilities both within and outside hurricane-prone regions as well as to critical facilities in tornado-prone regions.  

The results of an assessment can be used by building owners; design professionals; entities that award repair, reconstruction, or mitigation grants; as well as state, local, tribal, and territorial government agencies developing mitigation plans.

Post Hurricane Michael Recovery, Resilience, and Mitigation

July 2019

Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) released two Recovery Advisories providing guidance to help improve the resilience of buildings to natural disasters.  Hurricane Michael flooding and high-winds resulted in extensive damage to all types of buildings in the Florida panhandle. 

FEMA Building Science, in coordination with many partners, has developed two Recovery Advisories to assist a variety of interested stakeholders in rebuilding more resiliently by providing design and construction guidance to help minimize damage from future storm events.  Both advisories can be downloaded from FEMA’s website

Hurricane Michael Recovery Advisory 1

Successfully Retrofitting Buildings for Wind Resistance

This Recovery Advisory provides examples of ineffective wind retrofits and guidance on an approach that can be taken to comprehensively evaluate vulnerabilities of buildings located in hurricane-prone regions for effectively applying key wind retrofits. 

The guidelines are applicable not only for buildings that have recently been damaged by wind, but also for buildings that have not experienced wind damage.  

This Recovery Advisory focuses on critical facilities, but is also applicable to other types of buildings, both residential and non-residential.  The primary audience is building owners and operators, design professionals, contractors, and entities that fund retrofits. 

These guidelines are intended to help building owners and operators, design professionals, contractors, and entities that fund retrofits, prevent or limit wind damage and water infiltration during high-wind events.

Hurricane Michael Recovery Advisory 2

Best Practices for Minimizing Wind and Water Infiltration Damage

This Recovery Advisory provides important recommendations to reduce wind and water infiltration damage to new and existing residential buildings

The recommendations discussed are from existing FEMA Building Science resources, including recovery advisories published after Hurricane Irma, and also include new recommendations and best practices based on observations made by the FEMA MAT after Hurricane Michael.

The primary audience includes building owners, operators, and managers; design professionals; building officials; contractors; and municipal building, and planning officials.

Mitigation Matters!  

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