News
Township of Hazlet
10/08/12

Flood Protection Information

FLOOD PROTECTION AND AWARENESS INFORMATION

Many of residents in Hazlet Township enjoy the beauty of residing near the waters of Natco Lake, Waackaack Creek, Thorne's Creek, East Creek and Flat Creek. However, the associated benefits are accompanied by the threat of natural disasters such as hurricanes, nor'easters, and flooding and the potential damage they bring to our low lying areas throughout the Township. Tidal forces from the nearby Raritan Bay have brought flood waters onto our roadways, businesses and homes. The Township strives to prevent flooding due to accumulated debris and damaged infrastructure; educate citizens on the dangers of water infiltration; and enact emergency notification and evacuation procedures.

Every resident contributes to the overall success of our preparedness. Please take a moment to review the following information and follow the established guidelines. For further information, please contact the Township at (732) 264-1700.

COMMUNITY RATING PROGRAM

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) operates the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides assistance to flood victims in participating communities.

Under the NFIP, a community may elect to participate in the Community Rating System (CRS), a ranking program that recognizes communities which exceed the minimum flood protection standards by offering lower insurance premiums based on a ranking system.

Ten CRS Classifications are offered to communities. Class 1 requires the most points from the ranking system and offers the highest insurance premium reductions, while Class 10 is awarded to communities which do not meet the minimum requirements or do not apply to CRS. Hazlet Township participates in the CRS program and currently has a Class 8 ranking which affords residents a 10% reduction in their flood insurance costs.

In order to be eligible for the CRS program, communities must be registered with the NFIP for at least one year. CRS awards points to communities based on 17 creditable activities in four categories, described as follows:

Public Information

Maintain FEMA elevation certificates for all new construction

Respond to inquiries to identify a property's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) zones

Send information about flood hazards, insurance, and protection measures to the public

Require Real Estate Agents to advise purchasers of flood prone properties

Maintain flood insurance and protection references at the Public Library

Provide property owners technical advice on flood protection

Mapping and Regulatory

Develop new floodway delineations or other regulatory flood hazard data for an area not mapped in the flood insurance study, or base such data on a higher state or local standard

Preserve open space by guaranteeing a portion of currently available floodplain will be kept free from development menu

Develop higher regulatory standards for freeboard, soil testing, compensatory storage or zoning

Develop and maintain computerized flood or property data, base maps, and maintain elevation reference marks

Manage stormwater to ensure post-development runoff is no worse than pre-development runoff

Flood Damage Reduction

Prepare, adopt, and implement a comprehensive plan

Acquire or relocate floodprone buildings

Document flood-proofed or elevated pre-FIRM buildings

Conduct inspections and maintenance of channels and retention basins

Flood Preparedness

Provide early flood warnings and flood response plan to public

Maintain levees not credited with base flood protection

TOWNSHIP SERVICES

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) provides data on flood zone areas. Copies of the maps are on record in the Municipal Building 1766 Union Avenue. Please contact (732)264-1700, extension 8660 for more information of flood zones.

Residents can protect their building from flood damage by retrofitting, including but not limited to waterproofing walls, installing watertight enclosures over doors, raising existing buildings above flood levels, and installing check valves in sanitary sewer lines. The Construction Department can provide additional information on flood proofing your home.

It is most important to keep our storm water drainage systems free from obstructions so as to permit the rapid drainage of flood waters during coastal flooding conditions. Clogged drains can increase flooding conditions resulting in property damage and disruption of vehicular traffic flow. The Township of Hazlet Department of Public Works is responsible for the inspection and maintenance of the creeks and drainage system on all Township property as well the portions of the drainage systems and streams which are located on easements dedicated to the Township. The Township continually monitors these drainage systems to ensure they are clear of any obstruction. Trash, debris, or obstructions in the Township's drainage system or creeks should be reported to the Department of Public Works at (732)787-3636.

CITIZEN RESPONSIBILITIES

Property owners can do their part to remove debris and obstructions from ditches, streams, retention basins, and drainage systems on their property. Leaves, grass clippings, and branches can block systems and contribute to flooding.

Residents also have a duty to maintain public areas for the common protection and enjoyment of all citizens. The Township Ordinance prohibits dumping or throwing, anything into in the waters of any pond, lake, stream, or other body of water in or adjacent to a park or any tributary stream, storm sewer, or drain flowing into such water. Any violations should be reported to the Hazlet Code Enforcement Officer at (732)264-1700 extension 8656 or the Township Police Department at (732)264-6565.

FLOOD HAZARD REDUCTION

In order to minimize the effects of floods, the following standards have been developed:

All new construction and substantial improvement must be anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure. Substantial improvement is defined as any repair, reconstruction, or improvement to a structure whose cost is 50% of the building market value or greater.

All new construction and substantial improvements must be constructed with materials, utility equipment, methods, and practices resistant to flood damage.

All new public utilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems must be located to minimize flood damage and contamination.

For all new construction and substantial improvements, fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are subject to flooding must be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters.

Please check with the Construction Department at (732)264-1700 before you build, alter, regrade, or fill your property to determine if a permit is needed. Report these activities to this number if you do not see a permit where work is being done.

FLOOD PREPAREDNESS SAFETY TIPS:

Do not walk through flowing water. Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Currents can be deceptive, if you must walk, use a pole or stick.

Protect your property. Move personal belongings and furniture to higher ground.

Most homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. Make sure that your flood insurance policy is up to date.

If flooding occurs, go to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc.

Know safe routes from home, work, and school that are on higher ground. NEVER drive through flooded roadways and do not drive around road barriers, since the road or bridge may be washed out under flood waters. If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.

Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Report downed power lines to Jersey Central Power and Light.

Do not use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned, and dried. Do not turn electricity back on in your home if you detect gas or if the electrical system has been flooded.

Be aware of fallen debris, such as branches, wood, glass, or metal, since they may result in injury.

Have a safety kit with drinking water, a first aid kit, canned food, flashlight, and blankets. Keep a battery-operated radio available to listen for updates on flooding and evacuations.

Clean and disinfect everything that was touched by floodwaters or mud flows, and throw out any affected foodstuffs.

Follow directions from local officials regarding the safety of drinking water.

FLOOD INSURANCE:

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by Congress in 1968 to provide homeowners flood insurance at a reasonable cost. The Township's participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) makes federally backed flood insurance available for all eligible buildings in the floodplain. Flood insurance covers direct losses caused by surface flooding and local drainage problems.

NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available for all building, whether they are in a floodplain or not. Flood insurance covers direct losses caused by surface flooding, including a river flowing over its banks, a lake or ocean storm, and local drainage problems. Keep in mind that standard homeowner's policies do not cover flood losses.

Depending on your coverage, location (flood hazard zone), and elevation of the structure, rates will vary. In the regular Federal Flood Insurance Program, coverage of up to $250,000 is available for residential dwellings, and up to $100,000 is available for contents. There is a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect. Flood Insurance is required by law for federally financed loans when buying or improving structures. For more information on flood insurance call (800)427-4661. The NIFP website is HYPERLINK "http://www.fema.gov/business/nfip/" www.fema.gov/business/nfip/

If you don't have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Homeowner's insurance policies do not cover damage from floods, but you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy, which covers all surface floods. If you have flood insurance, check the amount and make sure the contents are covered. Typically, there is more damage to furniture and contents than to the building itself.

NFIP insures buildings, including mobile homes, with two types of coverage; building and contents. Building coverage is for the walls, floors, insulation, furnace, and other items permanently attached to the structure. Contents coverage may be purchased separately, if the contents are in an insurable building.

Mandatory Purchase Requirement:

The mandatory purchase requirements apply to all forms of federal or federally related financial assistance for buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). This requirement affects loan and grants for the purchase, construction, repair, or improvement of any publicly or privately owned building in the SFHA, including machinery, equipment, fixtures, and furnishings contained in such buildings. Financial assistance programs affected include loans and grants from agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Farmers Home Administration, Federal Housing Administration, Small Business Administration, and FEMA. The requirement also applies to secured mortgage loans from financial institutions, such as commercial lenders, savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions that are regulated, supervised or insured by Federal agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of Thrift Supervision.

How It Works:

Before a person can receive a loan or other financial assistance from one of the affected agencies or lenders, there must be a check to see if the building is in a SFH. The SFHA is the base (100 year) floodplain mapped on a FIRM. Copies of the FIRM are available for review in the Hazlet Township Municipal Building. Many lenders and insurance agents also have copies. It is the agency's or lender's responsibility to check the FIRM to determine if the building is in an SFHA, although many communities provide assistance. If the building is in an SFHA, the agency or lender is required by law to require the recipient to purchase a flood insurance policy on the building. The requirement is for structural coverage equal to the amount of the loan (or other financial assistance) or the maximum amount available, whichever is less. The maximum amount for a single-family house is $250,000. The mandatory purchase requirement does not affect loans or financial assistance for items that are not covered by a flood insurance policy, such as vehicles, business expenses, landscaping, and vacant lots. It does not affect loans for buildings that are not in the SFHA, even though a portion of the lot may be flood prone. While not mandated by law, a lender may require a flood insurance policy as a condition of a loan for a property in any zone on a FIRM.

USEFUL LINKS

FEMA http://www.fema.gov/

Floodsmart http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/

National Flood Insurance Program www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program