Monmouth County, New Jersey
FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM (NFIP)
Richard W. O'Neil
171 Bay Avenue
Highlands, New Jersey 07732
Highlands Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)
Property Protection Existing Structures
New Construction Substantial Improvements
Examples of some pertinent FEMA Publications
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the federal government's principal administrative mechanism for reducing flood damage. Established by Congress in 1968, the NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The NFIP insures buildings and their contents in flood- prone areas, where conventional insurance had, prior to the NFIP, been generally unavailable.
The rate structure of the NFIP’s insurance premiums reinforces the intent of these regulations by charging higher insurance rates for buildings subject to greater hazard. These insurance rates are set primarily on the basis of designated hazard zones and the elevation of the building or structure in relation to the level of flooding likely to occur in each zone. This differential rate structure provides a significant financial incentive to locate buildings in less hazardous zones or to increase buildings' flood safety by elevating them higher than the NFIP’s minimum elevations. An important objective of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is to protect structures constructed in flood- plains from flood-induced damage. In support of this objective, the NFIP regulations include building design and construction criteria that apply to new construction and substantial improvements (Including structures which have incurred substantial dam- age) of existing structure in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA).
Highlands Borough Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is identified as Community - Panel Number 345297 0001 B, Borough of Highlands, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Map Revised December 22, 1998, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
AE Zones - Special Flood Hazard Areas
The AE Zones for the Borough of Highlands are at the base flood elevation (BFE) 11 NAVD (North American Vertical Datum 1988).
VE Zones - Special Flood Hazard Areas
The VE Zone for the Borough of Highlands are located in the Coastal High Hazard Areas, which are areas of special flood hazard extending from offshore to the inland limit of a primary frontal dune and any other area subject to high velocity wave action from storms of seismic sources. The Borough of Highlands has various VE Zones all referenced to the NAVD 1988. Note Highlands FIRM Map: Zone VE Base Flood Elevations (BFE) (EL12), (EL13) and (EL15) (numbers in parentheses).
AE Zone and VE Zone Differences
Although AE Zones and VE Zones both identify areas at risk from the base flood, the potential severity of the flood hazard is less in AE Zones. The severity of the flood hazard is less hazardous in AE Zones primarily because high-velocity wave action either is not present or is less significant than in the VE Zones. The VE Zone inundation by flood- waters bears an additional impact of waves and water- borne debris and the effects of severe scour and erosion. Consequently, wave and debris impact, erosion, scour hazards are less severe in AE Zones.
Flood Damage Reduction Insurance Savings
There are a number of ways residents can flood proof or protect their properties. Existing residential, industrial and commercial buildings located in or near the floodplain can be protected by several cost-effective measures to with- stand flooding. Depending on the situation, location and availability of funds, the following measures for flood proofing techniques can and should be used:
Elevation - Raising a building can eliminate damage from moderate floods and reduce damage from larger floods. It will save money that would otherwise be spent to repair and clean up the building and its contents after a flood. In some case, much of the contents require replacement. There is reduction in inconvenience and annoyance caused by the time-consuming cleaning up and repairing of a building. Other benefits of flood proofing may include less time off from work, improved health and safety and other intangible benefits.
Elevate electrical and mechanical equipment located below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
Construct floodwalls or closures -
Relocation and buy out options -
Property owners interested in relocation or buy-out options should discuss these issues with a representative of the Borough of Highlands and obtain additional information from FEMA.
Highlands Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance
To regulate development in the floodplain, the Borough of Highlands, in conjunction with federal, state and county agencies has adopted and enforces various ordinances and regulations, Highlands Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance 0- 99-11 Part 7, Article XXIV of the Zoning Ordinance, adopted August 18, 1999. The purpose of this Zoning Ordinance is to protect the public health and safety, and prevent construction practices that will increase flooding, and preserve our natural environments. Before property owners commit a significant investment of time and money in flood proofing, they must file an application for a Zoning Permit. Property owners should check Highlands Building/Construction Department for regulations and building codes to be sure that the flood proofing measures will be in compliance. In order to determine if your property is included in the flood- plain, consult the Borough of Highlands FIRM, Flood Insurance Rate Map. Information is available upon request at Highlands Borough Hall, 171 Bay Avenue. Call ahead to request materials or appointment: (732) 872-1224, extension 215 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or by scheduled appointment Issued unless the proposed construction will comply with flood regulations. Structural changes must be reviewed and approved to minimize future flood damage and to encourage owners to protect structures constructed in flood plains from flood-induced damage.
Structural Changes to Buildings in the Flood Plain
The Borough of Highlands requires all structural changes to buildings in the flood plain be approved by the Highlands Zoning Officer and Building and Construction Official. Owners must file an application for a Zoning Permit with the Zoning Officer. A municipal Flood Development Permit is required prior to issuance of any Building/Construction Permits. Building/Construction Permits for certain improvements may not be improvements may not be issued unless the proposed construction will comply with flood regulations. Structural changes must be reviewed and approved to minimize future flood damage and to encourage owners to protect structures constructed in flood plains from flood-induced damage.
New Construction and Substantial Improvement
New construction projects or substantial improvement projects to existing structures (when the value of the improvements' exceeds 50% of the market value** of the structure) require filing of an application for a Zoning Permit with the Zoning Officer. A municipal Flood Development Permit will be required prior to issuance of Building/Construction Permits from the Borough of Highlands. Zoning, Municipal Flood Development and Building/Construction Permits must be secured according to Highlands Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance 0-99-11 Part 7, Article XXIV of the Zoning Ordinance, adopted August 18, 1999.
*Value of the improvements is based on the contractor’s estimate or the value of the labor and materials
**Market value will be based upon an estimate of a licensed Realtor or an appraisal, as determined by the Borough.
Residential and Nonresidential Structures
-All structural components must be adequately connected and anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or permanent lateral movement of the building during floods.
-Building materials and utility equipment must be resistant to flood damage. All machinery and equipment servicing the building must be elevated one foot above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
-All utilities must be flood proofed to at least two foot above the BFE including: furnaces, heat pumps, hot water heaters, air-conditioners, washers, dryers, refrigerators and similar appliances, elevator lift machinery, and electrical junction and circuit breakers boxes.
-Any space designed for human habitation must be elevated to one foot above or above the BFE, including bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining living, family and recreation room.
-Uses permitted in spaced below the BFE are vehicular parking, limited storage, and building access (stairs, stair- wells, and elevator shafts only, subject to design requirement s described below for walls).
-Residential structures must be elevated such that the lowest floor (including basement) is elevated to one foot above the BFE on fill, posts, piers, pilings, or extended walls.
-Where fully enclosed space exists below the BFE, walls must be designed to minimize buildup of flood loads by allowing water to automatically enter, flow through vents, louvers, or valves and drain from the enclosed areas to equalize flood levels inside and outside en- closed spaces.
-Elevation certificates are required on all substantial and new construction in the AE Zone.
-Elevation certificates in the AE Zone require a licensed surveyor or engineer.
-Nonresidential structures constructed in AE Zones must be elevated or dry flood proofed (made watertight) to or above the base flood elevation (BFE).
Dry-Flood Proofing Nonresidential Structures
Measures to accomplish dry flood proofing of nonresidential structures must not only provide watertight protection but also must be designed to withstand hydro- static, hydrodynamic, and impact forces produced by flooding.
-Registered professional engineer or architect shall develop, review structural design specifications and plans for the construction and design and methods of construction.
-Dry flood-proofing certification, which includes the specific elevation to which the nonresidential structure shall certify is flood proofed and filed with the Borough of Highlands Building and Construction Office.
Note: Highlands Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance 0-99-11 Part 7, Article XXIV of the Highlands Zoning Ordinance, adopted August 18, 1999, does not require nonresidential structures flood proofing to be certified at a minimum of one-foot above the base flood elevation - one foot of freeboard
However, for insurance purposes it is always recommended flood proofing to one foot above the base flood elevation (BFE) be implemented. Insurance settlements always deduct one foot from flood proofing certificates. NOTE: To receive a flood insurance rate based on 100-year flood protection, the structure must be dry flood proofed to an elevation at a minimum of one 1- foot above the base flood election (BFE), (i.e. one foot of freeboard), in accordance with the National flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
-Elevation certificates are required on all substantial and new construction in the AE zone
-Elevation certificates require a licensed surveyor or engineer.
Residential and Nonresidential Structures
-Buildings must be elevated on pilings, posts or piers such that the bottom of the lowest horizontal member is elevated to one foot above the BFE.
-Buildings must be securely fastened to adequately anchored pilings, piers or post to withstand velocity flow and wave wash and scour.
-Space below the lowest horizontal member must be free of obstruction or enclosed with breakaway walls (i.e., walls designed and constructed to collapse under velocity flow conditions without jeopardizing the building’s structural support).
-Fill may not be used for structural support.
-No construction is allowed seaward of the mean high tide line.
Residential and nonresidential structures in VE zones must be constructed with their lowest horizontal member elevated to a minimum of one foot above the BFE ( i.e. (1) one foot of freeboard) .
-Elevation certificate is required on all substantial and new construction in the VE zone
-Elevation certificates require a licensed surveyor or engineer.Enclosed areas below the base flood elevation (BFE) in the VE Zone
New construction and substantial improvement of residential and nonresidential structures located in VE Zone Areas used solely for parking, building access, or limited storage must have the space below the lowest horizontal member either free of obstruction or constructed with non-supporting breakaway walls.
-Breakaway walls must be constructed to collapse under wind and water loads without causing collapse, displacement or other structural damage to the elevated portion of the building.
-Open wooden lattice and insect screening constructed below the lowest horizontal member does not require a certified registered professional engineer or architect.
-Construction plans for breakaway walls must be certified by a registered professional engineer or architect.
(Free Brochure available at Highlands Borough Hall, 171 Bay Avenue Highlands, NJ 07732)
Reading can be requested free from:
FEMA-15 Design Guidelines for Flood Damage Reduction. Provides general information about flooding and how to property design and build flood prone areas.
FEMA-54 Elevated Residential Structures. Covers property design and construction methods for elevated areas.
FEMA-102 Flood proofing Non- Residential Structures. Describes a variety of flood proofing strategies for commercial and industrial structures.
FEMA-114 Design Manual for Retrofit- ting Flood prone Residential Structures. Presents flood proofing techniques that can be used for existing residential structures
FEMA-186 Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance Guidelines. Presents an overview of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 as it amends the Act of 1973 to explain the applicable statutes or regulations.
FEMA 258 Guide to Flood Insurance Rate Maps. For understanding how to read and use a FEMA flood insurance rate map.
FEMA 259 Engineering Principles and Practices for Retrofitting Flood Prone Residential Buildings. Provides engineering design and economic guidance to engineers, architects, and local code officials about what constitutes technically feasible and cost-effective retrofitting measures for flood prone residential structures.
FEMA 55 Coastal Construction Manual. Principles and Practices of Planning, Designing, Construction and Maintaining Residential Buildings in Coastal Areas.
FEMA 348 Protecting Building Utilities from Flood Damage. Principals and Practices for the Design and Construction of Flood Resistant Building Utility Systems.
FEMA 347 Above the Flood - Elevating Your Flood prone House
FEMA 312 Homeowners Guide To Retrofitting
FIA-2 Answers to Questions about the National Flood Insurance Program
Highlands Borough has a FEMA approved Flood Mitigation Plan. The Highlands Flood Mitigation Plan is available by written request to the Borough Administrator.