FEMA and regional construction standards explained
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created a special task force that verifies regional construction standards so as to help prevent building problems during a natural disaster. Meanwhile, there are many architect and engineering student’s nationwide studying FEMA rules and regulations as it applies to their specialty. The result is a “better trained” architect or builder who “understands why our government is so bullish” when it comes to building code enforcement, states FEMA website guidance.
FEMA’s seismic codes impact construction
At a time when the government asks a lot of its architects and construction workers, it is logical that FEMA would consider new earthquake and “seismic codes” as all important for protecting property and human life in times of natural disasters. FEMA even has a statement on its website aimed at the construction industry that states: “Earthquakes don’t kill people –buildings do.”
Moreover, it is the FEMA view that poorly built construction is why these structures kill and injure so many people during times of natural disaster. While there are many good and practical reasons for FEMA to ensure its seismic codes are adhered to, the construction industry often states that it is the modern age engineer or architect who “fully understands” and follows FEMA guidelines because they realize “so many human lives depend on their building designs.” For instance, there is a longstanding view from FEMA that its seismic code has been in a constant state of “construction evolution” since the 1920s when government agencies discovered there were no specific guidelines for architects designing bigger and taller buildings.
Architects view FEMA as a partner
It seems logical that many of the FEMA construction guidelines are actually ideas and concepts first developed by concerned builders, engineers and architects worrying about how Mother Nature would impact their creations. Fast forward to the modern age, and FEMA and the construction industry are still hand in glove when it comes to developing new seismic regulations that are proven to help save lives in times of natural disaster.
Overall, the popular view from both FEMA officials and construction industry professionals is there has never been a better time in modern history when both the government and the private construction industry are “in concert” when it comes to new building code development. At the same time, there are many architects and engineers that make up the FEMA analysis staff that decides if structural failures are either manmade or an act of nature due to current climate change conditions.