Director of Research & Development
Resource Institute (UN:NGO:DESA)
Consortium Graduate Studies
for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine & Law
& Family Preparedness Network
In U.S. coastal cities impacted by
major hurricanes, one of the most significant variables associated with
property damage and destruction has been residential and commercial construction that is not
standards set forth by the FEMA National Flood Insurance Protection
program . See "Reducing Flood Losses through the International Code
Series" (FEMA Library)
Hurricane preparedness initiatives in Milford, Connecticut has focused
attention on direct waterfront construction in coastal high hazard
areas under the construction standard required for a non-high hazard
area. The inability
for citizens to obtain assistance by local municipal programs, has been
complicated by the lack of assistance by the State Building Department
Safety) and Department of Environmental Protection.
Discussions on the federal emergency management level have revealed
similar challenges that impact all coastal communities in the United
States, prompting the development of this national education
initiative to assist with mitigation and risk management discussions.
Any structure that is direct waterfront exists in a coastal high
hazard area and provides a barrier between the ocean and the
coastal community. The risk of damage associated with
hurricanes is proportional
to the the size of storm (surge, wind speed, etc., etc.).
Storm Surge and Waves: Surge - A steady rise in
sea level, Waves are on top of surge, Elevation is key to home
survival.... Protecting Homes from Waves and Flooding -
is the Key to Survival, Properly Embedded Piles, Continuous Load Path.
||20-34 kt or 23-39 mph
||35-64 kt or 40-73 mph
||65+ kt or 74+ mph
-- Hurricane Damage Mitigation for Homeowners
|Storm surge is simply
water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds
swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the
normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the
mean water level 15 feet or more. In addition, wind driven waves are
superimposed on the storm tide. -- Storm Surge: National Hurricane Center, NOAA.
| Hurricane Katrina 28 Foot Storm Surge: YouTube.
FEMA: Independent Study Courses
three-volume Coastal Construction Manual covers everything
from the history of hurricane destruction to load calcs and
construction details. Even its tagline — Principles and Practices of
Planning, Siting, Designing, Constructing, and Maintaining Residential
Buildings in Coastal Areas —
is massive. Yet this work lives up to its billing, providing a
bible for the coastal builder. Available free in print or on CD from
FEMA Publications Distribution Facility, 800/480-2520.
HRI PDFAccess to FEMA Coastal Construction Manual (FEMA 55CD, Third
- Chapter 1– Introduction. This chapter describes
purpose of the manual, provides an overview of the manual’s contents
organization, and explains how icons and summary tables are used
the manual to guide and
- Chapter 2 – Historical Perspective. This chapter
provides short summaries of selected coastal flood events, including
post-event evaluations, and it documents the causes and types of damage
associated with storms and
ranging from the 1900 hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas, to
Hurricane Georges, which struck Puerto Rico and the U.S. Gulf coast in
- Chapter 3 – Coastal Environment. This chapter
provides an introduction to coastal processes, coastal geomorphology,
and coastal hazards. Regional variations for the Great Lakes, north
Atlantic, south Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific, Alaska, Hawaii, and
territories are discussed.
- Chapter 4 – Fundamentals. This chapter provides an
overview of acceptable levels of risk; tradeoffs in decisions
design, construction, and maintenance; and cost and insurance
that need to be considered in coastal construction.
- Chapter 5 – Identifying and Evaluating Site
Alternatives. Detailed discussions of the coastal construction process
begin in this
chapter, which presents information on which to base the selection of a
site for a coastal residential building.
- Chapter 6 – Investigating Regulatory Requirements.
This chapter presents an overview of building codes and Federal, state,
local regulations, including the NFIP, Coastal Barrier Resources Act,
Coastal Zone Management programs, which may affect construction on a
- Chapter 7 – Identifying Hazards. This chapter
provides information about hazards that will influence the design and
construction of a coastal building, including coastal storms, erosion,
earthquakes, and their effects.
- Chapter 8 – Siting. This chapter describes the
factors that should be considered in the selection of building sites,
small parcels within already developed areas, large parcels of
land, and redevelopment sites. Also provided is guidance that will
designers and contractors in determining how a building should be
on a site.
- Chapter 9 – Financial and Insurance Implications.
This chapter includes explanations of short-term and lifecycle costs
associated with alternative decisions regarding siting, design, and
Included is a discussion of different types of hazard insurance and the
effects that decisions regarding where and how to build have on
purchase requirements and rates, including premium discounts.
- Chapter 10 – Introduction to Volume II.
- Chapter 11 – Determining Site-Specific Loads. This
chapter provides information on calculating site-specific loads,
including loads from high winds, flooding, seismic events, and
tsunamis, as well as combinations of more than one load.
- Chapter 12 – Designing the Building. This chapter
provides designers and builders with information needed to design each
part of a
building to withstand the expected loads. Topics covered include
failure modes, load paths, building systems, application of loads,
connections, the building envelope, utilities, and appurtenant
- Chapter 13 – Constructing the Building. This
chapter provides information needed to properly construct a building in
a coastal area. Information is provided on ways to avoid common
construction mistakes that may lessen the ability of a building to
withstand a natural disaster.
- Chapter 14 – Maintaining the Building. This
explains special maintenance concerns for new and existing buildings in
areas. Methods to reduce damage from corrosion, rot, fatigue, and
are provided along with descriptions of building elements that require
Volume III contains the appendixes referred to in Volumes I and II.