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WEB-BASED HANDBOOK (Legacy Edition). CLICK HERE to submit comments.
Because of staff changes and Randolph Langenbach's retirement from FEMA, these handbooks were never published on the FEMA website.  These are the only copies available.



A. Inundation




Damage to miscellaneous facilities, such as fences and buoyant fixtures are commonly caused by floodwater inundation. In addition to saturation damage, the facility can be damaged or destroyed by debris that is carried through the floodwaters.

Mitigation Objective:

To protect miscellaneous facilities from damage due to floodwater inundation.

A.1 Strengthen Fencing

Strengthen fences damaged by low to moderate velocity flows by: 1) Using heavier gauge materials; 2) Adding back bracing to the line posts; and/or 3) Installing intermediate line posts.

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  • Fence strengthening is generally effective in areas that are flooded by low velocity flows with minimal debris loading.
  • Additional measures, such as providing sacrificial fence sections to allow floodwaters to pass, may be required to increase the effectiveness during times of moderate flow.


  • Fence strengthening has limited effectiveness in areas of moderate to heavy velocity and debris loading.
  • Fence strengthening could, in some extreme cases, cause a damming effect, raising upstream water levels.


A.2 Anchor & Tie-Down Buoyant Facilities

Provide anchors and tie-downs for fuel tanks and other buoyant facilities, such as mobile offices, storage buildings, and playground equipment to keep them from being washed away during flood events.

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Anchors and tie-downs are very effective in keeping small, buoyant facilities from being washed away.

  • Also prevents object from becoming a debris projectile or a source of contamination.


  • May not be effective in areas of moderate to high velocity flows with moderate to heavy debris loading. In these instances, relocation, elevation, or other mitigation alternatives should be considered.



NOTE:  None of the mitigation measures in these Handbooks should be considered ‘pre-approved’ or otherwise automatically eligible for FEMA funding. Only FEMA staff can determine eligibility, once they have determined that an applicant is eligible and they have reviewed a project proposal.

FEMA HAZARD MITIGATION HANDBOOKS                                                                        Updated: June 13, 2002