What Updated FEMA Flood Maps Could Mean for You as a New Jersey Resident

Did you know that FEMA recently released new mapping for the Coastal Flooding Sone and Advisory Base Flood Elevations? These updated maps affect communities in both New Jersey and New York, along waterways in the area, as well as the Atlantic Ocean coastline. If you own property in the area, it’s a good idea to look at the maps to determine if you need updated drainage systems.

The goal is to provide more awareness so property owners and homeowners can be proactive about understanding flood risk. When you know that you are in a moderate or high flood risk area, you can consult with a contractor who offers drainage services in New Jersey to identify the ideal solutions for preventing water damage to your building and property.

What Is a Flood Map?

A flood map is designed to help the community see the risk of flooding throughout the area. The map is marked with specific flood zones, as well as other details that indicate a risk of water issues. Base flood elevation and floodplain boundaries can be key indicators to determine which areas have the highest risk of flooding if a big storm comes through and water levels increase.

Regardless of your location on the flood map, there is always some risk of flooding. Even if a flooding natural disaster is unlikely, there could potentially be water damage from plumbing issues or nearby properties. So, all New Jersey property owners should be proactive about their drainage system in case something happens unexpectedly.

Flood maps list both low- and moderate-risk zones, as well as high-flood-risk zones. The flood risk is clearly marked in sections on the map and often color-coordinated depending on the specific flood map you are looking at.

On FEMA flood maps, you will see the low- and moderate-risk areas listed with these letters: B, C, & X. These markings indicate that the risk of flooding has been reduced, but they aren’t removing the risk completely. In fact, approximately 1/3 of all insurance claims for flooding come from low- and moderate-risk.

On the other hand, high-risk flood areas are listed with A or V on the flood map. If your property is located in any of these high-risk areas and your mortgage is federally backed, then you have a requirement to purchase flood insurance. This insurance is typically a condition of having this type of FEMA loan.

Recent Changes to the FEMA Flood Maps You Should Be Aware Of

Because of the natural evolution of how water moves through lakes, shorelines, and other water features, flood risk is expected to change over time. So, FEMA is proactive about updating these maps as needed. They look at many different variables, including flood types that could occur in the area and flood frequency in recent history.

Additionally, the map changes evaluate the distance to nearby water sources, property characteristics, and elevation in the area. 

As a property owner, you need to know if there have been any changes in the flood risk to your property. Even if you haven’t had flooding issues in the past, there is a possibility of future problems because of changes occurring in waterways nearby.

Property owners also need to consider the cost of rebuilding if a big flood damages the property. Make sure that you have sufficient insurance coverage so you have the necessary financial support if a natural disaster occurs.

How the Recent Flood Map Changes May Affect You

Not only do these flood maps help you understand the potential risk to your properties, but these maps are also used by service providers. For example, insurance agents use flood maps to identify the ideal rates for property owners to pay for insurance coverage. 

Flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) set different premiums and coverage availability depending on the location of the property on the flood map. These maps will determine whether there are mandatory requirements to purchase flood insurance, as well as specific building code requirements and floodplain management requirements.

If the recent flood map changes have placed your property in a higher risk area than previously indicated, then it means that you could be facing an increase in insurance rate changes.

Additionally, understanding that your property could be at risk of flooding is an excellent indicator that you should invest in better drainage services in New Jersey. If something happens and there is too much water in the area due to a flood, you will be glad to have a reliable system for protecting your property and moving the water away from the buildings.

Mikula Contracting Can Provide You with a Proper Drainage Solution

Rest assured, knowing that there are solutions for protecting your property from water damage. Regardless of where you are located on the flood map, Mikula Contracting can help with your personalized drainage system in New Jersey.

We have years of experience with both commercial drainage and residential drainage systems. Contact us to schedule a consultation to learn more.

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