Governor Christie Outlines Regulations to Allow Residents and Businesses to Rebuild Faster, Stronger and Safer from Hurricane Sandy
Standards Will Ensure Lower Premiums In The Long Term, Protecting Residents From Out Of Control Costs.
TRENTON -- Taking action to give New Jersey families, businesses and local governments the best available guidance to quickly and more durably rebuild from Hurricane Sandy, Governor Chris Christie today signed emergency regulations to adopt the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) updated Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFEs) maps as the rebuilding standard for the entire state. These regulations establish requirements and more efficient procedures for residents and businesses to construct, reconstruct, relocate and elevate buildings and other structures in flood hazard areas.
Using the best available science and data as reflected in these advisory maps will give families, businesses, and communities the best assessment of their risk – allowing them to better mitigate damage from future flood events, avoid higher flood insurance costs, and begin the rebuilding process immediately. Because of federal reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program to move towards increased flood insurance rates that reflect actual risk, families who rebuild their properties in a manner that does not conform to updated base flood elevations will see significant premium increases.
By acting today to use the latest available information and data from FEMA to set rebuilding standards for New Jersey, Governor Christie is helping homeowners and small businesses rebuild properties that are less at-risk, while also helping them avoid potentially massive, out-of-control flood insurance costs over the long-run.
While each property and rebuilding situation is unique, an example provided by FEMA illustrates the dramatic impact new standards can have on flood insurance rates, in addition to the issues of increasing the risk to the safety of the property and its inhabitants. If a property owner is currently in an “A zone” at 4 feet below the BFE elevation and are reclassified as a higher threat “V zone” and take no action, that property will be rated at a higher risk and be subject to an approximate annual premium (phased in) of up to $31,000. In addition to the threat posed by being 4 feet below the BFE in elevation, the property owner will be non-compliant with V zone construction standards.
In contrast, if the owner were to rebuild to the suggested BFE and appropriate construction standards, the annual premium (phased in) would be approximately $7,000. If the resident rebuilds 2 feet above the BFE with the construction standards for their new zone, the annual premium would be approximately $3,500. A savings of up to $27,500 annually.