Checklist for Hazard Resistance

Multi-Hazard Resistance


  • Emergency back-up power system
  • Easy access shut-offs
  • Emergency kit storage
  • Multiple escape exits

Flood Damage Reduction

Built above anticipated flood levels:

In non-coastal A zones, floor is 2-3 feet above BFE using one of these foundation types:

  • slab on compacted fill, extending max. 2 ft. beyond house footprint
  • slab cap on compacted fill within a stem wall foundation
  • unfinished, floodable crawl space with flood vents
  • pile, post, column or pier open foundation; enclosures vented or designed to allow entry and exit of flood water

In V zones and coastal-A zones, lowest horizontal structural member is above BFE with:

  • Continuous pile, open foundation
  • No or minimal obstruction as allowed by local ordinance

In areas of minimal risk (Zones C and X) near A or V zone property:

  • Lowest floor is above BFE of nearest flood zone

Additional design features:

  • Decks, porches built and anchored to resist flood forces
  • Garage above BFE or includes flood vents if below BFE
  • Garage floor, patios, etc. min. 4 in. below living floor,
  • HVAC, electrical, mechanical systems elevated above BFE

Additional flood protection features:

  • Backflow valve in sewer line
  • Flood-resistant materials and on first floor assemblies (drainable, changeable, dryable)
  • Appliance styles, installations that minimize damage in shallow floods
  • In areas protected by levees, designs and materials that are submersible, drainable and easily flushed

Hurricane and Tornado Resistance

(See wind design speed map and associated wind resistant building code for specific requirements; checklist below includes general guidelines for hurricane zones)

General features:

  • House is < 60 ft. long
  • No more than two stories (levels)
  • Wall height of each story is < 10 ft.
  • Exterior cladding (siding, roofing, etc. rated for wind design speed)
  • Reinforced safe-room within house
  • Storm storage for outdoor items
  • Outside accessories securely anchored


For wood frame construction

  • 2x4 studs spaced 16” o.c., or 2x6 studs spaced 24” o.c.
  • Bottom plates anchored to foundation
  • All load bearing studs anchored to bottom and top plates with metal hurricane connectors or structural sheathing with load-specific nailing pattern
  • Upper story anchored to lower story
  • Structural sheathing or inset shearwalls to meet shear load requirements
  • No windows, doors near corners
  • Corner hold-down hardware at ends of each shear wall

For masonry construction:

  • Rebar connects foundation to wall (4-ft. spacing typical)
  • Rebar reinforcement full height of walls
  • Vertical rebar reinforcement at corners and both sides of windows and doors

For SIPS, ICF and other building systems:

  • Engineered for wind speed of local wind zone

Roof, Overhangs and Attachments:

  • Wind-rated connection of roof to walls
  • Hurricane straps over every rafter/truss (preferable to clips)
  • Roof pitch between 3:12 and 12:12 (< 7:12 preferred)
  • Hip roof design (preferred)
  • Gable roof end walls braced or balloon framed
  • Overhangs < 2 ft. (or engineered, if larger)
  • Roof decking nailed to rafters with ring shank nails (not stapled) at 6” o.c. or to code
  • In tornado zone, 5/8-inch plywood roof decking
  • Roof deck seams sealed (with adhesive roof tape or membrane)
  • Min. #30 roofing felt (prefer tear resistant synthetic underlayment or peel-and-stick membrane)
  • Wind- and impact-rated roofing (Class H, UL Class 4 are best); shingles installed with dedicated starter strips, nailed per high wind instructions.
  • Attic vents protected from wind-driven rain
  • Soffits of rigid material and fastened securely to framing
  • Porch, patio, carport designed, anchored for wind load
  • Columns anchored to foundation and roof beam

Windows and Doors:

  • Height < 6’-8”
  • Meet code design pressure ratings (typically > DP 30)
  • Glass protections (plywood panels or certified impact-rated storm shutters, panels, screens, or window/door units)
  • In tornado zone, passive protection (impact rated) windows
  • Pressure rated or reinforced garage door

Fire Protection

  • Fire resistant wall cladding
  • UL Class A roofing
  • Fire resistant materials around fireplace, and in kitchen
  • Smoke alarm (combination type, battery powered)
  • Lightning rod and grounding system
  • Residential sprinkler system
  • Planned extinguisher mounting locations

Hail and Freeze Hazards

  • Hail resistant roofing (UL Class 4)
  • All plumbing in heated space or well insulated
  • Pressure relief exterior faucets
  • Pex piping (flexible)

Termite Resistance

  • No untreated wood left in soil or stored near structure
  • Moisture managed construction (See Moisture Control section)
  • Professional soil treatment under foundation
  • Termite barriers at hidden pathways
  • Best: no untreated structural wood or vulnerable insulation
  • Borate-treated wall/roof framing , cellulose insulation, foams
  • Pressure-treated (not borate) or composite wood decking
  • Masonry, concrete or steel construction

Slab foundation:

  • Monolithic poured slab
  • Slab specifications to minimize cracking
  • Steel mesh epoxied pipe collars within slab
  • Consider treatment of control joints and cracks
  • No wood forms, stakes, etc. left in ground

Raised foundations:

  • No hollow concrete blocks below grade
  • Hollow block foundation walls capped with concrete
  • Piers are solid, resistant material
  • Termite shields between foundation and framing to force termite exposure
  • Floor joists >18 in. above ground

All foundations:

  • No vulnerable foam insulation under ground (below grade)
  • Min. 8-in. clearance between siding and finished grade
  • Min. 6-in. clearance between wooden steps and soil

Foundations detailed for ease of inspection and detection

  • Porches, terraces not filled with soil
  • Porch supports separated from house min. 2 in.


  • Downspouts, sprinklers, drianlines dishcarve >2ft. from house
  • Plantings placed min. 3 feet from foundation
  • No mulch near house or only termite resistant types
  • Plumbing and conduit off the ground, no wood supports
1/28/2019 8:21:56 PM
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