Remote Virtual Inspections (RVI)

Remote Virtual Inspections

Remote Virtual Inspections (RVI) are a method of inspection that allows the needed inspections to proceed in a timely manner by the owner or contractor located on the jobsite and the inspector or inspection teams performing the inspection remotely. While this practice gained good acceptance and implementation during the weeks and months of COVID-19 social distancing, its advantages are so great that it will likely become a popular and routine tool for the foreseeable future.

For more information, read the Code Council's "Recommended Practices for Remote Virtual Inspections (RVI)" Available for free download or purchase print copies via the ICC Store.


Remote Virtual Inspections publication cover


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Federal Accessibility Laws

Federal Accessibility Laws

The federal government has had laws for many years that prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities. Some of these laws address access to services, and some address physical access to buildings. Some, but not all, accessibility requirements are tied to federal funding.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal law created in 1990, grants individuals with disabilities comprehensive civil rights protection.  Title II and Title III include accessibility in buildings and their associated sites.  The ADA covers commercial buildings, government buildings and transient housing.  The scoping and technical requirements are found in the 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design.  Compliance with the 2010 ADA Standard is required for all new construction and alterations started after March 15, 2012.

Two resources for ADA and the 2010 ADA Standard are:

The Code Council is proud that the 2010 ADA Standard references the IBC for accessible means of egress. (link to the same brochure listed above)

The Fair Housing Act (FHA)

The Fair Housing Act is a civil rights law written in 1968 that prohibits discrimination for housing based on race, religion, sex or national origin. In 1988, the Fair Housing Amendments Act expanded the law to include disabilities and familial status. In 1990, The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released technical standards, the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines (FHAG), to help builders comply with accessibility requirements.

HUD has certified several editions of the IBC and the A117.1 standard as “safe harbor” documents. Safe harbor means that compliance with this code/standard meets or exceeds the requirements in the Fair Housing Act. HUD is finalizing a review of 2009 ICC A117.1 and 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018 IBC for safe harbor. A resource for FHA or FHAG is Fair Housing Accessibility First

The International Code Council is committed to meeting or exceeding the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Accessibility requirements are incorporated into the International Codes as the codes are updated, through the International Code development process.

Why use the IBC for accessibility?

The 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design and the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines (FHAG), as federal guidelines, must go through a rulemaking process to be amended or updated. The process can take a long time.

The IBC is updated on a three-year cycle. The International Code Council uses an open-hearing, consensus process to develop its building safety and fire prevention codes, including the IBC. It is an inclusive process that allows input from all individuals and groups, including federal agencies and disability advocacy groups. Each cycle includes the opportunity for public comments. Final decisions are made by International Code Council voting members -- code enforcement and fire officials who, with no vested interests beyond public safety, represent the public’s best interest. This process allows for new ideas, techniques and products to be incorporated in the requirements.

Most jurisdictions update their building codes on a regular basis. Therefore, as new technologies and accessibility provisions are incorporated into the IBC and adopted by jurisdictions, they are built into new construction.

New Accessibility Toolkit Landing Page

Improving the Accessibility of Buildings for People with Disabilities

Many of us will experience a disability at some point in our lives. Maybe it’s temporary, like a broken leg. Or it may be more permanent, such as mobility impairment, vision loss or reduced hearing. Such disabilities, whether temporary or permanent, may affect how we get around at home, at work, when we’re out shopping or at a museum, or even when we visit the doctor.

Many different groups are working to improve accessibility in the United States. Federal agencies, state and local governments, codes and standards organizations, the construction industry and disability advocacy groups have all worked together to make buildings accessible.

Learn more by clicking on the buttons below.

International Codes and Accessibility

Federal Accessibility Laws

Additional Resources from the International Code Council

New International Codes and Accessibility

International Codes and Accessibility

The Code Council’s International-Codes, or I-Codes, provide requirements for accessibility for buildings and their associated sites. These requirements are adopted by states or local jurisdictions as part of their minimum building and safety requirements. Local code officials enforce the codes by executing  plan reviews and inspections.

The Code Council has published two pamphlets on accessibility:

  • Building Codes and Accessibility Requirements (pdf available as soon as we have website set up)
  • Accessible Means of Egress (pdf available as soon as we have website set up)

Click the button below for additional Code Council resources on assessibility.

The scoping requirements (what, where and how many) are found in the International Building Code (IBC) for new construction, and the International Existing Building Code (IEBC) for existing buildings being altered. The technical requirements (how to) are in the referenced standard ICC A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities (ICC A117.1).

Check with your local jurisdiction to see which editions of the codes and standards have been adopted in your jurisdiction.  The Code Council holds open hearings for the development of the codes and standards.  Here's more information on code development and information on ICC A117.1 development. The Code Council also has commentaries for the codes and standards that include the code text followed by additional information on the research, reasoning or history of the requirement.  These commentaries are available for purchase at the Code Council store.



Add’l Code Council Accessibility Resources

Additional Resources from the International Code Council  

The International Code Council offers a variety of products and services related to accessibility. The organization publishes codes and standards, provides plan review services, certification and training, as well as other support services.

The International Code Council’s award-winning magazine, the Building Safety Journal, includes accessibility-related articles.

The ICC Store carries a variety of publications related to accessibility, including codes, standards and code commentaries. International Code Commentaries include additional information on the history, development and reasons behind the requirements in the code. Commentaries also include all code text. Many of these products are available in multiple formats.

Plan Review
As part of its Plan Review program, the International Code Council offers plan review services for building accessibility. Staff reviews plans of the submitted building for compliance with accessibility requirements in the IBC and the technical requirements in the ICC A117.1. Fees are based on the size of building, use and type of construction.

Certification is a significant professional accomplishment. Many local governments require International Code Council certification as a criterion for employment. The International Code Council offers a variety of certification tests for inspectors, plans examiners, code officials and support staff, including Accessibility Inspector/Plans Examiner certification. Information on International Code Council Certifications, can be found here. Information on Accessibility Inspector/Plans Examiner Certification, can be found here.

The International Code Council offers a range of educational opportunities for professionals, in multiple formats, including on-line courses, training institutes, on-site instructor courses, telephone seminars, and more. Several classes deal with accessibility issues in the codes.

Still have questions on accessibility? Submit your question.

Off-Site Construction

Off-Site Construction Solutions for Today’s Challenges

The building industry is facing multiple challenges, including workforce availability, housing affordability, job site safety, building quality and sustainability. The expanded use of off-site construction (often called modular or prefabrication) is one approach to address these challenges. The International Code Council’s Family of Solutions offers multiple solutions to support the safe and efficient use of off-site construction.

Can't see the video? Click here!

Design, Fabrication, Construction and Assembly

ICC/MBI Standard 1200: Standard for Off-Site Construction: Planning, Design, Fabrication, and Assembly

The International Code Council is partnering with the Modular Building Institute (MBI) in the development of a comprehensive standard to address all facets of the off-site construction process including: planning; designing; fabricating; transporting; and assembling commercial and residential building elements. This includes componentized, panelized and modularized elements. This standard will not apply to HUD Manufactured Housing. Learn More.

ICC/MBI Standard 1210: Standard for Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Systems, Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation in Off-site Construction

ICC 1210-202X will address requirements for the energy efficiency and water conservation of off-site construction projects and the planning, designing, fabricating, transporting, and assembling, of commercial and residential building MEP system elements. This includes the componentization and modularization of elements of MEP systems, the incorporation of MEP systems in componentized, panelized or modularized building elements, and the achievement of energy efficiency and water conservation requirements in off-site construction. This standard will not apply to HUD manufactured housing. Learn more.

ICC G5-2019 Guideline for the Safe Use of ISO Intermodal Shipping Containers Repurposed as Buildings and Building Components

  • More than 30 million International Organization for Standardization (ISO) intermodal shipping containers are in use around the world today. These containers were built to ISO standards and maintained to standards defined by the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) “Convention for Safe Containers.”
  • New or used, containers are now repurposed at a pace that makes their reuse a multi-billion-dollar global industry. Containers are regularly repurposed and converted into International Residential Code and International Building Code occupancy uses. As a building material, the applications are widely diverse as is the extent to which the container is used as a structural building element.
  • Local jurisdictions and state administrative programs are reacting to the growing trend of shipping container repurposing but can be behind in terms of regulations and compliance. This International Code Council Guideline is intended to help state and local jurisdictions as well as owners, architects, builders and engineers in their assessment as to how to design, review and approve shipping containers as a building element. Purchase ICC G5-2019.



  • NTA Structural Design Services
    • Whether new or existing construction, NTA’s Engineering Department can provide you with complete structural engineering calculations and analysis to aid in determining code compliance. NTA has licensed engineers in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, Guam and parts of Canada.
    • Our staff of highly qualified engineers is made up of both PE’s (Professional Engineers) and trained design engineers to allow us the ability to offer third party engineering to fit each client’s unique needs, ensuring that each client receives top of the line customer service and quick project turnaround. Learn more.



  • IAS Accreditation for Manufactures/Fabricators
    • IAS provides accreditation for structural steel (AC172), reinforced and precast/pre-stressed concrete (AC157) and wood wall panel fabricators (AC196) based on requirements in Chapter 17 of the International Building Code®.
    • Getting accredited involves an assessment of the fabricators management system and verification that the on-site inspections have met the requirements of industry standards and IAS accreditation criteria. Maintaining accreditation requires periodic assessments as required by the building code. Learn more.
      • IAS AC157: Accreditation Criteria for Inspection Programs for Prestressed/Precast Concrete Panels
      • IAS AC172: Accreditation Criteria for Inspection Programs for Structural Steel
      • IAS AC196: Accreditation Criteria for Inspection Programs for Wood Panels
    • IAS AC472: Accreditation of Fabricator Inspection Program for Metal Building Systems
      • IAS accredits the inspection programs of companies that design and fabricate custom engineered metal building systems.
      • The accreditation is based on requirements in IAS Accreditation Criteria AC472, International Building Code® and related standards. The accreditation criteria covers inspections of metal building system elements that are essential for designing, specifying, building or approving metal building systems. Learn more.
    • IAS AC786: Accreditation for Fabricators of Container-Based Structures
      • IAS accredits fabricator’s inspection program that modify Intermodal Shipping Containers that are repurposed as buildings and building components.
      • The accreditation criteria covers the fabricator’s written fabrication procedures and quality control manuals that provide a basis for control of materials and workmanship of shipping container elements that are essential for structural safety in modified containers.
      • The accreditation is recognized by the National Portable Storage Association (NPSA).
  • ICC-ES Product Evaluations
    • ICC-ES AC462: Acceptance Criteria for Structural Building Materials from Shipping Containers
      • The acceptance criteria is limited to the evaluation of the reuse of shipping containers as a source of building materials, with the steel components of the shipping containers redesigned for use in the design of steel structures under Sections 104.9, 2204, 2205, 2210, and 2211 of the IBC and R104.9 and R301.1.3 of the IRC. The intent of the acceptance criteria is to evaluate the quality control procedures used to establish and verify the dimensions, chemical and physical properties of the steel components of the shipping containers, and to evaluate the steel components for design in accordance with the provisions of the IBC. Purchase AC462.
    • ICC-ES AC14: Acceptance Criteria for Prefabricated Wood I-Joists
      • The prefabricated wood I-joists are used in lieu of sawn lumber joists and rafters. The I-joists are limited to use in combustible roof and floor construction. Purchase AC14.
    • ICC-ES AC04: Sandwich Panels
      • AC04 establishes guidelines for the evaluation of all sandwich panels except panels with specific configurations and/or compositions that are covered in other current acceptance criteria. Purchase AC04
    • ICC-ES AC340: Patio Covers
      • AC340 establishes guidelines for evaluation of patio covers, particularly with regard to wind and snow loads. Purchase AC340
    • ICC-ES AC509: 3D Automated Construction Technology for 3D Concrete Walls
      • AC509 establishes guidelines for evaluation of the material and durability properties of proprietary 3D concrete and the structural performance of 3D concrete walls. Purchase AC509
    • NTA Building Product Testing
      • NTA is an independent third-party agency, offering evaluation, testing, inspection, and certification services to the building product industry. NTA is fully accredited to the ISO 17025 (Midwest/Southwest testing laboratory), ISO 17020 (inspection body) and, ISO 17065 (certification body) standards, ensuring that both consumers and regulatory agencies are confident in our testing services and comprehensive product evaluations. Learn more.


Construction and Assembly

  • IAS Accreditation of Assemblers
    • IAS AC478: Accreditation Criteria for Inspection Practices of Metal Building Assemblers
      • IAS accredits the inspection practices of companies that assemble metal building systems. The accreditation is based on requirements in IAS Accreditation Criteria AC478 and the International Building Code®. Getting accredited involves an assessment of the company’s management system, that includes the assembly processes, internal safety, training programs, periodic jobsite inspections, etc. IAS accreditation establishes a benchmark for companies qualified to assemble and erect metal buildings. Learn more.

Plan Review, Permitting and Inspection

ICC/MBI Standard 1205:  Standard for Off-Site Construction: Inspection and Regulatory Compliance

ICC is partnering with the Modular Building Institute (MBI) in the development of a comprehensive standard to address the inspection, approval and regulatory compliance of off-site residential and commercial construction components and their assembly and completion at the final building site. This includes: permitting; in-plant and on-site final inspections; third party inspections; the role of Industrialized Building Departments, state modular programs and the Authority Having Jurisdiction. Off-site construction includes componentized, panelized and modularized elements. This standard will not apply to HUD Manufactured Housing. Learn More.


Plan Review & Permitting

  • IAS AC251: Building Department Third-party Service Providers Accreditation
    • IAS accreditation demonstrates that subcontracting companies are competent to provide building department services for communities. The accreditation is based on IAS Accreditation Criteria for Building Code Regulatory Agencies And Third-Party Service Providers (AC251). Getting accredited involves an assessment of the department’s goals, policies, and procedures for permitting, inspections and plan reviews. Learn more.
  • NTA Third-Party Plan Review Services
    • NTA’s third-party plan review helps to ensure your structure meets or exceeds requirements for quality, safety and performance, as well as being code compliant. We are an industry leader in verifying HUD, modular, residential, commercial and industrial buildings are compliant to the International Residential Code (IRC), International Building Code (IBC) and other state and Federal standards. Learn more.
  • ICC Training & Certifications
    • The ICC Learning Center features a specialty catalog of webinars and online and in-person courses that support code officials and third-party plan reviewers and inspectors for both commercial and residential off-site construction. Learn More.



  • IAS Accreditations
    • IAS AC98: Inspection Agency Accreditation
      • IAS accredits inspection agencies to ISO/IEC Standard 17020. This accreditation process involves an assessment of the agencies competence for performing inspections and the consistency of their inspection activities. IAS accredits agencies that perform inspections of materials, products, installations, processes or services. Learn more.
    • IAS AC291, ISO/IEC Standard 17020: Special Inspection Agency Accreditation
      • IAS provides accreditation for special inspection agencies based on requirements in the International Building Code®, New York City Building Code, Philadelphia Building Code, Southern Nevada Building Code and IAS AC291. Getting accredited involves an assessment of the agency’s inspection procedures, the competence of its inspection staff, and its reporting procedures. Accredited agencies have demonstrated competence to perform special inspections required in the building code and related standards. Learn more.
    • ICC Training & Certifications
    • NTA Third-Party Inspection Services
      • NTA is the third party of choice for residential, commercial and factory-built housing inspection and certification because of our consistent ability to deliver in-plant quality audits by knowledgeable personnel. We employ professionals that, combined, have completed over 300 building code examinations and have over 190 inspector licenses and certifications. Our network of third-party inspectors enables us to assess in-plant quality control procedures; ensuring consistent quality of your product for code compliance and if needed, help you build an entire quality assurance program. Learn more.
    • NTA Building Product Testing
    • ICC-ES Product Evaluations
  • The ICC Learning Center features a specialty catalog of webinars and online and in-person courses that support code officials and third-party plan reviewers and inspectors for both commercial and residential off-site construction. Learn More.

Earthquake Safety and Resources

Earthquake safety Banner

Earthquakes can strike most anywhere at any time, and real-time scientific data shows they do. Further, statistics show the number of major earthquakes worldwide has increased during the past decade.

In 2018 alone, devastating earthquakes struck in the Philipines, Venezuela, Italy, Russia and many other areas, resulting in deaths, injuries and property damage.

In the United States, Alaska and California have the most earthquakes annually, many of them small enough they aren’t felt. But larger ones can, and do, happen anywhere, including the Midwest and along the East Coast.

No matter the location, it’s clear casualties and property damage are mitigated when people are prepared, and homes and other structures are built to the latest codes.

Communities and homes not ready for earthquakes can suffer loss of life and major infrastructure damage. Resulting fires can damage power and gas lines, and fighting fires can be disrupted if water lines are broken.

The International Codes (I-Codes) prescribe designing structures to be earthquake resistant and resilient in design and construction. More stringent codes are recommended for areas where earthquakes occur more often, as well as for buildings that need to be operational immediately following a disaster, such as police and fire stations and hospitals.

If an earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause deaths, injuries and extensive property damage. Here are some helpful tips to prepare your family and protect your home:

  • Plan and hold earthquake drills for your family. To learn more about planned earthquake drills in your area, visit the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills website.
  • Identify two ways to escape from every room in the home.
  • Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person's bed.
  • Select a safe location away from the home where your family can meet after evacuating.
  • Have an earthquake kit containing enough water, food, medicines and other necessities for at least three days.
  • Hire an inspector to make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation.
  • Strap water heaters, appliances and TVs to wall studs.
  • Anchor bookshelves, heavy furniture, appliances and televisions to wall studs.
  • Secure pictures, mirrors and ornaments to the wall with appropriate fasteners.
  • Know where and how to shut off electricity, gas and water services.
Seismic Functional Recovery Portal

The term “seismic functional recovery” means that buildings are not only designed and constructed for life safety, but also to support the basic intended functions of the building’s pre-earthquake use and occupancy within a maximum acceptable time.

The Code Council offers a "one-stop" source for this information at our Seismic Functional Recovery Portal.

Additional resources

FEMA P-530 Earthquake Safety at Home

Earthquake safety tips from FLASH

Prepare your home for earthquakes

When should I evacuate?  

Reconnect and recover                      

Earthquake Preparedness Guide: For People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs                     

What NOT to do during an earthquake

Emergency evacuation kits  

Earthquake safety video series

Earthquake safety tips from the American Red Cross  

Protecting your home from earthquakes

FEMA Earthquake Resources

Flood Safety and Recovery

Flood Safety Banner

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. Floods can happen anywhere, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and can occur during any season. Even the deserts of the Southwest are at risk during the late summer monsoon season. However, some areas of the country are at greater risk at certain times of the year.

Only an inch of flooding can cause catastrophic damage to homes and businesses, ruining flooring and wallboards, as well as family treasures. Severe flooding can ruin communities and cause significant loss of life from high waters, as well as from electrical shock and contaminated waters.

The International Codes, and specifically the International Residential Code (IRC) ensure homes are properly constructed to prevent against the worst of flood damage. The Code Council, FEMA and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) offer resources to help communities prepare for floods and stay safe during cleanup as well.


Video Course: IRC Flood Provisions Part 1

Video Course: IRC Flood Provisions Part 2

Reducing Flood Losses Through the International Codes: Coordinating Building Codes and Floodplain Management Regulations, (Updated for 2018 I-Codes)

International Code Council: Flood Cleanup (Safety and Salvaging) 

International Code Council: Safety First Disaster Preparedness (Tips for Your Home and Family) 

International Code Council: Mold: Tips on Prevention and Control Brochure (set of 25)


How to prepare for a flood 

What to do after a flood                                                                                                   

Protect Your Property from Flooding                                                                 

Cleaning Flooded Building Fact Sheet      

Rebuilding Your Flood Damaged House     

Elevating Floodprone Buildings Above Minimum NFIP Requirements

Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (Risk MAP)                                                 

Designing for Flood Levels above the BFE after Hurricane Sandy                            

Flood Hazard Mapping Updates Overview Fact Sheet                                    

Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards 

Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting

Protecting Building Utility Systems from Flood Damage                                                                            

Free Building Code Resources for all hazards   

Building in Higher Flood Zones: Freeboard – Reduce Your Risk, Reduce Your Premium

What is Freeboard? Raise your home, Lower your monthly payment

Reducing Losses through Higher Regulatory Standards


FEMA Flood Insurance

The National Flood Insurance Program

National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System

Flood Insurance Claims Handbook                                                                                                                                         

What to Do After the Flood - Information for NFIP Policyholders

NFIP Technical Bulletins

FEMA Building Science Publications: Flood



Flood Safety

Floods BFE: Know your base Flood Elevation

Floods: Flood proofing-wet                                        


Other Links                                                                                                                                                   

American Red Cross: Flood Safety Checklist 

American Red Cross: Repairing Your Flooded Home 

National Weather Service: Flood Safety Tips and Resources                         

The 9 Worst Things you can do during a flood emergency 

Polygon: Essential Guide to Flood Planning and Preparation


Tornado Safety and Recovery

Tornado Safety and Recovery Banner

Tornado Safety and Recovery

In the spring, people often begin thinking about their gardens. They also should consider whether their homes and businesses have strong roots as tornado season begins.

An average of 1,000 tornadoes a year hit the United States, with many occurring in various “Tornado Alleys,” such as the Plains states, including Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas.

While no structure can be 100 percent tornado-proof, it’s critical, especially in tornado-prone areas, to make sure homes and businesses can withstand as much wind as possible. You also want these structures to be resilient, meaning they are able to return to functionality fairly quickly after the event.

A properly built, high-wind-resistant safe room protects your family from the most intense tornadoes and hurricanes and can be incorporated into a planned build or renovation to create a multiuse space in your home, adding to its value. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) urges homeowners to "Give an Ordinary Room an Extraordinary Purpose" by building or retrofitting interior spaces in their home to safe room standards.

Safe rooms:

  • are designed to withstand winds up to 250 miles, and offer lifesaving refuge for families in the path of high-wind events like tornadoes.
  • are designed to meet standards set forth by the National Storm Shelter Association, the International Code Council and FEMA, and will stand up to the most intense tornadoes and hurricanes.
  • can be located anywhere on the first floor of your home, in a basement or outside. A safe room can double as a closet, bathroom, laundry or even an outdoor room like a garden shed or pool house.

Being prepared goes a long way toward keeping you and your loved ones safe during the storm.


Here are some helpful tips from the International Code to make sure you are tornado ready.

At the beginning of tornado season in your area:

  • Make sure your family has a plan to congregate in a safe place during a storm.
  • Warn your children about finding a safe place away from home.
  • Store flashlights and extra batteries.
  • Clean storm gutters and drains.
  • Prepare your home for high winds and rain.
  • Repair/replace storm shutters.
  • Check your property insurance policy for appropriate coverage.

Before the storm:

  • Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools. Anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
  • Check/replace emergency supplies and store bottled drinking water.
  • Review family emergency plans.
  • Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy.
  • Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve.

During the storm:

  • Stay inside in a secure place, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors. Listen to a crank- or battery-operated radio for storm progress reports. DO NOT GO OUTSIDE.
  • Stay away from electrical equipment and piping that can conduct electricity from lightning.
  • Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy.
  • Avoid flooded roads, and watch for washed-out bridges.

After the storm:

  • Listen for the all-clear from a community siren, or from local radio. Make sure everyone is okay; get emergency help, as needed.
  • Be careful as you assess the damage in your home, watching for live wires, broken glass, nails and other debris
  • Take pictures of any damage to the house and its contents for insurance claims.
  • Check the exterior. Avoid loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company, police or fire department. The same goes for gas lines.
  • Let your insurance company know of any damage. Work only with accredited companies on any repairs. If you suspect a scam, report it to authorities.

More Information Tornado Safety Guide

Preparing for Tornados and High Winds by Simpson Strong-Tie

Additional Guidance from FEMA

Safe Room Testimonial Video
Video: Putting Fortified Construction to the Test
Protect Your Property from High Winds Fact Sheets
FEMA Safe Room Resources
Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms FEMA P-361
Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for your Home or Small Business FEMA P-320
Wind Retrofit Guide for Residential Buildings FEMA P-804
Building Science for Disaster-Resistant Communities: Wind Hazard Publications (brochure)

Winter Safety Resources

Winter Safety Resources Banner

Winter Safety Resources

When the weather's cold, some of us look forward to winter activities, while others look forward to just huddling in front of a fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate.

But a gentle reminder is in order: Each season has its dangers, and winter is no different. For example, The Centers for Disease Control says thousands die each year from exposure to extreme cold, or from carbon monoxide poisoning due to faulty heating units, which also can cause fires in homes if not used properly.

Another example: Deadly fires also can result when homeowners use torches to thaw frozen pipes. The American Red Cross offers tips to prevent pipes from freezing and what to do if it happens.

The following list offers preparations you can make at home and when traveling to make sure you have a fun and safe winter.

Your Winter Toolkit

Red Cross: Winter Storm Safety

Red Cross: Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit

Federal Alliance for Safe Homes: Winter Freeze Flash Card

Generator Safety Tips from NFPA

USDA Agricultural Research Service:  The Cold Stress Guide

FEMA Fact Sheet on Winter Storms

FEMA Snow Load Safety Guidance

FEMA Snow Study Summary Report

CDC: Extreme Cold- Prevention Guide

NOAA: Winter Storms- the Deceptive Killers: A Preparedness Guide

University of Wisconsin-Extension: Winter Storm Preparedness and Response

Congressional Hazards Caucus Fact Sheet: Winter Storms

FEMA Emergency Supply List

FEMA Family Emergency Plan

Winter Preparedness Tips for Persons with Disabilities

Winter Tips for Older Americans

Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

Winter Storm Preparedness and Response: Safety At Home and While Traveling

How to Winterize Your Manufactured Home

Caring for Ice-Damaged Trees

North Dakota State University: Heat Safely with Alternative Fuel Heating Systems

Solve Winter Home Moisture Problems

Check Sewer Vents for Ice Accumulations

Preventing Roof Collapses from Snow and Ice on Agricultural Buildings

Protecting Trees and Shrubs against Winter Damage

Better Business Bureau: Hiring a Snow Removal Contractor

Three-Day Emergency Food Supply

Preparing Food During a Power Failure

Safety of Refrigerated Foods After a Power Outage

AARP: 5 Hidden Health Dangers of winter

Protect Your Business from Frozen Pipes

Cold Weather Pet Safety

Electric Portable Space Heater Safety

Cold Weather and Cardiovascular Disease

News articles

5 Tips Homeowners Need This Winter to Prevent Unnecessary Costs

WashPo: Chicago faces one of its coldest days on record as the Midwest plunges into deep freeze

NBC's Jeff Rossen Reports update: How to avoid bursting pipes and costly repairs this winter

NBC's Jeff Rossen Reports: Winter hacks to protect your home from snow and ice

NBC’s Today Show: Rossen Reports Update-- How to use a space heater safely

Health Officials: House Fires More Likely During the Holidays

Red Cross Offers Home Heating Safety Tips

House Works: Winter Prep for Snowbirds; Ice Dams