Protecting Your Home and Property

Homeowners can take several steps to protect their property and reduce property damage caused by natural disasters. This section of the Homeowner’s Handbook briefly covers roof and foundation enhancements, flood prevention measures, and coastal velocity flood-zone concerns. Additional details on structural protection are available from FEMA.

The Mitigation Directorate of FEMA is continuously researching hurricane resistant designs and building methods for the construction and performance of structures impacted by storms. Numerous FEMA publications are available online.

A particularly important manual to reference is the Home Builder’s Guide to Coastal Construction (FEMA P-499). The manual contains 37 fact sheets providing technical guidance and recommendations concerning the construction of coastal residential buildings. The fact sheets present information aimed at improving the performance of buildings subject to flood and wind forces in coastal environments. Many of the fact sheets also include lists of FEMA’s and other resources that provide more information about the topics discussed.

Another important document to reference is the Wind Retrofit Guide for Residential Buildings (FEMA P-804), which summarizes the technical information needed for selecting and implementing cost-effective wind retrofit projects for residential buildings. The guide presents mitigation measures in packages, which are required sets of retrofit measures that must be implemented for a home to provide a consistent level of protection, and identifies three successive protection packages: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. Implementing the mitigation packages in this guide on existing vulnerable homes within the hurricane-prone regions of the United States will result in their improved performance in high-wind events.

Structural Stability

Keeping Water Out


Dry Floodproofing

Elevating Existing Structures

Roof-to-Wall Construction


Foundation Uplift Strengthening