IS-8.A: Questions and Answers

The FEMA IS-8.A: Building for the Earthquakes of Tomorrow course offers a comprehensive training program tailored for individuals aspiring to take on leadership roles in emergencies related to earthquake preparedness, response, or recovery.

If you’re gearing up for the FEMA IS-8.A exam, our guide provides concise responses to 29 common IS-8.A questions sourced directly from official FEMA course materials. With detailed explanations to enhance understanding, our resource is your go-to support whether you’re studying, revising, or navigating through the open-book IS-8.A exam.

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What are common FEMA IS-8.A Test Questions?

We have collected and answered the 31 most common FEMA IS-8.A test questions people ask online:

  1. Seismic waves generally travel much shorter distances on the West Coast than on the East Coast because:
  2. The NEHRP Provisions addressed effective methods of seismic design and construction of:
  3. If the region in which you live has not experienced an earthquake in 200 years, your earthquake hazard is low.
  4. Which term refers to powerful ocean waves caused by an earthquake, landslide, or volcanic eruption on the seafloor?
  5. When a building and the ground vibrate at the same rate, they resonate, and the vibrations _____.
  6. Partitions, ceilings, and exterior walls can _____ a building’s vibration.
  7. Which of the following is not a horizontal bracing system?
  8. Earthquake activity can be caused by _____ movement of plates.
  9. A fault is a fracture in the earth’s outer shell, on either side of which rock mass moves _____.
  10. A tall building has a longer natural period than a short one.
  11. The ideal characteristics for building materials in seismically active areas are ductility and stiffness.
  12. Which of the following activities may be considered mitigation?
  13. The Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale measures the _____ of an earthquake.
  14. The Richter Scale measures the _____ of an earthquake.
  15. Temporary as well as permanent structures built following a disaster using Federal funds through the Stafford Act must meet the requirements of Executive Order 12699.
  16. A building constructed according to the NEHRP Provisions may sustain enough damage during an earthquake that it must be demolished.
  17. Liquefaction occurs when:
  18. All Federal agencies have the same seismic safety standards.
  19. The owner of a new office building, currently under construction, is going to lease 20 percent of the building’s space to the Federal Government and is therefore subject to the requirements of Executive Order 12699.
  20. Two of the objectives of NEHRP were to educate the public about earthquake risk reduction and increase the use of existing scientific and engineering knowledge to mitigate earthquake hazards.
  21. The Provisions consider a building’s seismicity and its Seismic Use Group and assign it to a _____ in order to define its seismic safety requirements.
  22. What is the clearest indication that your community is seismically safe?
  23. Scientists use _____ waves to find an earthquake’s epicenter.
  24. _____ waves cause most of the damage to the built environment during an earthquake.
  25. A community that is likely to incur a great deal of damage during an earthquake is referred to as having a high seismic _____.
  26. NEHRP was created as a result of:
  27. In order to make the construction of seismically safe buildings economically possible, the ICSSC drafted Executive Order 12699 to mandate that a building should be designed to prevent:
  28. Buildings are assigned to Seismic Use Groups on the basis of _____.
  29. All faults will cause earthquakes.

What should you know about the FEMA IS-200.C course?

FEMA IS-8.A, also known as “Building for the Earthquakes of Tomorrow: Complying with Executive Order 12699,” is a course provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It aims to educate individuals about the requirements of Executive Order 12699, which focuses on ensuring that federal buildings are designed, constructed, and maintained to minimize the risks associated with earthquakes.

This course covers various topics related to earthquake-resistant building design and construction, including seismic hazard assessment, building codes and standards, structural engineering principles, retrofitting techniques, and risk mitigation strategies. It is designed for individuals involved in the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of federal buildings, as well as emergency management professionals who may be involved in earthquake response and recovery efforts.

Participants in the FEMA IS-8.A course will gain an understanding of the importance of seismic resilience in building infrastructure, learn about the specific requirements outlined in Executive Order 12699, and explore best practices for ensuring compliance with these requirements. The course may include case studies, practical examples, and interactive exercises to reinforce key concepts and principles.

Overall, completing the FEMA IS-8.A course equips participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to the development of earthquake-resistant federal buildings and enhance community resilience to seismic events.

ParametersFEMA IS-200.C course details
Creation DateNot specified
Primary AudienceFederal building planners, designers, constructors, and maintainers
Course ObjectiveCompliance with Executive Order 12699 on earthquake-resistant building design
Duration10 hours
Available LanguagesEnglish, Spanish


What is the Objectives of the FEMA IS-8.A Course

  1. Describe the Intent and Implications of Executive Order 12699: The course enables students to understand the purpose of the Executive Order, the consequences of noncompliance, and how it affects the built environment.
  2. Theory and Practice of Executive Order 12699 and Hazard Mitigation: Participants learn about the rationale for including seismic provisions in building codes and the broader concept of hazard mitigation.
  3. Compare Standards and Local Codes: The course guides students to analyze and compare the standards set by the Executive Order with local codes, identifying substantive differences and deficiencies.
  4. Develop Compliance Plans: It equips learners with the knowledge to develop action plans for achieving compliance with the Executive Order, particularly if local codes do not meet its standards.

What specific jobs do require a FEMA IS-200.C certification?

Jobs that may require a FEMA IS-8.A certification include:

  1. Federal building planners
  2. Designers
  3. Constructors
  4. Maintainers
  5. Emergency management professionals involved in earthquake response and recovery efforts.

How is the FEMA IS-8.A Structured?

The IS-8.A course is divided into the following five units:

  • Course Introduction: The introductory unit presents the history of earthquakes in the United States and sets the context for the course.
  • Executive Order 12699: This unit delves into the specifics of the Executive Order, its requirements, and implementation details.
  • Earthquake Causes and Characteristics: The course provides an understanding of the natural phenomena of earthquakes, their causes, and characteristics.
  • Assessments and Final Exam: To ensure comprehension, each unit ends with a review, and there’s a final exam to evaluate the participants’ grasp of the course material.
  • Certificate: Successful completion of the course awards a certificate, recognizing the participant’s understanding and readiness to apply the concepts learned.

What should I know about the FEMA 8.A final exam?

The FEMA IS-8.A final exam serves as a crucial assessment of participants’ grasp of the course material and their ability to apply it effectively. Typically presented in a multiple-choice or true/false format, the exam covers a wide array of topics essential to earthquake-resistant building design and compliance with Executive Order 12699. These topics encompass seismic hazard assessment, building codes and standards, structural engineering principles, retrofitting techniques, and risk mitigation strategies. With a typical duration ranging from 30 to 60 minutes, successful completion of the final exam is a prerequisite for obtaining the FEMA IS-8.A certification, which holds significance for professionals involved in federal building planning, design, construction, maintenance, as well as emergency management personnel tasked with earthquake response and recovery efforts.

To excel in the FEMA IS-8.A final exam, participants must undertake thorough preparation, including revisiting course materials, engaging with practice quizzes or exercises, and consolidating their understanding of key concepts. The exam demands a comprehensive understanding of seismic resilience principles and their practical application in federal building projects. Achieving a passing score on the exam not only validates participants’ knowledge but also underscores their readiness to contribute effectively to the development of earthquake-resistant infrastructure and bolster community resilience to seismic events.