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Now Available: Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps for Union County, New Jersey

Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Union County, New Jersey are now available.  You can look up the flood zone and Base Flood Elevation (BFE) from the maps for a specific property using the What is My BFE? address lookup tool.

This information is also available through FEMA’s Map Service Center, the official source for preliminary and effective regulatory FIRMs. Online tutorials are available from FEMA which provide assistance in using both the FIRM and the Flood Insurance Study Report. Additional information is also available through the Preliminary FIRM FAQ.

New Executive Order Establishes Federal Flood Risk Management Standard

Recognizing the increased flood risk caused by climate change, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order on January 30, 2015, that establishes a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard to reduce the cost of future flood disasters. This standard requires Federally funded projects (e.g., buildings, roads, and other infrastructure) that impact floodplains to meet higher flood risk standards.

The Administration also released draft guidelines for implementing the standard for public comment. Agencies will be able to implement the standard in a number of ways and seek input from the public and stakeholders before doing so.

For more information on the new standard, see the Council on Environmental Quality fact sheet Taking Action to Protect Communities and Reduce the Cost of Future Flood Disasters.

StormSmart Coasts New Jersey—A New Resource for Coastal Decision Makers

New Jersey now has a StormSmart Coasts State website, which focuses on helping coastal communities address weather and climate hazards. The site connects coastal decision makers to the latest and best information on protecting communities before, during, and after a storm, including:
  • Tools for identifying and mapping hazards in your area
  • Information about hazard mitigation and land-use planning, regulations and development standards, mitigation and infrastructure protection options, training for local officials, and outreach strategies and materials
  • Resources for improving emergency management in your community
  • County and State emergency contacts
  • Federal and non-government funding programs
Visit the StormSmart Coasts New Jersey website at

HURRIPLAN Course on Resilient Building Design for Coastal Communities Offered in New Jersey

HURRIPLAN is a newly developed approach for hurricane resilient community planning and building design. The FEMA-certified HURRIPLAN course will be offered in Tuckerton and Hoboken, New Jersey, in January 2015. The 2-day HURRIPLAN performance-level course provides the knowledge and training necessary to design hurricane resilient commercial and institutional buildings. The course is targeted to a broad cross section of professionals involved in emergency management, planners, building and zoning officials, mitigation specialists, developers, engineers, land owners, architects, building managers and owners.

Through lectures and active learning components, existing regulations and beyond-code design guidelines are discussed and implemented. The culmination of the course includes the creation of a site plan and building design of a community safe room in a nearby hurricane-prone community.

Course modules include:
  • Introduction to Hurricane Science
  • Design Strategies Against Wind, Water and Debris
  • Infrastructure Failure
  • Current and Suggested Zoning and Building Codes
  • FEMA Guidelines, Best Practices and Lessons Learned
The course is approved for AIA/CES programs. AIA members in good standing are eligible to earn 14 HSW units.

Locations and Details

9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve
130 Great Bay Blvd
Tuckerton, NJ 08087
Hosted by the Barnegat Bay Partnership

For registration assistance contact Karen Walzer at or 732-914-8110.

9 a.m.–5 p.m. Steven’s Institute of Technology
Lecture Room
1 Castle Point Terrace
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Hosted by the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium

For registration assistance contact Lisa Aromando at or 732-872-1300 ext. 10.


Register and pre-test online at

Region II Coastal Storm Surge Study Data

In an effort to share coastal flood study data and to keep communities informed throughout the study process, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has produced a report titled Region II Coastal Storm Surge Study and eight topic-specific technical documents to summarize the new storm surge modeling carried out to support updates to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for New Jersey and New York coastal communities. The eight topic-specific technical documents provide details on the development, execution, and validation of the coastal storm surge modeling for coastal scientists, community officials, and others seeking in-depth technical information. The fact sheet Region II Coastal Flood Study Data Sharing provides an overview of the Coastal Storm Surge Study technical documentation, storm surge, and storm surge modeling.
Also available are a series of storm surge study reports prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prepared for a coastal flood study affecting communities within FEMA Region III. This study also affect several counties in New Jersey, including Salem, Gloucester, and Camden.
All technical reports can be accessed through the Community Officials information page.

Upcoming Training

Getting to Resiliency Webinar
June 26, 2014

Join Sustainable Jersey, the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the NJDEP Coastal Planning and Land Use Division to learn what coastal municipalities in New Jersey can do to become more resilient, prepare for coastal flooding events, and earn points toward Sustainable Jersey Certification.
The webinar will include:
  • Getting to Resilience, a community self-evaluation tool related to climate change and preparedness  
  • Case Study: Little Egg Harbor Township's experience in Getting to Resilience  
  • Climate Adaptation Flood Risks, a Sustainable Jersey action 
  • DEP's coastal program and municipal resources 
  • NJ Resiliency Network, a program offering resources to NJ municipalities for recovery and resilience 

Stormwater Management Workshop: Stormwater...from the streets to the sea
July 17, 2014, Margate, NJ

  • Introduction to Stormwater Management - What is it? Why it matters
  • Sea Level Rise and its Role in Stormwater Management
  • Climate Change, Stormwater and Shore the Communities
  • Stormwater Management Tools - ideas and Innovative Techniques
    • Green Infrastructure
    • Environmental Site Design
    • Technological advances (e.g., porous pavement)
    • Innovations in BMPs
    • Rain barrels
Sponsored by the City of Margate in conjunction with Sustainable Margate.
Register by July 14: Email Johanna Casey at: or register by phone: 609-822-0424.

New Jersey Association of Floodplain Managers Conference 2014
October 14-16, 2014, Atlantic City, NJ

The annual conference provides an opportunity for professionals in the fields of engineering, hydrology, geology, planning, code enforcement, floodplain management, and emergency management to participate in plenary sessions and concurrent sessions on a broad range of relevant topics. The conference provides training opportunities and networking events and also includes a series of training workshops, which are free with paid conference registration.

For more information, visit

FEMA Higher Floodplain Management Standards Video

FEMA has established minimum floodplain management requirements for communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Communities must also enforce any more restrictive State requirements. Any community may exceed the minimum standards by adopting more comprehensive floodplain management regulations. In some instances, community officials may have access to information or knowledge of conditions that require higher standards than the minimum NFIP criteria. Any floodplain management regulations adopted by a state or community which are more restrictive than the criteria set forth in the NFIP regulations are encouraged and shall take precedence.

The FEMA Higher Standards video provides information about floodplain management activities that significantly reduce insured losses at the community level and encourages communities to get involved in local floodplain managementCommunities that adopt higher standards may be eligible to participate in the Community Rating System (CRS). For more information about CRS, visit the CRS page at