Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Disaster & failure studies

Disaster & failure studies look at building and infrastructure performance and emergency response and evacuation procedures in disaster situations.

Buildings, bridges, and other man-made structures are not supposed to fall down. But sometimes they do, and for different reasons: fires, earthquakes, high winds, errors in design and construction, flaws in materials, and even terrorist attacks.

When disaster and failure events cause, or pose the potential for, substantial loss of life, the NIST Disaster and Failure Studies Program provides a platform for research into building and infrastructure performance and emergency response and evacuation procedures.

By understanding the technical causes leading to structural or response failures and then making that information public, NIST engineers and researchers strive to prevent similar failures in the future. Studies conducted by NIST have led to significant changes in practices, standards, and codes to enhance the health and safety of the American public.

News and Updates

Avoiding the Crack of Doom

Just as a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step, the deformations and fractures that cause catastrophic failure in materials begin with a few

Industry Impacts

Structural Resilience of Infrastructure

The best way to prevent buildings, bridges and other structures from collapsing—whether because of natural forces, human error or malicious attacks—is to learn

Projects and Programs

Community Resilience Program

Community resilience has emerged as a way to reduce the direct and indirect costs due to natural, technological, and human-caused hazard events. There continues

Publications

Community Resilience-Focused Technical Investigation of the 2016 Lumberton, North Carolina Flood: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Author(s)
John W. van de Lindt, Walter G. Peacock, Judith Mitrani-Reiser, Nathanael Rosenheim, Derya Deniz, Maria K. Dillard, Tori Tomiczek, Andrew Graettinger, Patrick S. Crawford, Kenneth W. Harrison, Andre Barbosa, Jennifer Tobin, Jennifer F. Helgeson, Lori Peek, Mehrdad Memari, Elaina Sutley, Sara Hamideh, Donghwan Gu, Stephen Cauffman, Juan F. Fung
In early October 2016, Hurricane Matthew crossed North Carolina (NC) as a Category 1 storm, with some areas receiving 0.38 m to 0.46 m (15 to 18 in) of rainfall