"Every year, natural disasters and human-made hazard events cause fatalities and injuries, and cost billions of dollars in property damage throughout the United States. Mitigation creates real value for the American people by reducing loss of life, injuries and property damage for communities who are faced with these hazards as well as by minimizing disruption and enabling faster recovery. The FEMA Building Science Branch studies these hazards and provides technical services within FEMA, to the rest of the federal government and to our private sector partners. With a focus on earthquake, wind, flood and other natural and human-made hazards, the Building Science Branch takes a lead role in developing state-of-the-art publications, guidance materials, tools, training, technical bulletins and recovery advisories that incorporate the most up-to-date building codes, flood damage resistant requirements, seismic design guidelines and wind design requirements for new and existing buildings."
Federal Emergency Management Agency: http://www.fema.gov/