National Flood Insurance Program and Implementation of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act ant the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA)
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is providing information on
additional steps underway to implement changes to the program as a
result of the 2012 and 2014 flood insurance reform legislation. The
guidance on the changes being implemented will bring rates into
compliance with the new laws beginning April 1, 2014.
The NFIP provides the opportunity for homeowners, renters, and business to purchase flood insurance for protection from flooding. FEMA also works with communities to update and develop flood maps to inform the community of their current flood risk. These actions allow community members to take important steps to prepare for flooding risk in their area.
President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA) of 2014 into law. This law repeals and amends certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters) and the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968.
The new law slows some flood insurance rate increases and offers relief to some policyholders who experienced steep flood insurance premium increases in 2013 and early 2014.
The NFIP is in the process of implementing congressionally mandated reforms with the Program’s private sector, Write Your Own insurance company partners. Specifically, the flood insurance rate structure and business practices are being further revised to implement certain provisions of the legislations. Changes taking place in April 2015 include: annual rate increases for policies to support the gradual move to full risk rates; an increase in the Reserve Fund Assessment; implementation of an annual surcharge on all new and renewed policies; an additional deductible option; a one year preferred policy for policyholders who took part in a new flood map or revision; and an increase in the Federal Policy Fee.
The attached Backgrounder provides detailed information on the program changes taking place in April 1, 2015. Additional information can be found in the latest Bulletins provided to the NFIP’s private sector Write Your Own insurance partners at www.NFIPiService.com.
FLOOD PROTECTION AND COASTAL STORM SAFETY
FOR THE BOROUGH OF LAVALLETTE
OCEAN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY
Mayor Walter G. LaCicero
Council President Anita Zalom
The Community Rating System
The Borough of Lavallette is currently participating in the Community Rating System (CRS) under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The CRS, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides that a community, who performs specific activities related to flood protection, flood awareness, and flood prevention, can secure reduced flood insurance premiums for all property owners within the community.
This is the Borough’s eleventh year of active participation within the program. For 2014 we have acquired a rating of 6 within the program guidelines. If you carry flood insurance, this will result in 20 percent reduction in your annual flood insurance premium. This is double the amount of savings from the previous year. The program benefits all residents by increasing flood protection, awareness, and prevention, as well as, premium reductions for flood insurance policy holders.
FEMA has recently initiated a change in the way the
Community Rating System (CRS) premium discounts are applied. If you
are a flood insurance policy holder, you have been receiving a
discount on your flood insurance premium based on the Borough’s
involvement in the CRS program. Effective
Standard Homeowner’s Insurance Policies do not cover losses due to floods. However, Lavallette is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes it possible for Lavallette Property Owners to obtain federally backed flood insurance. This insurance is available to any owner of insurable property (a building or its contents) in Lavallette. Tenants may also insure their personal property against flood loss. The Borough encourages all property owners or renters to carry flood insurance.
The cost of flood insurance will vary depending upon the amount of coverage and the degree of flood hazard. We urge persons who live or own property in Lavallette to purchase flood insurance to protect themselves from losses due to flooding. This insurance is required in certain circumstances, such as the purchase of a home with a federally backed mortgage.
CRITICAL NEW! If there is a Flood-Insurance Policy lapse for any reason (sale, cancellation, etc.), any new policy will be based on the current rating system and will not be “Grand fathered”. In the event of a sale, policyholders must transfer coverage to the purchaser to provide flood insurance coverage at the “Grand fathered” (lower) rate.
Note: There is a 30-day waiting period before most flood insurance policies go into effect.
Each homeowner is reminded that local construction permits are required for most modifications you may plan for your house. The municipal ordinances and/or codes contain mandatory requirements related to new or modified building construction, certain of which are included to provide protection against flooding. Each homeowner should contact the Municipal Building Department (732) 793-5105 before they build, fill, or otherwise develop any land within the Borough. It is also important, for the protection of the entire community, to notify the Municipal Building Department of any illegal filling of lands or building within the Borough that you might notice. The Lavallette Building Department requires an elevation certificate prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy for new or substantially improved structures. Copies of all approved elevation certificates are available at Borough Hall.
The municipal drainage system consists primarily of underground pipelines and catch basins located at street level. The Borough conducts semi-annual inspections of all catch basins under municipal jurisdiction and removes all sand and debris that has accumulated in the structure. The drainage system provides an important function in that it minimizes, where possible, localized flooding caused by rainwater.
The Borough of Lavallette has an anti-liter ordinance, which prohibits the disposal of debris within the Municipality. This ordinance in part is for the purpose of keeping litter out of the municipal storm drainage system. Any violations should be reported to the Borough Hall, Code enforcement Office at (732) 793-5105 or the Police Department.
The storm drainage system carries untreated storm
runoff directly to
Property Protection Measurers
Every year, flooding in the
One approach is to waterproof your walls and place watertight closures over the doorways. This method should be used on homes with basements or if water will not get over two feet deep.
Another approach is to raise your house above the flood level. Over 300 houses in Lavallette over the last five years have raised the elevation of their homes above the flood level.
There are various other actions each homeowner can take to flood proof their homes. Electrical panel boxes, furnaces, water heaters, and washers and/or dryers should be located at a point in the house that is less likely to be flooded. Interior or exterior backflow water values can be installed or interior floodwalls can be placed around utilities in order to protect these essential services.
If an impending flood is apparent for the area, and time permits, the homeowner should move essential items and furniture to the upper floors of the home for protection. Materials such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber should be kept on hand for emergency waterproofing of your home. The use of these materials for a flood protection may minimize the amount of damage caused by floodwaters. It is unlikely that you get much warning of an imminent flooding situation so a detailed checklist prepared in advance would help ensure your greatest protection.
During a hurricane, homes may be damaged or destroyed by high winds and high waves. Debris can break windows and doors, allowing high winds inside the home. Roofs, windows, doors, and garage doors should be properly checked.
The Federal Insurance Administration suggests the following action when coastal storms or hurricanes are imminent:
- Turn off all electrical power at panel.
- Close main gas value.
- Move household items to the highest level you can.
- Remove cardboard boxes and newspapers as these materials can disintegrate and clog drains and vents.
- Keep a full tank of gas in your automobile.
If you leave your home, here are some essentials you should take:
first aid supplies, supply of non-perishable food, batteries (hearing aid, flashlight), battery operated portable radio, blankets, dry clothing, shoes, and socks, important papers, bank and check books, valuable and cherished items, games for children and adults
For further information on this topic, please fell free to contact the Borough’s CRS Coordinator, Chris Parlow or the Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator, Michele Burk at (732) 793-7477.
There are several actions residents of Lavallette can take to decrease the potential for injury due to flooding.
- Know the flood warning procedure.
- Do not attempt to cross flowing water where water is above your knees.
- Keep children away from floodwaters, ditches, culverts, and storm drains.
- If your vehicle stalls in high water, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
- Evacuate the flood hazard areas in times of impending flood or when advised to do so by the police or fire department.
- Cut off all electric circuits at the fuse panel or disconnect switch. If this is not possible, turn off or disconnect all electrical appliances.
- Shut off the water service and gas values in your home.
- Stay away from downed power lines and electric lines. Report downed lines to the Municipal Police Department.
- Look out for animals. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in your home.
- Clean everything that gets wet. Floodwater may have contacted road chemicals, sewage, and other harmful materials.
In the event of a major disaster or hurricane the only means to identify your home may be through the number affixed to the building. Please make sure your home does have the house number properly placed on the building. The number should be large enough to view from the street and the color of the number should contrast with the color of the home.
Flood / Local Hazard
The Borough of Lavallette is vulnerable to coastal
storms and hurricanes. Typically, severe winter storms, or
Nor’easters, occur each year between Mid-October and Mid-May. The
entire Borough of Lavallette is located in a special flood hazard
area and is vulnerable to flooding from the
A sample copy of the Borough’s most up-to-date revised Flood Map is included on the next page. The actual Flood Insurance Rate Map is available for review at the Borough Clerk’s Office and on the FEMA Region II Website @ www.region2coastal.com/sandy/table. The Borough is located in a Coastal A Zone.
Natural and Beneficial Functions
The dune and beach areas help reduce damage by mitigating the effects of storm waves.
Without the dunes, oceanfront properties would be exposed to the full force of waves during storm events. The natural and beneficial function of the ocean front dunes cannot be overemphasized. Lavallette Development of Beaches Ordinance (Chapter 8) regulates the beach and dune area, prohibiting virtually all construction and regulating access. What you can do to help:
- Stay off the dune!
- Cross dunes only at approved pathways or walkways.
- Support in dune maintenance (dune grass planting program).
- Report Development of Beaches Ordinance violations.
The following is a list of contact personnel who have the knowledge, experience, and have agreed to discuss flood hazard protection methods with you.
Bureau of Dam Safety and Flood Control: James Watt (609) 292-2296
Ocean County Soil Conservation District: Christine Raabe, District Director (609) 971-7002
Borough CRS Coordinator: Gary Royer (732) 793-5105
Borough Building Inspector: Kenneth Kiseli (732) 793-5105
Certified Flood Plan Manager: Gary Royer (732) 793-5105
Emergency Management Coordinator Police Chief Colin Grant (732) 793-4800
Borough Engineer: Michael O’Donnell (732) 573-0490
FEMA Region II - Jerome Hatfield (212) 680-3600
Army Corps of Engineers (215) 656-6500
Additional information concerning flood protection assistance is available on the following websites as well as the Upper Shores Branch of the Ocean County Library:
Substantial Improvements / Damage Repair
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that if the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s market value, then the building must meet the same construction requirements of a new building. Substantially damaged buildings must also be brought up to the same standards (e.g. a residence damaged so that the cost of repairs equals or exceeds 50% of the building’s value before it was damaged must be elevated above the base flood elevation). This requirement is required by the Chapter 31 of the Code of the Borough of Lavallette, Flood Hazard Area Ordinance, and enforced through the Building Permit process.
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) Information
The Borough of Lavallette provides inquirers with information from the Flood Insurance Rate Maps, including the flood zone, repetitive loss areas and a property’s base flood elevation. The Borough is also available to perform site visits to offer flood protection assistance. A directory of local officials available to perform site visits is provided below.
Flood Warning System
The following Evacuation Plan is designed for evacuation of the Borough of Lavallette in the event of hurricanes or severe flooding:
During the likelihood of an emergency or disaster event the Emergency Management Officials will provide important information.
· Emergency notification will be provided via phone, email and text messages through a newly acquired emergency notification / alert system. Please visit Borough’s Website for signup information.
· Information Disseminated Via Radio. You should turn your radio to one of the following radio stations:
1160 WOBM-AM 100.1 WJRZ-FM
92.7 WOBM-FM 1310 WADB-AM
- Information Disseminated Via Television Ocean Monmouth Cable TV
- If you don’t have access to a radio, call 1-800-792-8314 for the New Jersey State Police Emergency Management Hotline.
- Police Department will use their loudspeakers to advise citizens of the emergency and information regarding evacuation routes.
- In most events, traffic control positions will be located at the following
- Route 35 North and Ortley Avenue
- Route 35 South and New Brunswick Avenue
- Bay Boulevard and New Brunswick Avenue
- If you are unable to evacuate please contact the Lavallette Police Department at (732) 793-4800 to arrange your transportation to inland shelter.
- Check the Borough’s Website for up-to-date flood warning information and notices.
A sample copy of the Borough’s Flood Map is included on this page. The actual Flood Insurance Rate Maps are available for review at the Borough Clerk’s Office. The Borough is located in a Coastal A Zone.
Download: Flood Map
The Preliminary Map information is now available
on the FEMA Region 2 Coastal Website:
The online Tool, “What is my Base Flood Elevation (BFE)?” is also available on
www.Region2Coastal.com for residents and property owners.
Lavallette Preliminary Maps PDF presentation