There are many interactive online tools available to help you identify the flood risk of your property and your community.
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), sometimes called flood risk maps, are available online at FEMA’s map service center or region2coastal.com. This information will help you determine whether your property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area, whether you will be required or should purchase flood insurance, and what risk you may face from future flood events.
What is my BFE? The What’s My BFE? tool from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) helps you to identify the Base Flood Elevation for your structure. The base flood elevation identifies how high the water is likely to rise during a 1% chance flood. The BFE is used in determining the required elevation of any new or substantially improved structure. The BFE helps determine insurance premiums in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). You can find your BFE by entering your address into FEMA’s online “What is my BFE” tool found at region2coastal.com/sandy/table. Some municipalities also have BFE records on file.
NJ Flood Mapper njfloodmapper.org
This new interactive mapping website allows users to visualize coastal flood hazards and sea level rise. Users can see the most recent flood elevation data from FEMA, as well as simulate sea level rises from one to six feet. NJ Floodmapper also has maps showing areas affected by Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge.
Emergency Weather Alerts
If you live in a flood-prone area, make sure you are ready to receive alerts in case of a coming storm or flood. Consult the local weather forecast office of the National Weather Service (NWS) for various tools to learn about coastal and inland flooding. For most counties in NJ, residents should visit the website of the NWS Mt. Holly, NJ forecast office at weather.gov/phi. Some northern coastal communities, including Union, Hudson and Bergen Counties, should consult with the NWS New York City weather forecast office at weather.gov/okx. Your local weather forecast office will provide updated coastal flood watches and warnings, and often share weather briefings alerting you to your risk during acute events. Also, contact your local emergency management organization to find out what local services exist to notify you of an impending flood. Many counties have services to push notifications to people via text messages on cell phones. A list of County emergency management offices is available here. Each municipality will have its own designated emergency management coordinator you can contact also.