What is My Property’s ABFE?
The interactive tool below can assist you in determining the current and advisory flood risk of your property*. To find out what information is available for your property, follow these three easy steps:1. Enter your address into the field below and click the “Get Details” button. Internet Explorer users: You must click‘No’ if a security warning pop up window appears on your screen in order for information to display correctly in the report after clicking the “Get Details” button.
2. A “flag” (graphic) will be added to the map banner below indicating the location the tool will provide information at. Find your home on the map and click on your house.
3. The data fields below the map banner will provide you with an overview of ABFE and related information at the location you placed the flag (graphic). Print the report and take it to your local building and permitting authority to understand the building requirements for your property.
The ‘What is my ABFE’ tool will return ‘N/A’ results in 2 situations: 1) in cases where ABFE data is not yet available for a location and 2) in cases where the location is not in an Advisory flood zone. ABFE data has been released for the following counties to date: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union (New Jersey). Therefore, if your property is located in one of these counties and you receive ‘N/A’ results, it is most likely you are not located in an Advisory flood zone.
As you make decisions for rebuilding and reconstruction, the information provided by the What is My ABFE Tool will provide you an understanding of the possibility of flooding and coastal wave actions that affect your property. Investigations conducted by FEMA and other organizations after major coastal disasters have consistently shown that properly sited, well-designed, and well-constructed coastal residential buildings generally perform well. This information can assist you in your rebuilding efforts and provides a centralized point of risk information for you to discuss permitting requirements with your local building and permitting staff.• Local building and permitting varies by community. This information will allow you to meet with your local building and permitting authority to discuss your individual property building requirements.• Before building, property and business owners should consult their local government officials to determine the mandatory elevations and any construction requirements for their home or building.• Consider elevating your home’s lowest floor above the Base Flood Elevation. Elevating your structure is a good way to reduce your risk of flooding even if your property is not currently subject to flooding.• Elevating your home above the Base Flood Elevation or Advisory Base Flood Elevation (whichever is higher) will also provide a future reduction in flood insurance premiums.• If your property is subject to coastal wave action, consider breakaway walls and other structural building measures that will allow the building to remain after a storm event.• Consider relocating your structure (if possible) to minimize the hazards your home or business may encounter.Visit the ABFE Toolkit for Property Owners webpage for answers to common questions about the ABFEs and helpful fact sheets and websites regarding ABFEs, rebuilding, flood insurance and other topics.Questions or comments? Call the National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at 1(800) 427-4661 or contact us through our online form today.
Coastal Mapping Basics
The effects of tides, combined with large amounts of water and waves from storms make coastal areas some of the most at-risk areas when it comes to flooding. To identify and map coastal flood hazards accurately, many factors must be taken into account, such as the amount of development in the area, the types and strength of storms that historically have affected the area, and the onshore and offshore topography. This section provides an overview of the steps involved to identify and map the coastal flood hazards shown on the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). The FIRM is used to determine flood insurance requirements for residents and where floodplain development regulations apply in a community.
Coastal Storm Surge Analysis
Wave setup. In addition to the effects of wave runup and the computed storm surge stillwater elevation, there is also an increase in the water level caused by waves breaking ashore during a storm event. This increase in the water level is called ‘wave setup’, which can be a significant factor in determining coastal BFEs. Wave setup is affected by the height of the waves, the speed at which waves approach the shore, and the slope of the ground near the shore.
Erosion (or, the removal of soil) due to storms and the presence of coastal structures, such as seawalls are also taken into account when overland wave modeling is performed.
Once the coastal storm surge analysis and overland wave modeling are complete, the most up-to-date topographic information available will be used to map the coastal SFHA boundaries based on the results of these analyses. BFEs will also be added to the FIRM at this point in the mapping process. The different flood risk zones that comprise the coastal SFHA – ‘V’ zones and ‘A’ zones (described below), will also be delineated.
Information for Disaster Survivors and Recovering Communities
FEMA continues to lead the Federal government’s effort to provide assistance and support to States affected by Hurricane Sandy, ensuring Federal agencies and their public and private partners continue to provide all available resources toState, local, and tribal communities in affected areas. This page lists helpful resources to support recovery and rebuilding efforts by individuals, business owners and communities affected by Sandy.
FEMA’s Hurricane Sandy homepage provides the latest information on available FEMA assistance and recovery initiatives with materials in nine different languages. Additional information for New Jersey residents is available through the State of New Jersey’s Hurricane Sandy Information Center. Additional information for New York residents is available through the NYC Severe Weather webpage.
To learn more about FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or to find an insurance agent, visit FloodSmart.govor call 1-888-229-0437. If your home or business has been damaged by flooding, you may be required to meet certain building requirements in your community to reduce future flood damage before you repair or rebuild. To help you cover the costs of meeting those requirements, the NFIP makes available Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage for all new and renewed standard flood insurance policies. Additional information about ICC coverage is available in the following brochure:
On July 6, 2012, a law took effect that made significant reforms to the NFIP. The fact sheet Changes in the Flood Insurance Program: Preliminary Considerations for Rebuilding provides additional information on these changes.
Prior to Hurricane Sandy, FEMA was restudying areas of the New Jersey and New York coastlines to update flood hazards shown on NFIP Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) in these areas. These updated maps were set to be delivered to State and local officials in mid-2013. Since existing FIRMs for these areas were developed more than 25 years ago, and because updated FIRMs are yet to be finalized, FEMA believes it vital to provide near-term Advisory Base Flood Elevations (ABFEs) to support rebuilding efforts.
Visit this website’s Hurricane Sandy ABFE webpage for comprehensive information on the availability of ABFEs, how they can be used, and to view and download data once available. Additional information is also available through the ABFE Toolkit for Property Owners page, the ABFE Toolkit for Community Officials page and the ABFE Frequently Asked Questions page.
To ask questions and get information about flood insurance and ABFEs, call the National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at 1(800)427-4661 or contact us through this website’s online form.
For more information about how to build safer and stronger and to potentially decrease your flood insurance premiums, download the FEMA Hurricane Sandy Building Science fact sheet. More information on recent changes to the NFIP that should be considered when rebuilding is available in the fact sheet Changes in the Flood Insurance Program: Preliminary Considerations for Rebuilding.
Buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area that are determined to be substantially damaged or improved must be brought into compliance with the minimum requirements of the community’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)-compliant floodplain management laws or ordinances. Communities participating in the NFIP often have difficulty determining whether buildings are substantially damaged. This difficulty is magnified after a major flood or other disaster where a large number of buildings have been damaged and there is a need to provide timely substantial damage determinations so that reconstruction can begin. The Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) software was developed to assist State and local officials in estimating building value and costs to repair residential and non-residential buildings and is available for download at no cost. The reference document Substantial Damage Estimator Best Practices is also available online.
Before building, property and business owners should consult their local government officials to determine the local building code, permit, and mandatory elevation requirements for their home or building.
Available assistance can include rental payments for temporary housing, grants for home repairs, low interest loans for small businesses, and more. Information to learn about the types of assistance available and to apply for assistance can be accessed using the following ways:
- Apply online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov/ or through a mobile device at m.fema.gov.
- FEMA Blog
- On Facebook - FEMA Sandy
- On Twitter - @FEMASandy
- @FEMAregion2 (NJ, NY, PR, VI)
- FEMA’s mobile website - m.fema.gov
- Interactive Maps
Questions or comments? Call the National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at 1(800) 427-4661 or contact us through our online form today.