A Guide to Retrofitting Homes for Wind Protection

Current Status
Not Enrolled
Get Started


Hurricane Katrina damaged or destroyed 234,230 single-family homes in Mississippi alone (FEMA, 2006a). After Katrina, FEMA developed this Guide to assist homeowners and builders to improve the protection of existing homes from high wind. While a significant volume of guidance has been developed for designing new structures to resist high winds, much less has been developed to guide homeowners and builders to improve the safety of existing homes. This Guide introduces technical information needed for selecting and implementing wind retrofit projects for existing homes. This Guide identifies three successive protection packages: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced, which are specifically developed for existing homes.

Although this Guide was developed for homes in the US Gulf Coast region, this course is applicable to one-family and two-family dwellings in all coastal regions and tornado prone regions. It is not applicable to manufactured (HUD Code) housing. This guide is intended for preparations being made well in advance of expected wind events. Other FEMA Guides, such as Protecting Homes from High Wind provide guidance which includes some emergency type preparations for imminent wind events.

This course includes a multiple choice quiz at the end and is intended to provide 7 hours of professional development.


At the conclusion of this course, the student will have learned or been exposed to the following:

  • Understanding the Need for Technical Guidance;
  • Understanding Wind Retrofit Project Types;
  • Being able to Identify the Risks and Desired Level of Protection;
  • Deciding What Level of Protection to Achieve;
  • Understanding Wind Hazards in Hurricane-Prone Regions;
  • Having a better Understanding of Levels of Protection;
  • Understanding Wind Hazards and Building Codes;
  • Knowing how to Evaluate an Existing Home;
  • Understanding Basic and Intermediate Package Evaluations;
  • Understanding Advanced Mitigation Package Evaluations;
  • Knowing how to Determine Whether a Home Is a Good Candidate for a Wind Retrofit Project;
  • Understanding How to Strengthen Vents and Soffits;
  • Understanding Technical Design and Construction Methods;
  • Understanding Improvements with Roof Covering Replacement;
  • Understanding Improvements without Roof Covering Replacement;
  • Understanding How to Strengthen Overhangs at Gable End Walls;
  • Better Understanding the Methods for Protecting Openings;
  • Understanding Bracing Gable End Walls;
  • Understanding How to Strengthen Connections of Attached Structures;
  • Developing a Continuous Load Path;
  • Protecting Openings;
  • Understanding Exterior Wall Coverings;
  • Understanding Tree Falls;
  • Understanding Exterior Equipment;
  • Understanding Implementing Mitigation Projects; and
  • Being introduced to Wind Retrofit Programs.

Related Courses