Mitigation Assessment Team Report: Hurricane Ike in Texas and Louisiana: Building Performance Observations, Recommendations, and Technical Guidance [open pdf - 86MB]
"For the past 25 years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has studied the performance of buildings affected by disasters of national significance. Disasters of national significance provide opportunities for research on how hazards affect the built environment and also an opportunity to research the performance of current building codes and practices. This work is accomplished by the FEMA Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT). Often, recommendations from these findings have been adopted as statutes in model building codes, or just as importantly, as guidance for better and stronger construction practices. These broad-minded studies are driven by a core mission of FEMA's Mitigation Directorate: to reduce future damages from disasters. They support an integral part of the Stafford Act, which is to reduce the loss of life and property that can occur from disasters. The ongoing study of the effects of these significant disasters and the documentation of findings will help in developing recommendations to enhance building performance. Improving building performance will reduce the vulnerability of population centers and critical infrastructure to natural hazards. This can be accomplished by exploiting the science and technology developed today, and imparting this knowledge to local communities through guidance and education. In response to a request for technical support from FEMA's Joint Field Office in Austin, TX, and the Transitional Recovery Office in New Orleans, LA, FEMA's Mitigation Directorate deployed a MAT to Texas and Louisiana in October 2008, to evaluate both building performance during Hurricane Ike and the adequacy of current building codes, other construction requirements, and building practices and materials."
Federal Emergency Management Agency: http://www.fema.gov/